Adventist Tulare shutters labor & delivery five weeks early

After a precipitous drop in births, officials with Adventist Health Tulare announced in March they would temporarily close their obstetrics department on June 6.

Not long after that announcement, hospital officials ended up moving that date up to April 30.

“Adventist Health Tulare paused labor and delivery care effective April 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m,” a statement from Renee Garcia, a marketing manager with Adventist Health, read.

“The decision to move the closure date from June 6, 2024, came after a conversation with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and hospital leadership about unsustainable obstetric volumes at the hospital to protect patient safety,” the statement said.

Garcia said that the inconsistent numbers of expectant mothers made it impossible to keep the hospital staffed with labor and delivery nurses and doctors.

“More high risk moms were coming into the emergency room, such as moms that hadn’t had any prenatal care, and we were worried about patient safety,” she said.

Garcia said that now all expectant mothers are transferred to other hospitals unless it’s an emergency.

“The Emergency Department at Adventist Health Tulare is trained to provide superb care in emergent maternal care cases,” said Heather Van Housen, Patient Care Executive for Adventist’s Central California Network.

Garcia said the hospital has been giving their ER doctors extra training in how to handle emergency births.

In the mean time, Adventist Tulare has been trying to get the word out.

Garcia said they’ve put the new closing date on public announcement advertisements in newspapers, announced it on their website and have advised all the local clinics.

“Patients can continue to rely on Adventist Health for exceptional delivery and obstetric care in Hanford, Reedley, and Delano. If patients are transferred to one of our locations, they can expect timely, compassionate, and high-quality healthcare,” said the statement.

The decision to close the Obstetrics Department at Adventist Tulare was made in March. Hospitals have been closing maternity wards across the state in recent years, according to a November 2023 CalMatters report that found “at least 46 California hospitals have shut down or indefinitely suspended labor and delivery since 2012.”

“Year over year the number of births at the hospital has declined 60% and was even worse in the last few months. Unfortunately, the number of deliveries has substantially declined over the last two years, and the program is not sustainable,” Garcia told the Voice in March.

Garcia said that staff working in labor and delivery at Tulare were reassigned to Adventist Health’s Hanford and Reedley locations, though some chose to leave and work at Kaweah Health due to the commute.

Kevin Northcraft, the Tulare Local Healthcare District board president, was unaware the department was already closed.

“We have not discussed it during our meetings,” he said. “The board doesn’t have anything to do with the running of the hospital.”

The district owns the physical hospital premises and leases the hospital campus to Adventist Health, but doesn’t control the hospital’s operations.

Northcraft said he hoped the closure is temporary.

“Tulare has 77,000 people and to not be able to have your home town on your birth certificate – it’s sad,” he said.

Northcraft emphasized that the hospital had made advances in other areas such as orthopedics and  MRIs.

He said a couple of months ago Adventist Tulare acquired MRI equipment that is the best in the country — and the only one like it in the state. The clarity of MRIs is vastly improved, he said.


The future of obstetrics in Tulare

“Adventist Health will continue to enhance family planning, women’s health, prenatal care, and pediatric care in the community at Adventist Health Medical Office Tulare at 2059 N. Hillman St., Tulare, CA 93274,” the statement said.

Garcia said that Adventist’s goal is to reopen obstetrics at Adventist Tulare, and that a new obstetrics doctor is slated to start at an Adventist clinic in August — they will then refer obstetric patients to Adventist Tulare once the department is operational.

More information about Adventist Health Tulare services and the future of the obstetrics department is available at

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

4 thoughts on “Adventist Tulare shutters labor & delivery five weeks early

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  1. Tulare Adventist is used primarily as an ER drop-in center for minor to moderate health issues not requiring complex diagnoses and treatment. Kaweah and its ER is topnotch in comparison. Thank God for their presence and their services.

    DeJa’Vu – A Hospital Board not staying informed on what was going on at Tulare’s hospital was what got this city into a fine mess in the past and what is still being adjudicated in our Courts. When will these “Hospital Boards” ever learn. Elected watchdogs who become too complacent or currently too involved in the upscaling of a membership-only gym, risks falling asleep on the job and could very well lose an opportunity to oversee what is happening at the very building/property they were mandated to safeguard and protect as the hospital’s Board of Directors. Ignorance of what is happening seems to be rearing its ugly little head once again.

    No longer sure if Tulare needs a hospital of this size since it has been so long since we had a fully functioning hospital like we did once upon a time when it was called Tulare District Hospital. But it is nice to have a neighborhood ER to sew up cuts, set a broken bone or treat bumps and bruises or flu symptoms.

    • Excellent comments; Yes, once upon a time Tulare had a fully functioning hospital. I know this first hand. I was involved in cancer care in Tulare many years ago. Since then , i have never seen a more impressive tumor board (mutli specialty meeting of physicians to discuss cancer cases) than what I saw in Tulare (approximately 10 years ago). Those tumor boards usually had in attendance, surgeons (now retired Dr. Ramos), Medical oncolgoy, Radiation Oncolgoy, Patholgists (Dr. Zhang who would actually go to local physicians offices, microscope in hand for consultations!), residents and primary care physicians. Amazing! Tulare had quality medical care until greedy outside predators and their accomplices destroyed it. (Please refer to the New Yorker Magazine, 2019 entiteled “Private Mossad for Hire”. (Mossad is the Israeli spy agency that Benzeevi hired to destroy his opponents in Tulare. The article has to be seen to be believed. Simply do an internet search ; mossad in Tulare. Wake Up America!

  2. Northcraft says” “The Board doesnt have anything to do with the running of the hospital”. The Tulare District web site however says; “Day-to-day management of the District is designated by the Chief Executive Officer who works closely with an executive team and oversees the District’s services and functions.” So which is it? Perhaps one should conclude that THIS particular board has nothing to do with the running of the hospital. That is what make this Board so incompetent. Such an embarrassment for Tulare. And yet Benzeevi and his accomplices are STILL not in jail (and apparently wont ever be going). How much do they pay Kevin Northcraft to embarrass Tulare County? People of Tulare arent stupid. Vote “NO” on any further request for money to fund this clown show. There are plenty of fast food jobs available for the current board members.

  3. Northcraft boasts of a new and modern MRI (not an inexpensive piece of equipment). Does Mr. Northcraft know the medical reasons for using an MRI over a CT scan? Does Mr. Northcraft know what he means when he says “clarity” of the MRI? Does MR. Northcraft really believe that a new MRI will have any effect on referral patterns? Does MR. Northcraft know that the quality of radiologists reading the images is at least as important as the “clarity ” of the machines images. Mr Northcraft makes these naive and ignorant comments and then says the the board “has nothing to do with the running of the hospital”!

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