AP NEWS

Colusa’s hospital is back in business

December 1, 2017 GMT

The doors to Colusa Medical Center opened at 9 a.m. sharp Thursday morning.

The hospital is fully stocked and ready to accept patients for the first time since closing in April 2016. As staff eagerly awaited the hospital’s first patients, community members trickled inside to tour the upgraded facilities.

“We’re very relieved, happy and excited it’s open,” said Annette Crawford, 76, a Colusa resident touring the hospital. “It looks really nice and efficient.”

Those who toured the hospital said it was a relief to have emergency care closer to home. Before the hospital reopened, Colusa residents had to choose between care facilities in Chico, Marysville and Willows for medical emergencies.

“I’m a care provider, so this will be perfect when I have an emergency with a client. It’s a hassle driving to Rideout,” said Michelle Ortega, 34, a Colusa-based caregiver.

For some staff members, the reopening of Colusa Medical Center meant they got to return to their old jobs. Many returning hospital employees have been unemployed since the facility was closed. Those who did find other employment said they were happy to resume working in their community.

“It’s wonderful; it’s a relief to be able to provide care for the community,” said Cindy Sheen, a registered nurse. “I’m really looking forward to being a nurse again.”

As hospital officials gave tours of the facility, medical staff double-checked equipment and supplies.

“It’s really exciting to finally have it here after so long. I can’t wait for our first patient,” said Kevin Krone, director of nursing.

Other than tours, the hospital was relatively quiet Thursday morning; but by 4 p.m., Colusa Medical Center had received its first three patients. Staff is confident the hospital is finally here to stay.

“It’s nice that everyone has been so supportive and happy,” said Maria Zamora, a hospital administrator. “We’re looking forward to providing Colusa with excellent care.”