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Expanding to Better Serve the City of Calexico - 01/12/2018

Calexico residents no longer need to travel for medical care after $3M Calexico Health Center expansion project 

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018
By Vincent Osuna, Staff Writer

www.ivpressonline.com

Members of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District and Calexico city officials lift dirt from the ground at Pioneers Memorial Calexico Health Center on Thursday afternoon to initiate the ground breaking ceremony for upcoming structural improvements to the Health Center. VINCENT OSUNA PHOTO

Univision Canal 7 Video

KYMA-NBC Channel 11 Video

 CALEXICO — Over time, the population here and its need for medical care has outgrown what the Calexico Health Center, which was established in 2004 by Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, was originally built to provide.

A $3 million expansion project set to begin this month will give the Health Center a much-needed expansion, both structure-wise and in the type of care it provides.

Members of PMHD and Calexico city officials participated in a ground breaking ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Health Center, located at 450 E. Birch St., to celebrate the start of the project — which will add over 5,700 square feet of new space and also remodel the Health Center’s existing 7,600-square feet.

“Trying to provide care in an aging facility and a cramped facility makes our work quite challenging,” explained CHC’s Medical Director Dr. Clara Padron-Spence. “We are currently occupying every square inch of space in the facility. We’re literally busting at the seams. Due to our limited spaces, there are a lot of services that we are unable to provide.”

The center will also expand from having only 13 exam rooms to having 30 exam rooms, and provide women’s health and pediatrics full time, which it only previously provided partially.

The project will also allow the center to comfortably accommodate nine medical providers, as it currently hosts only five core providers.

After completion of the project, the Health Center will widen to over 13,000-square feet, making it PMHD’s largest clinic to date.

“The residents of Calexico will no longer need to travel to other cities for health care, and the residents of the Imperial Valley will be able to access more care locally,” stated Padron-Spence.

“This is a day to celebrate because we are growing to become a bigger community and a better community,” said PMHD Board President Maria Garcia-Aguilera during the ceremony.

On Jan. 4, the PMHD Board unanimously approved a 14-month, $3,438,322 construction contract with Duggins Construction, Inc., to construct all three phases of Health Center’s expansion project.

Phase one of the project consists of improving the parking lot and driveway for the Center, along with the installation of additional utility connections.

Phase two includes construction of the 17 new additional rooms and a new lobby entrance to support the growing demand of pediatric and women’s services in the region. Phase three will include remodeling and re-roofing the existing clinic space.

The project will also allow the center to eventually provide services in nephrology, orthopedic and ophthalmology and gives potential for future expansion services, including general surgery, urology and gastroenterology.

“We have tremendous challenges in the border city, so any way we can provide and invest in additional expanded services to the city of Calexico, I’m on board,” stated Imperial County Board of Supervisor and Calexico native John Renison during Thursday’s ceremony.

Rension also noted that approximately 15 emergency calls a day are made from the city’s Port of Entry requesting medical attention for people, who are then transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center via ambulance.

Mayor of Calexico Maritza Hurtado compared the Health Center’s expansion to other upcoming projects in the city — including the approximately 600 homes being built in the north side of the city and the expansion of the new Port of Entry — noting that while the city is facing challenges, it also continues to see positive growth.

“Just recently, I had to use the services of this clinic and I found that it definitely does have quality service for the citizens of the city of Calexico, and expanding this project is exactly what we need to do at this point,” indicated Hurtado.

“Our needs, and progress, keep growing. When I sat down and read the information in regard to this project, of course, I was so excited because this is the first time you’re going to see that this building is going to actually once again be near to what a hospital is.”

The Health Center was originally established by PMH as a rural health clinic to address the significant provider shortages in area, and currently see’s over 22,000 patients per year — 60-percent of which are walk-ins, which is a result of not having enough providers in the community.

“We just so look forward to finding ways to serve the needs of this community,” said PMHD’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Lewis. “Everybody recognizes those needs and I’m happy to say our Board is committed to helping Calexico in meeting those needs.”

Staff Writer Vincent Osuna can be reached at vosuna@ivpressonline.com or 760-337-3442.

El Centro Native Returns to PIONEERS - 10/19/2017

El Centro Native Returns Home to Offer Specialized Services 

Published: Sunday, November 20, 2017
By Mario Renteria, Managing Editor

 

Pictured: Marc Manix, MD. IMPERIAL VALLEY ALIVE! PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA) —With his education and experience, El Centro native Marc Manix could open a medical practice anywhere in the country. But for Manix, home is where the heart is, so when an opportunity arose to return to the Imperial Valley, he didn’t hesitate. The 2001 Central Union High School graduate is a neurosurgeon, not the only one in the Valley, but the only one performing cranial surgeries in the county.

“I think being a neurosurgeon, there’s a lot of job opportunities in different places, but a lot of things factored into coming back to the Valley,” he said.

His wife, Leah (Ramiro) Manix is also from the Valley. “Her parents and my parents live here, my sister does too. We have a lot of friends here, so it was a combination of coming back home, but also having a great opportunity,” he said.

According to a report published by the American Academy of Neurology in 2011, neurologists are trained to diagnose, treat and manage disorders of the brain and nervous system such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, migraine, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and stroke.

Manix is a neurosurgeon and, while neurosurgeons and neurologists work along the same lines, neurosurgeons use a variety of therapies, from endoscopic microsurgery to radiation to traditional open surgery, to treat neurological conditions.

The report stated stroke is ranked as the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Parkinson’s disease affects 1 million Americans, with at least 60,000 new cases reported annually.

The report adds 5.4 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the American Alzheimer’s Association projects that number will triple to 16 million by 2050.

PIONEERS Introduces New Physician and Technology - 07/21/2017

KYMA-NBC Channel 11

KSWT-CBS Channel 13

 

PIONEERS Memorial Bolsters Radiology Team

Pioneers Memorial Bolsters Radiology Team

Local Valley Physician Comes Back to Join Intervention Radiology Team  

Press Release
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pictured from left to right: George Rapp, MD, Shahrouz Tahvillian, MD. PMHD PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA) – In order to meet the growing demand of Imperial Valley patients, improve clinical and operational capabilities and reduce radiation dose in CT imaging, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District has invested in an additional TOSHIBA Aquilion 64 CT SYSTEM with the VeloCT console. This cutting edge technology will improve image quality without having to sacrifice patient safety and the radiation dose on this upgraded system is 40% less than the previous version. The equipment purchase of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District’s Toshiba Aquilion 64 to ENCORE VeloCT includes many benefits to patients, technologists, and physicians. The investment shows the commitment of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District’s mission to provide quality healthcare and compassionate service for the families of the Imperial Valley.

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District also proudly welcomes Dr. George Rapp, a native of the Imperial Valley, to the growing family of medical professionals here at Pioneers Memorial Hospital. Dr. Rapp returns to the Imperial Valley from the University of Southern California, where he recently completed a Fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Prior to that, he completed his formal Residency training in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine where he also completed his Internship in General Surgery. Dr. Rapp received his Medical Degree from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, and obtained his undergraduate degree at California State University, Chico.

