Adventist Health is opening a new hospital in Tehachapi, which will drastically reduce the commute time for patients who must currently travel an hour or more for care.
In Tehachapi, about 20 percent of the population is over the age of 65. However, is no intensive care unit anywhere in the city, and they haven’t had the resources to perform a surgery in decades.
“A more complicated patient that comes in now, we send to Bakersfield or to Antelope Valley or off in another direction because we don’t have the capability on the inpatient side to care for them,” said Misty Cantrell, who will be the patient care executive at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley.
For Tehachapi residents, that commute to Bakersfield is at least 45 minutes. For those in Bear Valley Springs or Stallion Springs, the drive could be an hour and a half.
But now, locals will have access to cutting-edge medical care in their own backyard. The new hospital will replace the current medical center in Downtown Tehachapi, which was built over 60 years ago.
Adventist Tehachapi president Jeff Lingerfelt said this project has been almost a decade in the making. In 2009, community members voted to pass a $50 million bond to finance its construction.
“It’s great to know that people are going to be able to have many of their medical procedures here that before they were having to get in their car and go somewhere for,” Lingerfelt said. “Tehachapi’s weather sometimes in the winter is pretty tough, so I just think it’s going to be great that we can offer this service.”
Now, not only will the new hospital have both an ICU and surgery ward, it will have a 13-room emergency department equipped with trauma, fast track, and triage rooms. There will also be digital imaging services.
“Because we offer those, the patients who come through our emergency department, we have the ability to treat a higher level of patient than we were able to treat at our old facility,” Cantrell said.
Adventist Tehachapi Valley is looking at a target opening date of November 7th. They are located at 1100 Magellan Drive and will be offering public tours on Sunday.