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Community Medical Centers provided more than $186 million in uncompensated services and programs in fiscal year 2013-14, equivalent to nearly 16% of its total expenses, according to the nonprofit hospital system’s annual community benefits report filed with the State of California.
If it wasn’t a broken bone or a sprained ankle, athletes were often encouraged to “shake it off” or “tough it out” and get back in the game. But that’s not the approach at Community Regional Medical Center where health professionals have partnered with others in the community to create a Concussion Consortium. Its goal: to educate local pediatricians and youth sports coaches about the signs and dangers of concussions – especially on developing brains.
Community Regional is one of the top performing hospitals in the country in providing for organ donation. Community has participated in the organ donor program for more than two decades. Nationwide, more than 123,000 people are awaiting organ transplants, including 1,500 in the Central San Joaquin Valley.
Born weighing 1 lb. 12 oz., Ava Elizabeth Powell needed more than just the heroic actions of doctors and nurses at Community Regional Medical Center’s Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit to survive. She needed the constant and specialized monitoring of a HeRO.
Kelsey Leyendekker never wanted to be anything but a neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurse taking care of the tiniest, most fragile newborns. She felt blessed to get into neonatologist Krishna Rajani’s “NICU University” at Community Regional Medical Center right after nursing school and receive financial help for the new graduates’ training from Community. And then Leyendekker was hired into her dream job at the hospital’s 84-bed NICU.
When Visalia resident Arthur Villareal was hit on his motorcycle, his wife Karen knew he needed to go to where she once worked as a nurse – Community Regional Medical Center’s Level 1 trauma center to receive top care. What she didn’t know, being so far from home, was the care she would also find for herself at Terry’s House.
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.
Community Regional Medical Center's sonography school has joined the only other program in the United States with accreditation to teach all four learning concentrations – General Sonography, Adult Cardiac Echo, Pediatric Cardiac Echo and Vascular Sonography. Even programs teaching ultrasound techniques at the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins do not have pediatric cardiac echo approval from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.