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Jeff Lingerfelt

It’s been one year since we opened the doors of the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital, and, when I reflect on our time here, I’m humbled.

I’m humbled by our community, which has so graciously welcomed us here and trusted us with its care. I’m humbled by our patients, whose determination and will I find inspiring. I’m humbled by our team, who work so tirelessly to care for all of you. I’m humbled to lead an organization that has such passion for the health of this community.

At Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley, we may operate a hospital, but I don’t like to think we’re in the business of healthcare. Instead, I prefer to think that we’re in the business of hope — healthcare is just the way we deliver it.

This hospital is a beacon of hope for our community, which fought so hard to open it. In rural areas like ours, just one doctor can change the health experience of an entire community. Imagine the hope that an entire health system like ours can bring.

Except we don’t have to imagine. We already see it.

We see that hope being fulfilled in the primary care offices where we work to keep our community well. We see it in our hospital, where we’re continually introducing new services to keep care close to home. And we see it in the interactions we have with our patients every day.

Hope is so important to us at Adventist Health that it’s a core part of our mission statement: “living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope.”

I see that hope inspired in our community through so many of the things we’ve done this year in the hospital.

In just one year, we’ve:

• Reintroduced surgeries to Tehachapi after a decades-long absence.

• Started an echocardiography program to address our community’s challenges with heart health.

• Provided free health screenings, lectures and education for our community so we can work toward keeping folks so healthy that they never have to visit our hospital with a preventable chronic condition.

Since opening, Tehachapi’s hospital team has cared for more than 13,000 people in the emergency department. Its medical offices have served more than 10,000. The hospital’s outpatient lab has conducted more than 63,000 tests. We’ve provided more than 100 life-changing surgeries. Our physical therapists have helped more than 700 people regain mobility. Our imaging department has provided services for more than 7,000 people.

These aren’t just numbers. They’re lives touched. They’re lives changed. They’re instances of hope delivered. As we close the chapter on this first year, I look forward to growing healthcare even more in Tehachapi and inspiring more hope for our community’s health.

Jeff Lingerfelt is the president of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley.