By the end of this year, Adventist Health hopes to be done with a wide-scale restructuring of management for all its San Joaquin Valley facilities, including Adventist Tulare and Adventist Hanford. The change will see all of Adventist’s local healthcare outlets placed under a single umbrella.
Realignment Complete by New Year
Central Valley Network (CVN) is the current management group responsible for Adventist’s four hospitals and various clinics in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties. Starting in January, those outlets and Adventist’s Kern County facilities will be combined into a Central California network.
Eight hospitals – including Adventist Hanford and Adventist Tulare – and the company’s dozens of clinics will be included. The company plans to complete the transition by the end of the year.
“By 2024, all four hospitals in Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties, along with the four hospitals in Kern County and over 100 affiliated clinics in the Central Valley, will be aligned to form a highly coordinated network of care that will span across Central California,” according to an internal company email from Adventist’s chief operating officer Todd Hofheins.
His message to CVN associates was sent on Thursday, November 16. It was shared anonymously with the Valley Voice.
In February, FierceHealthcare.com reported Adventist intended to shift from seven care networks to five. Three will cover California; the other two will cover Oregon and Hawaii. Fierce also reported Advenist intended to lay off 59 employees, according to filings with the California Employment Development Department. Advenist also laid off 52 employees in July 2022.
The changes will save Adventist $100 million in administrative costs, Fierce reported.
Central Valley Network President to Depart
The management shakeup will also see the departure of current Central Valley Network president Andrea Kofl.
According to the email from Hofheins, Kofl will leave her post by year’s end.
“Andrea Kofl will be concluding her tenure of service with CVN on January 1, 2024,” Hofheins wrote. “Following the transition, (Kofl) will support Adventist Health with critical operational projects as we create a single leadership team to support care across the Central California Network of Adventist Health.”
Kofl took the top spot at the CVN in 2020. It was during what Tulare Local Health Care District (TLHCD) president Kevin Northcraft described as a “reorganization” at Adventist. TLHCD owns the Adventist Tulare campus, which it leases to Adventist as part of a long-term management agreement.
At the time of her appointment, Kofl’s past became a point of concern for TLHCD leaders. In 2011, an arm of the US District Court found Kofl and her business partner misused employee compensation funds at the healthcare business they co-owned. The pair were ordered to repay in excess of $600,000 and banned for life from operating federally-regulated retirement plans.
Elastar Community Hospital – owned by Kofl and her partner – was forced to close by the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of their business. The judge cited the hospital’s excessive debt in his order. The closure shuttered an emergency department that treated 13,000 patients annually.
TLHCD CEO Sees Positive Change Coming
During the same reorganization in May of 2020 that brought Kofl to the CVN, Randy Dodd resigned his job as president of Adventist Tulare. Dodd now serves as CEO of the TLHCD. He’s encouraged by the changes coming to Adventist Health.
“I think it’s a positive thing,” Dodd said. “I think Adventist continues to be a very valued partner with the district.”
Adventist Tulare, he said, has been a “major focus” for the CVN. While the greatly expanded network Adventist plans will have many more facilities – meaning Tulare could become less significant in the overall picture – Dodd does not believe the coming changes will affect the quality of services Adventist provides.
“I don’t really see that having any direct correlation to the services they have in Tulare,” he said. “Tulare continues to be an important market. I think Adventist Health has committed their willingness to provide care here.”
He cited the company’s considerable investment in its Tulare facilities. It runs into the tens of millions of dollars, Dodd said. He sees no reason for them to alter direction now.
“I don’t think their commitment to Tulare has changed,” he said.
Adventist’s interest in Tulare includes seeing the long-delayed expansion project complete, according to Dodd. The tower addition, if it’s finished, will move Tulare Adventist to a new level of efficient care, he believes.
“It raises the bar on the facility that we offer to the community, that we present to the community,” Dodd said. “I think Advenist wants to be a part of that.”
Adventist Quits Effort to Save Madera Hospital
Meanwhile, Adventist Health has ended its plan to resurrect Madera Community Hospital, The Fresno Bee reports.
Much as it had done in Tulare, Adventist was poised to take over operations of the Fresno County hospital after it closed its doors in December of this year. Like the TLHCD, Madera’s hospital had been forced into bankruptcy, unable to recover from the financial damage done to the entire healthcare industry by the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to The Bee, Adventist could not find a “fiscally viable” means of reopening Madera Community. The news broke Thursday, and was followed by an announcement from the hospital’s creditors that they will seek the bankruptcy court’s permission to begin selling off the hospital’s assets to repay its debts.
Adventist confirmed its intention not to pursue reopening the hospital in a press release to The Bee.
“Adventist Health intended to create a management model that would not just reopen the hospital but ensure Madera Community Hospital could be sustainable for years,” the press release said.