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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Feather River hospital to close, over 1,200 employees to be laid off

The entrance to the Feather River Hospital Emergency Room just after the Camp Fire burned through Paradise. Adventist Health now says the entire campus area on Pentz Road will not be re-opened anytime soon. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Feather River Hospital medical center campus in Butte County will not be reopening after Camp Fire damage, according to a press release on the Adventist Health website released Wednesday morning.

Feather River Hospital was previously a 101-bed, acute-care hospital, and the leading employer in Paradise. Over 1,000 part-time and full-time employees will be laid off following the immediate closure.

“We have studied the clean-up and recovery time and costs from other wildfire tragedies in recent years and compared them to the severity of the damage done in Paradise. We now believe that it will be at least 2020 before services could be reopened on the Pentz Road campus. Even then, the type of services required for the community that ultimately redevelops in this geography are likely to be different from what we have historically provided,” the press release stated.

The lower level of the hospital suffered severe damage during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, and many of the buildings were destroyed.

The medical clinic, located on Skyway in Paradise, reopened in December and is still available to patients. Similarly, clinics in Chico and Corning are also open. However, the hospital is to remain closed until further notice.

After the fire, employees were transferred to nearby clinics in Chico and Marysville, with some being offered full pay and benefits through Feb. 5. The total of these stipends reaches about $30 million.

In the long term, employees have been offered a job with Adventist Medical if they are willing to relocate, otherwise, local employers will be working with former employees who cannot relocate.

The phone lines for general and marketing and communications about Feather River hospital are down as of Tuesday.

Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kendallmgeorge.

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  • D

    Diana Kimm // Apr 3, 2019 at 8:32 am

    I believed Feather River’s earlier comment ‘…will reopen’ and we decided to rebuild on that belief. Our family is greatly disappointed.

  • B

    BRENDA PICKERN // Apr 2, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I am so upset to learn this. I lost my urologcal care no fault of his, i lost my all my emergency care i would rather go to Paradise, than to the local Hospital we will only have one choice with in 15 miles.. not good without having competion Medical care at Feather River Hospital was a Cut above I felt my Dr.s truly listened me the nurses & Dr’s have laughed,cried,prayed and watched our families go through life. I am truly going to miss Everything about Feather River Hospital.

  • R

    Ron Amberg // Feb 22, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I have nothing but praise for this hospital. Quality service with compassion in times when these are rare. I hope those of us who will continue to make Paradise our home will see our hospital return in short time.

  • L

    Linda Reece // Feb 22, 2019 at 10:32 am

    We are so sorry to hear of this closing! I have had several surgeries here with the finest of care! We live about 2 miles down on Pentz and purchased our home here due to the security of knowing this fine hospital was close by. The Cancer Center was the best. We know that Paradise will rise again and I hope and pray that Feather River Hospital returns.

  • J

    John Birch // Feb 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    I worked at Feather River Hospital from 2004 till 2018 when a fire came through and changed our lives forever. I find it hard to believe this wonderful place has been taken away from all of us, all the people I worked with over the years became family in my eyes and an experience I will never forget. I can only hope that Adventist health Feather River will rise from the ashes to serve the new Paradise .
    Like my wife and are doing, people will return .
    Paradise Strong

  • M

    Miles Huffman // Feb 20, 2019 at 10:08 am

    This is such a shame… and exactly why medicine and healthcare shouldn’t be privatized. Hospitals are for healing, not profits. Many people will return to the ridge and truly need a hospital.

  • M

    Mary Jo Lauderdale // Feb 19, 2019 at 8:42 am

    So sad!!!!!!
    I had surgery there one week before the fire. Excellent care, wonderful staff, great doctors.
    What a loss to those in Paradise and the surrounding area. Keep courage Paradise.
    Incidentally, I took my first medical training there under Catherine Gearing and Mrs Hass, 50 years ago.
    It was just the old building on the hill. Hydrotherapy back then with Dr. Blackwelder and others.
    This hospital served us so well!! Thank you Adventist Health!!!!