At Pioneers, Dr. Rapp joins Dr. Shahrouz Tahvilian, Medical Director of Radiology at Pioneers Memorial as a Vascular and Interventional Radiologist. Dr. Tahvilian has been with Pioneers Memorial since 2016 and comes to us from the Albany Medical Center in New York, where he recently completed a fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Prior to that, he completed his formal training in Diagnostic Radiology at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey. Dr. Tahvilian is a graduate of New York Medical College, class of 2010. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of California, San Diego.

Using advanced imaging techniques including X-ray, CT scans, and ultrasound, Drs. Tahvilian and Rapp are able to diagnose and treat through minimally invasive methods a wide variety of diseases including venous and arterial diseases, many forms of cancer, gastrointestinal and genitourinary disorders, and traumatic injuries among many other diseases and problems.
These additions to the Radiology Department of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network, further bolster PMHD as the foremost location for medical imaging in the Imperial Valley.

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Selects New Chief Nursing Officer Tuesday - 7/11/ 2017

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Selects New Chief Nursing Officer

Local Valley native gets nod for Top Nurse slot at PMHD 

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pictured: Kristi Gillespi MS, RN. PMHD PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an Affiliate of the Scripps Health Network is pleased to announce that Kristi Gillespie MS, RN from Holtville, CA. has been named Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.

The CNO is the top nursing leadership role at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District. Gillespie is responsible for all nursing functions, from inpatient services to outpatient surgery, emergency, and oncology.

An employee at the Pioneers Memorial since 2010, Gillespie has assumed increasing leadership responsibility since joining the staff. She most recently served as the Director of Medical Surgical Services and was the Interim Chief Nursing Officer the last year. “Kristi’s extensive management experience and demonstrated leadership at Pioneers Memorial made her the natural top choice,” said CEO Larry Lewis. “Born and raised here in the Imperial Valley, she is knowledgeable, collaborative, and passionate about our patients and staff.”

In addition to her nursing credentials, Gillespie holds a Master of Science Degree, in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Leadership & Management. Previously, she has worked as a Registered Nurse in the Medical Surgical, Definitive Observation and Intensive Care Units at Pioneers Memorial where she was responsible for the total care of adults with medical, surgical, neurological, and cardiac disorders.

Gillespie stated that she accepted the CNO post because of the rich tradition of nursing and compassionating service that is a hallmark at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley. “I have never worked with a more skilled and compassionate team—we’re just one big family that cares about our patients” she said.

Ms. Gillespie resides in the City of Holtville and is married with three children.

Cooking Class Highlights Nutrition, Flavor - 6/22/2017

Cooking Class Highlights Nutrition, Flavor

Posted on June 22, 2017
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured: Allani Guzman (left) finishes her salad, Thursday at the third annual Molina Healthy Cooking Class in Holtville. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(HOLTVILLE, CA.–) Children of the Boys & Girls Club of Imperial Valley were surprised how much fun a healthy cooking class can be, Thursday.

Molina Healthcare’s mascot Dr. Cleo traded his surgical cap for a chef’s hat as he swapped high-fives and fist bumps with 35 children as St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, which hosted the third annual class where youth 4- to 14-years-old learned to prepare Dr. Cleo’s recipe. The hearty smarty chicken salad comprised: iceberg and Romaine lettuce, shredded carrots cherry tomatoes sliced cucumbers and oven roasted chicken strips, which children assembled themselves.

Since BGCIV focuses on healthy lifestyle, the intention was get children to apply new ideas on healthy eating, remarked Raquel Renteria, club site unit director. In addition to a hearty lunch, Molina and the Food Bank of Imperial Valley donated melons, corn and green onions for children to take home. Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District was also a co-sponsor of the event.

It is really critical to promote nutrition, physical fitness but most important, making healthy food choices, noted Alexandra Bravo, Molina community engagement manager.

“So by making the cooking class interactive, where children prepare their own chicken salad, they’ll be encouraged to make healthy food choices as adults,” said Bravo.

Quizzing children on basic nutrition were PMHD dieticians Geraldine Pallin and intern Ben Saucier. Taking the recipe ingredients one at a time, Saucier explained how nutrients from different foods benefit their bodies and performance.

“Today we make a salad with lettuce-green foods are good for you, with fiber to help digestion,” Saucier said. “We add carrots, good for eyesight and tomatoes that keeps you hydrated and then chicken, a protein that gives you energy and builds muscle. Now we’ll wash our hands and then wash our veggies.”

Alanni Guzman, 11, remarked there were a lot of different flavors but once they were mixed together it tasted good. Carrots were her favorite and she especially enjoyed the apple cider dressing.

“I make salads sometimes for my family and I like to add different meats such as pepperoni or ham, she said. “Today I learned about foods you need for good nutrition, meat, carrots, bell pepper, tomato and cucumber.”

Dylan Martinez, 9, liked the chicken and cucumbers with the strawberry vinaigrette but at home he eats salad just occasionally.

“This class taught us tomatoes have a lot of water and carrots are good for the eyes,” he said. “But what I usually like to eat is macaroni and cheese.”

Ashlyn Layton, 5, was particularly excited meeting Dr. Cleo but less so for his recipe. “I like him because he’s nice,” said Ashlyn. “I’ve tried salad before but I don’t really like vegetables. What I really like to eat for lunch is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and for dinner I like macaroni.”

Pallin, the PMHD dietician hopes children learn to include all the food groups recommended by ChooseMyPlate.gov: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.

“I hope by experiencing healthy foods they’ll cultivate a taste for it,” she said. “The kids had fun and I’m thankful for that.”

Blood Donors Feel Sense of Duty to Community - 6/20/2017

Blood Donors Feel Sense of Duty to Community

Posted on June 20, 2017
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: Mercy Figueroa, San Diego Bloodmobile blood collection specialsit and Don Messerschmitt, donor, Monday at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District monthly blood drive. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Residents in Imperial Valley have always shouldered responsibility toward their neighbors and again showed resolve by donating blood Monday.

Despite one of the hottest days of the year more than 10 people showed up the first hour of the monthly bloodmobile visit from the San Diego Blood Bank. The bloodmobile always comes on a Monday and remains today also from noon to 6 p.m. They park just outside the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Women’s Center, 207 W. Legion Road. They normally get 30 to 40 people a day for blood donations, noted Frank Salazar, PMHD director of marketing and public affairs.

“You’d think it would be slow in summer but we’ve been getting consistent community support, said Salazar. “We thank the San Diego Blood Bank for their consistency every month … and our Women’s Auxiliary Group. They’re the ones who greet donors with a smile and help the newcomers with the forms.”

Arbutus Lewis and Lea Anne O’Malley, volunteers with PMHD Auxiliary, graciously welcomed donors arriving at the Women’s Center.

“We volunteer in the gift shop also so every four weeks we’re glad to volunteer here as well,” remarked Lewis.

Added her colleague O’Malley, “We enjoy coming down here and helping the donors and the hospital as well.”

