Sonora, CA — With the locking of the front doors Saturday midnight, Tuolumne General Hospital closed the majority of its servics to the community forever.
With the exception of the Skilled Nursing Facility and the third floor Psych Unit, T.G.H. has surrendered all services, by a vote of the Board of Supervisors, to Sonora Regional Medical Center.
An 11:30pm staff candlelight ceremony in the westside courtyard highlighted the official closing. The ceremony was attended by many T.G.H. staff members some of whom will be staying on at the hospital. Foundation Executive Director Ann Stanfield will assume a new administrative position.
Terry Schroeder, a nurse for the past eight years, will be in charge of quality assurance utilization review. Even though she´ll remain on staff, Schroeder admitted “it´s a sad day for our family oriented staff.”
Board of Trustees Chair Pat Dean stated that “it truly is a sad day because the closure will mean a huge change in the community, a difference in healthcare, a drop in the sales tax, an impact on the economy and so many people will now find themselves unemployed.”
Following the ceremony there were numerous hugs and tears along with final visits to the emergency room, the intensive care unit and other areas of the 158 year old hospital for departing staff members.
Written by Bill Johnson