Cash comes from fees, bond, gifts

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By ERIN MAYES

Building a new hospital is not cheap.

Although Vice President of Finance Dave Larsen said he's not sure of the exact number, the new Sonora Regional Medical Center being completed on Greenley Road will cost an estimated $47 million.

Most of the funds have been borrowed through a tax-exempt bond issued by Adventist Health, he said. Adventist Health is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church hospital network.

But two centers the cancer center and cardiac catheterization lab were built using $2.2 million gathered through fund-raisers. In preliminary plans for a new hospital, the two centers had not been budgeted in.

Larsen declined to name the hospital's major donors.

Sonora Regional Medical Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which means it is not beholden to shareholders, and all donations are tax deductible, Larsen said.

Although it receives many donations, they are not its major source of income and it usually uses donations to add new services, he said.

The hospital's Web site says funds raised are used for improvements, enhancing patient care, new hospital programs and community outreach.

Fund raisers have included golf tournaments and a black tie dinner.

The new center is a private hospital, unlike Tuolumne General Hospital, which is county-owned and publicly funded.

Aside from donations, SRMC makes money through patients, who either pay out-of-pocket, or more commonly, through insurance companies.

TGH makes money the same way, but has struggled with low hospital admissions, causing a five-year financial struggle during which it has received more than $11 million in cash infusions and has borrowed about $6 million from the county general fund.

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The Union Democrat
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