BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Tuesday, two hospitals in Kern announced a partnership to help strengthen care for patients in the community.
Kern Medical and Adventist Health announced that they are now officially partners in helping improve the quality of healthcare locally. Both hospitals said they want to leverage each other’s strengths and give residents better care, so they won’t need to leave the county for care.
“We believe that this partnership can help transform the way healthcare is delivered and received by our community and enhance the wellbeing of every citizen here in Kern County,” said Daniel Wolcott, President of Adventist Health, Kern County.
Wolcott said this is not a merger because each organization will stay separate. They will do what they can to help train more professionals, so they stay in Kern County. Wolcott said one out of five discharges in the community is not able to be cared for locally.
“Because we have a limited number of specialists trained in Kern County, that’s one of the reasons why healthcare often has a lower access to those sub-specialties,” said Wolcott.
The goal is to improve the quality-of-care long term, so Scott Thygerson of Kern Medical said it might not impact immediate care.
“In the beginning, folks aren’t necessarily going to see that difference. This is going to take some additional planning,” said Thygerson. “You know, for us to have physicians be on joint medical staffs is something that’s difficult, we do need to recruit to this.”
Wolcott said a partnership like this has the potential to save lives because people will get access to the care they need.
“Not many months ago, I heard about a patient, an 11-year-old, that showed up at our hospital and that night we didn’t happen to have a gastroenterologist on call at our facility that was willing to take care of an 11-year-old patient with the problem that he had,” said Wolcott. “And in the future, we would hope that this partnership will make it so that patients would have access to a gastroenterologist who would be willing to take care of an 11-year-old patient.”
Even though the hospitals have more details to chalk out the purpose is to help future generations of health care professionals.
“Most important aspects are the ways that our medical staff’s going to be able to grow and that we plan to enhance the teaching program that kern medical has today,” said Wolcott.