Merced County Times Newspaper
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Rep. Duarte Applauds Accord To Keep Madera Hospital Open

Representative John Duarte is praising the provisional management agreement between Madera Community Hospital and Adventist Health, a company that is set to manage the hospital following the approval of a non-binding Letter of Intent.

“This collaboration ensures that working families in the valley will continue to receive the medical attention they deserve, close to their homes and loved ones,” Rep. Duarte stated in a press release. “Now, it’s the State of California’s turn to do their part. I encourage the California Department of Health Care Access and Health Facilities Financing Authority to approve funding for the hospital through the Distressed Hospital Loan Program.”

Madera Community Hospital closed its doors in December 2022 due to financial issues. The closure sent shockwaves throughout the region, leaving families with limited access to essential medical care.

On Aug. 1, the Madera County Board of Supervisors voteed to give the hospital $500,000 for the month of August, covering the cost of keeping the medical building on standby.

Now, Madera Community Hospital is hoping to secure some $80 million in funds from California’s Distressed Hospital Loan Program. It plans to pay it back over six years at zero percent interest.

In light of such challenges faced by rural hospitals in states across America, Rep. John Duarte has joined Democrats and Republicans in introducing the Rural Hospital Technical Assistance Program Act. This vital legislation aims to provide much-needed support to rural hospitals, offering them the resources and guidance necessary to remain open and continue serving their communities.

“By establishing this bill, we will ensure that rural hospitals receive the assistance they need to thrive, preventing future closures and securing healthcare access for all Americans, regardless of their zip code,” Duarte said.

The proposed Rural Hospital Technical Assistance Program Act will create programs for technical assistance, grant opportunities, and collaborative initiatives to support rural hospitals in various areas, including financial management, infrastructure upgrades, and healthcare innovation.

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