REEDLEY – Community leaders and Sierra Kings Health Care District members witnessed the fruit of their efforts in passing two bond measures at the revitalized Adventist Medical Center-Reedley campus.
On July 25, more than a dozen leaders representing the Reedley and Parlier communities participated in “Lunch & Learn: Reedley Hospital Tour” at the facility at 372 W. Cypress Ave. Attendees were provided lunch, then toured remodeled older buildings as well as new facilities built over a 12-year period from 2010-2022.
“It gives me pride and joy to show off this little jewel we have here,” said Susan Chapman, site administrator for Adventist Medical Center-Reedley. The former Sierra Kings Hospital was saved from a potential bankruptcy after being purchased in 2012 by Adventist Health Network following overwhelming voter approval.
The facility improvements to the hospital were thanks to more than $28 million in spending from monies provided by the vote passage of Measure H ($6 million in 2002) and Measure E ($20 million in 2006). Interest earned from the general obligation (GO) bonds brought the total funding for projects to nearly $28.2 million.
The bond money was used to fund the following projects in chronological order:
- In 2010, a new emergency department, clinic and lobby were completed (nearly $17.9 million along with Birthing Center expansion ($5 million) and a CT/MRI building (nearly $900,000);
- In 2012, a new parking lot between the hospital and birthing center as well as a lab entrance remodel ($525,000-plus);
- In 2013, a new hospital roof was completed ($514,000), the Children’s Clinic was remodeled ($885,000) and nurse call system was completed for the Birthing Center (nearly $96,000);
- Between 2018-2021, nearly $1.5 million in various heating, ventilation and air conditioning projects (HVAC) were completed; and
- In 2022, the Sterile Processing Room was remodeled ($561,000-plus) and the hospital’s pharmacy was relocated ($682,000-plus).
During this time, the hospital and district have been able to pay back all debt that had built up during its financial crisis. Chinayera Black Hardaman, chief executive officer for SKHCD, provided tour attendees with the financial figures of the improvements made to the hospital.
“Because of all the expansions that happened with the GO bonds, you can see that the hospital serves over 75,000 patients per year,” she said, adding that additional rural hospital clinics served an additional half-million patients annually.
Black Hardaman pointed out that the facility is financially stable, and although Sierra Kings continues to own the facility, official ownership of the hospital will be transferred to Adventist Health in coming years.
Chapman said an example of the hospital’s growth during Adventist Health’s operating the facility has been that the emergency room’s daily patient rate has grown from 40 to 60 patients per day in 2011-12 to 120 patients daily this year.
“The pandemic the last couple of years has been a real testament to how we can persevere and how we can be innovative,” she said. “It truly speaks to the fortitude and the devotion and dedication of the staff here.”
Reedley city leaders taking the tour included City Manager Nicole Zieba and Council Member Matthew Tuttle, while Parlier was represented by Mayor Alma Beltran and City Manager Sonia Hall. Among the locales they visited were the improvements to the Birthing Center and the Pediatric facility, along with multiple remodeled facilities.
“We see in the news a lot about the smaller hospitals really struggling at risk of closure,” Black Hardaman said. “This hospital is thriving. And so our community doesn’t have to worry about the financial success of the hospital, because it is thriving which is awesome.”
“Thanks for all the support, because honestly it is a collaborative [effort] to be able to say our doors are open for business,” Chapman said. “And we plan to be around for a long time.”