Women's Health Screenings

My first awareness of cervical cancer came when my grandmother was diagnosed with it in the early 1950s. She underwent a hysterectomy followed by radiation treatments, and she lived an active life for another 20 years. It was not until I was researching pap smears for this column that I realized she owed those additional decades of life to having been among the earliest women to obtain a Pap smear.

A Pap smear test is essentially a cancer screening. It is a simple medical test performed on a woman’s cervix to check for signs of any abnormalities such as pre-malignant or malignant (cancer) cells. Detecting abnormalities can lead to interventions that help prevent cervical cancer.

History of Pap testing

Pap smears are named for George Papanikolaou, a Greek scientist who emigrated to the US in 1914. He is credited with founding cytopathology research, which studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level. Papanikolaou concluded in 1928 that cervical cancers could be detected by analysis of cells from a cervical smear, but it wasn’t until the late 1940s that the validity of this test gained acceptance, and the lack of labs capable of reading the tests meant that by the early 1960s only 10% of women in the US were being screened regularly. As regular pap testing increased, cervical cancer deaths rapidly declined. Once one of the most common causes of cancer deaths for American women, over the last 50 years the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%.  Over these decades, protocols for scheduling Pap tests have evolved to include many factors such as age, family history, and history of presence of HPV (Human Papillomavirus). 

Importance of Women’s Annual Exams

What has not changed is strong consensus on the importance of women’s annual health screenings. In your annual well exam, your practitioner will assess family history, other risk factors, and newly evolving conditions to provide an exam tailored to you. Says our Certified Physician Assistant Linda Candiotti, “Your practitioner will guide you to appropriate preventative testing according to your individual needs and preferences.”

Our highly skilled and compassionate medical staff is led by Medical Staff Director Dr. Mylene Rucker. Along with Linda Candiotti, our staff also includes Certified Family Nurse Practitioners Barbara Hayes and Sarah Beach. All of them work diligently via research and attendance at relevant classes to stay abreast of new standards of care in women’s preventative healthcare as well as all the other areas of their practices.

Our Well Exam Promotion for Prevention

We encourage all women to check their own records or call your clinic to see if you are due for your annual well exam.  To promote health and wellness in our community, if we see you for your well exam and a Pap test is performed any time from now through the end of January 2018, your name will be entered for a chance to win a $20 Renner Gift Card or $20 in “Chamber Bucks” to use at any participating local business.

To schedule your appointment, call (707) 923-3925, ext. 221.

Barbara Truitt, Foundation Director, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page 

Annual Periodic Evaluation and Quality Assurance Review FY 2017

Introduction

Southern Humboldt Community Health Care District (SHCHD) is located in Garberville California, SHCHD serves a diverse population of Southern Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity County residents. The area supports a large rural area of approximately 775 square miles and includes the communities of Alderpoint, Blocksburg, Garberville, Harris, Honeydew, Miranda, Meyers Flat, Leggett, Petrolia, Phillipsville, Piercy, Redcrest, Redway, Shelter Cover, Weott, Whitethorn, and Zenia. This service area has a population of about 10,365 full-time residents.  In addition to the local community, the hospital and clinic serves a number of tourists traveling through the area. SHCHD is comprised of the Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic which is a certified rural health clinic and the Family Resource Center.   Jerold Phelps Community Hospital is a small Critical Access hospital licensed for nine acute care beds which can alternately serve as a Swing Bed Program for orthopedic rehabilitation or any patient who may need a longer recovery period from a surgical procedure or an illness. Jerold Phelps Community Hospital also encompasses a Distinct Part Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) with 8 licensed beds. Jerold Phelps Community Hospital operates a stand by Emergency Department (ED) with four patient care beds and an Emergency Department Physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Radiology and laboratory services are available 24 hours a day seven days a week through the Emergency department as well as on an outpatient basis either through the clinic or upon presentation of an order from a provider-patient relationship during business hours. SHCHD does not offer specialty services but does transfer patients from the ED and/or the acute beds if a patient should need a higher level of care. Referrals can be made through the ED as well as through the Rural Health Clinic for any number of services not offered through the District.