Donor Don Messerschmitt is well acquainted with the need of blood. As a clinical scientist working 39 years at PMHD’s clinical lab he has seen times when they had to rely upon blood from the Midwest.

“Sometimes it stings a little but it was very gentle today,” said Messerschmitt as he was attended. “They must have got a sharper needle today.”

Mercy Figueroa, blood collection specialist helped Messerschmitt through the process. “They need to be well hydrated and eat a good meal before donating,” she said. “And then they need to eat afterwards and avoid any strenuous exercise for 24 hours afterwards.”

Other do’s and don’ts SDBB recommends, donors need to be at least 16 years old and those under 18 require parental consent. Donors should weigh at least 114 pounds. And they should bring a valid form of a picture identification such as driver’s license, passport, state ID or school endorsed ID.

Also the bloodmobile advises anybody with a cold or flu not to donate because it can be passed on to a patient, noted Lisa Kauffman, RN with SDBB. “We only have a few day’s supply now but we prefer to have at least seven days’ supply on hand,” said Kauffman. “We’re also short on O-Negative that’s the universal donor. We also like to have O-Positive, because it can go to 88 percent of the population.”

She went on, that people can donate every eight weeks but Christmas season is when it is slow. She reminds everybody most of SDBB supplies are used in San Diego and Imperial Counties but it all remains in California.

Karon Granish, a retiree from the California Department of Parole Operations stressed how donors can save lives. On Monday she was donating just blood cells. “But I know of a child who when born if not completely transfused would have died,” she said. “So we all need to think about donating.”

Pioneers Father's Day Gift: Bonding with Newbornds - 6/18/2017

Pioneers Father’s Day Gift: Bonding with Newborns

Posted on June 18, 2017
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: Kristian Herrera with one-day old daughter Camila and April Hale RN, BSN at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District 

(BRAWLEY, CA.–)

Medical evidence dating back 40 years suggests that skin-to-skin contact with a parent does more than make a baby smile, it will help transition a baby from fetal to newborn life.

Skin-to-skin also known as Kangaroo Care is the process of having the baby’s bare breast in contact with the mother’s breast immediately after birth, referred to as the Golden Hour and repeated once a day for at least 12 weeks, noted April Hale, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District RN BSN.

While it is most commonly encouraged for mothers, it’s also encouraged for fathers.

At 10:17 p.m. Thursday, Luz Marina Vasquez gave birth to a daughter weighing seven pounds and three ounces — she named Camila — at PMHD’s Phyllis Dillard Family Medical Center.

Camila was born with a full head of delicately fine hair.

“It was a natural birth, very easy,” recalled Vasquez. “The nurses put her on me right after birth and I held her to my chest. When she was first born she was crying but now she’s been calm all day (Friday).”

“Skin-to-skin results in less crying, lowers the heart rate, provides more stable glucose control (less spiking or lowering) and provide greater respiratory and temperature control,” said Hale.

The close contact helps newborns adjust to being outside the womb. But it is as nearly beneficial if fathers keep the bare chest contact as well, noted Hale. However, the one advantage mothers have is temperature control. Fathers can tend to overheat babies and they will stretch out an arm to cool themselves down.

“We want to promote it with fathers if they want to feel the closeness that their wives share with the baby,” said Hale. “We don’t want it to be just bonding between moms and babies but mother-father-baby bonding.”

For Camila’s father, Kristian Herrera, who is employed as a UPS package driver, it was his first biological child.

“I’ve waited 36 years for this,” he said. “I didn’t think I wanted any kids until I met Luz. She changed my mind. I was a bachelor at my brother’s house-traveling everywhere.”

The skin-to-skin phenomenon was devised in 1979 when neonatologists Edgar Rey and Hector Martinez, in Bogota, Columbia, found they lacked sufficient incubators to care for numerous premature babies. To keep them warm they put tiny babies on their mother’s chest and wrapped them in cloth carriers to stay warm. As a result, babies thrived.

Increased bonding will benefit the baby in a variety of ways, remarked Hale.

“They form an immediate attachment with their mother,” she said. “But once outside the womb it’s an unsettling environment. So skin-to-skin gives baby a sense of security.”

According to research by Nils Bergman, a South African physician, a newborn’s brain development depends on positive sensory stimulation. Just after birth, sensations telling a baby “I am safe” are the mother’s smell, her movements and skin-to-to-skin contact. If the brain does not get those sensations, it will conclude “I am not safe.”

Therefore skin-to-skin is a way to have a better transition from womb to the outside world where it will take many years for a baby to become independent, noted Hale.

Meanwhile, skin-to-skin contact stimulate two things to happen: the baby moves to the breast to feed and the baby will open its eyes and gaze at its mother. The first step furthers the baby’s physical development and the second, fosters emotional and social development. The mother’s body is the baby’s natural habitat.

Herrera and Vasquez already prepared two rooms for Camila, one at Luz’s parent’s residence and one at their own home.

“I painted, and later, washed carpets,” said Herrera. “I’ve never experienced a baby shower. I thought ‘all these people buy this stuff?’ … wow. It was amazing.”

As long as the baby is in good health, skin-to-skin produces less stress, noted Hale.

“Parents have such an integral part in the baby’s environment. But we always make sure it includes the father. You’ve wanted all this time to have a baby, so where should the baby be?”

PMHD, Consulate Vow to Provide More Services - 5/31/2017

PMHD, Consulate Vow to Provide More Services

Posted on May 31, 2017
By Mario Renteria

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: Kristian Herrera with one-day old daughter Camila and April Hale RN, BSN at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District 

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported only about 42 percent of Hispanics in the country were visiting the doctor’s office each year.

While that report uses a general brush to paint a broad spectrum five years ago, the trend of Latinos and Mexican immigrants visiting doctors for preventative healthcare is similar due to several factors according to Ventanilla de Salud Program Coordinator Adriana Buelna.

Ventanilla de Salud is a program coordinated through the Mexican government aimed at providing services and information to Mexicans living in the U.S.

On Tuesday at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District CEO Larry Lewis, district President Jeffery S. Klicka and Consulate of Mexico in Calexico Carlos Flores Vizcarra signed a memorandum of understanding to provide information and services to that Latino and Mexican population living in the northend of the Imperial Valley.

“If they have any questions about health, we educate them, we empower them, we inform them about the resources available,” said Buelna in Spanish. “More so, the objective is to work to inform them on the preventative health care available to them.”

PMHD and Ventanilla de Salud already worked in collaboration, providing information at health resource fairs throughout the county. The MOU will allow them to expand the services and information to the northend community.

“Together we’re going to set the tone and the message, ‘don’t wait to come to the ER,’ we have services available,” said Frank Salazar, PMHD director of communications and public affairs. “That’s the message that we’re taking together, preventative care for the Latino community.”

Salazar said they will focus on Calipatria, Westmorland, Niland and West Shores.

“Those are the communities that we need to reach out to as well because they need the resources,” Salazar said.

Klicka added the MOU falls in line with the services the district is trying to provide for the community.

