Members of the Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation and The Guild of Tehachapi Hospital celebrate a $1 million fundraising efforts in front of the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital.

Community donations in small and grand forms — in total a million dollars — have gone to new surgical equipment, art and other supplies at the newly opened Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital this year.

“We’re so grateful to all the donors who believe in our very worthy mission,” said Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation Manager Christina Scrivner in a recent press release. “What this shows is just how much our community truly cares about elevating health care in Tehachapi and investing in their hospital.”

Funds raised from the local thrift shop, The Guild of Tehachapi Hospital, provided $760,000 for surgical and medical equipment and art to help decorate the hallways of the hospital. Many other individuals and businesses in the Tehachapi area reached out to partner further with the foundation, supplying the additional $240,000 to help the critical access hospital reach it’s final milestone, said Scrivner.

Scrivner said, "While we had some who gave six-figure investments, our hearts are warmed by the flood of smaller donations we received from scores of community members who trust us to invest their donations wisely and are fully aware of the value this hospital brings to our community."

Some of the funds will go towards ongoing projects and programs to help children or pay for other needed equipment in the new year, added Scrivner.

This comes at a good time.

Over the past month, after opening Nov. 7, the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital has seen an increase in patients making use of the  facility.

The emergency department, assisted more than 1,319 patients, a 20 percent increase over the same time frame during 2017 and after the opening of the hospital there were more than 43 discharges from the inpatient unit, which is about double what had been seen the previous month in the old hospital, said the release.

“This increase we’re experiencing shows that folks who live in Tehachapi have likely been bypassing our hospital for years and heading straight down the hill to Bakersfield for care,” hospital President Jeff Lingerfelt said. “We’re proud to offer them quality care close to home and elevate the health care experience here in Tehachapi.”