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Madera Community Hospital Accelerates Closing Its Doors

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Madera Community Hospital ended labor and delivery services Wednesday. The emergency department closes Friday. (MCH)
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Madera Community Hospital accelerated its closure by ending labor and delivery services on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are grateful to the hospitals and health care providers in the region who are stepping up so that the individuals and communities impacted by the announced closure of Madera Community Hospital have access to critical health care services.” — Dr. Mark Ghaly, state Health and Human Services Secretary

In addition, the hospital said on its website that the emergency department will close at midnight Friday.

Other services will continue until the originally announced midnight Jan. 3 closure date, the hospital said. These include surgeries, outpatient radiology, and lab services.

“This is a difficult time for the Madera community,” said state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement. “We are grateful to the hospitals and health care providers in the region who are stepping up so that the individuals and communities impacted by the announced closure of Madera Community Hospital have access to critical health care services.

“The California Health and Human Services Agency, along with our departments, will continue to work with Madera Community Hospital on their closure plans, and we will work with our health plan partners and county partners to ensure that members are aware of alternative providers in the community who are able to care for them, including behavioral health and primary care services.”

Staff Shortages Accelerate Closure

David Bacci, vice president of Hospital Council Northern and Central California, told ABC30 that a labor shortage accelerated the closure.

“There is not enough staff any longer to run the hospital until that point because some have found new jobs and moved on,” Bacci said.

The hospital’s rural clinics in Madera, Chowchilla, and Mendota are scheduled to close at 7 a.m. on Jan. 10.

CEO Karen  Paolinelli announced in a news release last week that the financially distressed hospital would file for bankruptcy and close its doors.

The hospital’s scheduled closure followed apparent good news when state Attorney General Rob Bonta approved Madera Community’s sale to Trinity Health, which operates Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno.

But Trinity officials pulled back, saying that conditions imposed by Bonta made it impossible to take over Madera Community. Bonta responded that Trinity “callously” decided to terminate the sale, thus leaving “vulnerable communities in need.”

Where to Get Medical Help

Residents who formerly received accessing emergency care at Madera Community Hospital are advised that Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and Clovis Community Medical Center in Clovis are accepting patients.

Anyone who is unable to access non-urgent care can contact the Department of Managed Health Care Help Center by calling 1-888-466-2219 or clicking this link.

Additionally, Medi-Cal members can contact the Department of Health Care Services Ombudsman Office by calling 1-888-452-8609.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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