Wilk calls on LA County to honor trauma funding formula

SACRAMENTO – Today Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, submitted a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors urging them to revisit the Measure B trauma funding to correct inequities that denies the Antelope Valley its fair share of funding.

“In 2002 the people voted for Measure B with the expectation the trauma network would be saved and even improved. The County Board has not kept their promise to the people. Their policies direct over 76 percent, or about $190 million, of these funds to just three hospitals while the other 12 hospitals receive the table scraps,” said Wilk. “With this policy it’s clear the Board of Supervisors believes L.A. lives matter, and those in the Antelope Valley don’t.”

The letter went on to urge the Board to take action on the discrepancies that see only around $1 million each year in Measure B funds committed to Antelope Valley Hospital even as it sees about 12 percent of Los Angeles County trauma and emergency visits totally over 110,000 patients in an emergency room built to receive only about 35,000. Wilk also suggested in the letter that a legislative remedy may be in store should the Board choose not to act on the Senator’s recommendations.

“This is a county tax and for that reason should, ideally, remain a county issue. However, if the Supervisors are derelict in their fiduciary duties to taxpayers and continue to place my constituents at risk by refusing to rework their allocation of these funds to produce an equitable outcome for all residents, I am certainly prepared to get involved in whatever way necessary to help ensure that every community has access to a qualified trauma center in the event of an emergency when every second counts and immediate treatment can mean the difference between life and death.”

Wilk also pointed out disparate funding levels at other area hospitals saying “In Santa Clarita, Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital also receives just over $1 million dollars in funding from Measure B despite serving a coverage area from the Kern County border to the San Fernando Valley. Inequities like these exist throughout the system and it is imperative the Board take action to correct this horrible disservice.”

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Editor’s note: full text of Wilk letter is here (PDF)