Debbe Magnusen, founder of Project Cuddle, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to saving babies’ lives, turned to Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital to save her own life.
Magnusen’s Project Cuddle is well-known in Hollywood circles and among Oprah Winfrey show watchers for its work in preventing infant abandonment by helping pregnant women find shelter, medical care and families to adopt their babies. Her savior, as she calls him, Dr. Kelvin Higa, is just as well known among bariatric surgeons.
Community Medical Centers is rolling out a new software system this month that uses "eyeprint" technology to enhance patient safety. RightPatient software integrates with Community’s electronic medical record system and uses a patient's unique iris pattern, or eyeprint, to quickly and accurately match the patient to his/her medical record.
In future years, when families start moving into the 30,000 homes planned for construction in southeast Madera County, Community Medical Centers will be there to meet the growing healthcare need.
Caroline Rhodes spends three hours a day just trying to breathe because of her cystic fibrosis – and now a national grant of $88,000 will help make it easier.
The grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was awarded to Dr. David Lee, medical director of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Program at Community Regional Medical Center and board certified in pulmonary and critical care medicine. It will help train the CF team members to provide specialized treatment for their patients – like Caroline whose entire day is spent working to breathe better.
It’s the nightmare scenario we all dread. Missy Hunt was at work when she received a call that her husband, Michael, had been in a horrific motorcycle accident in Sanger, Calif. The injuries he sustained were so severe that Michael had to be airlifted to the only Level 1 trauma center in the Valley, Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno.
Ryan and Aimee Ledger will never forget Sept. 3, 2014. That day, the new parents welcomed their 1 lbs. 6 oz. son Ethan, born 14 weeks early at Community Regional Medical Center. And after 33 days of fighting for his life and overcoming many obstacles in the hospital’s Level 3 NICU, he passed away.
“Everything happened so fast,” dad Ryan said. “One minute my wife was fine having a routine ultrasound, and the next she was being rushed to surgery to deliver.”
You have probably heard the saying, “All good things come in threes.” But what happens when those three things come all at once as in triplet babies?
For parents Aaron and Natalie Blankenship, it has been a rollercoaster going from a family of three to a family of six in what feels like the blink of an eye.
Community Medical Centers teamed up with the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation to donate and transport more than $200,000 in medical equipment and supplies to Jordan, which has taken in the majority of Syrian refugees from the war there.
Tiny Maria Perez stretches out in her neonatal intensive care (NICU) incubator, arms overhead, as if she’s enjoying her massage and breathing therapy. Born 17 weeks too early and weighing only 1.18 lbs. on Aug. 18 at Community Regional Medical Center, Maria gets an innovative treatment that uses percussive bursts of air to open up her lungs’ tiny air sacs and helps keep her off a ventilator.
For years Terra Alexander, 34, has been a frequent visitor to the emergency room when it feels like an elephant’s sitting on her chest and her breathing comes in labored, Darth Vader-like wheezes. Bronchial thermoplasty changed that.
One simple home visit by a health team to patients with severe asthma and pulmonary disease to check on why they keep missing doctors' appointments significantly improved their inhaler use and helped reduce emergency visits by 40%. The effort is part of Community Regional Medical Centers / UCSF Fresno Chronic Lung Disease Program – one of three such lung disease management programs in California.
The CyberKnife® system at Community Regional’s Charles & Ann Matoian Oncology Unit, was upgraded in October to enhance treatment for early-stage lung cancer patients. The addition of a “Lung Optimizing Treatment” means most lung cases can be treated without needing invasive surgical implantation of gold markers called fiducials at the tumor site. Before the upgrades, fiducials were required to guide CyberKnife laser treatments to accurately target the tumor while the lungs were moving during breathing.
Nearly 37 years of cigarette smoking finally caught up with Barbara Hernandez, 67. A routine CT scan before minor surgery for a deviated septum showed an orange-sized mass growing in her right lung.
