East County Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Prop. H to Extend Grossmont Hospital Lease with Sharp HealthCare

East County voters in the June 2014 election overwhelmingly approved Proposition H, continuing the partnership between the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) and Sharp HealthCare for the operations of Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa until 2051.

The ballot measure needed a simple majority to pass. It passed by nearly 87 percent in favor of extending the current lease agreement for an additional 30 years.

The existing 30-year lease between GHD and Sharp, signed in 1991, is scheduled to expire on May 30, 2021. Extending the lease will assure the continued operations of the publicly-owned hospital until May 29, 2051. GHD is an East Region public agency that serves as landlord of Grossmont Hospital’s property and buildings on behalf of taxpayers.

“We are grateful to the voters for their confidence,” said Sandy Pugliese, community relations manager with Sharp Grossmont Hospital and member of the Prop. H organizing group, called Citizens for Continued Hospital Excellence – Yes on H.

“Extending the lease means Grossmont Hospital will remain a community-owned hospital for decades,” said Pugliese. “We were successful in communicating our message to voters that there would be no fiscal cost to local taxpayers to approve the lease extension. Patients have benefited from and will continue to benefit from millions of dollars in resources invested by Sharp in their hospital.”

Supporters of Prop. H said the existing lease agreement between GHD and Sharp HealthCare demonstrated how a public-private partnership should work, where the public resources of a state-of-the-art community hospital are joined with an award-winning nonprofit healthcare system to benefit the public. Since 1991, Sharp HealthCare has invested more than $300 million in hospital facilities, programs and equipment to best serve the community.

Voter approval was required to extend the current lease with Sharp HealthCare. That’s because state legislation authored in 2005 by then-Assemblyman Jay La Suer of La Mesa specified that GHD could extend its lease with Sharp following a vote of the people. As a result, GHD is the only healthcare district in California currently allowed to consider a lease extension.

Prop. H received support from virtually every constituency throughout East County. The ballot measure was endorsed by every mayor and city council member in the East County cities of El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa and Lemon Grove. Additional endorsements from local elected officials included U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis, State Senators Joel Anderson and Marty Block, Assembly members Brian Jones and Shirley Weber, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman. Organizations supporting Prop. H included the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Business Leadership Alliance, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Santee Chamber of Commerce, San Diego East County Economic Development Council, San Diego County Democratic Party and Republican Party of San Diego County.