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UCSD Health buys Alvarado Hospital

 October 11, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz…. it’s Wednesday, October 11th.


We’ll tell you why UC-SD Health is buying Alvarado Hospital.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Three million dollars will soon go to a variety of groups working to help asylum seekers in the county.

Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas says about 13-thousand migrants have arrived in the county since mid September.

Churches, charities and N-G-Os have been providing them with food, water and shelter.

But they say they’re stretched to the breaking point.

Here’s Father Scott Santa Rosa… the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

“We’ve helped keep the county keep 15 to 35 men off the streets each night.  i believe the county’s financial support at this time is absolutely in the best interest of the county.”

Vargas’s office did not have immediate answers to questions about when the money will start going out, and what organizations need to do to apply for it.


Utility regulators have put off a decision on new solar rules for apartments, schools and farms in the state.

The California Public Utilities Commission is waiting until November second to weigh in.

It’s the second time regulators have delayed considering the proposed rules.

The new rules would NOT allow most multi-metered complexes to use the energy they generate.

Instead, the rules require rooftop generated electricity to be sold to the utility at wholesale prices and bought back at retail prices.


Former baseball star Steve Garvey has entered the race for the late Dianne Feinstein's U-S senate seat.

Garvey is a 74-year old republican, who played 14 seasons with the L-A Dodgers and five seasons with the Padres.

He says he would focus on quality of life issues, public safety and education.

Some of the other candidates planning to run for Feinstein's seat are U-S Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee and G-O-P attorney Eric Early.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


A local hospital will soon change ownership.

UC-SD Health is making a multi-million dollar move to acquire Alvarado Hospital Medical Center.

Here’s Health reporter Matt Hoffman.

UC San Diego Health is buying Alvarado Hospital near the college area for 200-million dollars.. UCSD already operates two hospitals in the county.. but CEO Patty Maysent says they need this third hospital because they’re busy and running out of space.. Patty Maysent, UC San Diego Health CEO We’ve had very sustained growth and demand for services that really are -- we don’t have the capacity for. So we’ve been looking for a while to see if there’s a way to create capacity in the short term Alvarado Hospital will bring on 300 more beds -- about 100 of which will be used for a behavioral health services expansion. UCSD Health is expected to take over operations there in mid-December and existing staff will be offered jobs with the academic health system.. Maysent says about a quarter of their patients live in the eastern part of the county and this allows a closer option for them. MH KPBS News.


The Navy hospital ship Mercy is leaving San Diego on an annual humanitarian mission to the western pacific.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

The mercy is impossible to miss in san diego bay. it’s almost 900 feet long and its white hull and red crosses stand out among the haze gray destroyers and amphibs. captain jeff feinberg is the commanding officer of the floating hospital. he says there’s not much difference between mainland hospitals and the mercy. “the only piece of medical equipment that we are lacking is an mri. mri is a giant magnet. this is a big steel box.” in the western pacific it will lead pacific partnership, a mission to help pacific island nations prepare for natural and man-made disasters. “really what we try to do is sort of fill these partnerships and these communications in times of calm so if there's a humanitarian crisis or any other crisis, we're ready to respond.” over the next four months, feinberg expects the crew to perform more than 450 surgeries and help train local healthcare workers. andrew dyer, kpbs news.


This month, the covid-19 payment pause on student loans ended, and re-payments re-started.

Americans owe 1-point-7 trillion dollars in student loan debt, and behind every dollar, is someone’s story.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more.