Nora Salazar, 56, a busy mother of five and grandmother of 12, put off investigating the marble-sized lump she found in her right breast for several months so she could take care of family out of state. But once she made an appointment at the Marjorie E. Radin Breast Care Center, it took less than a week to get her initial mammogram, biopsy and diagnosis.
This week Community Medical Centers Board of Trustees approved funding for a $68 million, 100,000-square-foot regional cancer treatment and research center — the first of its kind in the San Joaquin Valley.
The last of a few hundred Community Medical Centers’ corporate employees, after over a year, made their transition to their newly renovated office space on Shaw Avenue stretching from blocks 1510 to 1550.
The Transfusion Service at Community Regional Medical Center, also known as the hospital Blood Bank, has once again earned accreditation by the world's premier professional body representing blood collection facilities and hospital transfusion services – the AABB. Once called the American Association of Blood Banks, this organization’s voluntary program contributes to the quality and safety of collecting, processing, testing, distributing and administering blood. Pathologist David Slater, Community Regional laboratory medical director and Community Medical Centers’ board member said accreditation by the AABB means an organization's commitment to safe and effective transfusion medicine is at the highest standard of practice.
Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery program this spring, marking 8,925 total bariatric procedures performed. The program is the busiest bariatric program in California with high marks from regulatory agencies and organizations that track and rate medical quality.
Internationally-known bariatric surgeon Kelvin Higa calls his newest associate Dr. Pearl Ma “the best of the best.” Dr. Ma, who was top of her class during her minimally invasive fellowship training with UCSF Fresno, recently joined the Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program at Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital. She’s also the first woman bariatric surgeon in Fresno County. She says she chose to specialize in bariatric surgery because she found patients with obesity to be the sickest and loves the dramatic turnaround she sees in her patients’ health.
Local interior design company owner Kay Garabedian got lucky the evening a large clot lodged in her brain. Lucky her good friend and business partner was there and knew the signs of a stroke. Lucky she got to a hospital right away. And lucky that first hospital sent her to Community Regional Medical Center, which had the expertise and technology to remove the clot from her brain.
Patients who once traveled to the Bay Area or Los Angeles for brain and spine specialists have found that expertise at Community Regional Medical Center. Over the past six years Community has committed the resources to quadruple the number neurosurgeons from 3 to 13 and open a 20-bed neuro intensive care unit – the only one in the region. Community has also increased surgical staff by 80% and added four more operating suites to support a surge in patients, many of them transferred from other hospitals for a higher level of care.
In 2007 medical researchers looking at Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties found an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease for those who lived and worked in agricultural areas sprayed with pesticides and especially for those on well water. The Central Valley has the highest rates of Parkinson’s disease in California with Kings County being among the worst at 10 times higher than the rest of California. But until recently those with Parkinson’s had to leave the Valley to find experts in deep brain stimulation – a treatment that has allowed many patients to continue active lives.
Donald Speed, Jr. will never forget his 21st birthday. That was the day he received a 3-wheeled motorcycle. But birthday excitement soon turned to panic as he was driving to his girlfriend’s house and the power steering went out, the wheel locked up, and he had to slam on the brakes of the 3-wheeler. Then Speed had to make a split second decision to avoid two poles directly in his path. Instead of hitting the poles, he turned and slammed into a mound of dirt – flipping the vehicle.
A $50,000 sterile processing system installed last summer at Community Regional Medical Center is saving 1 million gallons of water a year. It’s one of several water-saving measures Community’s hospitals have adopted during California’s historic drought.
In the past year, Community Medical Centers has saved nearly 1.4 million lbs. of waste from landfills by working with vendors to recycle everything from cardboard packaging and paper to used surgical towels, surgical instruments and old electronic equipment and office machinery. It’s part of our commitment to be greener and reduce our hospital network’s carbon footprint. As a member of the national Healthier Hospitals Initiative, Community is working to raise awareness of the connection between a cleaner, greener environment and better public health.