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PR CONTACT: Frankie Gallagher
Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital
Phone: (831) 636-2644

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Approval of Critical Access Hospital status will result in millions more annually.

HOLLISTER, Calif.–April 2, 2020: The 18-month long pursuit by Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (HHMH) to achieve Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation has been successful, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approving the hospital’s participation in the CAH program.
CAH designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. CAHs receive benefits such as cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services, and the designation will result in $3 to $4 million more in reimbursement annually for HHMH.

Ken Underwood, hospital CEO states, “I am very pleased that all of our employees and physicians hard work, diligence, and perseverance has finally secured a bright future and sustainable vision for our District.” “I thank everyone, (including Congressman Panetta and Assemblymember Rivas), for making this a reality for our patients, community, volunteers, employees, and physicians.”

Congressman Jimmy Panetta and Assemblymember Robert Rivas were both integral partners with the hospital in helping to achieve this designation. “By being designated a Critical Access Hospital, Hazel Hawkins can continue its critical healthcare mission for our community especially during this bruising pandemic. It’s important that our rural hospitals get the necessary support from our federal government. As a federal representative, I’m pleased to ensure that government is working for us, so that Hazel Hawkins can continue to serve us,” said Congressman Panetta.

“Our hospital, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and all of our clinics and centers are now positioned better than ever before to provide high quality services on a local basis with well-equipped centers and facilities and the best staff anywhere!” said Underwood.

HHMH has a long history of being proactive in meeting patient needs. Securing CAH designation is another forward-thinking step to ensure the people of San Benito County have access to high-quality healthcare.


About Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital
Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is a full-service, public agency hospital delivering modern medicine and compassionate care to the growing San Benito County community. HHMH offers hundreds of health services across multiple locations, including top-tier specialists, a modern ER, and a state-of-the-art Women’s Center. To learn more about Hazel Hawkins Hospital, please visit


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