Archive for the ‘Mendocino County Hospitals’ Category

Wellness Calendar: More classes and free lectures for improving health
—Posted Monday, December 22nd, 2014 at 5:56 pm— «

MCDH Wellness & Rehab Manager Sarah Wagner reports that between 350-375 people attended this year’s Wellness Festival, with a notable increase in the number of families bringing children along to enjoy the free activities. The Hospital performed more tests than in prior years, totaling an average of 80 tests, with 70 cholesterol tests alone.

Here are photo highlights of this informative and engaging annual event, which is coordinated by the MCDH Wellness Team. Many thanks to staff, volunteers, and wellness providers who help make this important community event an ongoing success.

New Board Seated; Previous Board Give Farewells
—Posted Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 2:53 pm— « »

Wayne Allen, Patricia juaregui-Darland and Dr. Benjamin "Buz" Graham

Retiring CEO/CFO Wayne Allen with outgoing board members Patricia Juaregui-Darland and Dr. Benjamin “Buz” Graham at their final board meeting Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Fort Bragg, California – December 12, 2014 — The new Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board was seated at a special board meeting on Wednesday, December 10 at Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Newly elected board members Ms. Kitty Bruning, RN, Dr. Peter Glusker, and Dr. William Rohr were sworn in. Elections for office were held, in addition to the assigning of board members to committees.

In a final meeting of the previous board on Tuesday, December 2, outgoing Board Chair Patricia Jauregui-Darland, RN, stated, “Please join me in sending a wish for the best of success to the new board. Embrace the future with optimism.”

At the December 2 meeting, Ms. Juaregui-Darland handed out a statement with her thanks and final thoughts upon taking leave of her six years of service to the board. In the document, she said, “I have worked diligently with great resolve to fulfill my oath of office and the responsibility that it bears. . . . my main goal as a [then] new director for the Health Care District was to make a pervasive case for quality health care through Accountability, Leadership, and Financial Stability. . . . The daunting lists of challenges presented were many. All have been addressed. . . . I am very proud of what has been accomplished.”

At the same meeting, retiring board member Dr. Benjamin “Buz” Graham, stated that he was concerned with affiliation during his four years on the board. “It turned out, for better or worse, that no one is interested in us.”

He noted that as the hospital moves forward, improving physician retention is of critical importance. “We lose physicians every year from attrition. How do we get physicians that are community-based [rather than who travel here for a few days each week or month]?” He also wished the new board well in their endeavors.

The new officers of the Heath Care District board are incumbent Mr. Sean Hogan, Chair; Ms. Bruning, Vice Chair; Dr. Rohr, Treasurer; Dr. Glusker, Secretary; and incumbent Tom Birdsell, Member. Mr. Birdsell will chair the Planning Committee in addition to functioning as the Joint Powers Association (JPA) Representative. The Finance Committee will be chaired by Dr. Rohr.

The next meeting of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board will be Tuesday, December 30 at 6:00pm (due to the Christmas holiday). Meetings will resume a regular schedule in January, on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00pm in the Hospital’s Redwoods Room, 700 River Drive, Fort Bragg. The community is invited to attend.

Board member contacts can be found at

MCDH CEO/CFO Wayne Allen Retires from Hospital
—Posted Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 3:50 pm— « »

MCDH CEO/CFO Wayne Allen

Retiring CEO/CFO Wayne Allen (right) with Interim CFO Steve Miller and Interim CEO Jim Sato.

Board, staff, and community praise Allen’s service to MCDH, and enjoy a down home barbecue at farewell party

Fort Bragg, California – December 5, 2014 — Wayne Allen, Interim CEO/CFO of Mendocino Coast District Hospital for the past three years, retired on Thursday, December 4, handing the jobs over to Interim CEO James Sato and Interim CFO Steve Miller. Mr. Allen stated, “I’ve had a very wonderful journey—twice (referring to his first stint at MCDH from 2006–2008). I’ve appreciated all the support; we have a wonderful team here.”

