Twenty-five years ago, health care for Kearny and the residents of the Copper Basin was in jeopardy. Samaritan Hospital pulled out – the operation of a community hospital and health care clinic was no longer a sustainable operation. The loss of access to health care is devastating to a community and in that time of potential disaster community leaders from Kearny stepped up to form the Community Healthcare Foundation.
The Foundation’s mission was to maintain the old Kennecott hospital/clinic property and offer rents to health care providers at a rock-bottom price in order to keep some sort of health care services in the area. Over the years, as the population has declined and costs continued to increase, the sustainability of the Community Health Foundation was becoming more and more difficult. A partnership would be needed to continue the health care center operations.
“It is vital to maintain health services in the community of Kearny. We have been fortunate to work with many outstanding community members who have had the passion for health services as well and we look forward to caring for the people of Kearny in the future,” explained Neil Jensen, CEO for Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center.
Cobre Valley Regional Medial Center has been a partner and tenant for several years. Often times they would offer some maintenance and upkeep services.
“They have always been so patient with us,” said David Orzell, President of the Foundation. “Even when the air conditioners would go out, they brought in fans and stayed patient as we would get things repaired.”
This summer after careful discussion of the board, they approached Cobre Valley Regional Medical center about negotiating an operations and maintenance agreement.
The CRVRMC agreed to the idea and the two organizations started negotiating an agreement. In May, CVRMC took over all the leasing and maintenance operations from the Foundation. The agreement does allow the Foundation to continue to be the owners of the property but alleviates the ongoing responsibility of the rental management and maintenance.
“It is a relief,” said Orzell. “If an air conditioner goes out, their maintenance department will manage the repairs.”
The official lease is expected to be signed this month.