“Between the time I got these degrees and was actually able to put some some of that knowledge to work…I got cancer.” 73-year old Cindy Nelson is a breast cancer survivor…she also survived more than 100-thousand dollars in student loan debt…much of it mounting interest…“I was blessed that I even had the opportunity to go to college. No matter what it took.” It took a lot…because in her late 30’s Nelson became a single mother with two children to support after a divorce …triggered by her coming out as a lesbian. Her truth brought her freedom…and financial responsibilities. Going to college …she hoped …would eventually provide security for her family. “you’ve got to go to college to have the world open up to you’ll be with people you never imagined…you’ve see diversity like you’ve never seen.” Grant money helped pay for a portion of her bachelor’s degree in visual arts from UC San Diego…but it was federal loans that paid for  a master’s degree in education from San Diego State in 1997 …and on to a successful job at the SDSU School of Nursing…which came with lifetime health benefits and a steady income when she needed to pay back her loans. “when times were rough…they would put me on income-contingent to pay as I go and then when things got better…I would pay more…but once I got the cancer…and couldn’t work…I just stopped paying them.” Cindy’s story is like so many other stories of student borrowers who found themselves drowning in debt …when life happened. There are millions of borrowers who are hoping for relief and loan forgiveness. Dan Roccato is a clinical professor of finance at the University of San Diego…with 20 years of investment banking experience…He says loan forgiveness has to come with reform… “recognize that we do have to provide relief to certain borrowers who simply are never going to be able to pay this back…and at the same time recognize that we have to tie the ribbon a little tighter between the value of a college education and how we pay for that education.” “I started paying it back right away.” Tim ba-RUE-nis had to payoff 200-thousand dollars in student loans for his medical school education. “I’m fortunate in the sense that I make a physician level salary and I was able to make those payments.” Consistent payments that included a few lump sums…helped ba-RUE-nis get his total down to 50-thousand dollars. It did not help him find happiness practicing family medicine with 60 hour work weeks. “This is Odessa…she’s 6…and this is Simon …it’s an older picture but his 10…” ba-RUE-nis left medicine for a remote job working from home as a medical procedure consultant… giving him more time to spend with his family. He also discovered a Biden administration program that gave him credit for consistent payments and his at non-profit hospitals…eliminating his remaining balance. …I feel really good about having been able to take advantage of that …and not having those loans anymore.”  Cindy Nelson also discovered a forgiveness plan based on her limited income and repayment history…and she is now student loan debt-free and cancer-free… “When I lost everything…it was tough but I made it through.” …and the finance expert Dan Roccoto…says there is hope for anyone who wants it. “It’s become a center stage issue and that’s important. It’s no longer this fringe issue that the guys in the ivy tower on campus will figure out.”  MGP KPBS News.

TAG: Dan Roccoto suggests the best first step for anyone feeling overwhelmed about student loan payments, is to go to student aid-dot-gov.


Coming up.... P-B Elementary is getting a makeover. We’ll have details on what the new campus will offer to students and locals, plus more, just after the break.


It’s National Coming Out day.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with San Diego City councilmember Marni Von Wilpert, who came out as a member of the L-G-B-T-Q-plus community this summer.

You're hoping to have maybe private, quiet conversations with folks, instead, I came out in The New York Times. A reporter interviewed von Wilpert after anti-LGBTQ plus protestors checked out all the books from a Pride month display in a library in her district. When the reporter asked, you know, ‘Are you a member of the LGBTQ community?’ I don't want to hide it. She says the article prompted tough conversations with conservative family members, who were supportive in the end. But that’s not the case for everyone. Many homeless youth in San Diego are LGBTQ-plus children who were evicted by their families. Even while she celebrates being out, she says she’s watching gay rights be taken back. This summer alone, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that businesses can refuse some services to LGBTQ plus people. Grossmont Union School District ended a contract with a suicide prevention nonprofit that also assists LGBTQ plus youth. And The Temecula Board of Education tried to remove Harvey Milk – a gay civil rights leader and politician – from its curriculum. I'm not sure what my future looks like sometimes in this country, which is something I never thought I'd say. Even still, she says – coming out was worth it. It's less isolating to be able to come out and to be free. Katie Hyson, KPBS News.


San Diego Unified has begun a complete renovation of the Pacific Beach Elementary School.

Education reporter M.G. Perez tells us how it will benefit students and the neighborhood.

“Go ahead and scoop some dirt” Students with their ceremonial shovels helped in the ground breaking of a 21-point-7 million dollar rebuilding and renovation of Pacific Beach Elementary. Voter approved bond money is paying for the project that includes a new kindergarten building...state-of-the-art classrooms…collaborative workspaces…and upgraded facilities across the entire campus. San Diego Unified School board trustee Cody Petterson says 60-year old buildings are coming down as well as the temporary ones affectionately known as bungalows. Cody Petterson San Diego School Board Trustee “we spent a lot of time in bungalows…bungalows is a reality and we really had to skimp on facilities…now with this bond money…we’re able to get high quality facilities. The school’s sports field will also be expanded to include a new track for area residents to use after school hours and on the weekends. MGP KPBS News.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join me again tomorrow for the day’s top stories, plus, a story about efforts to deliver suboxone to addicts. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

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UCSD Health is making a multi-million dollar move to acquire Alvarado Hospital Medical Center. In other news, how people are dealing with student loan repayments restarting. Plus, it’s National Coming Out Day. KPBS spoke with San Diego City Councilmember Marni Von Wilpert, who came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community this summer.