© 2024 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
89.3 Fresno | 89.1 Bakersfield
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Madera Community Hospital clears major hurdle on path to reopening. Key court dates remain

With a fully operational facility and equipment, Madera Community Hospital has been closed for almost two months.
Soreath Hok
With a fully operational facility and equipment, Madera Community Hospital has been closed for almost two months.

On Monday, the state approved a $57 million, interest-free Distressed Hospital Loan for the company planning to reopen the hospital.

FRESNO, Calif. – Madera Community Hospital is one of 16 facilities awarded a total of $300 million in loans on Monday by the state’s Department of Health Care Access and Information.

The funds come from a Distressed Hospital Loan Program that was created last year by legislators to provide urgent funding to struggling hospitals. Other facilities in the region that received loans include Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital in Kern County, and John C. Fremont Healthcare District in Mariposa.

Madera Community Hospital received the largest share, at $57 million. The loan was first announced last summer, butthe facility needed a concrete reopening plan in order to gain final approval.

The hospital is now many months into a plan to reopen under ownership by Modesto-based American Advanced Management. Company officials say the facility could open its doors as early as this summer.

The details of reopening are the subject of two hearings in bankruptcy court in the next week.

On Thursday, a federal judge will hear arguments from AAM and the hospital’s creditors to dismiss objections to the plan raised last month by a Madera non-profit.

On April 16, the judge will review a formal restructuring plan for the hospital. If approved, it will set in motion a process for releasing funds for the hospital and its creditors and will effectively clear the path forward for a transition of ownership to AAM.

Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Beehler in a press statement said the company was grateful to the governor and state agencies who got the loan approved.

“We will continue to share important updates on our progress in the near future, including updates on job fairs and employment opportunities at Madera Community Hospital in the coming months,” Beehler said.

Elected leaders also expressed optimism about the hospital’s path to reopening.

"Madera and the surrounding communities are in desperate need of healthcare services and access,” State Senator Anna Caballero said in a statement. “I look forward to the day when the hospital can open its doors to serve the public.”

Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria, a new member of the legislature who is fighting for reelection, said getting the hospital back open has been one of her top priorities. She said the loan announcements moved the community closer to that goal.

Local officials like Madera Mayor Santos Garcia and County Supervisor Leticia Gonzalez also praised the loan announcement.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.