Council Appoints Hospital Committee Members

To receive additional community input, the San Clemente City Council appointed Mayor Pro Tem Chris Hamm and physicians from Saddleback Memorial Medical Center to a committee alongside hospital officials and the city’s public safety chiefs.

The committee, which the council enlarged from eight to 12 members, will gather information on the hospital’s plans to close the local emergency room in late 2015 and to raze the current structure to make way for an urgent-care facility by 2017. The body will also look at alternative solutions before the hospital board votes on closure plans early next year.

In addition to Hamm, the board appointed former Mayor Susan Ritschel, herself a Saddleback nurse; Gus Gialamas, who has been among the physicians advocating for keeping the facility open at public meetings; and resident Mike Clark, a retired hospital executive. Jim Holloway, the city’s community development director, will also serve on the panel as will someone from the human affairs committee, which will chose its own representatives.

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