At the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, December 2, Mr. Allen introduced both Sato and Miller as the team who will take the hospital through the next three to five months during the continued search for a permanent CEO and CFO. Mr. Allen said, “These guys are going to fit in well. They’ve already met our department heads. We’ve been working steadily for the past 48 hours to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Mr. Sato, who was CEO of MCDH from 1991–1994, has 39 years experience in healthcare administration and is well-respected by long-time staff at MCDH. Mr. Miller, from Dallas, Texas, has 30 years experience as a hospital and medical center financial officer. He stated, “I thank you all for placing your trust in me, and I look forward to being here.”

Mr. Allen received many well wishes and kudos for his service to the hospital at a going away party in the hospital’s cafeteria on Wednesday, December 3. Requesting grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for his going away party, barbecue chefs Will Lee, Medical Staff Services Manager, and John Funderburk, Maintenance Manager, were happy to oblige, saying, “It’s Wayne’s day; what Wayne wants, Wayne gets.”

Inside the cafeteria, Chief Nursing Officer Terry Murphy, RN, and Administrative Assistant Gayl Moon served up barbecue, along with a side dish of tasty Santa Maria beans, homemade by Nutrition Services Coordinator Shonda Sanders. A salad and condiments bar rounded out the fare and dessert was a German Chocolate Cake, Mr. Allen’s favorite.

Outgoing Health Care District Board President Patricia Juaregui-Darland stated that Mr. Allen had been a wonderful partner to the board during his tenure and that she would miss his jovial banter. Staff presented Mr. Allen with cards and a framed photograph by hospital staff member Mark Scheffer, who is also a fine art landscape photographer.

Mr. Allen will be staying on at MCDH as a part-time consultant to complete several special projects that are pending. He is looking forward to spending more time with his family “who has been missing me” at his home in Reno, Nevada.

Farewell Party Photo Gallery

Hospital Participates in County-wide Ebola Drill
—Posted Friday, November 21st, 2014 at 2:12 pm— « »

Demonstration of use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

During Thursday’s county-wide Ebola drill, MCDH Housekeeper Rosa Ramos demonstrates the personal protection equipment (PPE) that would be used to keep Hospital staff safe from viral contamination in the event of the arrival of an actual Ebola patient. In addition, a respiratory hood would be added to ensure a fresh air supply.

Fort Bragg, California – November 21, 2014 — “Patient arrives at the Emergency Room; temperature 102.3◦ F, with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. . . .” This scenario happens hundreds of times a year at the hospital.  However, this could be something much more serious than a case of the flu. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) can present in much the same way. For that reason, Mendocino Coast District Hospital participated in the Mendocino County 2014 Statewide Medical and Health Functional Exercise.

During the exercise, Dr. Keith Curtis, an Emergency Medicine physician, nursing staff, and clerical support staff were challenged with an unannounced visit Thursday, November 20, from a person posing as a patient suffering symptoms of Ebola infection. Dr. Curtis and the nurses rapidly identified the serious condition of the mock patient by evaluating the patient’s recent travel history to Liberia in West Africa and the array of symptoms that were reported to the registration clerk. The nurse activated the Hospital Incident Command System, bringing all departments to high alert. The doctor notified the Mendocino County Public Health Department (MCPHD), Hospital Infection Control, and the Infectious Disease resource physician. The patient was directed to a safe location outside the ER, away from other patients. The nurse put on personal protective equipment (PPE) then guided the patient to a special isolation room where there would be no exposure to other patients or staff.

The Departmental Operations Center at MCPHD rapidly responded with a report that a specially designated ambulance was on the way to pick up the patient and transport her to the nearest Ebola treatment center.

The Hospital management team participated in the drill to study and improve the Hospital’s level of preparedness. Staff participation and enthusiasm was impressive! Specific steps to improve communication were identified. The Hospital Incident Command staff drilled on working with County Medical and Health Operational Area Program staff to requisition critical equipment and supplies of PPE. Volunteers from a number of departments are currently signing up for training in putting on and removing the personal protective equipment needed for this level of care.

As a result of this exercise, the Hospital will have an improved Ebola care plan to identify, isolate, notify appropriate agencies, and transfer the patient to the appropriate facility for care. The goals of the exercise were to have the patient cared for and staff able to safely return to their work, both of which were successfully met.

–Emmet O’Connell, MCDH Laboratory Manager and Infection Control Officer

Successful Candidates’ Forum at Cotton Auditorium
—Posted Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 1:50 pm— « »

Candidates for Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors. From left: Dr. William Rohr, Dr. Peter Glusker, Dr. John Kermen, Michael Carroll, and RN Kitty Bruning.

