JOSHUA TREE — Tenet Healthcare appears to be on its way to taking over operation of the Hi-Desert Medical Center, the Continuing Care Center and other Hi-Desert Memorial Healthcare District facilities.
That transition will come at midnight, Tuesday, June 30.
The healthcare corporation has agreed to pay $2 million a year to lease district facilities.
Measure Y, which charged district voters with the job of approving or rejecting a longterm lease agreement with the Texas-based healthcare corporation, appeared headed for overwhelming approval.
According to unofficial election night results released by the registrar of voters Tuesday night, June 23, the measure, which faced no organized opposition, earned an almost 91 percent approval rating with 5,382 yes votes and 550 no votes.
The mail-in ballot, sent to 23,278 registered voters in the district, had a turnout of just over 25.5 percent.
The next update will come at 10 a.m. Monday, June 29, when the registrar of voters releases certified election results.
The next update will include mail ballots received at drop-off sites, mail ballots that require further signature review and mail ballots postmarked no later than election day and received within three business days following the election.
“I just want to thank the community for coming out and voting,” district board Vice President Martie Avels said Wednesday morning.
“We’ve been calling this a legacy decision,” she said. “The hospital is one of the most important assets for the Morongo Basin.”
Tenet Healthcare, she said, has deep resources and a lot of experience providing healthcare services.
“It will assure the future of healthcare here,” Avels said. “I am pretty excited.”
According to medical center CEO Robert Tyk, Tenet’s takeover of district operations will take place at midnight, Tuesday, June 30.
“We are obviously very, very pleased with the outcome,” Tyk said Wednesday morning. “This is the best thing for the district, the best thing for the people in the community.”
“All our operations are gearing up for a transition,” he said, noting that when June 30 becomes July 1, patients will be discharged from the Hi-Desert Medical Center system and put into the Tenet system.
July 1 is also the day Tyk learns about his future with Tenet.
He said he is not allowed to talk about his employment prospects with Tenet officials until after they have officially taken over at midnight.
The conversation, he added, “may be a little after that.”
“We are excited at the opportunity to welcome Hi-Desert Medical Center and the other district healthcare facilities to Tenet, and we thank voters for their overwhelming support of the affiliation,” a Tenet spokesman said Wednesday morning.
:We are working closely with the district leadership team to finalize the transition of the hospital’s operations to Tenet and we will conclude that process as soon as possible. We look forward to helping ensure the long-term viability of Hi-Desert Medical Center and the continued provision of quality healthcare services to residents of the Morongo Basin and surrounding communities.”