Click here to read the complete report

Controlling Arrhythmia

Some people think that all our local ER does is stabilize and transfer patients on to bigger, better-equipped hospitals, but in fact, over  93% of our patients have their issues resolved through their visit to the ER and do not require transfer to a higher level of care. Here’s the story of a local who had that experience.

If you’ve ever shopped at the Blue Moon on a weekend, you’ve probably met David Kirby, known to most simply as Kirby.  A resident of SoHum for more than 40 years, Kirby, a Vietnam War veteran and retired real estate agent, has been very active in our community. Besides his weekends at the Blue Moon, which was founded close to 40 years ago by his wife Bunny Wilder, Kirby has served on various local Volunteer Fire Departments, on the Humboldt County Planning Commission from 1992 to 1996, on the Redwoods Rural Health Center board in the late 1990s, and then on the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District board in the early 2000s. But it wasn’t until years after his involvement in healthcare governance that he experienced our local healthcare as a patient in urgent need.

Tachycardia is a type of arrhythmia, the technical term for a wide range of problems with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It is characterized by a more rapid than normal heartbeat. Other types include bradycardia, a slower than normal heartbeat, and atrial fibrillation or AFib, an irregular pattern. Like many forms of arrhythmia, tachycardia becomes more common as we age, so it makes sense to educate our local aging population to take steps to avoid it, recognize its symptoms, and respond appropriately if it occurs.

As with other debilitating conditions we may acquire as we age, arrhythmia is best avoided by healthy living.  Keeping blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight within normal ranges is very helpful.  Exercising regularly, eating a heart-healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and limiting one’s alcohol intake also help to reduce the risk of acquiring arrhythmia.

Some forms of arrhythmia, left untreated, can quickly become life-threatening, and some may require surgery.  In most cases, though, prompt treatment with appropriate medications and lifestyle changes allow patients to lead normal lives with normal lifespans.

For Kirby, the onset of tachycardia in 2014 was at first annoying and then increasingly alarming, finally compelling him to go to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital’s ER one afternoon in March. When he told the registrar about his rapid heartbeat, it took only moments for an ER nurse to come take his pulse, usher him to a bed, and inform the on-call physician. Within a few minutes, the doctor was at his side, and Kirby was hooked up to a heart monitor and given a blood test, with treatment beginning soon after. Once his heart rate was back to normal levels, Kirby was released with a prescription for a medication to slow his heart rate. Before he could get that prescription filled, however, tachycardia struck again, and he was back to the ER three more times in the next few days, each time being treated quickly, efficiently, and kindly by the ER staff.

Ultimately, the medication took effect, and his bouts of tachycardia became less intense. They dropped from several times a week to only several times a year. Subsequent visits to cardiologists confirmed that the diagnosis and treatment Kirby received at Jerold Phelps Hospital was appropriate. He still takes the medication originally prescribed at our ER, and he hasn’t had a debilitating heart rate episode in years. 

Untreated tachycardia can result in heart attack, stroke, or even sudden death.  Says Kirby, “If it were not for our local ER, I might not be here. Faced with driving myself all the way to the Fortuna with my heart racing out of control, or with the drama and expense of an ambulance ride, I might have just stayed home.”

Emergency services began at our current location in 1949, and they’ve been available here 24/7 ever since, now treating thousands of patients per year, caring for the community we’re privileged to serve.

Barbara Truitt, Foundation Director, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page 

Improving Veterans’ Access to Medical Services

Are you, or do you know, a local veteran who has trouble getting transportation to the VA facility 70 miles away in Eureka, or who can’t get a timely VA appointment for needed medical care? If so, the Veterans Choice Program may be just what you need.

