Biweekly Briefing Articles

What ‘Stranger Things’ Shows Us About Relationships

If your house is anything like mine, lately you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Netflix’s hit show “Stranger Things.” You may even be a fan of it yourself. You’re probably also well aware that the show centers on a number of mysteries and supernatural events occurring around the fictitious town of Hawkins, Indiana.  

While you don’t contend with demogorgons and the “upside down” in your daily jobs — and, frankly, neither do we — there may be more parallels than you think between “Stranger Things” and our work supporting your hospitals. 

Although the show deals with mythical creatures while making many of us long for the ’80s, at its heart it is about relationships — think Hopper and Joyce; Mike and Eleven; Steve and Nancy. They are complicated at times, they require attention, they have evolved throughout the seasons, and the characters are often pushed out of their comfort zones. 

The same can be said of our relationships with local leaders and in Sacramento with legislators and the governor’s administration. 

And as the Legislature gears up for its final weeks of the 2021-22 session, those relationships will take on even greater importance. With less than a month until the Aug. 31 deadline for lawmakers to get bills to the governor’s desk, there’s still much work for us to do.   

In the coming weeks, we’ll be focused on working with the Legislature to secure an extension to the 2030 seismic standards, which would give your hospitals an extra seven years to meet the mandate as you continue to recover from the financial devastation of the pandemic. 

We’re also continuing our advocacy on the Office of Health Care Affordability, which is in the 2022-23 budget agreement approved by the Legislature and expected to be signed by the governor. Our review has indicated that the final language addresses many of our key framework concerns, but we will continue to engage on this issue as the office is established. 

These are just two of the issues that remain as the session winds down, but many others also demand our attention. Because ambulance patient offload times continue to be top of mind throughout the state, next week the Assembly Emergency Management Committee will hold a hearing on the issue.  

And here in the San Diego region, our work on homelessness and behavioral health is ongoing.  

We’ll continue our advocacy on all these issues, and more. Just as Hopper, Joyce, and all the characters in “Stranger Things” are doing their best to protect what they love and care about and refuse to give up — no matter the circumstances — HASD&IC and CHA are doing the same for our members. And we won’t stop trying.