The closing of Madera Community Hospital created a new health care desert in a community that already had fewer doctors per capita than other parts of the state. UCSF and Adventist have a plan to reopen it.
A bankrupt San Joaquin Valley hospital whose closing prompted the state to create a bailout fund for struggling providers may reopen under the banner of two major California medical groups.
UCSF Health and Adventist Health announced today that they plan to join forces and present a plan to revive Madera Community Hospital, which closed just over a year ago.
Officials from UCSF and Adventist did not disclose a price and said they were keeping details quiet given the nature of the bidding process in bankruptcy court. The court must review and approve the proposal.
“We are committed to not only reopening the facility, but to ensure that these facilities are clinically reliable and financially sustainable into the future,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, president of UCSF Health, during the press call.
San Joaquin Valley lawmakers joined them at a press conference, where they embraced the partnership. They called it “unique” and a “dream come true” for a region that has fewer doctors per capita than wealthier parts of the state.
They said the proposal would restore critical health services that had been taken away from Madera residents and bring the resources of the University of California Health System to an underserved community.
“The partnership will bring prestige and stability that can help rebuild community trust and restore confidence in the quality of care customers can expect to receive,” said Sen. Anna Caballero, a Democrat whose district includes Madera.
The news comes just days after UCSF Health announced it had agreed to buy two more struggling San Francisco hospitals from Dignity Health: St. Mary’s Medical Center and St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
UCSF already operates the largest medical education program in the San Joaquin Valley through its regional campus in Fresno, where it trains more than 300 medical students annually.
Several medical groups and management companies have approached Madera Community Hospital with potential partnerships, but none have materialized. Most recently, the hospital was exploring a partnership with Modesto-based health management company American Advanced Management Inc.
Learn more about the lawmakers mentioned in this story
State Senate, District 14 (Merced)
State Senate, District 14 (Merced)
Time in the office
Mayor of Salinas
How did she vote 2021-2022
District 14 demographics
The White one 18%
No party 23%
Senator Anna Caballero has received at least 5.1 million dollars BY The party sector since she was elected to the legislature. Which represents 46% from her total campaign contributions.
Adventist Health had previously expressed interest in taking over operations, but ultimately backed out, citing that it was unable to find a “fiscally sustainable solution.”
“Adventist Health looked at the circumstances surrounding Madera and realized we simply couldn’t do it on our own,” said Kerry Heinrich, President and CEO at Adventist Health. “We want this to be a quality institution and serve all the people of Madera and the surrounding communities.”
The bankruptcy and closing of Madera Community Hospital left a county of 160,000 people without critical hospital services, forcing residents to travel at least 30 to 40 minutes to hospitals in Fresno or Merced.
That prompted lawmakers to allocate $300 million in loans to it and other troubled hospitals. The state began doling out the money last fall, earmarking up to $57 million for Madera alone. That money is currently still in the possession of the state and will not become available to the Madera Community until a purchase or partnership agreement is completed.
Supported by the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF), which works to ensure this people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. Visit www.chcf.org to learn more.