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Can Tulare Save Its Hospital? TRMC Board Seeks Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Protection

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR
A stalled hospital expansion project is just one of the many problems facing the Tulare Regional Medical Center

The future of the troubled Tulare Regional Medical Center is in doubt, as the elected board of the public hospital voted last weekend to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It's the latest chapter is a years-long fight for control of the hospital, which is run by a private company under contract with the district, Health Care Conglomerate Associates. 

A recall election earlier this year gave HCCA critics a boost on the board, displacing a longtime supporter of the company. Then following the resignation of another HCCA ally from the board in September, the situation deteriorated further. Last week some nurses went unpaid, and patients were transferred to other hospitals, leaving the hospital in limbo. 

Now following the move to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, what's next for TRMC? We spoke with Tulare Local Healthcare District board member Kevin Northcraft on Valley Edition about the hospital's finances, its current operations, and its future.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of KVPR / Valley Public Radio. He has led the station through major programming changes, the launch of KVPR Classical and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership the station was named California Non-Profit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado (2019), and won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting (2022).