“When this was brought to our full board it was a no-brainer. It is the right thing to do and it finds in with what we’re trying to do along with (affiliations with Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and Scripps Health Network), improve the quality of health care and this is a big step,” Klicka said. “We’re very excited.”

Lewis said this will further help outreach. “Part of our community is not always reached in traditional ways and this is something, I think, is going to allow us to reach out to places we haven’t set up fair and information booths before and will allow us to see more people,” he said. “I think that population out there needs to be cared for very early on, it’s the direction Pioneers wants to head.”

A healthier community benefits everyone said Buelna.

“We believe a healthy community is a strong community and as parents we have to pass on that culture to our children, to have healthier lifestyles and know what resources are available in the Imperial County,” Buelna said.

Pioneers Signs Expeditious Management Agreement with Rady - 3/1/2017

Pioneers Signs Expeditious Management Agreement with Rady

Posted on March 1, 2017
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured: Jeff Klicka (second from left), president of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District board of directors and Gail Knight (third from left), senior vice president and chief medical officer at Rady Children’s Hospital sign an affiliation agreement to augment care in Brawley on Tuesday. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) A management agreement has been signed between Pioneer’s Memorial Healthcare District and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego which will provide management services to the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

Since PMHD opened its doors in 1954 it has already maintained a vital working relationship with Rady, noted Larry Lewis, PMHD chief executive officer. It is the only pediatric hospital in the region, operating 551 beds in San Diego and Riverside counties.

“With Rady Children’s long standing commitment to the Valley and its well­deserved reputation for providing the highest quality care, were confident our pediatric patients are in the best hands,” said Lewis.

For the last several years PMHD explored how better to improve children’s care with its other affiliate, Scripps Health. Rady has got great resources, leadership and facilities where PMHD nurses can learn and get a broader idea how other organizations work, noted Lewis.

Under the new agreement Rady Children’s will provide a medical director and a nursing leader to deliver clinical administrative services. Tammie Miyagawa RN, NNP offers leadership to the unit in day­to­day operations.

Also the agreement stipulates all hospital beds remain under PMHD license and Rady Children’s is responsible for medical management. And as part of medical oversight an initiative aims to have the NICU at PMHD attain California Children’s Services certification.

Dr. Ameen Alshareef, medical director of the Pediatric Unit will now also be the new head of PMHD and Rady NICU. Alshareef remarked he was always impressed by PMHD staff’s relationship with families.

“This is a great opportunity to share proven clinical pathways and develop process and procedures that allow us to provide the very best quality care to children.” he said.

Dr. Gail Knight, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Rady Children’s, noted the NICU practitioners will support education process for nurses at PHMD, so they can then take care of more children and babies.

“It’s about having the 24/7 care of all pediatric specialties,” she said. “The most important thing, we have clinical leadership working with leadership at PMHD and that includes clinical administration services.” Jeff Klicka, PMHD board of directors president, remarked it was a proud day for PMHD affiliates. “I’m extremely proud of our hard working staff, employees and the whole team,” he said. “Rady Children’s brings better care and service, because in the end, we are all one.” Meg Norton, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, remarked the affiliation improves communications and clinical guidelines between the facilities and allow more children to remain in the Valley which was one of the goals. “We really enjoy working with pediatrics and NCIU at PMHD and have known each other for a long time” said Norton.

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Partners with Rady Children's - San Diego - 3/1/2017

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Partners with Rady Children’s – San Diego

Posted on March 1, 2017
By Nico Payne

http://www.kyma.com

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District signed a management agreement with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego this morning.

Rady Children’s will staff a medical director and nursing leader to help manage the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Pioneers Memorial Hospital.

We spoke to some of the new partners and asked if this was the first step to possibly bringing a children’s hospital to Imperial County.

 “Both hospitals are about what’s best for kids. What we did was we have the physician leadership here that’s now in the medical staff at both places, so that allows for sharing of best practices, policies, procedures and access to the pediatric subspecialist 24/7 that we have a Rady Children’s,” said Gail Knight, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Rady Children’s.

Another benefit to the agreement is the coverage outside of the Imperial Valley.

Scripps Health have established clinical partnerships to support patients and their families that need to access care in San Diego.

 “I have twin daughters that are 27 months and were born at Rady’s. They were NICU for a bit and so when I speak about Rady’s I know first-hand about the quality of care and the caring touch, the great people, and this is going to be a tremendous long term relationship. The benefits to the entire imperial valley and beyond are incredible for ages to come,” said Jeff Klicka, Board of Directors President, Pioneers Memorial Hospital.

Reporter Nico Payne: “Is this a possible stepping stone to bringing a children’s hospital to Imperial County?”

 “Well this is when it’s about resources and limited resources for all the different subspecialist that are involved and about the more you do of something the better you are,” answered Knight.

We did not get an exact answer to if we will get a children’s hospital or not but definitely a step in the right direction for patients.

Rady Chldren's to Manage Pediatric Inpatient Services at Pioneers Memorial - 2/27/2017

Rady Children’s to Manage Pediatric Inpatient Services at Pioneers Memorial Hosptial in Brawley

Posted on February 27, 2017

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an affiliate of Scripps Health, has entered into a management services arrangement with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego to provide management services to the pediatric and neonatal intensive care (NICU) units at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. Rady Children’s, the region’s only pediatric hospital, operates 551 beds in San Diego and Riverside counties.

Under this agreement, Rady Children’s will provide a medical director and a nursing leader to deliver clinical administrative services including program review and development. Tammie Miyagawa, RN, NNP will provide leadership to the unit in day-to-day operations.  Pediatric Medical Director Ameen Alshareef, MD, who is on the medical staff of both Pioneers and Rady Children’s, will oversee the pediatric physicians providing services on both units.

In this arrangement, the hospital beds will remain under Pioneers’ license and Rady Children’s will be responsible for the medical management therein.  Part of that medical oversight includes implementation of best practices and protocols that will allow Pioneers’ patients to, whenever possible, remain in the valley for their inpatient care and help the NICU at Pioneers achieve California Children’s Services (CCS) certification.  If patients need to receive care outside the Imperial Valley, Rady Children’s and Scripps Health have an established clinical partnership and are prepared to support patients and their families that need to access care in San Diego.

“Recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation year after year, Rady Children’s brings a high level of expertise in the management of pediatric services,” said Larry Lewis, CEO of Pioneers Hospital. “With Rady Children’s long standing commitment to the valley and its well-deserved reputation for providing the highest quality care, we’re confident our pediatric patients are in the very best hands here in our community.”

“I look forward to bringing the best of Rady Children’s to Pioneers,” said Dr. Alshareef. “This is a great opportunity to share proven clinical pathways and develop processes and procedures that will allow us to provide the very best quality care to children.”

“Rady Children’s has been providing care to the children of the Imperial Valley since we first opened our doors in 1954,” said Gail Knight, MD, Sr. Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Rady Children’s. “We’re looking forward to providing excellent health care services to the children of the Imperial Valley.”

Rady Children’s provides a wide array of health care services to children in San Diego, southern Orange, southern Riverside and Imperial counties.

