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Madera Community Hospital Lands an Operator. Goal Is to Re-open ASAP.
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By Edward Smith
Published 4 months ago on
December 20, 2023

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The Madera Community Hospital board of trustees has approved a proposal from Modesto-based American Advanced Management to operate the hospital as it nears the one-year anniversary of its closing.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to accept AAM’s proposal to reopen 106-bed Madera Community, the company said in a news release.

The plan, according to AAM’s Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Beehler is to own the hospital long term and re-open it as soon as possible.

Bankruptcy courts would still have to agree on the deal before the hospital could reopen.

“American Advanced Management has the vision, experience, and resources to reopen our hospital and create a strong future for our community’s health care,” said Madera Community CEO Karen Paolinelli. “They have a track record of successfully reopening and sustaining closed hospitals in California, which uniquely qualifies them to move this forward. We’re excited about their leadership and partnership.”

AAM Operates Nine Other Hospitals; Including Coalinga Regional

AAM has reopened or restored nine hospitals over the past 10 years, including the once-closed Coalinga Regional Medical Center.

Coalinga Regional closed in 2018 because of financial troubles. More than 200 people were laid off, according to ABC30.

Coalinga voters approved Measure R in 2019, allowing AAM to take over operations.

The group originally wanted to wait until after the pandemic to reopen the Coalinga hospital, according to AAM’s Beehler. But Gov. Gavin Newsom asked the company to reopen the hospital to help respond to the COVID-19 surge. Four months after the request, in spring 2021, the hospital reopened, Beehler said.

AAM also operates:

  • Central Valley Specialty Hospital, Modesto, 2012
  • Colusa Medical Center, 2017
  • Glenn Medical Center, 2018
  • Orchard Hospital, Gridley, 2023
  • Kentfield Hospital, Marin, 2023
  • Kentfield Hospital, San Francisco 2023
  • Sonoma Specialty Hospital, 2018
  • Rehab Hospital of Amarillo, Texas, 2023

AAM Tried to Hire Paolinelli After Hospital’s Closure

In September, Paolinelli filed a complaint in federal court about a May meeting between Beehler and AAM President Gurpreet Singh. In the meeting, Paolinelli was offered a check payable to her for $150,000 and an offer of employment. However, she declined the payment.

“The entire interaction made me feel very uncomfortable,” Paolinelli wrote in the complaint.

The hospital was previously in active negotiations with Adventist Health. In July, Adventist Health announced it had written a letter of intent to take over operations. By November, however, Adventist backed out of the deal.

Another envisioned operator for Madera Community was Trinity Health, the owner of Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. However, Trinity Health decided not to proceed, saying that conditions on operations imposed by state Attorney General Rob Bonta made the deal financially impossible.

Long Trips for Maderans Seeking Emergency Care

The closure of Madera Community has meant that many Maderans with emergency needs instead travel to Saint Agnes or to Mercy Medical Center in Merced. Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera provides emergency care for children and adults up to 21 years old. The hospital will stabilize adults before transferring them to other hospitals.

In recent years, community health center Camarena Health has expanded its capacity in Madera, but lawmakers often cite the need for residents to have access to a general acute care hospital.

In 2022, Madera Community had 3,050 inpatient discharges, according to the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. The hospital also reported 122,026 outpatient visits.

Now that the Madera Community board has approved AAM’s proposal, the goal is to quickly get the hospital up and running, Beehler said.

“We’re honored and pleased that the Madera Community Hospital leadership and board support our proposal to reopen the hospital through this management agreement and eventual acquisition,” said Beehler. “Our goal is to restore services to the Madera community as quickly as possible.”

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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