The Veterans Choice Program provides VA-funded healthcare to military service veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA clinic or to those whose treatment needs cannot be met within a medically-appropriate time frame. It is designed to supplement, not replace, regular VA medical care, so eligible veterans can access both their regular VA providers and their Choice Program practitioners as appropriate. Originally created as a temporary solution to veterans’ medical service access challenges, the Program was made permanent in April of this year. Along with removing the Choice Program’s expiration date, Public Law 115-26 made the VA the primary coordinator of benefits for its services, and it removed barriers to sharing necessary health information with community providers.  

The Choice Program is available to all veterans who participate in the VA healthcare system. Once veterans have pre-registered with the Choice Program, they may obtain services from any medical practitioner who has agreed to the terms and conditions required to become a certified Choice provider.

The Southern Humboldt Community Clinic’s Physician’s Assistant Linda Candiotti and our Family Nurse Practitioners Barbara Hayes and Sarah Beach are all fully certified Choice Program practitioners.  Our recently hired Clinic Medical Director Dr. Mylene Rucker, who practiced in our Clinic years ago as a locum tenens (temporary) physician, is obtaining her Choice Program certification as well. They all look forward to serving our veterans’ outpatient needs, including diagnosis, prescription medications, and lab and x-ray tests.

To take advantage of this program, veterans should contact the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) Call Center at 866-606-8198, or they can visit the VCP website at https://www.va.gov/opa/choiceact/ and click on “For Veterans.” Once eligibility is confirmed, VCP staff will assist veterans in making their appointments with local qualified Choice Program providers.

For additional information, Click Here.

Kudos to Veterans for Holiday Meals

Speaking of choices, I am grateful that our local veterans, through the Garberville Veterans Association (GVA), have chosen to provide wonderful holiday feasts in Southern Humboldt for more than three decades. These have traditionally been held at the John Haynes Memorial Veterans Hall, but the Hall was closed earlier this year due to condition issues resulting from long-deferred maintenance, and its fate is now unknown.

This year, rather than abandoning their tradition, the veterans are partnering with the Mateel Community Center(MCC) to host the holiday meals. Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner was a joyous occasion as volunteers from both organizations, as well as others who came in unsolicited, worked together to create a beautiful and nutritious buffet for hundreds of people from every segment of our population, old and young, families and loners, housed and houseless, and passers-through.

The Christmas dinner will also be held at the Mateel this year. As usual, this celebration will include holiday music along with the traditional feast, as well as Santa giving gifts to children of all ages. The public event will be held from noon to 5:00 pm on Christmas Day, but preparations begin soon, starting with collecting the needed funds and obtaining and wrapping gifts.  For more information or to volunteer, contact local veteran Dr. Brian Ormond at 707-923-9343.

Monetary donations for the holiday dinners may be made to the Garberville Veterans Association (GVA), Post Office Box 133, Garberville, CA  95542.

Barbara Truitt, Foundation Director, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page 

November 16, 2017 Is National Rural Health Day

The following newsletter on National Rural Health Day was created by California Critical Access Hospital Network and sent to CCAHN members.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. National Rural Health Day is the third Thursday of each November.

Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger.

“Rural communities also have a number of challenges such as a lack of accessibility and healthcare providers, an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” said California Critical Access Hospital Network Executive Director, Carolyn Bruce. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels which make it incredibly difficult to remain sustainable and provide local care.  Fortunately for hospitals and healthcare providers in our region, the California Critical Access Hospital Network addresses these challenges with the power of collaboration.”

Your participation in the California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) helps to ensure your organization’s independence and sustainability.  Through this collaboration you have access to programs and services including revenue cycle solutions focusing on financial and operational performance improvement, purchasing, education, and more.

State Offices of Rural Health also play a key role in addressing these needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.

Here's to rural healthcare and here’s to you, CCAHN members! 

CT Scanner Groundbreaking Ceremony at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital

Jerold Phelps Community Hospital (JPCH) and Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (SHCHD) are thrilled to announce that we will break ground on the site of our new computed tomography (CT) scanner this Wednesday. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on November 8th at 4:30 p.m. at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville to commemorate this exciting milestone.  Please meet us at the lot next to the Emergency Room (ER) and out-patient entrance.  Afterward, refreshments will be offered in the hospital Dimmick Room.  We would be honored if our community would join us at this momentous event.