Pioneers Memorial Hospital is a highly recognized 107-bed acute care facility accredited by DNV*, committed to providing state-of-the-art healthcare, and complemented by the highest quality of community education.

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Receives District Certification - 2/16/2017

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Receives District Certification

Posted on February 16, 2017

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) is pleased to report Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District has achieved designation as a Certified Healthcare District.

As public agencies, California’s Healthcare Districts have well-defined legal obligations for conducting business in a transparent and responsible manner. To be designated as a Certified Healthcare District, a District must demonstrate compliance with Best Practices in Governance as defined by ACHD. Compliance areas include transparency, ethics, reporting, purchasing, conflict of interest, requesting public funds, and executive compensation. These Best Practice criteria address the obligations that Healthcare Districts have with respect to conducting business in manner that is transparent to the public being served.

“Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District continues striving to provide the best possible care and today is a major milestone knowing that we have earned a designation as a Certified Healthcare District by the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD). The certification assures Imperial County residents that we as a public Healthcare District have a huge responsibility and this certification demonstrates that we are working with their best interest in mind—and that is to provide better access and better care to all of the Imperial County,” said Larry Lewis, Chief Executive Officer.

California Healthcare Districts respond to the specialized health needs of California communities. Voters created 79 Healthcare Districts to fulfill health local care needs. Of these, 54 serve the state’s rural areas. Healthcare Districts provide access to essential health services and are directly accountable at the community level. As a result, tens of millions of Californians have been able to access care that would otherwise be out of reach.
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Association of California Healthcare Districts
The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) represents Healthcare Districts throughout the state. The Association serves the diverse needs of California’s Healthcare Districts by enhancing public awareness, training and educating its members and advocating for legislation and regulatory policies that allow Healthcare Districts to deliver the best possible health services to Californians. Learn more at http://www.achd.org

Pioneers Memorial Launches Free Diabetes Classes - 8/3/2016

Pioneers Memorial Launches Free Diabetes Classes

Posted on August 3, 2016

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) After a recent UCLA study* that was released back in March that showed that more than 40% of Imperial Valley residents had  pre-diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes— Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network has taken a stand and is leading the way in offering a free diabetes education program that provides high-quality, evidence based education services in both English and Spanish.

To better assist diabetes class participants,  Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Diabetes Educator Sandra Miramontes, MSN, RN, CDE will be teaching the class where she has developed seven key areas of focus. Through these efforts, Pioneers Memorial will be helping participants set up their priorities and coach them to a better and healthier lifestyle.

To register for these free classes that will be offered at Pioneers, contact (760) 351-4494 or email her at smiramontes@pmhd.org

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Photo/Video Availability:

If you would like an interview with our District Diabetes Educator Sandra Miramontes, please contact Frank Salazar (760) 351-4494.

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*UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Study on Diabetes

County Breakdown

http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/publications/Documents/PDF/2016/Prediabetes_PressKit_Combined_By_County.pdf

McDonald's Feeds the Mind with Jump Start on School Supplies - 8/1/2016

McDonald’s Feeds the Mind with Jump Start on School Supplies

Posted on August 1, 2016
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured: Cassandra Ortega, McDonald’s employee distributes backpacks during Backpack Saturday, during which McDonald’s gave backpacks to the first 100 children to assist with school supplies for the fall term in Brawley.

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) When the calendar still reads July most children do not want to even think about school but McDonald’s, often ahead of the curve, knows the start of school is just around the corner and hosted Backpack Saturday for the school supply hungry.

The first 100 children to visit McDonald’s restaurants in the area received free backpacks on Saturday. Locations included the Brawley, El Centro, Calexico, Blythe, Yuma, Quartzite and San Luis. One of the first in line was Christy Garcia, with her son. “I think this is awesome, there’s a lot of people in the Valley who need help with school supplies and I’m thankful to McDonald’s,” said Garcia. Maria Martinez, with four children, said “Sometimes it’s hard to provide for all the children and I still have to get clothes.”

Added Raul Cardenas, who is unemployed owing to an injury,“This is something good they do for the kids.
My daughter also needs notebooks, rulers, crayons. But this is special. The kids like McDonald’s, they like the Happy Meals.”

Backpack Saturday
Cassandra Ortega, McDonald’s employee distributes backpacks during Backpack Saturday, during which McDonald’s gave backpacks to the first 100 children to assist with school supplies for the fall term in Brawley.

This is the fourth year of the regional giveaway, noted Daniel Sandoval, McDonald’s manager.
“It’s just a way to give back to the community and every kid who comes by gets a toy,” said Sandoval. “It’s good to see the kids happy. I think it’s in everybody’s interest to make sure we have well educated children.”

In February, McDonald’s also sponsored McTeachers Night. It is a challenge for the school that generates the most sales at a McDonald’s between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to earn $1,000. And every school gets to keep 20 percent of the sales.

In addition to the backpacks, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District provided free crayons and pamphlets on good health habits. Looking over the PMHD stack of materials was Sally Traylor.

“I think this is great, I read about it in the paper,” said Traylor. “I got six grandchildren, two in Westmorland, two in Yuma and two in Florida.”

Assisting Richard Morales at the PMHD table were Alma Paredes and Anita Ortiz of the Clinicas de Salud Del Pueblo, the nonprofit which provides medical care for the low income. Said Paredes, “I think this is awesome giving away backpacks for families that can’t afford them.”

Added Ortiz, “Especially now when it’s getting close to fall when school starts. The kids need to be prepared and excited for class.”

Veronica Rivas was with her two children, Janessa and Andrew Hernandez. “It’s a great idea,” said Rivas. “They love coming here. She likes Chicken McNuggets and he likes cheeseburgers.”

Andrew remarked he is excited about returning to school. “I get to see all my friends and I’ll get to do wrestling.”

At a table full of siblings, parents and grandparents, Victoria Garcia was looking over her new backpack. “I’m not really that excited to be going back to school,” she confided. “We go back in three weeks. But I like art; I like to draw cats.”

Pioneers New Radiology Equipment Pays Off Multiple Dividens - 7/23/2016

Pioneers New Radiology Equipment Pays Off Multiple Dividens

Posted on July 23, 2016
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured: Derek Tapia, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District lead CT tech, prepares the Toshiba Aquilion 64 CT System for a patient, after being recently adapted with upgradred software that renders sharp imaged 3D cross section photos by using 40 percent less radiation, in the radiology department of the hospital in Brawley on Friday. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) A cutting edge radiology system recently adapted by the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, affiliated with Scripps Health Network, has vastly improved diagnostic imaging and offers more patient security and efficiency.

Pioneers has upgraded its Toshiba Aquilion 64 CT System with the VeloCT console. This new software for computed tomography (CT scan) makes it the most advanced imaging system in the Valley, noted Frank Salazar, Pioneers director of marketing and public affairs.

“The investment shows the commitment of Pioneers’ mission to provide quality health care and compassionate service with no extra expense passed to Imperial Valley families,” added Salazar.

CT scans are becoming much more popular for diagnosing illness, remarked Joel Birdsong, Pioneers radiology clinical coordinator.

