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Madera supervisors decline to hire firm to study hospital's reopening

Soreath Hok
Empty chairs still stand neatly against each other inside Madera Community Hospital nearly two months after the facility shut down.

Read the transcript for this report below.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN, HOST: A consulting group was offered up to create a reopening plan for Madera Community Hospital. But KVPR’s Soreath Hok reports the Madera County Board of Supervisors turned down the idea.

SOREATH HOK: Madera Community Hospital on Tuesday asked the supervisors to approve a $250,000 contract for a firm to deliver a turnaround plan within the next two months. Hospital board vice-chairman Stell Manfredi spoke during the board's meeting Tuesday.

STELL MANFREDI: I think this will give us options. It'll talk about the feasibility. They'll talk about what we really need at the ground level to do this.

HOK: The hospital has not yet filed for bankruptcy, in hopes of finding an operating partner, or accessing potential state funding. But in order to do any of that, the hospital needs to know if it can sustain itself if it reopens. Here’s County Administrative Officer Jay Varney.

JAY VARNEY: Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a position where time is definitely of the essence here.

HOK: Some board members questioned whether there was a conflict of interest in the hospital board choosing the firm. And supervisors had concerns over how the county would pay for the services. The vote was split two to two.

For KVPR News, I'm Soreath Hok.

For past coverage on the closure of Madera Community Hospital from KVPR, click here.

Soreath Hok is a multimedia journalist with experience in radio, television and digital production. She is a 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award winner. At KVPR she covers local government, politics and other local news.