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The Association of California Healthcare Districts Recognizes Top Healthcare Leaders
California healthcare district CEO, trustee and district of the year announced
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 26, 2022 – The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) recently recognized three leaders in health care during its 70th Annual Meeting. Palomar Health was recognized as Healthcare District of the Year; Dr. Conrado Bárzaga of Desert Healthcare District and Foundation was named CEO of the Year; and Leticia De Lara of the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation was named Trustee of the Year.
The honorees were evaluated based on their contributions to the communities they serve including, outstanding leadership and initiatives to better the health and well-being of district residents.
“As we celebrated 70 years of ACHD and the collective work of healthcare districts, we could not be more honored to recognize the outstanding work of these leaders,” said Cathy Martin, CEO of ACHD.
Read more about each distinguished honoree:
District of the Year: Palomar Health
Palomar Health was the first to open a hospital-based crisis stabilization unit (CSU) in San Diego County. The location of this facility was specifically chosen adjacent to the emergency room at the hospital creating convenient and quick access to the patient and allowing law enforcement to return to the community quicker. The CSU is also staffed with Peer Support Specialists who are employees with past experiences similar to the patient’s and are an integral component of the care team and patient recovery.
CEO of the Year: Conrado Bárzaga, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation
Less than a year into the role of CEO, Dr. Bárzaga’s commitment to equity and collaboration was unexpectedly required and amplified in early 2020 as a response to the coronavirus. Under his leadership, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation founded the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative in partnership with the Riverside County Department of Public Health in 2020. A primary objective of the Collaborative is to foster access to COVID-19 resources by removing the barriers of language, technology, transportation and more.
Trustee of the Year: Leticia De Lara, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation
Ms. De Lara brings a breadth and wealth of experience to the Board of Trustees as a former high-level staff member for two Riverside County supervisors. She now serves as CEO of the Regional Access Project Foundation, which provides oversight, funding and other empowering resources to community-based nonprofits. She served as the district’s Board President from 2020 to 2022 and continues to serve as a Board Director.
To learn more about all Award Nominees, click here.
Applications were evaluated and honorees were selected by an independent panel of judges including Lisa Maas, Executive Director of Californians Allied for Patient Protection, Kyle Packham, Advocacy & Public Affairs Director of the California Special Districts Association and Larry Walker, President of the Walker Company.
The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) represents Healthcare Districts throughout California. ACHD works with numerous state and local entities to promote the profound role Healthcare Districts play in responding to the specialized health needs of tens of millions of Californians while also having direct accountability to the communities that Districts serve.
Visit www.achd.org for more information.
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Tahoe Forest Health System is proud to be awarded 3rd place for the 2021 Greater Reno-Tahoe Best Places to Work in the Extra-Large Business category. The recognition took place at the 14th Annual Greater Reno-Tahoe Best Places to Work celebration, presented by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association, held on Friday, Aug. 27, at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.
“We are honored to be receiving this recognition among organizations across all industries for a third year in a row” says Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “The Best Places to Work Award reflects our commitment to the community we serve as we continually strive to provide high quality healthcare delivery every day.”
Best Places to Work winners are determined entirely on the basis of employees’ responses to the Employee Engagement Survey that measures key areas that make up an organization’s culture, including trust in leadership and employee engagement.
Assemblymember Robert Rivas’ office announced Gov. Newsom signed Rivas’ Assembly Bill 361 Sept. 16. This bill will temporarily provide state agencies and local legislative bodies the flexibility to meet remotely during emergencies, such as raging wildfires or a pandemic.
According to the release, this legislation will ensure the delivery of essential government services to Californians in times of crisis while maintaining high levels of transparency and public access.
“State agencies and local legislative bodies provide essential services like water, power, and fire protection – it’s critical that the public be safely engaged regardless of emergency conditions,” said Asm. Rivas. “AB 361 will enable these bodies to continue serving their constituents remotely while requiring that the public can join the meeting either via telephone or videoconference. I am thankful that Governor Newsom has signed this bill into law, which will take effect immediately as we experience another record-breaking wildfire season and more COVID-19 variants.”
El Camino Health is a thriving health system with $3.15 billion in assets and hospitals in both Mountain View and Los Gatos. It all started 60 years ago, on Sept. 1, 1961, when community-built El Camino Hospital opened its doors to its first patients.
“In the mid-1950s, when orchards and fields in the Los Altos-Mountain View area were quickly turning into suburbs and commercial enclaves, a group of physicians and concerned citizens banded together to establish the much-needed community hospital,” noted Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee, who with fellow supervisors recognized El Camino Health on its milestone at their Aug. 31 meeting with a proclamation and a plaque.