Candidates for Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors. From left: Dr. William Rohr, Dr. Peter Glusker, Dr. John Kermen, Michael Carroll, and RN Kitty Bruning.

Close to 200 community members turned out at Cotton Auditorium on Monday, October 6 for the Health Care District-sponsored Candidates’ Forum. The evening, moderated by the League of Women Voters, was intended to introduce the candidates to the community and help inform the community about each candidate through a question and answer session.

CEO/CFO Wayne Allen commented, “The Candidates’ Public Forum was a great success. We had a very large turnout of community members, and they wanted to learn more about the views of each candidate. The community was not disappointed, and each person in attendance is now much better informed after the two-hour discussion.”

Questions ranged from how much experience each candidate has working on other boards, to how to keep the Hospital current with medical technology advances, to what is needed to influence community members to stay on the coast for their healthcare, and from how much involvement a board should have in the day-to-day operations of the hospital to a current statewide ballot measure concerned with testing of physicians for drug use.

CEO/CFO Allen stated, “They’re going after a tough job with zero compensation. I appreciate each one of these candidates stepping up for our Hospital.”

To watch a video replay of the forum, go to

Many thanks to the candidates, the League of Women Voters, and to the community for coming out and participating in the electoral process through this forum.

International Day of Peace
—Posted Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 4:26 pm— « »

International Day of Peace Sept 21The community is cordially invited to join the Chaplaincy Program of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital for the annual International Day of Peace on Monday, September 22 from 2:00–3:00pm at the Hospital Courtyard by the New Patient Registration Building. Patients, Hospital staff, and members of the community will join together in an hour of Prayer/Meditation for Peace and Healing for our World. Participants will share music, prayer, and meditation.

Event organizer Reverend Tanya Wyldflower, MCDH Chaplain Coordinator, comments, ”After the 9/11 tragedy, our Chaplaincy Program was asked to do something to help the Hospital staff with the shock and grieving of that event. MCDH has continued to offer this event each year because as an institution of healing, our hospital endeavors to bring people back into a place of peace and healing within their bodies and spirits, if possible. In this we are no different from hospitals around the world. Unlike some hospitals, we conduct our business in an atmosphere of relative peace—most of the time. We do not have to contend with bombs and a constant stream of war victims. Yet, even at this small rural hospital, we do have to deal with the effects of violence and drug wars. At times our emergency room and ICU feel like they are under siege or under lock down due to potential violence. In unity with all our brothers and sisters across the world, we acknowledge that healing is supported best by an atmosphere of peace.”

This International World Day of Prayer for Peace was set on September 21 — the Equinox, a time of balance — by the United Nations, The first UN Proclamation establishing an International Day of Peace was issued in 1981 and called for an observation to be set for September 21. The UN Resolution declares that “the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global cease fire and nonviolence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day. ” For the past 33 years, the International Day of Peace has been a catalyzing opportunity for individuals, nations, and civil society to unite in shared yearning for a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

The Fort Bragg City Council, in support of the UN Proclamation has issued a proclamation recognizing September 21 as the International Day of Peace.

For more information, contact Chaplain Coordinator, Reverend Tanya Wyldflower at 961-1234 ext 208.

Celebrating the Arrival of Ophthalmologist Kevin Miller, MD, and the opening of NCFHC’s Suite C
—Posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 1:56 pm— « »

Grand opening of NCFHC Suite C and Dr. Miller reception at MCDH.Around 160 people stopped by North Coast Family Health Center’s (NCFHC) newly opened Suite C on Friday afternoon July 25, to see the tour the facility, enjoy carrot cake and carrot juice, and to meet Dr. Kevin Miller, who began seeing patients on Monday, July 28.

On hand to greet guests and give tours were NCFHC Practice Administrator Ilona Horton and hospital CEO/CFO Wayne Allen. Mr. Allen says,”Ilona has done a tremendous job in recruiting Dr. Miller and other new providers to our staff, as well as overseeing the upgrades to Suite C. We feel the community will be pleased with the quality of our new care providers here at North Coast Family Health Center, and will prefer to stay on the coast for their general and specialty health care needs.”

