El Camino Hospital and its satellite facilities function amid complex governance. It is a public hospital system, created by the community and overseen by a publicly elected board of directors. However, its day-to-day operations are run as a private business – El Camino is in competition for medical dollars with Stanford and Sutter Health, among others.

The three board members elected Nov. 3 will be sitting on two boards – the public El Camino Healthcare District board that gives out community benefit grants, and the “private” El Camino Hospital board that plots business strategies. It’s a big responsibility: managing a $1 billion budget while ensuring the district follows its mission of prioritizing quality patient care over profit. It’s a challenge compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To meet that challenge, we’re going with a mixture of the fresh and familiar in our endorsements for the district board: Meghan Fraley and Dr. Jane Lombard, and incumbent John Zoglin.

Fraley, a clinical psychologist, brings a needed mental health focus to the board. An involved and passionate Mountain View resident, she correctly sees mental health as a growing challenge in the years ahead – particularly in the wake of the pandemic. She is committed to looking out for vulnerable populations and addressing unmet health-care needs.

Lombard, a cardiologist at the El Camino Women’s Heart and Wellness Center, has more than 30 years of experience serving in leadership positions for large health-care systems such as Stanford and Sutter Health. She prioritizes investment in quality physicians and staff, and favors increasing the volume of cases to ensure better clinical outcomes.

Zoglin, on the board since 2007, is a strategic thinker from the tech world with a record of accomplishment. He’s led efforts to increase district tax money for community health programs, expand outpatient services and increase transparency. He prides himself on his unbiased approach and representing the interests of all stakeholders.

We believe Fraley, Lombard and Zoglin are the best choices to help the El Camino boards navigate a difficult path in the near term and ensure more success in the years ahead.