A change from Delano Regional Medical Center to Adventist Health Delano is expected to be complete by September. The changeover date is due to a second 45-day delay because of the state Attorney General’s request for delays.

DRMC's marketing director Matt Cauthron in a power point outlined the move to Adventist Health before David Butler, transition officer, related more about the change.

The presentation was made before about 40 people at the regular meeting of Delano’s Community Alliance.

Butler said that Delano was a perfect fit because it was between Bakersfield where Adventist Health has a hospital and Tulare where the company took over a hospital that had been closed for a year and a half.

Butler said that Adventist Health will infuse more than $80 million into the community, including absorbing $20 million in debt, plus upgrades.

“We don’t want to make a lot of changes and upset people,” Butler said. Jobs, pay and benefits will continue for a minimum of six months.”

Butler said that AH and DRMC leaders are meeting with employees, physicians and the community during the transition period.

“Our vision and values and heritage dating back to 1886 is a faith-based organization," Butler said. "In addition to about 20 hospitals in the state we have about 200 clinics. We want to bring specialists here and/or share them with a nearby facility.”

Cauthron, who launched the presentation, said that directors of DRMC had been working for about a year and a half seeking outside input. There were three options -  joint venture, partnership and affiliation, Cauthron said. The directors went with a consultant suggestion that an affiliation was the best way to go.

An affiliation with a larger health care system, said Cauthron, allows the Delano facility to relate to health care changes and recruitment challenges.

The DRMC leaders, Cauthron said, “want more for their employees, physicians and the community with increased access to more benefits, resources, services and expertise.”

Cauthron called Adventist Health a good fit because of the aligned mission commitment to service and excellence and a shared commitment to community involvement.

After the host presentation, Alliance members heard several reports.

A “Fall Fiesta” fundraiser of the group is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 9:30 p.m.at Delano’s Heritage Park. Donation is $20 per person with tickets available at the Chamber of Commerce and Community Connections Center.

The Alliance has scheduled a fall clean-up Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also discussed was establishing a family assistance program.

“Saved” until the August meeting was a donation idea - “Give or Get” - by Delano College Center director Abel Guzman.

Delano Mayor Joe Aguirre said that the city budget approval was set for an early June meeting. He said there were plans for a town hall concerning the Delano Armory, to restore or consider other options, with such an event to take place probably in July.

Delano Police Chief Robert Nevarez said that figures indicate that gang violence is down in Delano. Events such as "shop with a cop" and a Facebook page with information about the department and community are two methods adopted to building trust of the department within the community. He also described how Delano police and sheriff’s department personnel went into the nearby fields and spoke with about 150 farm laborers, many of whom have feared law enforcement but were able to see them in a new light.

It was reported that about 770 youngsters had graduated from Delano middle schools, that leaders of the June 13 Jobfest were shooting for 80 employers to be present, and that recovery stations “are coming” in an effort to help with the local homeless problem.

Staff at Wonderful Prep Academy spoke of accomplishments of the school and Janet Rabanal of the Chamber of Commerce told of a course from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber offered locally to assist businesses. Rabanal also reminded the group that the National Night Out is planned Aug. 6.

The third Farmers Market of the DRMC was planned for today. More than 500 families took part in the last Farmers Market, reported Jaime Hernandez of DRMC.

Dr. Martha Milk, pastor of the Delano Methodist Church for the past four years, praised the work of the Alliance and announced that she is retiring from the ministry. She has been a pastor for 12 years. Local pastor David Vivas told of Dr. Milk’s contributions as a pastor and praised her work in the community.

Dr. Milk also announced the church was down-sizing and said that the property at the 11th Avenue and Jefferson Street location would all be for sale.

Steven D. Kinsey is the president/chair for the Alliance and Rosalina Rivera is the vice-president/vice chair.

I advised Kinsey as a reporter on the high school newspaper back in the 1970s and advised Rivera on the school yearbook staff years later.

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Iris Juarez Espino, a third grader at Delano’s Morningside School, was to be recognized with a plaque award at the June 10 meeting of the Delano Union School District board of trustees.

The young runner was valley champion in her division in the 1500 meter run.

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From Glenda Muldrow, head of Delano’s Relay for Life, and (Janet) Rabanal at a later Community Alliance meeting, both reported that more than $110,000 was raised by the Delano Relay for Life event.

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Mariano Balbuena III gave the valedictorian address at the 106th commencement exercises of Delano High School on June 7. In late May he became the first Delano High student to ever achieve enough college credits to gain an associate of arts degree from Bakersfield College before graduating from high school.

Welcoming the audience was Eleodoro Duran in English, Juan M. Diaz in Spanish, Ruthchie Galanta in Ilocano and Lester Paguio in Tagalog.

The summa cum laude graduates for Delano High were Mirtha Vidal Martinez, Rebecca Garcia, Juan Diaz, Lea Vicente, Bernard Guerrero, Xavier Duran, Desire Abundis, Fiona Milkhail Tan, Judy Ann Piano, Guadalupe Reyes, Marshall Etrata, Cinthia Medrano, Lester Dave Paguio, Ivan Simon Zapata, Charisse Nicole Biglete, Ivette Tobon, Andre Zizumbo, Briana Garibay, Pedro Rodriguez, Alexandra Hernandez, Beatriz Pedraza, Carolina Melendrez, Mohammed Karim, Caiden Mello, Guadalupe Flores, Franz Charlene Juan, Jessa Mae Almajano, Elda Karina Reyes, Angelyn Usita, Paul Gascon, Mary Anne Rabanal and Steven Cervantes.

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High school senior girls in the fall from the Delano and McFarland high school districts are encouraged to take part in the 74th annual Delano Harvest Holidays pageant.

Interested girls and/or parents are invited to a meeting Saturday, June 29, at 10 a.m. at the Delano Regional Medical Center conference room at the southeast corner of the hospital area.

Invited to take part in the scholarship pageant are senior girls who have achieved at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. At the meeting an outline of requirements and responsibilities will be given as well as applications. The applications are also available at the Chamber of Commerce office.

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The Delano Philippine Weekend committee at its June 17 meeting was to learn of progress in activities that make up the July 27-28 celebration.

The July 13 Miss/Mr. pageant is planned at the Cesar E. Chavez High School auditorium.

Rather than a Mrs. Philippine Weekend contest this year, a special committee is planning a Mrs. Tribute Gala on July 20 at the Hyatt Place.

This year’s weekend celebration will recognize 45 years of operation.

Applications for the Philippine Weekend Barrio Fiesta and parade are available at the chamber office.

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