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Stakeholders weigh Petaluma hospital bids

In an unusual showing for the Petaluma Health Care District, a large audience of hospital employees, union representatives, elected officials, public safety workers and area residents packed the publicly-elected board’s meeting last week to hear deliberations on selecting the best of four bids to operate the district-owned Petaluma Valley Hospital.

The highly attended meeting was the first for 2016, the same year in which area residents will vote on whether to approve the district’s recommended operator. Four companies, including the incumbent St. Joseph Health, are vying to operate the hospital when a current lease expires in 2017.