MARIPOSA – The John C. Fremont (JCF) Health Care District has a message for residents of Oakhurst and other nearby mountain towns: the next time you or someone you know needs medical attention, the JCF hospital staff and physicians are ready, willing and able to serve you with healthcare technology and services that exceed expectations.
Located at 5189 Hospital Road, the Mariposa complex first opened its doors in 1951 and has since then grown to include an Emergency Room with some of the latest diagnostic technology available, along with multiple clinics, acute and long term care, support groups, hospice and more.
“The word needs to get out to Oakhurst and neighboring communities that you have an easy access hospital close by,” says Hospital Board Chair Candace Harrison.
Harrison is starting her second 4-year term on the Board of five members, all elected by residents of Mariposa County to serve the JCF Health Care District.
“Hospital districts have certain state and federal guidelines that rule how we operate,” explains Harrison, who has worked in various capacities at JCF since 1991 when, she says, the hospital was struggling.
“They did not have any outpatient clinics and they were looking at real financial issues,” Harrison remembers.
She suggested to a then-Board member that they consider opening a clinic that could support the rest of the hospital, and offered her services to help make it happen. Today, there are three individual clinics along with numerous programs and services, and JCF is accessible at all times.
“It is open 24 hours and has the latest CT scanner, lab staff and a fully accredited Emergency Room,” Harrison says. “There is a TeleNeurology program that can assess the possibility of a stroke and implement treatment within the established Golden Hour that patients need for optimal care.”
TeleNeurology refers to the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. In the case of JCF, a specialist practicing from another location can see a patient via monitor. The Golden Hour refers to medical care a patient receives in the first sixty critical minutes following major traumatic injury, including stroke and heart attack.
“We have a neurologist who can visually see you on the television, look at your scan, talk to the doctor, and make the diagnosis of whether you are having a stroke,” says Harrison. “You’re able to get evaluated and have all those procedures done within an hour.”
Patients diagnosed with serious illness can ideally be stabilized, and transported to Fresno or Modesto via air ambulance.
Last year, according to records provided by Harrison, the hospital saw approximately 1,800 ER patients, and received 6,000 visits from patients at the clinics.
JCF takes most types of insurance and will accept referrals from physicians in Oakhurst.
“This is a Critical Care Facility, and can serve all of Mariposa and Oakhurst,” Harrison reminds residents. “It’s convenient for family members to arrange transportation and/or visit without the trip to Fresno. Consider this the next time you are worried about stroke or heart attack symptoms, or need a late evening evaluation.”