Archive for March, 2009

National Doctors Day 2009
—Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 7:52 pm— « »

The staff at Mendocino Coast District Hospital love to have a good time and National Doctors Day is a great excuse! This year National Doctors Day fell on Thursday, March 26. As usual we had a fantastic team of volunteers, including Medical Staff Coordinator, Pam Seale and countless members of our hospital staff, who planned this year’s event and then carried out to perfection.

Since March is “March (Basketball) Madness” Month, the Committee decided to celebrate by inviting our doctors to play a little game of “hoops.” Who would have thought that Family Physician, Dr. Diane Harris (pictured above in orange) would have been the overall winner with 2 baskets out of 3 attempts. We greatly appreciate our wonderful food services staff, who came through once again with a delicious breakfast for our doctors. And, who about those neck and shoulder rubs from our Rehab Dept staff! Congratulations to the Doctors of Mendocino Coast District Hospital and the dedicated doctors all across our Country! Happy Doctors Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
—Posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 10:44 pm— « »

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone out there. Although my last name, Hino, does not sound like an Irish name, my heritage is 1/4 Irish. My dad’s side of the family is Japanese (Hino is a Japanese name) and my mother’s side of the family is Scotch-Irish. Growing up, my mother would never let me leave the house on St. Patrick’s Day without wearing my green.

So, here I am today (notice the tie featuring shamrocks and Bugs Bunny). It was a great day today. I spoke to 2 orthopedic surgeons that have an interest in moving to our area, and perhaps best of all – I found out that we are still in the running for a Federal grant that I applied for last year. If funded, we would receive a huge boost towards developing a California Critical Access Hospital Network. Our critical access hospitals could really use a boost to sharing our stories, our resources and our successes. Maybe it really was the luck of the Irish today!

Citizens Advisory Committee and AB 648
—Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 7:57 pm— « »

We are blessed to have a group of approximately 15 community citizens who volunteer their time once per month to help Mendocino Coast District Hospital. On the second Saturday of each month, these volunteers spend 2 hours discussing the most recent events at MCDH and within our community. I look to them to provide me feedback, from a community member’s perspective, of what is going on in our hospital.

This month, the topic that got the most active discussion was an Assembly Bill (AB 648) that would allow rural hospitals such as MCDH to employ doctors in the future. As it stands today, California hospitals are prohibited by law from employing medical doctors. California is 1 of only 2 States in our Country that prohibit hospitals from employing doctors (Texas is the other one). We are finding that the doctors of today are very interested in employment. The other alternatives for doctors are to join an existing group of doctors in practice, or to go into business for themselves (private practice). Not surprisingly, more and more doctors choose the comfort and security of going to work for a large employer (e.g. a hospital) rather than going into business for themselves. It is going to take an outcry from doctors, citizens and hospitals in order to get AB 648 approved in California. I am so grateful that we have a group of committed citizens that are willing to make that kind of an effort.

Changing of the Guard in California’s Rural Hospitals
—Posted Friday, March 13th, 2009 at 10:33 pm— « »

I just returned from attending this year’s California Hospital Association (CHA) Rural Healthcare Symposium. This was the 24th Annual Symposium. Peggy Wheeler, CHA Vice President opened the conference on Thursday morning with an announcement that this year’s Symposium drew 120 attendees, including administrators, physicians, board members, managers and other health care professionals. Peggy said this was the largest attendance ever.

As usual, it was a great conference with relevant educational sessions on quality and process improvement, capital financing, information technology, new privacy laws and other important topics. For me, it was great to see my colleagues. Including the ones that I have known for years and some new ones as well. We bid a fond farewell to longtime California Rural Hospital CEOs such as David Mechtenberg, Jim Hoss and Debbie Scaiffe. And we welcomed their replacements, Jim Suver, Charlie Harrison and Harry Jasper. It’s always great to see talented new people joining our ranks. And, as I looked around the room, there were lots of other new faces as well.

It’s a challenging time in health care, but an exciting one too. I’m looking forward to working side by side with our new generation of administrators. With the quality of hospital administrators that we continue to attract to California, I feel very good about the future of health care in our State.