Joining Dr. Miller’s staff are long-time Ophthalmic Medical Technician Sandy Ponts, new Ophthalmic Medical Technician Ivan Martinez (who also recently graduated from the Mendocino County Office of Education Phlebotomist Training Program), and Jennifer Powers, who is moving from NCFHC Suite A to be the Unit Clerk for Suite C.

In addition to general eye exams, Dr. Miller will perform surgeries to correct cataracts and strabismus. He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

To make an appointment for specialty eye care services, please phone (707) 961-4995. New patients are welcomed. Both Dr. Miller and OMT Martinez are fluent in Spanish. Se hablan Español.

 Link to information about Dr. Kevin Miller.

MCDH Offers Coast Residents Latest Nuclear Medicine Camera Technology
—Posted Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 12:59 pm— « »

New Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera at Mendocino Coast District Hospital

Mendocino Coast District Hospital’s new, state-of-the-art Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera, the GE Discovery NM630. Left to right: Nuclear Medicine tech Nancy Mader, CNMT, RT(R); CFO/Interim CEO Wayne Allen, Board President Patricia Jauregui-Darland; Dr. Russell Perry; Randall Boberg, Interim Diagnostic Imaging Center Director.

Fort Bragg, California – July 1, 2014 – State-of-the-art technology is now in use at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) in the form of a new Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera, purchased with funds raised by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation.

The Nuclear Medicine Gamma Camera Project included purchase of the camera, new flooring, and architect fees. The Hospital Foundation provided the $346,000 via its annual Winesong! event and through community donations.

Interim Diagnostic Imaging Center Manager Randall Boberg says, “This diagnostic equipment gives Mendocino Coast residents access to technology that is five years newer than what is being used in some Santa Rosa- and San Francisco-area hospitals. Patients no longer have to travel ‘over the hill’ for nuclear medicine studies. They can have the best care here at Mendocino Coast District Hospital.”

The new Gamma camera, now in use at MCDH’s Diagnostic Imaging Center, is a GE Discovery NM630, a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system designed to offer more precise information and better outcomes for patients through earlier detection of disease.

The NM630 offers auto-body contouring for enhanced image clarity and resolution. Patients are closer to the detectors and scanning happens simultaneously on both front and back of the body, which also means a lower dose of radiation. Patients benefit by more comfortable positioning on the table, ease of access for all abilities and sizes (up to 500 pounds), and shorter scan time, maximizing patient comfort.

Studies include whole-body scans and bone scans; nuclear cardiac stress tests; liver, renal, spleen, and thyroid scans; brain scans; and lung scans. Patients may discuss the possibility of having a procedure by talking with their doctor. For more information, phone the Diagnostic Imaging Center at (707) 961-4940.

MCDH To Participate in County’s Biggest Loser Challenge
—Posted Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 9:10 am— « »

The hospital’s rehab / wellness team has just opened up registration for the Biggest Loser Challenge to employees and volunteers and the response has been enthusiastic, according to Wellness Coordinator Donna Schuler. If you haven’t heard, here’s what’s happening:

Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) will participate in the County of Mendocino’s 12-week “2013 Biggest Loser Challenge” beginning May 6 in an effort to improve the health of residents on the coast.

The announcement came from Sarah Wagner, PT, manager of the hospital’s rehabilitation program, who will facilitate the local program with MCDH Wellness Coordinator Donna Schuler.

Credit for the Biggest Loser Challenge and resource materials goes to Katie S. Ford, Mendocino County Wellness Program Specialist II. Ford is helping manage the MCDH effort and is providing all necessary resource materials at no cost to Mendocino Coast Hospital.


It’s Time to Light Up A Life
—Posted Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 7:16 am— « »

For the eighth year, the hospital’s hospice program is holding its “Light Up A Life” fundraiser. For $25, the name of a loved one will be written on a silver star and placed on one of several beautiful “Memory” Trees in the lobby of the Outpatient Services Building.

Like last year, for $25 you can also honor a beloved pet. The pets name will be placed on smaller tree nearby.

On December 6 at 7pm, the names of all those honored will be read at the 8th Annual Memorial Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Our goal is to build awareness for the hospice program and raise funds to help our friends, family and neighbors deal with end of life. The program is supported entirely by donations. To buy a star, honor a loved one, and give a boost to hospice, click here to donate.