Persistence Wins the Day

The legality of Tulare’s City Council extending a $9 million line of credit to Tulare Regional Medical Center in a 2-0 vote may–or may not ever–be adjudicated. I’m not sure it matters anymore.

Last week the hospital drew $4,861,885 on its line and is looking, this week, to take on a further $1,138,115. It is anticipated that the remaining $3 million will be accessed at the end of this month.

Reports from the latest hospital board meeting indicated that the City of Tulare was exceptionally professional and a pleasure to work with.

So much for Carlton Jones.

You can be for or against the line of credit, and smile favorably, or not, over the legality of a 2-0 vote approving it–but here are some facts:

Last month the hospital’s emergency room attended to an average of 72 patients per day, with a high single-day tally at nearly 90.

The hospital will be holding a health fair on May 4th and 5th focusing on dental and vision screening for the disadvantaged and underinsured amongst us.

The hospital’s medical executive committee–it’s credentialled staff of physicians–is numbered at 199 and is expected to increase by approximately 35.

A surgical on-call agreement has been arranged with a group of doctors operating out of Hanford.

These are good things.

Once a plethora, the many lawsuits involving the hospital and/or the district–north, I think, of 45–have dwindled down to a handful. According to its attorney, this will finally free the district to be, simply, a landlord to Adventist Health.

A far cry from six months ago, when there was still some uncertainty whether the hospital could stick its scheduled October re-opening date.

Good things, the saying goes, come to those who wait. That, of course, is nonsense. If you sit on your hands you’ll get whatever life throws at you–and you won’t even be able to catch it.

Persistence wins the day.

Having covered this morass for three years now I can assure you that nobody involved with the success of the hospital sat on their hands. It was a hard slog personally requiring only Christ knows what.

The people I’m writing about organized a group, strategized, held numerous meetings and forged ahead–during the course of which three elections were won and a possibly corrupt bond measure forestalled. They faced dirty tricks and prevailed. Further, at the behest of the new board the group engineered, the hospital was voluntarily closed for a year to avoid what could have amounted to a permanent closure by the state. That’s a leap of faith far beyond any “those who wait” complacency.

So we have a hospital now in Tulare. It’s not the hospital everyone wants, or even needs, yet. But it will stabilize, and grow, flowering more medical departments as it goes. It will become vital not only for Tulare, but for the region in general in preventing patient overflow in surrounding hospitals.

It will provide good jobs.

Still, there are a couple of catches which will require yet further persistence.

Somehow, the tower must be finished. And the whole of the hospital must be seismically acceptable to the state, I think by 2030.

The hospital has been open nearly five months now, and has made great strides since having been flat on its back–it is still, technically speaking, in bankruptcy proceedings. So I don’t expect it will require eleven and a half years more to become compliant with state law. I wouldn’t even be surprised, given the difference between the egregious HCCA rubber stamp old board and the independent new one, if a bond to complete the tower succeeded.

Joseph Oldenbourg

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  1. Just read in the VTD that Tulare City Councilman Nunley is the developer that purchased the lot next to Evolutions for 2.1 million dollars! This money is to go toward the loan mention in this article……hope Nunley gave them cash upfront!

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