(Photo: Ron Holman)
The checkoff list to open Tulare hospital is down to two items, said Randy Dodd, Adventist Health executive.
The kitchen’s dishwasher needs a final successful cycle and contents of the hospital’s emergency trailer must be updated, Dodd said. Other than that, Monday is nearing as the hospital looks to open its doors just shy of a year after it closed.
Those items came out after a visit from state officials ahead of the big day.
“They told us it looked amazing and they were pleased with the condition of the facility,” Dodd said. “They are pretty excited to hand us our license.”
Dodd updated the Tulare hospital board members on Wednesday, following a visit from state health officials.
Preparing a hospital to open and get a license is typically an 18-month process. In Tulare, Adventist Health, interim administrators and some hospital employees will have done it in just 110 days.
Kevin Northcraft, board president, said there was doubt the Tulare hospital would open this year.
“I think Adventist took that as a challenge,” he said. “They had the experience. They came up with personnel, with resources. It is an incredible accomplishment.”
Larry Blitz, Tulare hospital interim CEO, said taking a different path to reopen the hospital would have been nearly impossible.
“If we tried to open as a district hospital, we wouldn’t have slept for six months,” he said. “It has been a truly great experience. Exhausting. Tense. Because you never know if someone will find something. It’s never 100 percent perfect.”
Adventist Health will be the hospital’s administrator for the district for three weeks leading up to the election.
Tulare Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. (Photo: Ron Holman)
On Nov. 6, district voters will be asked to approve a lease agreement between the hospital board and Adventist Health. If the lease is approved, Adventist Health will continue administering the Tulare hospital, paying $2.3 million annually for the next five years.
Ahead of the hospital’s opening, Adventist Health is training upward of 200 employees, paying for a new paint job and ensuring shelves are stocked and machines are ready to go.
Northcraft said he was thankful for all those who worked to turn the hospital around.
“It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares [who takes] the credit,” he said.
Crews prepare to paint the exterior of Tulare Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. (Photo: Ron Holman)