A Complete Transition

Twenty years after he was born at University Medical Center, Jaime Jacobo became the final hospital patient wheeled out of University Medical Center.

He arrived at the downtown Community Regional Medical Center shortly after 2 p.m. on April 18 to complete the three-day patient move in a transition of pediatric, burn, Level 1 trauma and other acute inpatient services from UMC to Community Regional.

When Jacobo was told he was making history as the last UMC patient to make the move, his eyes grew wide above the paper mask covering his nose and mouth.

“Really?” he asked. Through a Spanish interpreter he said, “I got good care here.”

Now, Community’s focus turns to taking health care to a new level in central California.

Coupling the only burn and Level 1 trauma centers in the region with the high-tech procedures and equipment of Community Regional, and uniting private physicians and specialists with those in the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, will give the Valley a true academic regional medical center.

“We won’t just be a resource to the community, we’ll be a resource to every other hospital out there,” said Bruce Kinder, R.N., vice president of academic affairs and transition patient move coordinator. “We’ll be able to recruit and retain more world-class physicians. That just means great things for people of the Valley. It will be a destination site.”

Kinder and more than 60 others who were essential in carrying out the duties of the UMC move met amongst handshakes and hugs for a debriefing at 2:30 p.m. at Community Regional, putting the finishing touch on a process that included weekly meetings and mock drills for the past several months.

“We have the opportunity to propel this into something special,” Community Regional CEO Jack Chubb said to the group.

Just minutes earlier, Jacobo was the 27th UMC patient moved to Community Regional on the third and final day of the transition, bringing the total to 68 patients. Nine burn and pediatric patients moved on Day 1, and 32 medical/surgical, step-down (intermediate care) and intensive care unit patients moved on Day 2.

“It was wonderful. The staff did a great job,” said Kim Pope, R.N., director of critical care and respiratory services. “All the patients were transported safely. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff.”

As Kinder thanked those in the debriefing, he paused at the sound of a helicopter landing on the building’s roof, thinking about the possibilities this academic regional medical brings to the Valley.

“At the UMC celebration [in March] I used the word ‘abundance,’ Kinder said. “Well, here it is.”

This story was reported by Eddie Hughes. He can be reached at eddieh@communitymedical.org.