“It is essentially a 3D, cross sectional Xray,” said Birdsong. “But the downside is it is a significant dose of radiation.”

But with the new software, the CT scanner now deliberately underexposes the patient so they receive substantially less radiation, noted Derek Tapia, Pioneers lead CT tech. Ordinarily it would produce a grainy image.

“But using the VeloCT console, it’s somewhat similar to Photoshop, it turns a grainy photo into a diagnostic image,” said Tapia. “But doctors are completely aware of the risks and take it into account with risk management assessment to weigh the benefits before ordering tests.

Pioneers Memorial Hospital
Derek Tapia, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District lead CT tech, prepares the Toshiba Aquilion 64 CT System for a patient, after being recently adapted with upgradred software that renders sharp imaged 3D cross section photos by using 40 percent less radiation, in the radiology department of the hospital in Brawley on Friday. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

” With the upgraded software Pioneers now has an “A”rated machine, noted Steve Campbell, Pioneers chief operating officer. “The new software provides an image of 128 slices instead of 64,” said Campbell. “It’s extremely busy. We’re doing 50 procedures a day. This and ultrasound are our busiest imaging processes.” Radiologist Dr. Curtis Cammarata concurred.

“It’s a faster throughput, less waiting time and just a couple of minutes per scan and with 40 percent less dosage of radiation we can get the same quality image,” Cammarata said. Pioneers is scored very highly in peer reviews because of continuous enhancements such as this, remarked Larry Lewis, Pioneers chief operating officer.

“We’ve put in some pretty rigid controls so our clinical processes have proven to have better patient outcomes,” said Lewis. “Sometimes it’s something very simple, like administering aspirin to heart patients in a timely manner.”
Post stroke patients take precedence for CT scans because they need to ideally be read within the “golden hour” (one hour lapse), noted Birdsong. Physicians also order clotting medication to arrest bleeding. And also blood pressure lowering medication is administered as well because high blood pressure is a major cause of stroke. Meanwhile, it is lack of exercise, poor diet, excessive drinking and smoking that can lead to high blood pressure. CT scans are also ordered for abdominal or chest pain and to detect blood clots in the lungs.

The new technology will yield faster image reconstruction (processing), said Tapia. It permits doctors to examine a whole series of images faster and get patients out of the emergency room quicker.

“A lot of CT scans come back negative, so that’ll eliminate a certain diagnosis,” said Tapia. “So the new software expedites care and makes overall procedures more efficient.”

Pioneers Broadens Depth of Health Services with New Office Suites - 6/16/2016

Pioneers Broadens Depth of Health Services with New Office Suites

Posted on June 16, 2016
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: Dr. Sheila Manhas (back left): Dr. Ravi Singh, Katy Santillan, PMHD board director: Dr. Jaganmohan Vemulapalli; Maria Garcia­Aguilera, vicepresident, PMHD Board of Directors; and Larry Lewis, chief executive officer of PMHD attend ribbon­cutting dedicating the Surgical Health and Specialty Centers at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley on Wednesday. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, an affiliate of Scripps Health Network recently opened two new suites at its Wound Care Center and welcomed dignitaries, staff and the community to celebrate the grand opening.

The Surgical Health Center, 2,000 square feet, and the Specialty Center, 2,155 square feet were dedicated in a ribbon­cutting ceremony Wednesday. Larry Lewis, PMHD chief executive officer, remarked the hospital continues to augment health services in Brawley.

“I want to appreciate all the community support we received that helps us take the next steps to expand health care for all our communities,” said Lewis. With new facilities PMHD was able to recruit two neurologists, Dr. Shelia Manhas and Dr. Ravi Singh.

“So that’s a great addition because we didn’t have a full­time neurologist, although Dr. (Sayed) Monis was still on staff,” said Lewis. Manhas remarked the new suites are beautiful and thanks to Lewis he accommodated all their requests.

“He helped us personally too, finding us a house and nannies,” said Manhas. “People here have been really welcoming. We’re used to commuting, so it’s nice to be within walking distance.” Her husband, Singh, has a special qualification in pediatric neurology.

They currently care for seizure patients, headaches, neuro­muscular disorder and neuro­degenerative disorder. But Singh looks forward to expanding to sleep disorders and in the near future providing a primary stroke center at the hospital.

“This is state­of­the­art for our neurological practice,” said Singh. “We’re very lucky to be here to provide the best care possible.”

Just before cutting the ribbon, Maria Garcia­Aguilera, vice president of PMHD board of directors, called the new suites wonderful.

“The most important thing is we are enlarging our services so that patients will not have to go over the hill (to San Diego) for some critical care because we now provide it here,” she said.

Arriving from Carlsbad for the warmer weather and enjoying the hospitality is urologist Dr. Jaganmohan Vemulapalli. His experience includes pediatric urology and all aspects of prostate disease management. 

“Basically we do patient evaluations and see if they need surgery,” said Vemulapalli. “We also do prostate biopsy, cystoscopy and vasectomy, anything done under local anesthesia. This is very modern with all the amenities needed to practice urology in 2016.”

Dr. Theresa Ramones is certified in trauma life support and advanced cardiovascular life support as well as experienced in general surgery for adults and children. She completed her residency at the Oregon Health and Science University, the only Level 1 trauma center in Oregon. Ramones also enjoys cooking and was the winner of the 2008 Sylvan Park Iron Chef competition in Nashville, Tennessee.

Also recently arrived is Dr. Susan Hahm, in practice as a general surgeon. She had her own practice in the Valley but decided to set up in the new suites. It was just a year ago that PMHD had dedicated the opening of the Wound Care Center and the Center for Digestive Disease, noted Lewis. “We’ll begin discussions about what we need to do next because we just about filled the space with this new staff,” he added.

PMHD Prepares for the Worst with Shooter Drill - 5/27/2016

PMHD Prepares for the Worst with Shooter Drill

Posted on May 27, 2016
By Mario Renteria

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: A Brawley Union High School student is carried in a stretcher by Brawley Fire Department paramedics during a live shooter exercise at Pioneers Memorial Hospital on Thursday in Brawley. MARIO RENTERIA PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Hospital didn’t officially say it, but the message was pretty clear. “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best” was the message behind a live shooter exercise the hospital coordinated with several agencies Thursday morning.

“It’s part of life now, you can say what you want about it, but we want to be prepared for whatever eventuality is out there,” said Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Chief Operating Officer Steven Campbell of Thursday’s exercise that included the Brawley Police Department, Imperial County Public Health Department, Brawley Fire Department, PMHD volunteers, Brawley Union High School drama class and the Imperial Valley College’s fire academy.

The exercise started with a suspect running into the hospital’s conference room with an assault rifle and commenced a simulated shooting spree. He proceeded until intercepted by law enforcement. Those wounded then received attention.

The attention to detail was as immaculate as possible, even members of the working media were asked to participate by being barred to a certain area as the drill unfolded — because in an actual shooting media wouldn’t be as close to the danger as in a drill … or at least shouldn’t be.

