Mad River Community Hospital | Submitted file photo

PREVIOUSLY: Mad River Hospital Announces That It’s Looking to Sell to SoCal-Based Hospital Company


It was something of a bombshell announcement, by the modest standards of local health care news, when a press release dropped at 5 p.m. Monday stating that after 50-plus years as a standalone institution, Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata is set to be acquired by a hospital management company called Southwest Healthcare Services, LLC.

We still don’t know much about Southwest beyond what’s in the press release and official government filings: Incorporated in Arizona, the LLC operates a health care network managing Pacifica of the Valley Hospital and the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center, both located in the San Fernando Valley. Southwest also has plans to open some recently closed hospitals, according to the release.

Precious Velvet Mayes | Image via LinkedIn

Oh, and the CEO of Southwest has a truly exceptional name: Precious Velvet Mayes.

Time will tell whether this deal goes through and, if it does, what impacts the new management will have on Mad River Hospital’s care and services. For now, the Outpost wanted to learn more about the fabulously named Mayes beyond the accolades mentioned in the press release — 25-plus years in the health care industry, awards for business and community leadership, a cover story in Insights Success magazine’s “Most Admired Women Leaders in Business 2020” issue.

As it turns out, Mayes has embarked on some fascinating professional endeavors beyond hospital administration.

For example, if you’re a fan of Popstar! TV’s streaming soap opera “The Bay” (and who isn’t?) then you may recognize Mayes from her Season 7 guest star turn as the saucy Dr. Belinda Kenway. If you missed that somehow, you can watch some brief clips of her performance in the following YouTube video:

Or maybe you caught Mayes alongside B-movie stalwart Eric Roberts in the 2021 holiday film “The Magic,” in which she plays lawyer-slash-“hard boss lady” Donna Carrington.

Mayes is active behind the camera, too, producing or executive producing the above-mentioned projects as well as an upcoming adaptation (?) of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” As a co-executive producer on “The Bay,” Mayes earned a 2021 Daytime Emmy nomination. In an interview with Digital Journal, Mayes said she was also nominated as part of the show’s writing team, adding, “I love and have a passion for writing, so I look forward to putting out a ton of more content in this digital era.”

What else, you ask? Well, Mayes operates SheMogul Media, LLC, a multimedia company that, according to its website, operates as a “full service marketing agency” while also delivering “high quality media” in the realms of radio, television, digital programing and films. The company also put on at least one big live concert event at the Craig Ranch Amphitheater outside Las Vegas. 

Here’s Mayes being interviewed by KUTV Las Vegas alongside Grammy-winning R&B legend Chaka Khan ahead of that Labor Day 2021 concert.

 “SheMogul Media, really, we bring music and artists as great and phenomenal as Chaka to the inner city and the cities out there that really need healing through this pandemic that we’ve gone through, but also that we can actually create an experience, an intimate experience with love and healing out there … ,” Mayes said.

Speaking of the music industry, SheMogul’s entertainment empire expanded in 2021 when Mayes agreed to pay $315,000, outbidding another company to acquire KKCA-FM 95.7, an FM radio station outside Bakersfield. 

The station, which offers a steady mix of old school and new school “adult rhythmic” hits, has since been rebranded “Radio Precious.” 

During a recent interview with a maniacally exuberant co-host on a lifestyle talk show called “Good Day Live With Michelle and Kyle,” Mayes described herself as a “serial entrepreneur” who was excited to build a woman-owned radio station. (She added that her daughter runs it.)

At one point in the interview, co-host Kyle Trueblood asks Mayes whether she’s finding more passion in showbiz than in her hospital work, and Mayes says no.

“So my 100 percent passion in life is running and operating safety net DSH hospitals,” she said, referring to Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospitals, which receive government subsidies for serving a significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients. Mad River Community Hospital is one such facility. 

“The type of hospital I actually operate is an inner-city hospital,” Mayes says. “I go into the poorest communities, and we literally go in and we serve the poorest of the poor in the community, the underserved, the vulnerable, the homeless, the mental health component and all of that. So my passion for that is making sure that these hospitals,No. 1, thrive, strive and we open more, because it is so needed in L.A., in the state of California and nationally.”

As far as we can ascertain, none of the facilities currently operated by Southwest Healthcare Services, LLC, are located in the inner city. Pacifica of the Valley hospital is not far from a golf course in the Sun Valley neighborhood, a community “known for its overall youthful population and moderate racial diversity.” Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center is in the suburban neighborhood of Sylmar.

When Co-host Kyle commends Mayes for running a really tight business, she corrects him.

“Actually, DSH hospitals are not moneymakers,” she says. “We are funded by the state and federal government, so we barely hang on.” 

She talks about the strain of the pandemic, during which Pacifica served as a regional surge center, and says showbiz provides a much-needed creative outlet.

“I love what I do, but there’s an element of stress in what I do every day,” she says. Regarding her entertainment-related endeavors, Mayes says, “To be able to have that … and then deliver that passion through a character — whether it’s production or content or the acting — I love it.”

According to Monday’s press release, Mad River Community Hospital has signed a non-binding letter of intent, with both parties set to perform due diligence in an effort to reach a “definitive agreement.”

If the deal falls through, maybe Mad River Community Hospital can at least land a guest spot on “The Bay.”