The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Tina Fisher Cunningham
Fisher Forde Media 

Hospital healing garden promises serenity

The Forde Files No 133


SHP Project Development

As the Replacement Tehachapi Acute Care Hospital races toward completion and a grand opening some time in February, 2017, the Zen-like Healing Garden is emerging from the grounds outside the big-windowed cafeteria. In a few years, the young trees will provide shade and vegetation will complement the beautiful stones that float on pebbles and on the earth. Beyond the labyrinth circle and the open wall to the west lie the rolling hills of the Loop Ranch, a fitting homage to the Broome family, who donated the land upon which to build the new hospital. Now in the fall, the gold of the dry grass on the hills is the perfect backdrop for the warm tones of the Healing Garden's stone walls and the hospital's exterior palette. While to the north and east of the hospital the high-speed rail will rush by one day and houses will be built, and to the south medical buildings will sprout up, the view to the west will feature only the hills, wildflowers in the spring and roving Loop Ranch cattle. As a work of art, humans have humbly added a small space of serenity to what nature already has given. (Please see the photo in color at

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District is scheduled to turn over hospital operations (the existing hospital and three clinics) to Adventist Health on Nov. 1 for a lease of 30 years. Adventist will be licensed separately to operate the new hospital. The district (the people in the district) will maintain ownership of all its properties including the new hospital, and will continue to oversee completion of construction, but no longer will have the responsibility and financial burden of running a hospital. "We are entering the last two weeks of operating the hospital," district CEO Eugene Suksi said at the district board meeting Oct. 18. With most of its reserve funds going into construction, the district has squeaked through financially to the transition. "Cash is tight to get us through Nov. first," Suksi said. "There's not much water under the boat. We're scraping the rocks." Adventist is leasing all the district facilities except the Tehachapi Hospital Guild Thrift Shop, and the district office has relocated to a remodeled building at 305 S. Robinson. The district will turn its efforts to other community health needs and seeks public input.


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