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Hundreds of community members tour the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital on Sunday.

State inspectors on Tuesday gave Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital its license to operate. The 79,000-square-foot facility is expected to open to patients next week.

The public should continue to visit the old hospital at 115 W. E. St. until Nov. 7 and wait until official signs and notices are posted directing people to go to the new facility.

“This moment not only represents a major feat for our community members and associates who have worked so hard to get this hospital open, but also the start of a monumental shift for health care in Tehachapi,” Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley President Jeff Lingerfelt said in a statement.

He added, “This new, state-of-the-art hospital will allow our team of caregivers to provide compassionate, quality care for our friends and neighbors close to home. Our community deserves nothing less.”

The new hospital is located on a 20-acre campus in the Capital Hills area, north of Highway 58 on Magellan Drive. It will replace the current downtown facility, which was built in 1954. The groundbreaking for the new hospital was in 2013, although planning and various bond measures have been passed to fund the hospital since 2003.

The facility features a 13-room emergency department equipped with trauma, fast track and triage rooms; an intensive care unit for a higher level of care not currently offered in Tehachapi; digital imaging; and a surgery department. It also includes two gastrointestinal rooms where procedures such as endoscopies and colonoscopies can be performed, said Harold Pierce, communication manager for AHTV.

Patients will now have the opportunity to access more care and services without having to travel out of the area.

“Many of our residents forgo important medical procedures because of transportation barriers," Patient Care Executive Misty Cantrell said in a statement. "It’s difficult sometimes, especially in adverse weather conditions, to make the trip to a hospital outside our community. We never want that to happen. Having these procedure rooms and these operating rooms will allow us to meet our patients’ health care needs right where they live.”

In June 2016, almost 90 percent of Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District voters passed a resolution to allow Adventist Health to assume operations of the hospital under a long-term lease and complete construction of the facility.

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