Connect Live @ Adventist Health

Connect Live | February 10, 2022
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In this episode, learn what a five-star rating means in hospital care and get acquainted with the communities of Adventist Health Delano and Tehachapi Valley, as well as their CEO, David Butler. Additionally, we focus on the theme of this year's Black History Month.

Jessica Reynoso: What gives me strength is my faith, my kids, and making a difference in people's lives.

Cassim Jadwet: I'm here to help people out, so when I see the smiling faces on the patient or visitors, that's my biggest strength, helping people out.

Ian Pollak: The things that give me strength nowadays are the love of my wife and my son, and the support of the team that I have here at Adventist.

Ignacio Pellegrin: So what gives me strength is family, is the number one thing that gives me strength. They keep me going, as well as here, my coworkers and the patients. Especially during this time, these challenging times, going to work here is essential. We do take care of our patients, and so given that we're short-staffed, they keep not just me, but the whole department going.

Maggie Navarro: I find strength in being witness to what goes into caring for a whole community. While I'm not a clinical staff member, working in healthcare in a hospital during a pandemic has really opened my eyes to the selflessness of so many people. This community is so connected to White Memorial, and seeing everything that the nurses give each day helps me realize that we all have strength in us that we never even knew we had.

Joyce Newmyer: How do we talk to and with each other? How do we maybe do less telling? Because communication isn't just about sharing information. It's a two-way street. How do we ask more questions?

Welcome to Connect Live at Adventist Health. I'm Joyce Newmyer, the Chief Culture Officer at Adventist Health and your host for Connect Live.

Live this week, a five-star experience, Adventist Health in Delano and Tehachapi, and Black History Month. A five-star experience – Congratulations to Adventist Health Howard Memorial in Willits, California. They were recently recognized by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the nine top-rated hospitals for patient experience in the state of California. There are 10 patient experience measurements, and the CMS awarded the five star-rating for all 10 for Howard. CMS created the five-star quality rating system to help patients and their families more easily identify quality care. Taking care of our patients and their families is living God's love for Adventist Health. I had the privilege of visiting Howard Memorial last week, and what a privilege it was to spend time with these amazing caregivers. Thank you to our associates at Adventist Health Howard Memorial for attaining this prestigious recognition. Thank you for lifting up our communities, and each other.

Today, I am delighted to welcome David Butler, President of Adventist Health Delano and Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. David, thank you for being with me.

David Butler: A pleasure to be here. I look forward to sharing more about Tehachapi and Delano.

Joyce Newmyer: Oh, I'm looking forward to it, as well. You're the leader of both of these hospitals. Let's talk about Delano first. So where is Delano, and what is it known for?

David Butler: Delano is located in central California and it's about 30 miles north of Bakersfield along Highway 99, and it was founded in 1869 as a railroad town, and it was named after Columbus Delano, who was the Secretary of the Interior for the US. It's actually the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in Kern County, with about 60,000 population. And it's really well known for the ag organizations or ag culture and companies within Delano. There's actually 132 ag companies in the Delano surrounding area, but some of the famous ones are the wonderful companies SunView and Hronis Farms to mention a few, but they're most well known for their table grapes. And so if you love grapes, this is the place you want to come to get some of the best grapes in the state.

Joyce Newmyer: Wow. I've driven through Delano many times, but I didn't know all of that history. Tell us what's special about the hospital in Delano.

David Butler: Yeah, I love that question because it's a very easy one. It's the people. I fell in love with the people here. The employees are amazing, the community, the physicians. They were incredibly welcoming when I came and shared the vision of Adventist Health and that Delano was going to join. And just a rich culture here, really the epitome of what Adventist Health stands for in its mission.

Joyce Newmyer: Well, that sounds like a really rich experience to work there and to serve there. And we're so happy that that facility is part of Adventist Health now. So let's talk about Tehachapi. What is Tehachapi known for?

David Butler: Oh, Tehachapi is a very interesting town. It's really known most for its Tehachapi train Loop. People come from all over the country to watch the train go around this 360-degree loop to come up the Tehachapi Mountain. Tehachapi sits at about 4,000 feet, which is actually the highest-altitude hospital within Adventist Health. And actually, the word Tehachapi means hard climb, because it's a train town. And so it's also known for the solar wind farms. They have over almost 5,000 solar turbines all along the mountainside when you come into Tehachapi. It's a pretty impressive site. And then one other thing is they're very famous for quite a few movies that were filmed in Tehachapi. Just to name a few, the Star Trek Generations, Across The Moon with Christina Applegate, Herbie: Fully Loaded back in 2005, and then Batman Revenge in 2003. So, very fascinating that many of these movies were filmed in the Tehachapi area.

Joyce Newmyer: That is interesting. I've also driven through Tehachapi several times. It's also known for its aerospace industry, isn't it?

David Butler: Yeah. So down in Mojave, there's a aerospace museum there, and there's been quite a few famous happening or events with the Virgin Galactic, actually many other things that the Mojave Space and Air Museum is actually doing. And we just asked the CEO of the Mojave Space and Air Museum to be on the board at Tehachapi, and so we're looking forward to get to know him better.

Joyce Newmyer: Well, that's exciting. I hope I get to meet him. The hospital in Tehachapi has received some recent recognition for really strong performance. Tell us more about that.

David Butler: Yeah. That's one of the hallmarks of Tehachapi. Being a smaller, critical access hospital, we really focus on patient experience and community customer service, our employee engagement scores. Tehachapi was recognized as one of the top 43 hospitals in California for patient experience. We also won the Large Business of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce up in Tehachapi. And probably the one I’m most proud of is that Tehachapi Valley hospital there was awarded as the women's choice hospital or the women's choice. And so we know that women pretty much dictate where healthcare is done. And I know if other women are like my wife, I go where my wife tells me to go. So we're very proud of that recognition.

Joyce Newmyer: Smart man. I've met your wife, and so I know that's a good plan.

David Butler: That's right.

Joyce Newmyer: David, thank you for leading at both of these hospitals, and for shaping their future and the way that they are a part of Adventist Health. It's such a privilege to have them as part of our system. And thank you for the work that you're doing there with these teams.

David Butler: Well I'm honored, and it's been a great experience bringing in Delano to the Adventist Health family. And then Tehachapi is a newcomer, as well, about three years ago. So, tremendous employees and tremendous communities that we're proud to be part of. So thank you.

Joyce Newmyer: Well, thanks for being with us here today. Our final story today is Black History Month: Health and Wellness Pioneers. February is Black History Month, an annual observance originating in the United States in 1976 and dedicated to celebrating the achievements and the history of Black Americans. Each year, the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History selects a theme for the month, and this year it's Black health and wellness. In line with this theme, we are celebrating a few of Black history's health and wellness pioneers. We invite you to discover the rich contribution to healthcare from the Black community. Against all odds, mission and vision generated health and wellness pioneers. You can read all about them at Friends, thank you for connecting live and we'll see you here again next week. Until then, let's all be a force for good.