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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Board MemberWashington Township Health Care DistrictNovember 8, 2016California General Election

Special District
November 8, 2016California General Election

Washington Township Health Care DistrictBoard Member

Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (200/200).

About this office

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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 2 candidates of 3 total candidates.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
Medical Doctor/Cardiologist
60,375 votes (40.1%)Winning
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  • Accessibility and Quality: Keeping Washingtion Hospital open to everyone and providing the best care for you and your loved ones.
  • Safety: Maintaining the highest standards of patient safety in a earthquake-safe facility. Providing a safe evironment for visitors and employees.
  • Financial Stability and Local Control: Keeping the Hospital financially sound while expanding services. Maintaining local control which is responsive to the needs of our community.
Profession:Medical Doctor, Cardiologist: Working at Washington Hospital for over 25 years. Hospital Board member for 18 years.
Medical Doctor: Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Self-employed in private practice in Fremont and on staff at Washington Hospital (1990current)
Director/Board Member, Washington Township Health Care District — Elected position (1998current)
Stanford University Medical Center Fellowship, Cardiology (Clinical and Interventional Cardiology) (1990)
Univerisity of Southern California Research Fellowship, Clinical Pharmacology (1986)
Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine (1984)
University of Southern Calfornia Medical Doctor (M.D.), Medical School (1981)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Science (B.S.E.E.), Electrical Engineering (1978)

Local Solutions: Access to Healthcare


Committment to Affordable and Accessible Healthcare

Our nation continues to face a healthcare insurance crisis with still millons of uninsured and even more underinsured people.  Insurance costs and drug costs continue to rise at alarming rates.  I can't fix these national problems but, with your support, I can make this promise:

"No matter what happens with healthcare in our country, I promise to adapt and work to keep Washington Hospital open and available to everyone in our community.  I will work diligently to help make healthcare more affordable in our community."

Today's Projects - Tomorrow's Solutions


Building for our Present and Future Healthcare Needs

Meeting the current and future healthcare needs of our community requires a thorough understanding of both where healthcare is going and how our community is changing.   With 25 years of experience as a physician serving our community and 18 years as a director on the Washington Hospital Board, I have the perspective and experience to make the important decisions on what new facilities and programs are needed to serve the healthcare needs of our community.  Currently, we are building our new Emergency Room and Critical Care (ICU and CCU) facilities which will enable Washington Hospital to become a Trauma Center.   Over my years of service on the board we have developed many new facilities and programs.    With an eye on careful management of the district's financial resources, these facilities have been built on-budget and on-time.  With your vote on November 8, I can continue the careful planning and development to meet the healthcare needs of our community now and in the future. 

Striving for Excellence


Continuing our Focus on Quality

In an effort to reduce human error and increase safety and quality, Washington Hospital now has hospitalists, intensivists, rapid response teams, and a medication safety officer.  We have leveraged the electronic medical record to help nurses and doctors deliver the best care possible.   With this focus on quality, Washington Hospital has become the major medical center in Southern Alameda County.  

This success has been characterized by continued growth, new services, financial stability, and solid steady leadership. Washington Hospital continues to be rated among the top hospitals in the Bay Area and we have maintained our coveted Magnet Status in recognition of nursing excellence. Again and again, Healthgrades has rated Washington Hospital in the Top 5% of Hospitals in America for clinical excellence and in the Top 100 in America for joint replacement. Beginning in 2013, our affiliation with UCSF has continued to grow giving the highest level of specialty care locally to your loved ones, both children and adults.



Board Director, Washington Township Health Care District
58,671 votes (38.97%)Winning
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  • Continue to ensue that the hospital provides quality health care for everyone.
  • Continue to provide diligent stewardship of the district's assets to maintain the financial stability of the hospital and the services.
  • Continue construction of the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion to provide urgently needed earthquake-safety emergency services.
Profession:Health Information Management Professional
Health Information Management Consultant, Self Employed (1990current)
Washington Hospital Healthcare District Board Member, Washington Hospital Healthcare District — Elected position (2001current)
City Coordinator and Community Information Faire Chair, Newark Days Celebration, Inc. (1992current)
Board member, New Haven Educational Foundation Advisory Council (2013current)
Program Chair, Newark Optimist Club (2003current)
Immediate Past Chair, Tri-City Elder Coaliton (1998current)
Board Member, former President, Mental Health Association of Alameda County (19932001)
30,959 votes (20.56%)
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  • Ensuring transparency: All expenses and sevice decisions must be made in a public forum.
  • Increasing patient access by broadening the range of insurance plans accepted and expand the range of services available at the hospital.
  • Improving working conditions for employees to make Washington Hospital the best workplace possible.
Secretary, Chair of the Racial Justice Committee, YWCA Board of Director's Women and Children's Shelter, Fargo, ND — Appointed position (20102013)
Boston University B.A., Inernational Relations (current)
American University M.A. , International Politics (current)
Villanova University School of Law J.D. , Law (current)

