Trees on Mendocino coast

Into the Spaces
Story 30

“We have this knowledge set that’s 150 years old, and the world is ready for it,” shares Andrew Jahn, president of Adventist Health’s Care Division. “This gets me excited about everything that we’re doing in well-being and the dots that we have to connect on the map to take us from where we are today to the future.”

Mary Kate McKenna: I can only explain what it's like here on the Mendocino coast as a place to find respite, rejuvenation. If you come up Highway 128 from the Bay Area, you'll pass through the big redwoods. They're just lining your drive. They're just talking to you. They're telling you their stories and their history of how long they've been there and how they've stood fast while the world has changed. It's almost as if you're in a different century with that. You run out of radio. You can't get radio there either or cell phone service. Then, you see this river, and then there's this big curve. And you're like, "What's next?" You curve, and there it is, the Pacific Ocean.

Judson Howe: Practicing medicine in this community is a little bit different than some of the other areas because we live in these smaller communities where the people that we serve today are the people we're going to see in town tomorrow. With that comes a very high level of authenticity and accountability to the way we treat our neighbors. We're actually responsible for 30,000 lives in this county. We're actually aligned around improving their health and reducing their utilization of our inpatient services. I find that to be really beautiful because it's one of the things that keeps me up here because I want to work in a place where my interests are in their health, not in their utilization of our services.

William Miller: Adventist Health Mendocino Coast – we're the only hospital on the coast between Crescent City, which is on the border of Oregon, and San Francisco. All of the services that people get in this community, such as radiology, laboratory, inpatient services, emergency department, all of those would not be here. If this hospital had closed, which it was at risk of doing, this would have meant more than just losing healthcare. The economy would have been undermined. We're very fortunate that we were able to affiliate with Adventist Health at this time. I think that that speaks to the mission of Adventist Health, which is to look out for the health of a community and not just provide healthcare.

Bernie Norvell: The importance of keeping a critical access hospital in a rural community like this, where we're so isolated, really allows people to live here and enjoy the area and not worry about what happens if I get ill. For me, when Adventist decided to take a chance on the city of Fort Bragg, I feel like it saved us. I'm not exactly sure that we could have survived, not having a critical care hospital here. For me, I will forever be grateful that Adventist chose to basically jump on a sinking ship and right that shift and take a chance on the city that I call home.

Harry Balian: Glendale is, basically, in the middle of Los Angeles, which has 8 million plus people. It's a very densely populated neighborhood, wonderful people, warm-hearted. Some of them, unfortunately, practice unhealthy eating habits. They smoke. There's a high incidence of coronary disease, heart failure, and also valve disease. We, as clinicians, do our very best to take care of these patients.

Jose Chavez: At Adventist Health Glendale, we see about 350 to 400 patients in our lab. We really like to highlight that these patients are ours, that they could potentially be our family members, that they're friends and family. We want to be able to just care for them as much as we would our own. With the advancement of TAVR and MitraClip, as well as WATCHMAN, a lot of these structural heart cases, we're able to do them angiographically in the cath lab as well as complete.

Amirreza Solhpour: Basically, the beauty of these procedures are that you do these procedures without doing the open-heart surgery. Both the WATCHMAN procedure and MitraClip procedures can take any time between 30 minutes to three hours. But the advantage of these procedures is that you don't open the chest. We go through this small access site in the groin. We don't even make an incision in the groin. It has a very fast recovery. Most of the patient will be discharged a day after, around noon, and they can resume normal life after 48 hours.

Harry Balian: MitraClip is actually a staple. It's a sterilized staple that goes on top of the mitral valve, which has two leaflets. This valve is basically a gate that separates the left upper chamber from the left lower chamber. MitraClip is there to basically restore the integrity of the valve or leaflets so they can close together and takes away that leaky valve.

Jose Chavez: I think it's really important to note that the community here sees us as leading with technology, as well as the resources that we have available, including TAVR, WATCHMAN, and MitraClip. They're able to look at us and say, "I want to go there because I want to be home the next day," so they can spend that time with their family and get excellent care.