Letter to the editor: Laird sings praises of outgoing Watsonville Community Hospital CEO

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To the editor:

One of the unsung heroes of the effort to save Watsonville Community Hospital is outgoing CEO Steven Salyer.

While the public was focused on the successful campaigns for emergency legislation, a bankruptcy court bid and raising the $65 million necessary for the sale, Salyer was an effective behind-the-scenes partner.

As CEO, Salyer made sure there was financial transparency, worked to keep staff members from leaving, helped set up the new board, and, after the transfer, he renegotiated provider agreements to help move the hospital toward the sustainability it is on path to achieving. He has been a true leader.

I am sad that he is leaving. But I have a mother who is on the verge of her 99th birthday, and I understand the tug of family needs that must be his first priority.

I did not want Steven Salyer’s service to end without calling out his amazing role. He will be missed, but the results of his leadership will be appreciated by Pajaro Valley residents for years to come.

John Laird
State Senator, 17th District