OAKHURST – With the news of a new provider taking over Oakhurst’s Rural Health Clinic and Urgent Care from Community Medical Centers, everyone has questions about what the future holds for the facility.
Christine Pickering, Director of Marketing and Communications for new owner Adventist Health, says that right now they are in the listening and learning mode.
“We are getting a better understanding of the services they currently provide and how we can adapt our model to the community,” says Pickering. “We can tell that this center is very important to the community, and that the staff are very committed to providing the best care possible.”
Pickering says the corporation has 32 clinics in the Central San Joaquin Valley and also in places such as Angel’s Camp, Arnold and Sonora.
“We do have experience in the mountain health care, and we understand that every community is different and has different needs,” says Pickering. “We try to adopt our service as much as possible to the community.”
As to Urgent Care specifically, Pickering says many people may misunderstand the function of the current facility, and that Urgent Care is not an “emergency room.”
California Health and Safety Code requires that an emergency room provide specific services, including laboratory service, radiology, surgical services that are immediately available for life-threatening situations and a blood bank. They must also provide these services 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Urgent Care in Oakhurst is “intermediate care,” and Pickering says they are evaluating what’s there now and determining what they can provide.
“We’re working to gather information to gain a better understanding from the staff, and talk to our own professionals about what we can do.”
Adventist Health has 180 rural health centers throughout the states of California, Washington and Oregon, with the largest network of rural health clinics in the state of California and one of the largest in the country. Pickering says they have a lot of expertise in bringing the best level of care to a community.
“We know what it’s like to be an outpost like Oakhurst where it’s quite far from a hospital” she says. “We are able to provide a lot of support because we have so many clinics in our network that provide similar services.”
Adventist Health will take over operation of the facility on June 1, and plans to begin posting positions and conducting interviews at the end of March or early April.
“We are honored to be invited to care for this community,” says Pickering.
Adventist Health accepts Medi-Cal, Medicare and most insurance plans, and offers a discount program for the uninsured. For more information on AH insurance plans, visit www.AHCVNinsurance.com
For the announcement from Community Medical Centers, click here.