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Tulare chooses Adventist Health for partnership

Community Partnerships

HANFORD/TULARE – Tulare Local Healthcare District (TLHD) board of directors voted on June 27 to exclusively negotiate with Adventist Health to lease Tulare Regional Medical Center with plans to reopen the hospital at the end of October.

The 4-1 vote came at the end of a lengthy discussion that involved a presentation by Adventist Health on how to reopen the 112-bed facility.

Adventist Health, which operates hospitals in Hanford, Selma, Reedley, Bakersfield and 16 other communities, said its timeline would be to negotiate a lease in the next 30 days, and open the facility in September or October. An initiative will be prepared for voter approval on the November ballot.

 “We are grateful to the Tulare board, Citizens for Hospital Accountability and community for their courage and tenacity in getting to this next step in reopening the hospital,” said Andrea Kofl, president of Adventist Health Central Valley Network. “We’re blessed to serve with the Tulare team and eager to see what we accomplish together.”

The Tulare hospital district board voluntarily suspended its acute care license in October of 2017 after declaring bankruptcy and learning the former management company planned on closing the hospital. That suspension ends this October, although officials indicated it’s possible that could be extended, if needed.

Efforts to reopen the hospital as quickly as possible grew more difficult with every day and because the former CEO of the hospital had placed liens on the property, blocking any attempts to borrow funds needed to reopen.

Adventist and the district will need to come up with a contract, the ballot will need to be placed before voters and work will need to be done to the hospital before it can open. At some point, voters will likely be asked to approve a bond to complete the construction of the new tower, but Adventist Health did not have that as a stipulation to its proposal.

TLHD Board President Kevin Northcraft said Adventist Health will be a good fit.

“Thank God we we’ve been able to consider Adventist Health. Thank God they want us,” he said.

The Tulare facility is expected to operate as an acute care hospital with surgery, imaging and emergency services, among others.

Photo by: Ron Holman