John C. Fremont Healthcare District celebrating 70 years of service

MARIPOSA, Calif. (KFSN) -- For 70 years, the John C. Fremont Healthcare District has served generations of people in Mariposa, Madera and Yosemite National Park.

"A county and a community of this size, to have a hospital and to have one in place for 70 years is amazing," says CEO Matthew Matthiessen.

In-person celebrations were put on hold, but Matthiessen says there have been plenty of milestones to recognize over the years, including three clinics, a helipad and most recently, a long-term care facility that is home to the first long-term care patients, in California, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

That's in addition to navigating pandemic challenges like supply shortages and keeping those residents COVID-free.

"That's a testament to our leadership," Matthiessen said. "That leadership, that commitment to those patients."

Last year alone, their emergency department treated 7,100 people, both residents and tourists visiting Yosemite for everything from chest pain to rattlesnake bites when every second counts.

"Either by helicopter or if it's an ambulance, we can stabilize them and save their life, so we have had many testimonials of people that have been stabilized and saved," says Therese Williams.

As the healthcare district commemorates seven decades of service, community efforts are underway to secure funding for state-mandated retrofits or to develop a new facility, by 2030, or risk closure.

"We have been servicing quite a few community members and it is very exciting to be able to celebrate 70 years," Williams said.
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