While our recent employee forum gathering was centered on the launch of Adventist Health’s new brand, logo, mission and values, since we already had our staff together, it was also a great time for an update on the new hospital. I would like to offer the community of Tehachapi Valley a status report as well.

First, let me say what an honor and privilege it has been to work in this breathtakingly beautiful corner of Kern County. The fact that we are able to work with the great City of Tehachapi and the numerous other supporters of this project is a true bonus to my duties for Adventist Health.

We remain very excited and optimistic about the opening of the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley (AHTV) facility. Currently, our best estimate for opening the hospital is the second half of 2017.

There is a combination of reasons for this, including:

• Construction changes that are necessary because of standards/regulations that have changed since the project’s original start.

• The normal process of preparing for the opening of a hospital in California involves many more details than a typical commercial building project, all in the name of quality and safety for our future patients.

However, we look forward to bringing our employees and other community leaders through the new facility for tours soon. In fact, we are excited to provide social media users with a fantastic sneak peek of the new hospital in an inspirational video currently posted on our AHTV Facebook site.

We can assure the residents of the Tehachapi Valley that we are making good progress toward completion in preparation for the various inspections required before we can open our doors to patient care. We appreciate the continued hard work and dedication of the teams of employees and vendors working toward this project.

I believe Adventist Health’s new tagline says it best: Together inspired. A sincere thank you for the inspiration that our employees and this community continue to provide for this worthy project.

And because community involvement and wellness are truly at the heart of Adventist Health’s mission, we plan to actively participate in — and host — healthy events in the area and have our first one on the calendar!

On Sunday, June 11, AHTV will host the first-ever American Heart Association Heart Walk in Tehachapi as well as a bike ride that will start and end at the new hospital site. We will also participate in the American Cancer Center’s Relay for Life walk on July 8.

And when we do open those doors of the new hospital, a grand — and I do mean, GRAND! — opening will take place that will include a huge celebration with the entire Tehachapi Valley community; we look forward to offering facility tours during this public event.

While the wait has been long, the journey to this bright and lasting future of providing high quality healthcare — right here in the Tehachapi Valley — will surely be worth it.

David Eastman

Interim President of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley