Steven Salyer watsonville hospital
Steven Salyer. Contributed photo

WATSONVILLE—Watsonville Community Hospital CEO Steven Salyer has left his post, and the board that oversees the hospital will meet on March 22 to discuss how his replacement will be chosen.

In a letter to employees on Monday, Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Board President John Friel said that the hospital is on a positive financial path, and is in “good hands and solid footing for a bright future.”

At the same meeting, the Board will begin the process of creating the hospital’s strategic plan—a roadmap of its long-range operational goals.

“The show must go on,” WCH spokeswoman June Ponce said. “It’s an opportunity for the community to put someone in that visionary role and take the hospital to the next level.”

In a prepared statement, Salyer said he is leaving for “family reasons.”

“Know that I am incredibly proud of Watsonville Community Hospital and everything we have accomplished thus far,” he said.

Salyer was hired in July 2021, just before hospital administrators announced it was facing bankruptcy unless a buyer stepped forward.

Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project formed to do so and, with the help of Sen. John Laird, made the purchase.

The hospital is now publicly owned and run by its own board, the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District.

This story will be updated.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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