A board member of Pleasant Valley Hospital has resigned to protest the Camarillo hospital's planned merger with St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.
M. Keith Noren, a retired banker who has sat on the Pleasant Valley Hospital board since 1983, said Monday that he mailed letters last week notifying each of his eight fellow board members of his resignation.
In the letters, Noren urged each board member to vote against the merger, scheduled to come up for a final vote later this month with the deal expected to close by the end of the month, he said.
"I was hoping that I could convince the board to vote against the merger," he said Monday. "I opposed it from the beginning. I don't like the way it was crammed down our throats" when it was proposed in January, 1992.
Noren said he favors an affiliation between the hospitals that could eventually develop into a merger.
"We're not in the red," he said, saying that while Pleasant Valley is about $20 million in debt, it still makes a profit.
Noren, however, said he does not support the Camarillo Health Care District's legal attempts to take control of Pleasant Valley Hospital.
"I don't feel they're able to operate a hospital," he said.
Noren is the first Pleasant Valley Hospital board member to resign over the planned merger.
In November, two Camarillo Health Care District officials resigned to protest the district board's plan to fight the merger regardless of the legal costs to the district.