Open Accessibility Menu

Past Town Hall

Previous Kaweah Health’s Virtual Town Hall - Thursday, July 30

To view questions and answers from the Kaweawh Health Town Hall held on July 30th, click HERE.

  • Gary Herbst, Kaweah Health’s Chief Executive Officer
  • Hosted by Garth Gipson, Kaweah Health Zone III Board Member

Kaweah Health Town Hall - Monday, September 21, 2019 - 3PM

Virtual Town Hall | Monday, September 21, 2019


Questions and Answers from the Kaweah Health Town Hall held on October

The following questions were asked via social media for our virtual town hall on September 21, 2019.

  1. Question: How do you justify billing urgent care services as outpatient hospital visits, putting significant financial responsibility on the patients? This causes serious harm and deters people from seeking necessary medical treatment.

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: Is the Visalia City Counsel *[sic] and Planning Commission still behind the idea of keeping KDMC downtown? I read somewhere that they were fighting putting the Police and Fire out by the new Communications building! It was my understanding that Kaweah Health would be able to purchase the current property on Johnson street *[sic], to fulfill the States *[sic] earthquake safety regulations! Is KDMC still moving in this direction?

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: What are you doing to recruit new and more speciality *[sic] physicians who take Medi-Cal for Visalia and Tulare? Tulare county *[sic] is underserved medically and I wish the hospital was more proactive about that problem

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: Please ask the CEO if there is a good reason why your hospital staff isn’t unionized like they are in Fresno. The way you treat your staff is the reason you have trouble attracting and retaining good staff.

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: Why don’t you limit the number of people in the emergency room? One patient plus one other person. Another emergency room question: why when you are finally called back to hopefully see someone, do you end up back in the waiting room 2 or 3 times. Also there is no privacy, what about HIPPA *[sic]????

Answer: We are currently evaluating limiting the number of visitors that patients are able to bring into the Emergency Department. However, in the meantime, we strongly recommend that patients bring just one visitor with them to the ED. This is not only due to limited seating capacity, but for safety reasons, as those who come to the ED are not generally feeling their best. To answer the second part of your question, we are always working to protect patient privacy in all areas of Kaweah Health. In the ED, amid our expansion project, we have taken out a number of chairs in an effort to improve patient privacy. We are always looking at what we can do differently to improve patient privacy. Our ED expansion, which will be complete in late 2020, will help tremendously.

  1. Question: Will Visalia Medical Clinic, since now in partnership with Kaweah as the Kaweah Health Medical Foundation, ever take Medi-Cal insurance. I know several people who when they turned 65 and ended up with Medicare Primary and Medi-Cal secondary had to find an entirely new primary care Dr. and new specialists because everyone was at VMC and VMC doesn't take Medi-Cal even as secondary.

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: What are you guys doing about protecting people’s health information?

Answer: We have a highly involved Privacy Compliance program with sophisticated tools to monitor user access. Additionally, every year employees are required to complete privacy education.

  1. Question: The ER seems to be the common thread here. I know that it is a difficult situation because those without insurance go to the ER and those who should just go to urgent care go to the ER. Is there a way to triage patients so that they are sent back to urgent care? Maybe you already do this? The staff in the ER has always seemed to be overworked - so many people to care for and so few of them. Perhaps there needs to be a bigger outreach and education program so that maybe people will understand that the ER is for emergencies? I too have waited hours, in a chair in the back hallway while people around me are contagious. I know you have looked at this and studied it, but maybe there is a better way? Thank you for allowing us to ask questions.

Answer: See Gary Herbst’s video response. Click HERE.

  1. Question: Had it been looked at for a new location for another hospital? Tulare county is growing and we need to have more room in the hospital.

Answer: We have explored other locations for a hospital, in fact, we did purchase 100 acres at one time at Lovers Lane and Caldwell Avenue. We recently sold most of that land to Visalia Unified, but we did keep approximately 20 acres for future growth. We are currently working with RBB Architects, a master planning firm that in the next year will help develop solutions to replace the building that houses 221 inpatient hospital beds that cannot be used beyond 2030 because it does not meet California’s earthquake standards. Additionally, the firm will propose new facilities for Kaweah Health to care for the community, including ways to add new services, increase access, and improve areas that are currently a challenge, such as parking.

*[sic] = sic is used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original.