The extensive permitting process is complete, and a contractor has been hired to start the preparation of the land, pavement, and foundation for the building that will house our CT scanner.  We anticipate the completion of our project in early 2018.  Radiology Manager, Lora Simone, is nationally licensed in CT.  In anticipation of the CT program, her radiologic technologists are becoming CT certified to perform these critical medical exams as well.

CT scans allow providers to look for disorders of the brain, bones, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and sinuses, to name a few.  This type of scan creates combinations of computer-processed measurements taken from various angles to create cross-sectional (tomographic) images. Providers can view virtual “slices” of the inside of the body without cutting. By compiling these images, the computer generates a three-dimensional view of bodily structures.  With this high-tech information, the patient’s provider can more easily check for irregularities and health conditions.

The launch of CT services at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital is a substantial advancement for Southern Humboldt medical services. Being able to provide this level of imaging service to our community will improve patient care by providing a safe, more complete and faster diagnostic assessment. 

Once the CT program is in place, our ER physicians can order an immediate CT scan in-house.  Then our physicians can determine if more specialty treatment is necessary or if the patient is able to be released the same day.  The CT will decrease transfers out of our ER and reduce the time that it takes for completion of our patient’s emergency care. Having a CT scanner on-site will also allow the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic providers, as well as other providers in the surrounding area, to order CT scans that can be performed in Garberville.  This will significantly reduce patient travel time and expense that is required to go to distant facilities.

We appreciate our community’s support and patience in this long but vital endeavor. We will continue to keep the community up to date on our progress.  The Board, Administration, and staff at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital look forward to celebrating with you tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.

Angela Snelbaker is the Outreach Department Manager for SHCHD, including Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Emergency Room, Lab, X-Ray, and Clinic.

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page 

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The Calm In The Eye Of The Storm: Celebrating ER Nurses

Amongst other celebrations this month, a very special thanks goes out to the resourceful and compassionate Registered Nurses (RNs) of our Emergency Department (commonly referred to as “the ER”).   October 8th through 14th is Emergency Nurses Week, a time to recognize the masterful work that ER nurses do around the clock to treat injuries and save lives.  

Jerold Phelps Community Hospital (JPCH) in Garberville, employs ten highly certified ER nurses. Judy Gallagher, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), overseas the team.  She applauds these nurses by saying, “Our ER nurses and physicians are very quick and efficient.  They will stabilize any condition and, if necessary, get you to any specialty care you need.  They have been able to stabilize and transfer cardiac arrest patients in as little as 30 minutes.  These situations can be the difference of life and death.”  She also stated that JPCH has openings for local nurses, including new graduates, who get the rare opportunity to immediately train in the Emergency Department and Acute Care area of the hospital.   

The JPCH may be small in space, but with its skilled staff and up-to-date equipment it is mighty in its capacity for care.  Because it is the only hospital in Southern Humboldt, it is declared a Critical Access Hospital by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.  This is especially important because of the nearby 101 freeway, which creates a high volume of trauma patients who need to access care quickly.  Last year, more than than 3600 people were treated in our ER.  It is open 24/7, and our ER Nurses work tirelessly to make sure that patients receive all the care they need.

Vanessa King, BSN, RN notes the exceptional role of ER Nurses.  She states, “Our nurses are vital and are taught to treat the whole person, not just the diagnosis, which is the role of the doctor.”  Under the expert direction of the ER physician on duty, the ER nurses collaborate with the doctor to fulfill orders. Judy and Vanessa highlighted two of their long-term ER Nurses in their interview. 

Night shift ER nurse, Marilyn Berry, RN, was raised in Salmon Creek and born at JPCH.  She graduated from College of the Redwoods and has been working as an RN for 45 years. She chose nursing for the physically active role that is ever changing, with the ability to directly care for people.  She joined JPCH in 1985 and used to be the on-call OB nurse for deliveries.  Among six advanced certifications including trauma and mobile intensive care nurse, she is most proud of her Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) accreditation, which requires a very difficult test every four years. 

