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

Public Letter Regarding College of the Redwoods Instructional Site

Dear Editor,

                I’m writing on behalf of the Healthcare District (SHCHD) Board to answer some questions I’ve heard about the plans to purchase College of the Redwood’s (CR’s) instructional site on Sprowl Creek Road.  People have asked, given the School Board’s (SHUSD’s) recent decision, will we still be able to build our new hospital there. We’re confident the answer to that question is “yes”, and here’s why.

                When the SHUSD sold the property to CR several years ago, their purchase agreement contained a provision which allowed them the option of buying it back if CR chose to sell it within the first 10 years. The price they would pay was CR’s purchase price plus what CR had invested in improvements within a specified number of years, less depreciation.  

                The School Board decided not to waive their option at this time, and our belief is that the majority of the board members voted as they did not to thwart the Healthcare District’s hospital plans but to help our community make the best use of this property for our long-term health and educational needs. Regrettably, no Healthcare District representatives were at the School Board meeting to answer their questions as they decided on the best course of action, so the School Board wisely decided not to take the irrevocable step of forfeiting their repurchase rights. Our Healthcare District representatives are taking steps to share information with School Board members about this important community issue.

                Would it be prudent to wait until the cost of the property is reduced by scheduled depreciation? Has the Healthcare District offered to pay too much?

                We’ve all heard the adage “time is money”. Hospital construction is especially expensive, and those costs generally go up by about 2% per year. The cost of the new facility is estimated in the neighborhood of $45 million, so every year of delay could mean additional costs of $900,000 or more.

                Interest rates will also be a huge factor in overall costs. Right now interest rates are at a historic low, so we want to lock in an interest rate on a building loan application ASAP. This can’t happen until we’ve entered escrow on a building site. If a delay resulted in even slightly higher interest, it would raise our monthly payments by tens of thousands of dollars and our overall project cost by millions.

                 Where can the activities currently occurring at the CR site be housed in the future? The Healthcare District recognizes the importance of educational and cultural enrichment opportunities in overall community health, and we will do all we can to facilitate these activities, initially by allowing them to continue to rent space in the Sprowl Creek building, and eventually to move to our current Cedar Street location if any space there is not needed for healthcare needs. We see the Redwood Playhouse as a community treasure, both architecturally and culturally, and we are committed to maintaining it for the uses it currently serves and more.

                There are many questions still to be answered, many planning decisions to be made, and many important choices on which we will be seeking community input in the coming months and years.  All of us on the Healthcare District Board look forward to public forums and workshops beginning in early 2017 at which we can continue this conversation.

                In the meantime, we welcome your questions and wish you all happy holidays!

Barbara Truitt, President

Governing Board

 

Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District

Welcome back to our BELOVED Barbara Hayes, FNP

We could not be more thrilled to announce the return of our Beloved FNP, Barbara Hayes

          Barbara Hayes, FNP, Serving Patients at SHCHD

After an extensive medical leave, Barbara Hayes, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), is pleased to be back serving patients at Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (SHCHD).

With over 40 years of experience, Barbara’s aim as a clinician is to take care of the whole person and to help all patients realize their full potential. She recently stated, “I am glad to be back to work and look forward to seeing patients I previously took care of and meeting new patients’ needs.”

Barbara Hayes has been serving patients at the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic since November 2010. She is passionate about getting to know each patient and providing the highest quality of healthcare services. Her strong connection to patients stems from careers in nursing and midwifery, “I grew up wanting to be a nurse and have always wanted to help people.” As a midwife, she became intimately involved with women and their families, making heartfelt connections: “To be at a birth is like witnessing heaven on earth, and it’s so empowering to support women.” Now as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Barbara meets the needs of patients of all ages, including those with complicated medical conditions. She believes her role is not only to be the expert but also to be a strong listener who takes the time to understand her patients. She maintains certifications in both advanced life support and pediatric advanced life support, so she is better able and prepared for all patients’ needs.

Having grown up in New Jersey, Barbara earned a nursing degree from St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton, New Jersey in 1969. She then worked from 1969-1977 as the Head Nurse of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at St. Peters Medical Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1978 she moved to Arcata, California and worked at Redwood Memorial from 1984-1995. In 1990 she became a midwife and then in 1999 Barbara got her certification as a family nurse practitioner from the University of California at Davis.

Most recently, Barbara was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She describes it as a “very scary experience”. She went through chemotherapy; however, her scans are now clear and she “feels good.” She thinks her cancer experience has helped her to relate better to patients with chronic and life threatening illnesses.

Barbara stated that she settled in rural America because she has always enjoyed a rural lifestyle that is “quieter, less harried, slower, and where there is time to enjoy one another.”  She chose Southern Humboldt because she appreciates its mild weather, easy access to the ocean, and year-round opportunities to be outside and to garden. She has a life-partner and three grown children: two daughters and a son, one of whom lives in Arcata.

To learn more about the SHCHD go to www.shchd.org or email inquire@shchd.org. For an appointment call (707) 923-3925, ext. 221. To stay on top of local health events and news, like us on Facebook!