Two years after breaking ties with Grossman Burn Center, which established a facility at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital last year, Adventist Health Bakersfield shut the doors of its burn center this month, hospital officials announced.

At the time Adventist Health Bakersfield broke ties with the Los Angeles-based burn center, officials said they would maintain their burn center, despite having a new competitor in town. On Monday, Adventist Health officials conceded that Bakersfield is too small a town for two comprehensive burn centers. Most comparably sized counties don’t even have one.

“Over the last two years, it has become clear that Bakersfield does not need two full service burn centers based on the volume of burn injuries that occur in Kern County,” Adventist Health Bakersfield officials wrote in a press release issued this week.

Adventist Health Bakersfield’s relationship with Los Angeles-based Grossman Burn Centers began in 2009, when the partnership ushered in Kern County’s first full-service burn center.

Before that partnership, Kern County residents would, for years, travel to Fresno or Los Angeles for specialized burn care treatment.

“One of the central elements of the organization’s mission has always centered on identifying gaps in local healthcare services and finding ways to address them,” Adventist Health Bakersfield President and CEO Sharlet Briggs said. “The burn center is one such example of this, having served thousands of burn survivors over the last eight years.”

Adventist Health Bakersfield officials said in its release that Grossman Burn Center’s decision to partner with Bakersfield Memorial Hospital created “a surplus of hospital-based beds that could only be used for specialized burn care.”

Harold Pierce covers education and health for The Californian. He can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter @RoldyPierce

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