Family Health Center closed its doors

After more than 30 years of service, the Bishop Family Health Center closed its doors on Saturday. Some have estimated that the center provided general physician care for as many as 1,000 local residents.

A spokesperson at the Center said that they are currently boxing up patients’ medical charts and information. Those boxes will go to the Medical Records Department of Northern Inyo Hospital where former patients can pick them up.

The Family Health Center was founded by Dr. George Kibler in the 70s. Reports said he and partners had sold the Center to Dr. Zasuki Daran who continued to operate physician services for approximately a year or so. She was not available for comment. Dr. Kibler is currently working at Southern Inyo Hospital.

Spokesmen did say that a pain management doctor from Palmdale who had provided service at the Family Health Center will continue those services once a month in Lone Pine.

Sierra Wave Media has heard from several patients and other sources that there is now a problem finding new physician care in Bishop. Those patients said they had tried to see a doctor at Northern Inyo Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic and were told that they are not accepting new patients.

Northern Inyo Hospital Administrator John Halfen confirmed that the hospital is helping with the transition of Family Health Center. He said the hospital has agreed to be the custodian of patient records. Halfen suggested that former Family Health Center patients contact the Medical Records Department.

Asked if the Rural Health Clinic is accepting new patients, Halfen said they are not. He said currently there are two part-time doctors functioning in the clinic. Administrator Halfen said that he will have discussions with the clinic to see what can be done. He added that in October Northern Inyo Hospital will interview two family practitioners for possible re-location to Bishop.



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21 Responses to Family Health Center closed its doors

  1. longtimesierralocal August 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Guess we’ll go up to Mammoth !!

  2. Trouble August 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    It’s certainly a sad day in Bishop. I hope the city council tries to help attract a few good doctors to town.

  3. sierragrl August 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    sorry to hear this….Donna McAuley delivered one of my babies..not sure when she left the FHC, but Kibler’s been gone awhile. We need tort reform in this country. If a person doesn’t end up with a ‘perfect’ baby, they sue….sorry people, but no-one can guarantee you a perfect birth. they’re doctors (and CNMs) not gods.

  4. Pissed August 30, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Is the future of medical services only going to be emergency services?

    How is it that we can build a huge new building over all this time but we cant get doctors to see patients.


  5. Wilfred S. August 30, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    This place had some of the worst health care I’ve experienced in my life. I can’t say all the docs were incompetent, only the one I ended up with over and over, who happened to be the owner. He was condescending and smug, and provided the most insane advice you can imagine. Utter BS, and always a complete waste of my hard-earned money.

    Good riddance.

    • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      I had my issues with Dr. Kibler Wilfred, but He was not the terrible person and Dr. everyone say’s he is. He gave my mother in law the best treatment anyone could give. People say all sorts of crap about Dr.s and I have found for the most part it is just that, crap.

      As for you remark .. good riddance, that is a slap in the face of all of the other good people who worked there and cared for people in this town.

      Dr. Kiblers bed side manner was not the best, but usually what he was saying, was the truth, and people didn’t want to hear it.

  6. David K August 30, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    I may be mistaken, but I remember the first doctor to open the Health Center was Dr. Robert Marvan.

    • Barbara August 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Dr. Evan Knecht operated his practice from that building prior to Dr. Marvan’s arrival. I don’t believe it was the FHC at that time, so I think you are correct that Dr. Marvan started the FHC.

      • Reallysad August 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

        Dr Knecht was acroos the street wasnt he?

  7. Steve K August 30, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I have to agree with Wilfred. The experience I received from the top doc at that place was awful. He was rude to say the least. I guess he’s Lone Pine’s problem now.

  8. history buff August 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I have been going to Mammoth. What a sham to drive by our new hospital each time I have to see my doctor in Mammoth. Keep the hospital board and the administrator in mind every time you pay your property tax. Didn’t t they think we might need doctors before they spent all of our money on an empty building

  9. Vince P. August 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    From the State Controller Website, Special District of Northern Inyo County Local Hospital District: Administration – CEO/CFO Annual Maximum Salary $353,985.

    Highest paying job in Bishop, California.

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      I will just comment that I have heard from several on the medical staff and others familiar with hospital management that Mr. Halfen is
      “worth more than he gets.”

      Benett Kessler

      • Trouble September 3, 2012 at 8:46 am #

        Is Mr. Halfen also in charged of the Rural Health Center? It kind of makes me anger that they won’t even try to see new patients.

        • Big AL September 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

          I hear ya Trouble .. but I think they are just so overwhelmed right now with the current patient load, they can’t add more in right now .. I just hope we can get some more Drs. here to help out.

          I hope we get them soon ..

  10. Reallysad August 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    The only Dr here that was worth a damm was Dr Kibler anymore. I stopped going to the Bishop Dr’s a long time ago and started going to Mammoth Dr’s. The clinic in Mammoth its do busy its crazy. Just like Dr’ Kibles office use to be.

  11. Reallysad August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I think Dr Kibler was miss understood a lot of time. He has a crappy bed side manor, but a great DR

  12. Fruit Loops August 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    It seems there’s a huge need for urgent care medical services in this community. It often takes me two weeks to get an appointment at the Rural Health Clinic, although I’ve very pleased with the providers that I’ve seen there (Brown, Boo and Yolken). I’ve always wondered why the RHC doesn’t offer drop in hours to relieve the burden on the NIH ER?

  13. Where's the Docs? August 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    A co-worker had her OBGYN appointment suddenly canceled this week with a cryptic phone message saying Dr. Leventis was “no longer practicing out of this office”. She worked out of a different office, not Family Health Care Center. Did NIH loose the new OBGYN they just hired a couple months ago this week as well?

  14. Russ Monroe August 31, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Yup, George Kibler is harsh, opinionated, and not fun to deal with sometimes. He also has dedicated his life to the medical needs of the people here. He has fought his way through some of the worst political garbage I can imagine any person persevering through and never wavered in his commitment to us.

    THANK YOU George! From the bottom of my heart, for your strength and determination to do what needed to be done despite the abuses you have suffered. The last forty years would have been a lot more difficult for a huge number of us without you.

  15. Trouble August 31, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I remember my last visit their this year. I had a insurance billing issue and the billing lady told me that insurance companies tell them how much they will pay. Which is a lot less than what you see on your bill. She told me that they really only got like $22 for a exam. Maybe there is not enough business up here for them to survive up here.


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