A team of health care workers responsible for administering thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses in eight months and others who stepped up in various ways during the pandemic shared the spotlight in the Lompoc Valley.
Six awards were handed out at the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Wednesday recognizing people from various sectors for their roles during the public health crisis.
“We felt it absolutely necessary to highlight and celebrate those who went above and beyond during this pandemic to meet the needs of the Lompoc community,” said Devika Stalling, the chamber's chief executive officer. “These amazing individuals remind us that action leads to great impact, and I am so grateful that they are a part of our village.”
Tahoe Forest Health System has been named a 2020 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey, officials announced this week.
The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have achieved the 95th percentile or above of performance in patient experience. The award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care.
Presented annually, the award honors clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year.
Tahoe Forest Health System specially recognizes the emergency departments of Tahoe Forest Hospital and Incline Village Community Hospital, and the inpatient departments of Tahoe Forest Hospital, who have each reached the 95th percentile in patient experience contributing to the achievement of the award.
“The caregivers and staff of Tahoe Forest Health System touch the lives of patients and their families in profound ways,” said Patrick Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of Press Ganey in a press release. “This award reflects their deep commitment to listening to the voices of their patients and our shared mission to reduce suffering and improve the safety, quality, and experience of patient-centered care. I continue to be humbled and inspired by their heroic efforts to care for patients in the face of the uncertainty, stress, and fear brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Press Ganey is proud to partner with them in this noble work and we congratulate them on this tremendous achievement.”
According to Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System, the award represents an important recognition from the industry’s leader in measuring, understanding, and improving the delivery of care.
He said, “The Guardian of Excellence Award achievement is an example of how Tahoe Forest Health System honors the community we serve by demonstrating high quality healthcare delivery every day.”
To read the full article by the Tahoe Daily Tribune, click here.
In recent weeks, Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) has been recognized nationally for several accomplishments; a reflection to the dedication of providing the highest level of patient care.
“In the midst of navigating a pandemic, we are honored to have received such awards, which reflect the resilience we have and the ongoing proactive approach from the entire organization,” said Donna Hefner, SVMC President/CEO. “The leadership of SVMC is committed to working with our medical staff collectively to provide high quality and safe patient care. We have focused on setting priorities with providers in our community to meet the quality needs of our patients and we’re engaging in various forms of service excellence initiatives and achieving new milestones.”
Award-winning provider of credit ratings and commentary and research, Fitch Ratings, granted Sierra View Local Healthcare District (Sierra View Medical Center) with an ‘A’ rating; stable outlook. This rating denotes strong credit quality of financial commitment and has allowed an approximately $24.2 million of series 2020 refunding revenue bonds to be issued to Sierra View.
For SVMC, this rating signifies a monumental step in the planning process for the Distinct Part Skilled Nursing project. The series 2019 bond proceeds that will fund a new facility replacement project will bring the district closer to being seismically compliant with earthquake standards and expand care by adding nine additional beds.
BETA Quest for Zero Awards
Our Emergency Department and Maternal Child Health Departments have been participating in patient safety initiatives through the BETA Healthcare Group (BETA), one of the largest insurers of healthcare professional liability coverage in California. Recently, both departments were awarded the following:
Quest for Zero: Excellence in Emergency Department – Sepsis Initiative
This award, is based from a program that targets common areas of professional liability and puts a high priority on helping emergency medicine departments to further improve reliability and reduce risk exposure. This initiative focused on early identification and treatment of patients presenting with signs of sepsis. This work, in conjunction with the other established bundled care practices has put our publically reported Sepsis-01 score well above the national average.
Quest for Zero: Excellence in Obstetrics (OB)
The responsibility of guiding parents safely through the process of bringing a new life into the world is tremendous. Obstetricians, family practitioners, nurse midwives, registered nurses and parents—it takes a team. This year’s project focused on management and coordination of mothers with possible crisis. The OB Team worked to improve patient safety through coordination of communication, case reviews and simulated drills. The OB Team has successfully participated and implemented patient safety initiatives for over a decade.
This award focuses on the implementation of five specific domains, all focusing around transparent communication healthcare and supporting our staff and patients. SVMC has successfully completed 3 of the 5 domains, and continues to work towards all 5 in the upcoming year. To achieve the BETA awards, all members of a participating hospital’s teams must complete rigorous online learnings. The annual training portion of the program is part of BETA’s Quest for Zero preventable errors initiative.