I am an attorney in private practice in Fremont.  For most of my career, I was a public interest attorney for eleven years.  I worked as a public defender and as a legal aid attorney.  My work has given me insight into the struggle people face in accessing quality health care and the impact inadequate health care and the cost of health care have on peoples’ lives and society as a whole.  I helped people obtain medical insurance while they were awaiting disability benefits and assisted working families from having their paychecks garnished due to medical bills, I qualified eligible children for disability benefits and appropriate services from public school districts and I advocated for clients to obtain necessary mental health treatment to address underlying issues that contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system.  I also served as a board member for three years at the YWCA Women and Children’s Shelter in Fargo, North Dakota.   


After spending much of my career fighting to remove barriers to health care for individual clients, I wish to serve on the Washington Township Hospital Board of Directors and take my experience to the next level and ensure access to top tier health care for everyone in our community. 


My priorities include:



I want to represent our community on the board and ensure transparency and compliance with applicable regulations. Washington Hospital is a community hospital that can and should provide the best health care for all residents of the District.  The expense and decisions behind providing these services should be transparent to all residents of the District. 


Increase Access to Top Tier Health Care 

I will work with the Board to expand services, including accepting a broader range of insurance plans, and improve infrastructure to compete with other hospitals in the Bay Area.  Patients should never have to leave their hometown and family to obtain health care outside the District. 


Best Workplace

I will work with the Board to ensure that Washington Hospital continues to be the best hospital it can be and the best place for all employees to work.   


I look forward to having an ongoing dialog with you and would appreciate your support on November 8th.  With your support, I will fight to make Washington Hospital the hospital for everyone in our community to access affordable, top class health care.


  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • California Nurses Association (CNA)
  • Senator Bob Wieckowski
  • Assemblymember Bill Quirk
  • Fremont Citizens Network
  • Fremont Chamber of Commerce Business for Good Government PAC
  • East Bay Women's Political Caucus
  • Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Service Employees International Union- United Healthcare Workers (SEIU-UHW)
Term Limits

Do you believe in term limits for board members?  Why or why not?

Answer from Chitra Ramanathan:

Yes, I believe term limits would encourage new ideas and approaches to important issues, such as community concerns about the District's level of transparency with regard to board meetings, agendas and compliance with the Brown Act.  Term limits would give individuals with a fresh perspective the chance to provide input; as an attorney (there are currently no attorneys on the Board), I could provide input about public meetings rules and regulations.    Furthermore, the Alameda Grand Jury in its investigation and findings referred to the Board as "complacent" and recommended term limits.  This election is the first time current board members have been challenged in 8 years.  I believe the community is ready for a change and does not want attention focused on investigations and negative newspaper articles about the Board and would prefer that attention and resources are directed back to patient care - where it should be.




Levels of Cooperation

What levels of cooperation would you like to see between Washington Hospital, Kaiser and Palo Alto Medical Foundation that are not currently being addressed?

Answer from Chitra Ramanathan:


Ideally, it would be beneficial for all three facilities to share equipment and personnel.  This would benefit patients and ensure that no patient has to leave the District to obtain health care.  It would also benefit all institutions from a financial perspective because they could share the costs of expensive equipment and take advantage of personnel and programs that have an area of expertise.  The three facilities have in common that they are not university based medical facilities.  Cooperation instead of competition should be the ultimate goal.  

MediCal patients

How does Washington Hospital serve MediCal patients for diagnosis and treatment. Is the Hospital meeting its requirements for providing these services?

Answer from Chitra Ramanathan:




It is my understanding that patients with certain types of MediCal insurance may be accepted by the Hospital, but not every form of MediCal is accepted.  There are differences when a patient is being seen as an outpatient or as an inpatient which leads to confusion for the patient.  For example, if a patient is seen in the emergency department and released with a referral to a physician, they may not be able to see that physician.  Similarly, a patient may be seen by a physician as an outpatient, but cannot have testing or treatment done at the Hospital because the Hospital does not contract with that provider.   My belief is that healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege.  If there are types of  MediCal, or other insurances which are not accepted by the Hospital, the Board, as the community representative, must work to simplify the process as much as possible.  If there is a single person in the community, insured or uninsured, that cannot obtain services at the Hospital than I do not believe the Hospital has met its requirement as a public entity.  










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