May 19, 2024

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Health care district shares strategic plan, mission, goals | News

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For decades, the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District managed the old downtown Tehachapi Valley Hospital and, in recent years, worked to provide a new health care facility.

With a contract with Adventist Health to take over hospital operations and complete the new hospital that opened in Capital Hills in November 2018, the district’s board of directors has explored options for its future.

Last year, the board determined that the old building could not be repurposed and it was torn down. Although there are plans to build a community resource center on the site, the actual use of such a facility or how it might be funded hasn’t been determined.

But a strategic plan shared by CEO Caroline Wasielewski during the board’s May 17 meeting outlines what the district hopes to achieve — as well as what it considers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The mission statement, according to the strategic plan for the coming fiscal year, is “to promote and improve the quality of life and healthcare services to our community.”

Strengths identified include tax revenue that provides a dependable source of income, partnership opportunities with community groups and agencies and ownership of a prime downtown lot.

Weaknesses include that the district’s small staff size (two full-time employees) “limits our opportunity to thoroughly develop relationships with strategic partners such as other funders and program experts,” and that tax revenue is the district’s only income.

Opportunities are that there continue to be significant unmet needs in the community.

Threats are that unmet community health care needs will continue to outweigh the district’s funding capacity and that an increase in business venues (locally) will create more competition for tenants.

District budget

According to the budget for the coming fiscal year presented at the board’s April meeting, the district’s income is expected to be $1,147,400, of which $1,060,000 is property tax revenue. The district also receives $30,000 as rent for its property at 101 W. E St. The property is the site of the Guild of Tehachapi Hospital’s thrift shop. The rent is paid by Adventist Health Tehachapi Hospital.

Income includes $45,500 from the city of Tehachapi for water rights acquired from the district, $8,000 in interest income, and $3,900 still being collected from accounts when the district still operated the hospital.

Expenses, totaling $551,820, include about $233,000 in personnel-related expenses, $16,630 for director stipends, health insurance and continuing education, $70,000 for insurance, $35,000 for audit fees, $24,000 for legal fees, $6,000 for office rent, $9,000 for utilities and $61,520 for software and IT expense.

Four goals

In its strategic plan, the district has established four goals:

• Assure the prudent oversight and management of district assets.

• Be a leader in bringing organizations together to support good ideas that benefit and educate residents.

• Create and manage programs and services to complement what is offered by other community-based organizations or to fill gaps if such services are not adequately offered.

• Communicate with district residents through a wide approach to communications including an active website, public presentations and periodic local news articles.

• Be transparent and informative of district activities.

Specific activities in support of each of the goals are outlined in the strategic plan.

Current activities

Wasielewski reported on current activities at the May 17 meeting. The district was one of the sponsors for the Houchin Blood Bank event on May 16 and also sponsored an American flag to be displayed near Railroad Park from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. She noted that permanent “no trespassing” signs have been installed at the property where the former hospital was located.

Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: [email protected].

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