American Heart Association
SVMC was listed in U.S. News and World’s Report of America’s Best Hospitals in recognition of the stroke program for quality healthcare achievement. The SVMC stroke team successfully achieved the Silver Award and Diabetic Plus Award. These awards are given when the performance measures in the Get With The Guidelines® quality improvement program are met for 12 consecutive months. This consistent adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines has been shown to have a tangible impact on patients’ lives. This award signifies the stroke team’s contribution to the American Herat Association’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Improving Medication Safety Practice
SVMC had a feature article in the peer reviewed British Medical Journal. The author, Dr. David Burger, Director of Pharmacy and Dr. Jackie Ho, Pharmacist, wrote an article, “Improving Medication Safety Practice at a Community Hospital: A Focus on Bar Code Medication Administration Scanning and Pain Reassessment.” The quality change involved developing performance dashboards and sustaining engagement among stakeholders on a weekly basis, improved bar code medication scanning rates and pain reassessment compliance. The stakeholders created momentum to change in both practice and culture resulting in improved patient safety with a favorable financial impact.
The last year has been focused around COVID and preventing the spread. Our SVMC team has done a phenomenal job at protecting our staff and our patients/residents. To date, we have had zero cases of COVID transmission to our patients or residents of our DP/SNF. Additionally, we continue to focus on reducing hospital acquired infections. To date in 2020, we have zero VRE, CRE, and no CAUTI.
Quality care is not just a clinical goal, it’s a priority that encompasses customer service, compliance and wellness for our community to thrive. The hospital at large continues to pursue ongoing quality improvement and strive to continually raise the bar in providing excellent health care for our patients.
To read the full article by the Valley Voice, click here.
MarinHealth executives on Saturday held a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony for MarinHealth Medical Center’s new $535 million facility, with retiring CEO Lee Domanico leading the presentation.
No opening date has been announced, but Domanico told the Business Journal in July that he expects the new hospital to open in September.
“I’m proud to introduce you to the new Oak Pavilion at MarinHealth Medical Center,” Domanico said during Saturday’s presentation. “Two towers of medical magnificence.”
The hospital has 260,000 square feet of new, improved facilities for emergency and trauma services; new radiology and imaging services; and a new maternity department, among other features.
“Each maternity room has a hot tub,” Domanico said. “I’m afraid the moms aren’t going to want to leave once they come and experience the new Marin (hospital).”
The new facility has 114 private rooms. When combined with the existing hospital’s West Wing, built in 1989 and to remain in use, MarinHealth Medical Center will have a total of 186 operational beds.
Planning for the new facility, which the Business Journal has reported about over the course of its development, began a couple of decades ago.
“The first meeting, believe it or not, with the new architect occurred in 2009,” said Domanico, explaining that from concept to completion, the goal was to design a patient- and family-focused hospital in a healing environment. “We’re at the intersection of science and healing.”
The hospital also has separate hallways so the public doesn’t cross with the patients. The idea is provide better infection control, and more dignity and privacy for the patients, he said.
The building was funded through a bond initiative that was passed in 2013, loans and private donations. The hospital in July 2016 received a $21 million donation from Marin General Hospital Foundation board member Bruce Braden.
“As an independent community hospital, we have a responsibility to provide essential services that our community expects and deserves,” Domanico said. “It’s been my goal for 10 years that when the real estate agents are talking to prospective clients about how great the community is (and) how good the school districts are, in that same breath I want them to say, ‘and we also have great health care here in Marin.’”
Additional speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Larry Bedard, chair, Marin Healthcare District Board of Directors; Dr. Hank Simmonds, director, Marin Healthcare District Board of Directors; and Reverend Deacon Alberta Brown Buller.
To read the full article by the North Bay Business Journal, click here.
A $15-million wing has opened at Mayers Memorial Hospital on Highway 299 between Fall River Mills and McArthur. It is the new home of the hospital's emergency department, imaging center, and laboratory services.
All three departments were housed in the old hospital, which the state determined was not up to earthquake standards.
CEO Louis Ward says it was built with USDA funds and about $3-million raised by the community.
"This is a major need for any community, especially a community that's 70 miles away from other health care services," he said. "Without this building, this area would have went without emergent services, without imaging services, laboratory services that are very needed in a community like ours."
The hospital moved into the space on Tuesday, August 18. It was not a moment too soon. Ward said they opened at 6:00 that evening, and by 9:00 p.m. the ER was full.
"We went from a four-bed ER to a six-bed ER, and we had 6 patients within a few hours," he said. "And in the past, a couple of those patients would have been in the hallway or waiting in the lobby. So just to see that, and see that those patients were able to be treated quicker, with new equipment and a happy staff, was just an amazing feeling for all of us."
Because of COVID-19, the hospital couldn't hold a grand opening, but Ward wanted to thank the McConnell Foundation, Sierra Pacific Industries, and the California Endowment for their contributions.
To read the full article by KRCRTV, click here.