Despite failing inspection last week, Colusa Medical Center plans to open in November

The Colusa Medical Center failed their California Department of Public Health licensing inspection last Wednesday, but there is no reason for the community to panic, said Gia Smith, CEO of American Specialty Healthcare Inc.

“It is a part of the process,” Smith said. “… The staff tried and they worked hard. Hopefully, we can get everything together in the next two, three weeks.”

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Colusa County Board of Supervisors, County CAO Wendy Tyler said that she was aware the hospital had not passed the inspection, but did not know the reasons behind it.

“The message I got was that they did not pass…” Tyler said. “I did not get any specifics as to the reasons it didn’t pass, which is why I’m not going to speculate.”

Tyler added that she had experience with the hospital licensing process and wasn’t concerned about the facility not passing its inspection last week, adding that licensing inspections are typically “not a one-and-done thing.”

Smith said that the majority of the issues with the inspection had to do with a lack of certain medications that are necessary for operating an emergency room.

“There’s some medications, things that you cannot get regularly,” Smith said. “We thought that the medication was there, and it wasn’t there.”

Some of the medications the facility is lacking are emergency medications, Smith said, which are allocated by historical use.

“Because we are a new hospital, they have no history of our emergency med use,” Smith said. “That also made us have to wait.”

Smith added that there is currently a shortage of the required medications on the market due to production issues in Florida and Puerto Rice, but that her company was working with both “larger distributors, and smaller distributors, to get the meds that (they) need” to open.

“Some even came in the day after the inspection,” Smith said. “Sometime in November, we should be up and running, and ready to go. There’s a few other small, fine-tuning things we have to do. The California Department of Public Health has been working with us very closely, and they’ve been very understanding of the med shortage… It’s nothing the corporation has done – it’s simply the med shortage.”

Despite the issues, Smith said the goal was to have the hospital up and running within the next two weeks.

“We just want to make sure we see all the meds on the table, and schedule (the inspection) appropriately from there,” she said.

Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at