As a native to Southern Humboldt, she notes that she sees lots of patients from her high school years.  Having friends and family come to the ER for help can be a rewarding yet a hard part of the job, especially in dire situations.  Multiple patients have returned to thank her after they were near death.  Others express their gratitude by saying in relief, “Thank you for being a familiar face that is still here in our ER after so long.” The administration, nursing management, and staff of JPCH feels honored to have had Marilyn on staff for 32 years.

Another ER nurse who has been dedicated to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital since 1993, is Billie Bachman, RN.  She has been a resident of Southern Humboldt since 1976.  After witnessing the inspiring work of hospice nurses who cared for her dying friend, she was drawn to the nursing field. During her early years at JPCH she became certified in Obstetrics (OB), helping deliver babies until 1998.  She was recognized by her peers last year with the esteemed Calm in the Eye of the Storm Award for her ability to be a calm presence for patients in stressful situations.  JPCH is also lucky to have Billie’s exceptional service in caring for the community we are privileged to serve.

Billie feels that a “big reason the hospital ER is needed here is because so many parents bring their kids here.” As an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP), the ER at JPCH has pediatric equipment and our ER Nurses are required to hold Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification. This is especially important because we receive a good deal of children who are rushed to Garberville for care.  Already a long drive for some, without the nurses at the JPCH ER, these concerned parents would need to drive much farther north.

 JPCH would like to thank all the ER nurses for their dedicated service.  Happy ER Nurses Week!  If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Judy Gallagher, CNO or the Outreach Department at 923-3921.

Angela Snelbaker is the Outreach Department Manager for SHCHD, including Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Emergency Room, Lab, X-Ray, and Clinic.

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page 

Vacancy on SHCHD Governing Board

Gary Wellborn announced his retirement from the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (SHCHD) Governing Board at its meeting on Sept 21, 2017, effective October 11, 2017. The Board is now seeking to fill the vacancy created by Gary’s resignation. Since this has occurred three years into Gary’s four-year term, the appointee will serve for the remainder of his term of office. Then the seat will come up for election in November 2018 if more than one person is seeking the seat. This seat is an excellent opportunity for someone to help shape the future of our community. For the last several years, SHCHD Governing Board elections have been rare because if there are only as many candidates as there are open seats, then no election is held. To serve on the Board, one must be a resident and a registered voter within the SHCHD’s boundaries. As a representative of the community, a governing board member’s core responsibility is to be actively involved with fellow board members in setting the direction of the District to serve our community’s best interests. Specific duties include attending monthly board meetings and occasional special meetings, serving on at least one board committee, and participating in twice-annual strategic planning meetings.     Board members also work closely with the CEO to maintain the District’s commitment to its vision and mission while remaining true to its core values. Our vision is to empower individuals to live longer, healthier lives through the use of information, relationships, and technology. Our mission is to provide high-quality local medical services, to engage community members with education, activities and lifestyle opportunities which promote optimal health, and to assist our patients in navigating access to services throughout the health system. Gary is an outstanding example of a public-spirited community member who is ideal for this kind of board service. He has been an active volunteer in our community since moving here 18 years ago. After several years of service on the District’s Finance Committee, he was elected to the SHCHD Governing Board in November 2010.  While continuing on the Finance Committee, Gary has served the District in various other capacities over these last seven years, including stints as Board President and as the Board’s representative to both the county-wide Medical Advisory Committee and the Southern Humboldt Emergency Preparedness Team. Gary has also been active in several other community health and safety efforts, including the local Amateur Radio Club (SHARC) and the Office of Emergency Services of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, as well as nearly a decade of service on the Healy Senior Center Board. Gary and his wife Shon Wellborn, who retired early this year from her position as long-time President and CEO of the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt, are moving soon to Prescott, Arizona. Gary has been an extremely valuable member of the SHCHD team, and the SHCHD Board and Staff thank him for his service and wish them both well in their future endeavors. Current board members are Corinne Stromstad, David Ordonez, Alison Rivas, and Jack Foster. Like Gary, Corinne had served for several years on the Finance Committee before joining the Board nearly 20 years ago. She currently serves as Board President, Chair of the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Board’s Policy and Community Outreach Committees. She is also an SHCHD representative to the Northern California Healthcare Authority. Dave Ordonez, elected to the Board in 2012, serves as Vice-President, Secretary, and Board Spokesperson as well as on the Board Policy and Community Outreach Committees and the Facility Advisory and Earthquake Retrofit/Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Preparedness Committees. Alison Rivas, MSOM, L.Ac, is a licensed acupuncturist and small business owner who has been on the Board since 2014. She served a stint as Board President and is also an SHCHD representative to the Northern California Healthcare Authority. The Board’s newest member is Jack Foster. Appointed in March of this year, Jack’s seat will be up for election in November 2018.   If you are interested in applying for the vacant governing board seat, call the Board’s Administrative Assistant Susan Gardner at 707-923-3921, extension 276.  Angela Snelbaker is the Outreach Department Manager for SHCHD including Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Emergency Room, Lab, X-Ray, and Clinic.   For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page. 

