In December 2020, Clovis Community Medical Center was hit hard with a second surge of COVID-19 patients. Supplies were scarce and oxygen resources were hitting critically-low levels. That’s when Clark Construction stepped up as a true healthcare hero to provide for patients in the Valley.
Tyson Johnson and Alex Torres are the leaders of the Facilities, Planning and Construction Department at Clovis Community. Since 2018, they’ve been working with Clark on a large expansion project at Clovis Community.
“Clark has been a great partner in helping us adapt to those changes and making sure that we’re making the guys and the gals out in the field safe,” said Tyson.
Clark is a national company that has a long standing history with Clovis Community, dating back two decades. Jon Dearinger with Clark is the Construction Executive on the expansion project.
Jon said, “When I came out to this hospital, the history that I was described was that our West Coast healthcare was built around the Clovis Community job, the original job that they did here and we have more of a family relationship.”
In December, Jon’s team was put to the test. The second surge of COVID-19 positive patients filled the hospital and they were running low on oxygen.
Alex added, “Right before the holidays, before Christmas, we got a call from our respiratory team and we were pretty much at 80-percent of capacity with our oxygen levels. We were refilling the oxygen tank every other day, so we were at pretty much at capacity in the ICU, so we made the call. We challenged our team, all of our partners…. to expedite the completion of this project.”
It was already in the plans to triple the oxygen tank area of the hospital, but Jon explains, as soon as they found out the hospital’s levels were low, they expedited that part of the project.
“We were building as part of the plan a bulk oxygen yard, a newer triple capacity to what they already had… well, the surge started to freeze up the other units, so we did multiple shutdowns to attach an existing tank to the other tanks to be able to increase their capacity, at the same time we accelerated construction of the bulk oxygen,” commented Jon.
Tyson said that Clark acted quickly to help. He stated, “Clark was very instrumental, they were a big part in helping us bring on our new bulk oxygen system two months ahead of schedule… and we completed that all in one week.”
Jon continued, “Right at Christmas time, so a lot of people going home, but some of the people that stayed behind got to jump in on that project from our side, and then working with Clovis Community and OSH pod, and specifically mechanical trades that jumped in, and even concrete and fencing trades and everything that it took, everybody came to the table we, stayed all night.”
Alex said it took dedication and true teamwork to get the oxygen tank yard completed in one week’s time during the holidays. Clark would meet with the team at Clovis twice a day, ensuring no time was wasted.
“We’re building this project for the community, so part of our efforts too with this oxygen tank and the expediting of this project… we saw the need in our community. We were looking all up and down the state and there were numerous hospitals in the State of California that were experiencing shortage of oxygen, so we jumped on that and wanted to make sure we weren’t in that same position,” Alex stated.
Tyson and Alex said they are grateful to work with companies like Clark Construction, and continue building relationships that ultimately benefit the patients in our Valley.