The hospital says the loan extends operations until mid-March.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Announced received a $3 million loan from the California Healthcare Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA).

Acting CEO Mary Casillas said the loan and “other operating savings efforts” extend the estimated date the hospital will run out of funds to operate from Feb. 18 to mid-March.

“Part of our long-term plan moving forward is to continue to seek additional funding and strategic partnership opportunities along with evaluating our day-to-day operations to identify and implement cost-saving measures to continue extending that date,” Casillas said.

According to the press release, “additional funding is needed to further extend the date to at least September 2023 to provide sufficient time for their marketing process and to close a deal with a strategic partner.”

The hospital has said it needed to raise an additional $25 million to avoid bankruptcy. The $3 million loan is the first tranche of additional funding the hospital has announced in its efforts to save it from bankruptcy.

On November 4, the San Benito Health Care District, Hazel Hawkins’ board of directors, declared a fiscal emergency, allowing the district to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. At that meeting, Chief Financial Officer Mark Robinson told its board of directors on Nov. 4 that several factors led the hospital to need the option of filing for bankruptcy. Those factors included being required to repay more than $12 million to the state this fiscal year, a reimbursement dispute from Anthem Blue Cross and a delay in co-payments totaling $13 million owed to the hospital by the state.

The hospital asked the county for a $10 million loan. On December 15, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved an advance of $2.24 million to the hospital in property tax revenue, but the hospital was owed 50% of that amount at the end of the month, regardless of the supervisor vote.

On December 19, the hospital sent notices to its employees about possible mass layoffs and possible closure. The notice said the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act may be extended or retracted if Hazel Hawkins is successful in seeking funding.

On December 28, the hospital announced a new agreement with Anthem Blue Cross, although it did not respond to BenitoLink’s request for comment on the details of the agreement and how it affects its financial status.

Hazel Hawkins has scheduled a public forum for January 23 at 5:30 pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in downtown Hollister. The hospital said its officials will provide updates on its financial status and what actions are being taken to preserve hospital services. Questions can be submitted for the public forum at [email protected]