1. What is a healthcare district?
According to ACHD (Association of California Healthcare Districts), Healthcare Districts are public entities that provide community-based health care services to residents throughout the state. They respond to the needs in their District by providing a range of services, which may include a hospital, clinic, skilled nursing facility or emergency medical services; as well as education and wellness programs. Each of California’s Healthcare Districts is governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees who are directly accountable to the communities they serve.
2. When was Sequoia Healthcare District formed and what are its geographical boundaries?
Sequoia Healthcare District was formed in 1946 and was the first healthcare district in California. The district covers central and southern San Mateo County. Specifically this includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Redwood City, Portola Valley , San Carlos, Woodside and portions of Menlo Park, Foster City and San Mateo. There are approximately 220,000 residents in this area.
3. How is the Sequoia Healthcare District funded and what does it do with the money it receives?
Sequoia Healthcare District receives public tax funds to support its activities. The district receives a portion of annual property tax from the residential and commercial properties located within its boundaries. The average homeowner’s assessment for the district is about $100 per year. In total about $10 million dollars a year is received and spent on a variety of health projects from medical clinics for the poor, to school nurses and physical education teachers, to mental health counselors and programs to feed the hungry. In total the district works with more than 60 schools and nonprofits to provide services to more than 50,000 residents a year including 27,000 public school children grades K-12.
4. How does one get elected to the Board of Directors?
Candidates must be 18 years or older and reside within district boundaries. The board has five members, each of whom stands for election every four years. A district-wide general election is held every two years. The number of seats up for election alternates every two years, with three seats at election one year and two seats available two years later.
5. How is the District managed?
Sequoia Healthcare District employs professional management staff that is responsible for the day to day administration of the organization; however, all major decisions must be made by the board of directors in open session. The general public is invited to attend board meetings and voice its concerns or suggestions.
The current CEO of the District is Lee Michelson, who has been employed by the District since 2009.