Business · Visalia

Could Tulare’s hospital – and its “Tower of Shame” – be up for sale? Here’s what we know.

Despite some recent suspense, Tulare’s long-maligned hospital – which has experienced a rebirth under Adventist Health – has not had any parties offer to purchase it. 

Adventist Health took over the hospital two years ago on a five-year lease with further five-year leases in the future. The contract also gives the health care company the option to purchase the hospital down the line. 

During Wednesday evening’s Tulare Local Health Care District Board of Directors meeting, board legal counsel Jason Howard gave a short presentation regarding the possibilities to sell the hospital, if the board so desired.

The agenda item stirred the pot that a potential sale of the once-troubled hospital was on the horizon.

Howard said that neither Adventist Health nor any other group has approached the district with an offer to purchase the hospital. 

At the crux of the lease is the so-called “Tower of Shame.”

After the hospital ran out of $85 million in bond funding, approved by voters in 2005, to construct the new tower, voters turned down an additional $55 million bond to complete the project, leaving the tower unfinished. 

The Tower Construction Committee is currently exploring options to finish the tower. 

Per the lease, Adventist Health has a right of first refusal in the case that the district decides to offer the hospital for sale. 

Adventist Health also has an option to purchase the hospital that would be triggered by the district meeting one of the following two requirements: 

  • Completing construction of the tower. 
  • Fulfilling its obligations to seismically renovate the facility in order to bring it into seismic compliance in accordance with the law. 

If Adventist Health ever triggers the option to purchase, voters would have to approve the sale. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.