BUHS Drama Club students played the role of victims with various injuries, some flesh wounds, some fatalities, with paramedics and hospital staffers providing them care immediately after the gunman was stopped.

While there were police vehicles and firefighter engines parked across the parking lot at the hospital, signs were placed through the property notifying visitors that it was only a practice drill.

“It helps to get all the agencies together,” said Brawley Police Officer Arnold Valdez, who was assisting with the exercise.

“I think it’s important that everybody get together, from city government, to city workers, not just in businesses, but also at your home, when you go to the mall … do you have a plan as a family?”

The exercise was also filmed to help coordinators improve on any weaknesses of the drill.

“(Without) the help of all the agencies, we wouldn’t be here today to do this exercise, but now our staff is better­prepared, better­equipped through this exercise we did, to provide safety for our patients, our visitors and our staff here at Pioneers,” said PMHD Director of Marketing and Public Affairs Frank Salazar. “We also need to be prepared here in Imperial County.”

With the shooting in San Bernardino that happened only a few months ago, the realization that a shooting can happen anywhere is one of the factors that motivated officials to host the exercise.

“Hopefully something like this will never happen again, but we all know it probably will,” said Campbell. “A hospital is a vulnerable place because we’re open to visitors, patients and everybody else who needs care at any time … it’s just something we need to be prepared for.”

Congressman Juan Vargas Visit Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District - 5/6/2016

Congressman Juan Vargas Visit Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District

Posted on May 6, 2016

Pictured FROM LEFT: Frank Salazar, PMD Public Affairs, Larry Lewis, CEO PMHD, Congressman Juan Vargas & Art Mejia, Chief Ambulatory Services Officer

(BRAWLEY, CA.–)Congressman Juan Vargas recently stopped by to congratulate Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District officials for their new partnership with Scripps Health Network. This new affiliation raises the access of quality healthcare for the residents in Imperial County and the federal legislator was pleased that Pioneers Memorial is doing its best to better serve the people.

Agreement Formally Marks Pioneers and Scripps Landmark Affiliation - 4/27/2016

Agreement Formally Marks Pioneers and Scripps Landmark Affiliation

Posted on April 27, 2016
By William Roller

http://www.ivpressonline.com

Pictured FROM LEFT: Dr. Sheila Manhas (back left): Dr. Ravi Singh, Katy Santillan, PMHD board director: Dr. Jaganmohan Vemulapalli; Maria Garcia­Aguilera, vicepresident, PMHD Board of Directors; and Larry Lewis, chief executive officer of PMHD attend ribbon­cutting dedicating the Surgical Health and Specialty Centers at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley on Wednesday. WILLIAM ROLLER PHOTO

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Long in the making, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District became an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network as the chief executive officers of both laud the agreement, at the Pioneers Memorial Hospital here Tuesday, after first steps launched last spring.

In October, Pioneers and Scripps entered into a two­year agreement, the first time a hospital outside San Diego County joined the Scripps network, noted Frank Salazar, director of marketing and public affairs at Pioneers, with the aim of affiliation to reduce costs while augmenting care.

“The past 60 years we’ve strove to earn the trust of patients and keep the highest standards of care thanks to our great staff such as Dr. Kestutis Kuraitis, and working with Scripps continues to help us be a better organization,” said Larry Lewis, Pioneers CEO.

The goal is to set priorities of where to focus first, Lewis remarked. As of the first of the year, Pioneers added two eminent neurologists, Dr. Shelia Manhas and Dr. Ravi Singh. It is beneficial to Pioneers because their presence will draw in additional top talent.

Yet still for the most complicated procedures, transfers to Scripps are still necessary and air medical transfers have been expedited because the alliance has better acquainted the facilities.

“Now we’re able to access information Scripps has at its fingertips,” said Lewis. “It’s a bigger think tank with a multitude of perspectives and experience.”

Scripps has realized savings of $450 million in the prior five years owing to standardized staffing, supply and pharmaceutical used and pre­formatted orders noted Chris Van Gorder, Scripps CEO.

Knowledge in health care has gone sky­high and is challenging for any single facility to keep pace. But because Scripps is a teaching institution/research facility it can adopt cutting­edge techniques earlier than other organizations.

“We’re working on state­of­the­art protocols, many adopted at Pioneers,” said Van Gorder.

“Pioneers has cardio analysis so you can keep more patients in the Valley, and that’s a goal to keep as many here as possible. Larry has a laundry list of issues and opportunities we want to take on and we’ll tackle it.”

It is obviously a proud day and Larry Lewis has done a tremendous job, noted Jeff Klicka, Pioneers board president.

“Scripps has benchmarks that Pioneers is progressing toward day­by­day,” said Klicka. “The affiliation is wonderful because it improves the quality of health care for generations to come and I know my children have a bright future thanks to the alliance.”

Mayor Donald Wharton noted the city is fortunate to have a substantial facility such as Pioneers and when asked, residents always list health and safety as top concerns.

“This affiliation is to be celebrated as Scripps is recognized as one of the best healthcare institutions in the country,” said Wharton “Improved health care quality is truly what is best for the patient.”

Pioneers is honored by the new affiliation, Lewis noted.

“This makes it easy access to a top tertiary (advanced investigative and treatment) organization in the country.”

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Becomes Affiliate of Scripps Health Network - 4/26/2016

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Becomes Affiliate of Scripps Health Network

Posted on April 26, 2016

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District is an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network. The announcement was made today at a ceremony at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley.

This marks the first time a hospital has joined the Scripps network, and the first expansion of the network outside of San Diego County. Pioneers and Scripps entered in to a two-year agreement in October 2015, with the goal of Pioneers becoming an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network.

Since then, the two organizations have worked toward providing increased value to patients through enhancing the quality of care and reducing costs.

“We are excited to have reached this milestone in our agreement with Scripps Health, which is helping us achieve our goal to be the premier provider of health care services in the Imperial Valley,” said Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis.

“We have been working together during the past months to expand needed services for the Valley while improving the quality of the care we offer and now are taking the next step by becoming an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network.”

Effective today, Pioneers Memorial can refer to itself as an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network in its marketing materials.

“We are proud to have Pioneers as an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance the quality of health care offered in Imperial Valley.”

Under the terms of the October 2015 agreement, Pioneers runs as an independent hospital, and retains its name and current governance structure. The agreement includes Scripps providing Pioneers with leadership training and development, process improvements and other related services.

The October agreement was reached after discussions between Scripps and Pioneers that began in April 2015 upon Pioneer’s decision to pursue an affiliation with Scripps, which had responded to Pioneer’s Request for Information.

The Request for Information was sent to several major acute care providers in San Diego seeking expressions of interest in affiliating with Pioneers. The Pioneers board determined that, as part of its strategic initiative to improve access to care for Imperial Valley residents, the best choice would be an affiliation relationship with Scripps.

