Mendiburu speaks at economic development meeting
Peggy Mendiburu, new chief executive officer for the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District, was the featured speaker at the April 5 meeting of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council.
Mendiburu, who also worked for the district when it operated Tehachapi Valley Hospital prior to leasing hospital operations to Adventist Health, shared history of years of effort by the district to build a new hospital.
“They started that in 2003,” she said. “And it took a long time.”
Eventually, she said, the new hospital — with completion possible due to an infusion of cash from Adventist Health — opened on Nov. 7, 2019.
She noted, also, that the healthcare district was able to refinance the bond debt associated with hospital construction in 2021, saving taxpayers $7.6 million. She also noted the success of Measure X last November. The ballot measure approved by voters allowed a new lease with Adventist Health that will result in the nonprofit organization building a new outpatient pavilion on hospital grounds. The new facility will provide space for primary care services, specialty care services, dentistry and behavioral health care, Adventist Health told voters.
With hospital operation handled by Adventist Health, Mendiburu said the district is focused on outreach and may build a resource center on property the district owns at Curry and West D streets in downtown Tehachapi — where the hospital was previously located.
“But is it needed,” she asked. “Do you want it?”
She said the district is conducting a needs assessment and encourages community members to share input to help guide the district’s future.
The district’s mission goes beyond healthcare to include quality of life, Mendiburu said.
More information about the district is online at tvhd. org. — Claudia Elliott