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For the greater good: Kaweah Health answers call to keep Redwood Springs open

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Laura Florez-McCusker

VISALIA – When Redwood Springs Healthcare Center Administrators called for help last week, Kaweah Health was among those who answered without hesitation.

Since concerns surfaced last week that state and local health officials might close the Visalia nursing facility down due to a lack of staffing, 23 members of Kaweah Health's nursing team have signed up and are ready to provide care alongside the Redwood Springs team. Kaweah Health nurses have worked three shifts at Redwood Springs, while others have already begun orienting to the facility. Meanwhile, Sierra View Medical Center and Adventist Health Tulare have each sent staff members to help. More help is on the way this week, as Kaweah Health works to open and staff an incident command center to help the Visalia nursing facility through what has become one of the state’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19.

The safety and well-being of the community is top priority during this time, said Gary Herbst, Chief Executive Officer of Kaweah Health. “We’re doing what we can to help. Our goal is to guide and mentor them through this process,” he said. “It’s been amazing to see staff step up and get involved. By sending our team to Redwood Springs, we are caring for these residents in their home, but should they need acute care, they absolutely would come to the Medical Center for care.”

Anita Hubbard, Redwood Spring’s Administrator, said she is thankful to local hospitals for their support. “We are grateful to all of those who have been willing to help. We cannot get through this alone. This is definitely a collaborative effort,” she said.

Kaweah Health staff who work at Redwood Springs remain employees of Kaweah Health. The first employee who volunteered to work at Redwood Springs was Carly Anderson, a Registered Nurse, in Kaweah Health's Float Pool. “I heard they needed help and I wanted to do it,” Anderson said. “I became a nurse to help people. I’m happy to be a part of the team trying to help people in this time.”

Kaweah Health continues its work to protect the health and safety of patients, staff, visitors, and the community. Most recently, Kaweah Health began offering telehealth appointments by phone and by computer or hand-held device to patients of its health and specialty clinics, including its Urgent Care centers, to help people get needed medical care in a time of stress and worry. Last month, Kaweah Health also began a free hotline at (559) 624-4110 to answer questions and help screen patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The line is for anyone, but people with primary care physicians should call their physician for an assessment.

Kaweah Health will continue to share COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community on its website at, via media statements, and on its social media accounts.

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency advises if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary physician or 2-1-1 rather than walking into a medical office or hospital. Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate.