About Us

About Us:

Surprise Valley Health Care District consists of the Surprise Valley Community Hospital and the Surprise Valley Clinic. We are located in Cedarville, California in Modoc County. We serve four towns and two Native American groups in Surprise Valley - Ft. Bidwell, The Warner Mountain Indians, Lake City, Cedarville, the Cedarville Rancheria, and Eagleville. We also see patients from all over the county who choose to make the trip over Cedar Pass because of our knowledgeable and caring physicians and staff.

Our hospital has 26 beds - 22 skilled nursing beds, and 4 acute beds, (the smallest hospital in California). We also have an emergency room with a physician on stand-by 24 hours a day. If necessary, critical patients are first stabilized and then flown out of our local airport to Hospitals in Redding, Reno, or Klamath Falls which can provide higher levels of care.

We also maintain a volunteer Basic Life Support ambulance service. Several of our staff have trained and become nationally registered EMT's. They provide the citizens of Surprise Valley with 24 hour ambulance service.

Lab and X-ray services are available Monday through Friday for outpatient services. Please call for hours. For emergencies, there is staff on call to cover these services 24 hours a day.

The Surprise Valley Clinic has several providers on staff. If you have a sudden need to see a doctor, we can usually schedule you to see one of our providers the same day. In addition, a Podiatrist, Out-patient Physical Therapy, and Tele-health services are available. Please see the clinic page for more specific information on scheduling an appointment with these specialists.


The Cedarville Hospital was closed in March 1983 by Mercy Hospital of Redding under their management contract and with the approval of the Board of Supervisors of Modoc County. During the next two years, the residents of Surprise Valley worked to form a Hospital District. The efforts were supported by donations from the citizens of the Valley.

In January 1985, the Hospital District reopened the Clinic as a PL 95-210 Rural Health Clinic.

The Hospital District conducted an ongoing battle with the Board of Supervisors, Mercy Hospital, and Modoc Medical Center to lease the hospital from the County. According to the deed by the Alice Wylie family, the hospital and the land could only be used for a health care facility. It was only after the County Supervisors were informed of this that the county finally leased the hospital to the District for a dollar a year.

In 1985, then State Senator Doolittle introduced legislation requesting $200,000 to support the reopening of Surprise Valley Community Hospital. Although this bill never got out of committee, the Senator had also put it in as a budget item and convinced Governor Deukmejian not to blue pencil it.

In July of 1985, the Senator flew into Cedarville and presented the Hospital Board and the waiting crowd with a check for $200,000. With this money, the assessment, and the remaining donations, it now became feasible to reopen the hospital.

The state required considerable remodeling of the old hospital to meet the new regulations. Many individuals donated their time and expertise in order to get the job completed.

In order to open, however, the hospital still needed a physician and nursing staff. Dr. Fay Repath, M.D. along with Lita Wood, R.N. and Toni Hamilton, R.N. decided to move to Surprise Valley. On April 16, 1986 the hospital doors reopened for business.

Dr. Lois Roberts, M.D. came to Surprise Valley in 1987. She had two requirements: feed and water me, and find someone to cut my hair. She spent the rest of her life healing, delivering, and saving the lives of the residents of Surprise Valley until her death in November of 2007. A non-profit fund has been formed in her name: The Dr. Roberts' Surprise Valley Hospital Emergency Fund.

The residents of our community remember all too well those days when there was no healthcare available in the Valley. The assessment for the Hospital District has made it possible for our hospital to stay open. In June of 1989, the assessment was again approved by the people of Surprise Valley, and in recent years they even voted to increase the amount of the assessment.

The Faces of SVHCD

Kayla Erquiaga, Clinic Manager

Abraham Newman, Ambulance & Disaster Preparedness

Joyce Beeman, Medical Records Supervisor

Our beloved benefactor - the late Dr. Lois Roberts

Dr. Gilbert

Dr. Jack Gilbert