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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

Bringing Quality Care to the Most Vulnerable and Underserved

Pacifica Hospital of the Valley is a 231 bed safety net hospital located in Sun Valley, offering 24/7 emergency, acute, ICU, acute behavioral health, subacute/SNF and outpatient surgery services. Our hospital is in north San Fernando Valley and provides service to sub-acute level patients as far as 400+ miles away. Our focus is providing quality care to the most vulnerable and underserved community which covers approximately 15 zip codes in Los Angeles County. The need in our immediate and distant communities is high, so we have been able to manage through our financial limitations by diversifying our portfolio with various Managed Care Organizations and IPA groups.

Since the start of the pandemic in January 2020, Pacifica Hospital has undergone multiple surges with treating hundreds of COVID-19 patients. During this time of uncertainty, no playbook existed on how to navigate through this challenging period of time.

As president/CEO, I quickly managed to order PPE in advance prior to the first surge that occurred during the initial months of the pandemic. Our leadership team accelerated their efforts in all areas to establish and execute a game plan for infection control, environmental enhancements, staffing/training, specialized equipment to support COVID-19 ICU level patients.

With anticipation that the need for hospital care for COVID-19 patients was going to worsen before getting better and in response to the governor’s call to action to support the spiking surge, I decided to pivot our available beds and convert them to service acute, intensive care and subacute level COVID-19 patients.

Our hospital was identified by the state as a Regional COVID-19 Surge Site to help decompress other southern CA hospitals during the multiple surges. With that being said, CA hospitals lost billions of dollars incurred for essential staff, PPE, specialized equipment, infection control and environmental adaptations.

During the peak of our last surge in January 2021, we greenlit a new program partnering with the Department of Mental Health providing 26 beds for acute level patients who have a primary medical diagnosis with behavioral health issues. This new program services those patients with or without COVID-19. The referrals for this patient population continues to increase and with our collaborative efforts with DMH, the program has been very successful in meeting the needs of our mental health community. Our hospital has over 25 years of experience in behavioral health and our staff is passionate to support and successfully provide services and continue to expand our services for this growing population.

In summary, even though our hospital is on the smaller size, our level of services is robust and I am proud of our staff and leadership team for giving H.E.A.R.T. to the mission/vision for Pacifica Hospital of the Valley.

Precious Mayes is president and CEO of Pacifica Hospital of the Valley.

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