[Edit note: When American Advanced Management Group contracted to take over Coalinga Regional Medical Center, due to the facility’s bankruptcy, one of the first things they did was to file a new name: Coalinga Medical Center. They filed “Doing Business as” Coalinga Regional Medical Center to maintain the title of the hospital. This is why CMC and CRMC are both used in this article depending on the reference.]
On Wednesday, the Coalinga Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees met telephonically. As stated in the agenda, there was a presentation by Dr. Gurpreet Singh, manager of Coalinga Medical Center, LLC – the current lease tenant and director of American Advanced Management Group. Dr. Singh mentioned that when the state removed CRMC from the COVID-19 surge candidate list, all activity stopped. Immediately, the frenzied rush of recruiting, hiring, grounds maintenance, and more at CMC went into a “wait and see”mode.
“When they went dark,” said Coalinga Regional Medical Center Trustee President William Lewis, “we assumed (rightly) they were not going to do anything. We started paying the utilities and billing them as they were silent.”
It has been a month since the State announced their decision stating it did not need CMC/CRMC. There was no communication from CMC (AAMG) other than a letter from their legal counsel stating the project was on hold.
At the BOT meeting Wednesday, Dr. Singh reiterated that CMC (AAMG) had done everything the State asked. He reported that they were ready to open if and when there was a second surge from Covid-19. At the meeting, he proposed that, if the CRMC District agreed to assume the role of operator, and CMC ran the hospital, the state MIGHT agree to let it open as a public Hospital. NOTE: This was the exact scenario they proposed two years ago and the state opposed the plan.
This would mean that CRMC District would again be in charge of the facility with the staffing and medical portion of the facility operated by CMC (AAMG). There is no timeline proposed for this scenario, nor is there any guarantee the state would allow it.
“The proposal from CMC (AAMG) is a ‘last ditch’ attempt to maintain their relationship with CRMC,” said Lewis. “The CRMC Board of Trustees is not eager to pursue this proposal for a variety of reasons.”
The CRMC Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring that whoever runs the hospital will provide quality health care to the community. As CMC is currently not able to move ahead with the Hospital reopening as agreed upon, the Board has unanimously voted to re-initiate eviction proceedings based upon the current default status.
“Dr. Singh was notified of the vote and accepted the outcome, saying he had no money,” said Lewis. “The Board will continue to reach out to prospective affiliates, thereby keeping our commitment to Coalinga and Huron.”