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Soua Xiong’s hospital room was eerily empty so Jane Lee, a Hmong interpreter at Community Regional Medical Center, poked her head in to check on this patient and chat for a while. Normally Hmong elders are attended by their children or grandchildren, explained Lee, so a room empty of visitors should be an alert for staff to pay a bit more attention.
California’s hospitals report nearly 13 million emergency department patient encounters a year. With the number of hospitals with emergency care decreasing statewide from 365 to 330 since 2000, and the number of patients increasing by 35% during the same time period, those seeking care can experience long waits. Community is working in a number of ways to expedite treatment – especially at its busiest hospital, Community Regional Medical Center.
Two potentially important health insurance events occur for some Valley residents in November.
A machine keeps Charles Lewis alive. For 12 hours each week – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – Lewis treks to Community Medical Centers’ outpatient dialysis center on the campus of Community Regional Medical Center where a hemodialysis dialysis machine filters toxins from his blood. Sometimes his treatments last as long as five hours.
“It’s like going to a part-time job.” Lewis said.
Hospital patients respond better to care when their spiritual needs are addressed, but until recently the closest chaplain training program was three hours away. To fill that need, Community collaborated with local hospitals, faith-based educators and Stanford University to establish Clinical Pastoral Education of Central California.
New mother Stephanie Stone spent months reading how best to care for her baby, but when little Mia was born, all the books in the world left her feeling helpless when it came to breastfeeding.
“I didn’t know what to do. I felt awful because it felt like I was starving her,” Stone said.
That’s when Stone turned to the Mother’s Resource Center at Community Regional Medical Center – the only place in central California where mothers can find top experts who specialize in helping new parents like Stone.
The last milestones of Clovis Community Medical Center’s $300 million-plus expansion project unfolded this spring, leaving just a few final touches for the project’s culmination this fall.
Hospital chaplains are now being trained in the Central Valley through a collaboration of local hospitals, and faith and education groups seeking to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families.
Community Medical Centers provided nearly $152 million in uncompensated services and programs in fiscal year 2012/2013, equivalent to 12% of its total expenses, according to the nonprofit hospital system’s annual community benefits report filed with the State of California.
Community has historically spent more on uncompensated community benefits than all other Fresno-area hospitals combined. And, some years, nearly double the combined total of other area hospitals.
Community Regional Medical Center is one of only 13 Level 1 trauma centers in California. Injuries caused by falls comprise the largest number of the more than 2,600 trauma patients the hospital treated last fiscal year. Michael Turner was one of them.