Gary Wellborn announced his retirement from the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (SHCHD) Governing Board at its meeting on Sept 21, 2017, effective October 11, 2017.

The Board is now seeking to fill the vacancy created by Gary’s resignation. Since this has occurred three years into Gary’s four-year term, the appointee will serve for the remainder of his term of office. Then the seat will come up for election in November 2018 if more than one person is seeking the seat.

This seat is an excellent opportunity for someone to help shape the future of our community. For the last several years, SHCHD Governing Board elections have been rare because if there are only as many candidates as there are open seats, then no election is held.

To serve on the Board, one must be a resident and a registered voter within the SHCHD’s boundaries. As a representative of the community, a governing board member’s core responsibility is to be actively involved with fellow board members in setting the direction of the District to serve our community’s best interests. Specific duties include attending monthly board meetings and occasional special meetings, serving on at least one board committee, and participating in twice-annual strategic planning meetings.    

Board members also work closely with the CEO to maintain the District’s commitment to its vision and mission while remaining true to its core values. Our vision is to empower individuals to live longer, healthier lives through the use of information, relationships, and technology. Our mission is to provide high-quality local medical services, to engage community members with education, activities and lifestyle opportunities which promote optimal health, and to assist our patients in navigating access to services throughout the health system.

Gary is an outstanding example of a public-spirited community member who is ideal for this kind of board service. He has been an active volunteer in our community since moving here 18 years ago. After several years of service on the District’s Finance Committee, he was elected to the SHCHD Governing Board in November 2010.  While continuing on the Finance Committee, Gary has served the District in various other capacities over these last seven years, including stints as Board President and as the Board’s representative to both the county-wide Medical Advisory Committee and the Southern Humboldt Emergency Preparedness Team. Gary has also been active in several other community health and safety efforts, including the local Amateur Radio Club (SHARC) and the Office of Emergency Services of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, as well as nearly a decade of service on the Healy Senior Center Board.

Gary and his wife Shon Wellborn, who retired early this year from her position as long-time President and CEO of the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt, are moving soon to Prescott, Arizona. Gary has been an extremely valuable member of the SHCHD team, and the SHCHD Board and Staff thank him for his service and wish them both well in their future endeavors.

Current board members are Corinne Stromstad, David Ordonez, Alison Rivas, and Jack Foster. Like Gary, Corinne had served for several years on the Finance Committee before joining the Board nearly 20 years ago. She currently serves as Board President, Chair of the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Board’s Policy and Community Outreach Committees. She is also an SHCHD representative to the Northern California Healthcare Authority. Dave Ordonez, elected to the Board in 2012, serves as Vice-President, Secretary, and Board Spokesperson as well as on the Board Policy and Community Outreach Committees and the Facility Advisory and Earthquake Retrofit/Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Preparedness Committees. Alison Rivas, MSOM, L.Ac, is a licensed acupuncturist and small business owner who has been on the Board since 2014. She served a stint as Board President and is also an SHCHD representative to the Northern California Healthcare Authority. The Board’s newest member is Jack Foster. Appointed in March of this year, Jack’s seat will be up for election in November 2018.  

