hospital

Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley imaging associate Lisa Verren prepares an X-ray room at the new hospital.

The Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation has exciting news concerning the new hospital, but it's not quite ready to release all the details.

What is known is that the foundation will host a benefit dinner Tuesday, April 9, starting with a social at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m., at Tehachapi Mountain Vineyard Church, located at 502 Pinon St.

"We really want to contribute to the excitement of the evening by holding the announcement," Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation Manager Christina Scrivner said Thursday concerning the purpose of the upcoming fundraiser.

In order to keep pace with the elevated care the new hospital now offers to the community, Scrivner did reveal, however, that the foundation is embracing the idea of a new imaging center.

"We have had enough time to understand some of the trends for specific needs. Many of those are in diagnostic procedures that can, and should, be done here in town, keeping people local," she said.

Scrivner went on to say that the community deserves for the foundation to identify what it can do locally and bring it to the new hospital.

"We have been conditioned for so long to the fact that we were not doing surgery in our community, and that you left town for so much, that now we have the luxury of appreciating the fact that we are here and want to take care of our patients here ... and go from emergency into surgery, if we need to," she said.

Should patients have to leave town to have imaging procedures, Scrivner said it was understood the hospital would miss the opportunity of treating them here locally.

Said Scrivner, "If we lose patients for the diagnostic procedure, they will probably also have to be admitted where they got that done, and not be able to have that care close to home and close to their support system."

According to hospital President Jeff Lingerfelt, the hospital is looking to expand its mission and is looking toward more opportunities to better serve the community.

"Through the imaging and diagnostic equipment that imaging utilizes, is one way that we can significantly do that," said Lingerfelt.

Currently, patients are receiving limited imaging care in a trailer behind the hospital; however, the new mission will include different types of imaging as well as more suitable housing for new equipment.

Said Scrivner, "This has served us well for a long time, but this is one of the means that we identified is a way that we can elevate care through new technology that we want to utilize, and I think the community is excited to support that."

Lingerfelt said the hospital is asking the community to partner with it in its endeavor to achieve imaging services.

"Our volumes are up about 33 percent versus the other hospital," Lingerfelt said. "This is very exciting."

The new hospital now averages 1,250 to 1,400 visits a month, up from 900 to 1,000 visits at the old hospital, according to Lingerfelt.

"The design of the emergency department flows so much better now for the patient," he said.

A limited number of tickets for the benefit dinner are still available, and cost $100. The evening will include a silent auction featuring items indigenous to the area.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Christina Scrivner at 771-8612 or email her at christina.scrivner@ah.org.