Our story on the controversy over University of California, San Diego’s long-term plans to transform Hillcrest Medical Center into a stand-alone emergency room included this paragraph:

Publicly, the county has said little about UCSD’s plan, and its Department of Health & Human Services did not return calls for this story in late December. But behind the scenes, its longtime Sacramento lobbyist Jonathan Clay is working on a way to keep the Hillcrest facility open, [former assemblyman and current San Diego County Juvenile Court Judge Larry] Kapiloff said.

However, Jonathan Clay’s father Ben says that it is he, not the younger Clay, who is working on the issue.

Ben Clay was formerly the county’s lobbyist and had, in fact, worked with Kapiloff when the former lawmaker carried the bill that allowed the university to purchase what was then County Hospital from the county in 1980. He said he called up Kapiloff when he first got word of the university’s long-term plan.

Now, though, Ben Clay represents Scripps Health, which also operates hospitals in San Diego and has been one of the most vocal critics of UCSD’s planned move. The county, he said, has not yet formally gotten involved.

And the elder Clay said he doesn’t think the controversy will ever reach Sacramento.

“All of the activity being done down here in San Diego and I think we’re going to get it all worked out,” he said.


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