If you are interested in applying for the vacant governing board seat, call the Board’s Administrative Assistant Susan Gardner at 707-923-3921, extension 276.

 Angela Snelbaker is the Outreach Department Manager for SHCHD including Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Emergency Room, Lab, X-Ray, and Clinic.  

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page

Degrees of Remoteness

The catastrophic fires raging in the counties south of us have made me think of our ER and all our healthcare services in a new light, especially as those fires caused Highway 101 closures reminiscent of last winter’s closures near Garberville, which included not just 101 north and south, but also Highway 1, Bell Springs and other roads, cutting off ready road access to the west and east of us at the same time that air travel from our locale was also impossible due to weather. 

At times like these, all of our services are not just convenient but actually critical to the well-being of our most vulnerable populations – our elderly, our children, and all our neighbors with chronic health conditions -- along with anyone needing emergency care.

One such member of our community is Sue Quast. If you come into the Healthcare District through the Emergency Department door on a Thursday morning, maybe for a blood test or an X-ray, chances are you’ll encounter Sue and her husband Jim Quast.

Sue first became involved with the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District after Jim was hired as Principal of South Fork High School in 1989. Once their family was settled here, Sue served as our District’s radiology and mammography technician for a number of years in the early 1990s. If she provided these services to you back then, you may remember her engaging smile and quick wit.

Sue’s involvement with the District took a very different turn when she suffered a devastating stroke in 2001. She was quickly brought to our ER where she was stabilized and ultimately transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital for emergency surgery that saved her life.

Though Sue retains her smile and her sense of humor, she has endured many additional physical maladies since her stroke and has been brought to Jerold Phelps Hospital’s Emergency Room over a dozen times, for problems ranging from a heart attack to a broken hip, as well as number of seizures and a blood clot on her lung. Some of these incidents have required stabilization and transfer to Redwood Memorial or St. Joseph’s, but many have been resolved right here, sometimes quickly and other times following observation and/or treatment in our hospital’s acute care department.

Through the years, Sue has also relied on other services provided at our District, including regular Southern Humboldt Community Clinic visits and her weekly Thursday morning appointment for physical therapy provided by Ther-A-Con.  

According to Jim, “We have always been treated well here, from the front desk to the nurses and doctors. Without the Emergency Room and the other services our Healthcare District provides, it would be very difficult for us to live here.”

For more information about how we care for the community we're privileged to serve, watch for our columns or visit our Facebook page

Written by Barb Truitt, Foundation Director, SHCHD.

SHCHD is looking for a NEW Board Member

NOTICE OF VACANCY ON GOVERNING BOARD

SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE DISTRICT

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a vacancy exists on the Governing Board of Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (“SHCHD” or “District”), a public agency, as of October 11, 2017.  Pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Government Code section 1780, the Governing Board intends to fill the vacancy by appointment.

 

Interested, qualified residents of the District are asked to submit a letter of interest and resume containing a statement of qualifications and other information which will assist the Governing Board in making a selection.  Letters, resumes, and any questions should be directed to SHCHD Board of Directors c/o Susan Gardner, 733 Cedar Street, Garberville, CA 95542, (707) 923-3921, ext. 276 or via email to sgardner@shchd.org.  For more information, or to introduce yourself to the SHCHD Board of Directors, please attend their regular board meeting Thursday, October 26, 2017 in the Dimmick Room at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital.

 

Minimum qualifications for membership on the Governing Board are set forth in California Health and Safety Code section 32100, requiring that each member shall be a registered voter residing in the District, as well as Government Code section 53227, which states that an employee may not be a member of the Board unless he or she resigns.

 

 

Susan Gardner

Administrative Assistant

(707) 923-3921 x276

Fax:  (707) 923-1456

sgardner@shchd.org