ABOUT PIONEERS MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE DISTRICT Pioneers Memorial Hospital (PMH) is a highly respected 107-bed acute care facility accredited by DNV, whose mission is to provide quality healthcare and compassionate service for families of the Imperial Valley. PMH is committed to providing state-of-the-art healthcare and the highest quality community education. PMH is a level 4 trauma center and offers a modern sixteen-bed emergency facility, staffed with board-certified emergency physicians. Within the Phyllis Dillard Family Medical Center is a dual surgery suite for obstetrical and gynecological surgeries. There are fourteen LDRP (Labor and Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum) suites in our Perinatal Department within the Center and we deliver approximately 1,800 babies per year. For more information log on to: www.pmhd.org

ABOUT SCRIPPS HEALTH Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a nonprofit integrated health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats more than 600,000 patients annually through the dedication of 3,000 affiliated physicians and more than 15,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, hospice and home health care services, 28 outpatient centers and clinics, and hundreds of physician offices throughout the region. Recognized as a leader in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine and wireless health care. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Scripps has been ranked four times as one of the nation’s best health care systems by Truven Health Analytics. Its hospitals are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s best and Scripps is regularly recognized by Fortune, Working Mother magazine and AARP as one of the best places in the nation to work. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.

 

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Enhances Safety Measures with Purchase of Tru-D SmartUVC - 2/11/2016

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Enhances Safety Measures with Purchase of Tru-D SmartUVC

Posted on February 11, 2016

(BRAWLEY, CA.–)In an effort to combat the recent spread of flu and other viruses, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District has taken aggressive safety measures and recently acquired the most advanced UV disinfection robot, Tru-D SmartUVC, to reinforce its already strict infection prevention practices in its medical center.

A highly recognized, 107-bed acute care facility committed to providing state-of-the-art healthcare, Pioneers continues to use leading edge technology while consistently striving for the highest level of patient and staff safety since opening its doors in 1950.

“We want to make sure we provide the highest quality of care, and patient satisfaction while at the same time providing a safe environment for our employees—those are our number one concerns here at Pioneers,” said Larry Lewis, CEO of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.

“With the recent flu outbreaks, the Tru-D robot will assure us that our patients and hospital staff have a 99.9% germ free room and work place.”

Tru-D SmartUVC is the only portable UV disinfection system that delivers an automated, measured dose of germicidal UVC light to consistently disinfect an entire room. Tru-D operates from a single position within the room, ensuring 99.99 percent pathogen reduction in direct and indirect shadowed areas, eliminating the threat of human error in the disinfection process.

Validated by more than a dozen independent studies and the first-ever randomized clinical trial of UV disinfection, Tru-D’s combined automated measured dosing capabilities and real-time usage-tracking feature, iTru-D, make Tru-D the most precise and advanced automated UV disinfection system available. Specifically, Pioneers is maximizing the disinfection benefits of the Tru-D robot throughout the entire hospital facility in Brawley.

After a hospital staff member cleans the room using traditional methods, Tru-D is rolled into the room to “finish the job.” Tru-D is turned on from outside the room using an iPad remote featuring iTru-D, an application that tracks infection control data and simultaneously uploads the information to the hospital’s web portal.

The robot’s patented Sensor360 technology instantly analyzes the unique contents, shape and size of the room, then floods the targeted space (including shadows) with the proper amount of germicidal energy. Tru-D spends whatever time is necessary to confidently eliminate infectious germs from contaminated surfaces before shutting down and notifying the operator that disinfection is complete.

“California has experienced the dangerous effects of health care-associated infections in the past several years,” said Chuck Dunn, president and CEO of Tru-D SmartUVC. “In order to combat the spread of these incidents, Pioneers Memorial Hospital has elevated its stringent infection prevention practices with the purchase of Tru-D SmartUVC. The hospital’s commitment to proven, innovative technology sets it apart from other facilities in the Imperial Valley, reassuring patients and staff that their health and safety is top-of-mind and protected.”

Tru-D was recently validated by the first-ever randomized clinical trial of UVC disinfection. Results of the landmark Benefits of Enhanced Terminal Room Disinfection study, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that enhanced terminal room disinfection strategies decreased the cumulative incidence of multidrug-resistant organisms by 10 to 30 percent, and the largest decreases were seen when Tru-D was added to the standard cleaning strategy.

Tru-D was selected as the only device used because of its proven reduction of environmental pathogens in more than a dozen third-party studies previously.

“By Utilizing the Tru-D SmartUVC we are ensuring that every room meets the highest standard of cleanliness that will improve quality and patient safety by decreasing Healthcare Associated Infections,” said Carly Zamora RN, MSN, Infection Control Coordinator at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.

About Tru-D SmartUVC Tru-D SmartUVC is the only UV disinfection device backed by a CDC-funded, randomized clinical trial to show that it is capable of reducing the transmission of health care-associated infections by up to 30 percent. More Tru-Ds have been deployed to disinfect hospitals across the globe than all other competing look-alike offerings, fighting deadly pathogens such as C. diff, MRSA, CRE, VRE, MERS, Ebola and many more. An effective and innovative technology backed by sound science, Tru-D SmartUVC is on a mission to eradicate HAIs making hospitals safer places for patients and staff. For information and links to independent studies on Tru-D, visit Tru-D.com

Benefits of Room Disinfection Study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tru-D Selected for Randomized Clinical Trial

PMHD & Hefernan Memorial Healthcare District Enter Into Major Agreement - 1/29/2016

PMHD & Hefernan Memorial Healthcare District Enter Into Major Agreement

Posted on January 29, 2016

(BRAWLEY, CA.–) The Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Board of Directors under new board leadership voted 5-0 this week to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District to bolster and meet the needs for more enhanced health services provided to the residents of the City of Calexico.

“I see this as an exciting chance to be part of Pioneers’ success in providing quality healthcare for our residents through our outstanding – and growing – staff of physicians, other medical professionals, and our truly dedicated employees. Our Board is looking forward to expanding the scope of our services by the recent association with Scripps Health, and now more importantly with the expansion of a cooperative relationship with Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District, said Jeff Klicka, Board President.

By entering into this MOU, the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District residents will benefit from the establishment of the relationship with Pioneers, whereby Pioneers Memorial Healthcare will provide experienced consultative assistance and support services through its specialized medical experts to Heffernan with the mission and goal of enhancing Heffernan’s ability improve the quality of certain healthcare services currently available to the residents of Calexico.

Under this new board make-up for the PMHD Board of Directors is Board President Jeffrey Klicka, who was elected to the PMHD board for his first full term on December 5, 2014 and will be serving 4 years. Mr. Klicka is an active member of the community and has served on various boards including as Past President Brawley Boys and Girls Club, and Past President of the Stockmen’s Club of Imperial Valley. Mr. Klicka is also a U.S. Navy Veteran and served in the Persian Gulf War.

GET IN TOUCH WITH PMHD

H.I.M. Medical Records 

Phone: (760) 351- 3261

Fax: (760) 351- 3390 or (760) 351-3463

Email: medicalrecords@pmhd.org

Pioneers Memorial Hospital

207 W. Legion Road

Brawley CA 92227

Phone: (760) 351-3333

Email: info@pmhd.org

Infection Control

Angela McElvany RN, BSN

Infection Control Practitioner

Phone: (760) 351-3526

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