FALL RIVER MILLS, Calif. — A $15-million wing has opened at Mayers Memorial Hospital on Highway 299 between Fall River Mills and McArthur. It is the new home of the hospital's emergency department, imaging center, and laboratory services.
All three departments were housed in the old hospital, which the state determined was not up to earthquake standards.
CEO Louis Ward says it was built with USDA funds and about $3-million raised by the community.
"This is a major need for any community, especially a community that's 70 miles away from other health care services," he said. "Without this building, this area would have went without emergent services, without imaging services, laboratory services that are very needed in a community like ours."
The hospital moved into the space on Tuesday, August 18. It was not a moment too soon. Ward said they opened at 6:00 that evening, and by 9:00 p.m. the ER was full.
"We went from a four-bed ER to a six-bed ER, and we had 6 patients within a few hours," he said. "And in the past, a couple of those patients would have been in the hallway or waiting in the lobby. So just to see that, and see that those patients were able to be treated quicker, with new equipment and a happy staff, was just an amazing feeling for all of us."
Because of COVID-19, the hospital couldn't hold a grand opening, but Ward wanted to thank the McConnell Foundation, Sierra Pacific Industries, and the California Endowment for their contributions.