California hospital to close by mid-June, lay off 200 employees

Coalinga (Calif.) Regional Medical Center, which was established in 1928, will close on or before June 15, according to The Fresno Bee.

Coalinga Regional Medical Center CEO Wayne C. Allen said the hospital's board of directors voted April 30 to close the 24-bed facility along with its 99 skilled nursing beds, the report states.

Mr. Allen said in a May 1 statement some of the hospital's healthcare services may close before the pending closure date. If that occurs, patients will be adequately notified.

"During the last two years, it has become increasingly more difficult for a small community hospital to financially survive. CRMC has struggled with multiple challenges and is no longer financially sustainable as an independent hospital. We have established a plan for the transfer of the healthcare of our patients to other neighboring medical providers," Mr. Allen said in the statement.

"The hospital's board of directors acknowledges its appreciation to all employees and medical staff who have provided years and years of care and compassion to our patients," the statement continues. "This is a very sad time for our hospital family and the community we serve. We believe access to quality healthcare in our local community is vital. For that reason, we have reached out to Community Medical Centers in Fresno to discuss possible options to maintain certain outpatient services in Western Fresno County."

Mr. Allen took the reins as CEO less than a month ago after the hospital's former CEO retired. The "devastating" closure comes after the hospital suffered 18 months of financial losses totaling $4.5 million, Mr. Allen told the The Fresno Bee.

The closure will leave residents scrambling for medical care, as the nearest hospital — Adventist Health Hanford (Calif.) — is roughly 40.8 miles away. The next closest hospitals are more than 60 miles away, according to the report.

The hospital's 200 employees will also be laid off during the next 45 days, according to ABC30 Action News.

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