letter to the editor pajaronian

We need Marcus Pimentel and Jasmine Najera as board members of the Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD) to continue the success of Watsonville Community Hospital (WCH) under community-led ownership. They’ve been in the trenches with the leadership of WCH throughout the process of securing the hospital’s future. We believe their continued leadership is essential and that they must be re-elected to the Health Care District Board to ensure successful long-term sustainability of the hospital.

Nájera, a Watsonville resident, is a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years experience working for the Santa Cruz County Health Services in behavioral health and now leads the Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance (PVPSA).

Born at Watsonville Community Hospital, Pimentel currently serves as budget manager for Santa Cruz County. He formerly worked as finance director with the cities of Watsonville and Santa Cruz, and as Assistant Health Director for the County of Santa Cruz. He served for nine years as Chair of Salud Para La Gente’s Board of Directors and stewarded it through a financial and administrative turnaround. 

Pimentel and Najera’s commitment to our community and region has been demonstrated through years of service, and time and again through extraordinary volunteerism, most recently to save the hospital, but also to countless other local efforts and nonprofits. They set an ongoing example of commitment through hard work and truly listening to and engaging with the community. 

The members of the current health care district board were appointed by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors because of their areas of expertise, experience and the communities they represent. Najera and Pimentel’s professional experience, knowledge of the community and goodwill were pivotal to the initial success of the health care district board. Committed to the ideal the hospital should remain in service for years to come, they spent innumerable hours studying the hospital, its programs and the turnaround plan to help ensure its future. Their efforts resulted in the hospital remaining open, emerging from bankruptcy and transitioning back to community ownership. It is critical to re-elect them to the PVHCD Board to continue momentum and not disrupt Watsonville Community Hospital’s early success under community ownership.

If we had lost the hospital’s critical services, it would have severely impacted emergency services, our regional healthcare provider network, hundreds of staff members and the Pajaro Valley community. Without a hospital in this community, those with the least resources who face the most barriers to care would experience the most damaging impacts to their health. The long-term viability of Watsonville Community Hospital is a key component in addressing the health disparities in underserved parts of Santa Cruz County.

For all the hard work that Najera and Pimentel have put into the acquisition of WCH, we believe they have not only earned another term on the PVHCD board, but are the best candidates. We are excited for the promise a second term would mean for WCH and our community with Najera and Pimentel continuing on the board.

Let’s keep a winning course with this forward-thinking healthcare district board. Mark your vote for Jasmine Najera and Marcus Pimentel on Nov. 8 to work together for continued success.

The authors represent community service leaders and health care professionals. They are: Ray Cancino, Leslie Conner, Maria Elena De La Garza, Thomas Greaney, Kayla Kumar, Laura Marcus, Henry Martin, Monica Martinez, Dori Rose Inda, Faris Sabbah, Blaine Sutliff, Dr. Clay Angel, Dr. David Claypool, Lynne Drummond, RN, Dr. Devon Francis, Dr. Cal Gordon, Dr. Katherine Gabriel-Cox, Dr. Anniken Hansen, Dr. Donaldo Hernandez, Dr. Amy McEntee, Dr. Carmin Powell, Dr. Jessica Santillano and Dr. Josefa Simkin. Their opinions are their own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian.

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  1. I do not know either person in this editorial above. If they win, I wish them the best of luck.
    but i have answered the posts by RB Hayes. please read them.

  2. This letter is signed by the same lunatics who forced WCH to the precipice of ruin in the past. As for the two named candidates, examine each of them individually. Marcus Pimental is a tool of Carlos Palacias (is that a person or a Las Vegas casino?) and the ship of fools at 701 Ocean Street, but at least Marcus can count past ten without taking his shoes and socks off.
    As for Jasmene Nejara, what exactly does she bring to the table? She is a “useful idiot” and that is about it. Vote for JOE GALLAGHER. Love him or not, at least he will keep the co-conspirators halfway accountable by his presence.

    • what a racist comment about ‘Carlos Palacios. his name in English, happens to mean Charles Palaces. He is NOT a Las Vegas casino. he was born with his name.
      what does RB stand for ? Rutherford B was the name of a feckless GOP president in the 19th century who ended Reconstruction and pulled Union troops out of the South. The Jim Crow era thus began.
      co conspirators? are you accusing the two incumbents of a crime ? unless you have some proof, that borders on LIBEL.
      and your comment that Jasmene Nejara is a “useful idiot”, while not libelous, is really a foul and nasty description of her.
      shame on you ! read some US history about US President Rutherford B Hayes, and why he is LOWLY regarded by US historians.

      • Charles Palaces? Nice. Then I hope he minds his own business. His boss moves at the county of Santa Cruz are an embarrassment. Let him manage Buckingham Palace and King Charles other residences? Tell him to plant a vegetable garden for Camilla.

        • Mr. Palacios was not born in Britain. and Britain is not the only nation that has royal palaces. if you had any knowledge of life beyond Watsonville, you would know that,
          but your comment is still racist. why don’t YOU plant a vegetable garden?
          oh, wait. that would be manual labor, and the ghosts of former presidents are much too important to do that.
          your postings are a total CROCK. and i don’t mean butter.

    • Mr Hayes,

      I see that Mr Know it all Steve has responded to you. As I stated numerous time this man is an idiot. With that said, if you read previous posts by Steve you will be well versed on his IQ and racist views.
      This hospital will inevitably fail again in the near future because the majority of its patients are low income with little or no insurance and high levels of care.
      This is not a crime in any community however since this is the case the residents would probably be better served by small clinics versus a large old facility which require a lot of infrastructure maintenance
      The county of Santa Cruz still does not have a trauma center thus patients must be flown out of the area weather permitting if they die in route, it’s a consequence of living in Santa Cruz county and it’s politicians.

      Steve, the more you post the more you present yourself as a uninformed idiot.


      • The hospital is bound to fail again. Some of the self-congratulating jackasses who signed this letter, just don’t get it. Others are venal and know that the long-term survival of that hospital is a pipedream but they can’t resist the money grab. If you, I, or anyone else with a clue (that leaves out Steve Cabrillo Trujillo) were given a blank check for $70 million in taxpayer dollars to squander, we’d put on a good show too. But eventually the music will stop.

        • Hi R.B

          The great thing is Steve has blocked me so I don’t have to deal with his nonsense rebuttals. This guy needs help. I am not on Facebook or any social media so I only know this clowns rambling here. You are 100% correct the hospital will fail unless all management decisions are scrutinized by honest individuals with no ulterior motives.
          Steve is and continues to prove himself as Watsonvilles village idiot.
          The more he posts the more Watsonville voters will know never to vote for any office he runs for.


  3. Also, I should comment on the title of this “opinion” piece. Wake up people. The FORMULA for keeping this hospital going is pretty basic. Beg for $70 million in taxpayer dollars, have self-serving politicians remit funds while patting themselves on the back, burn through $70 million, spin and repeat the cycle.


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