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2017 Doctors' Day Letters


CENTRAL VALLEY – In March, Adventist Health / Central Valley Network invited community members and employees to share positive experiences with their Adventist Health physician. Here are the letters we received:

Dr. Najla Ahmadzia

“I have been a patient of Dr. Ahmadzia’s for approximately two years and have received outstanding care with each and every visit. She is current on the latest research and highly knowledgeable in her field of medicine. I know that when I see her she will take the time to listen to me and prescribe the best course of treatment based on her expert knowledge and/or diagnostic results from recommended testing. I have complete confidence that she will do whatever is necessary for my health and well-being. I have suggested that my relatives and friends seek her as their physician.”

Dr. Carlos Bayardo

“I am writing to express my experience with Dr. Carlos Bayardo. He is a great doctor and a wonderful person to have as my family doctor. He helped me with me and my daughter…”

Dr. Miguel Angel Cano

“He always respects his patients’ choices and is one of the best obstetricians I have worked with in my career.”

Dr. Rene S. Charles

“Dr. Charles is the most caring doctor I have ever had. When he performed my operation, he would come to Selma to check on me, and all his patients, before opening his practice in Dinuba and again after closing. Always with a great smile and always a positive attitude. I love the way I was treated by Dr. Charles and all the staff at Selma.”

Dr. Jaclyn Costello

“I had the privilege of working alongside Dr. Jaclyn Costello in the Adventist Medical Center – Hanford Emergency Room on a day that began as ordinary and turned extraordinary. We had an elderly patient who was near death and feared her family would not arrive in time. Dr. Costello had to call the patient’s son to tell him his mother was not doing well and later to let him know she had passed away. This is never an easy conversation, but she did it with a genuine caring heart. When the son arrived, he asked if he could speak with the doctor who had telephoned him. He wanted to let her know how much he appreciated the phone calls regardless of the news, and how he felt comforted by them until he was able to arrive. Dr. Costello was able to show compassion for her patient, and the family, beyond the bedside through a simple phone call that meant everything.”

Dr. Jacqueline DeCastro

“Dr. DeCastro is simply the best! When I have had health challenges in the past, I have always felt that my concerns were heard and addressed. I believe, as both her patient and a nurse who has worked with her, that she always has her patient's best interests at heart. She is compassionate and has a passion for providing quality healthcare. I have recommended her to my family members, who also share my appreciation for this wonderful doctor. Thank you, Dr. DeCastro!”

Dr. Aaron Dominguez

“When I was pregnant, Dr. Dominguez was the one I trusted with everything. If it wasn’t for him sending me to get tested for intrauterine growth restriction, I would have never known. He was constantly doing weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds to make sure my baby was doing well. When it came time for me to deliver, I’m glad he was there to perform my C-section. I will be eternally grateful for the care I received from Dr. Dominguez!”

Dr. Willie B. Ewing

“A day after my oldest son unexpectedly passed away, my youngest son became ill and needed to see Dr. Ewing. He had a full schedule that day, but saw him anyway. Not only did Dr. Ewing treat my child's illness, he treated his heart. He allowed my son a safe spot away from home to talk and cry about his brother's death. Without knowing, he gave my son the courage to continue to talk about his brother, cry about him and share about him. He also gave him permission to come back ‘just to talk,’ anytime! Thank you, Dr. Ewing for your utmost compassion.”

Dr. Bruno A. Garcia

“Dr. Bruno Garcia is such a wonderful and caring doctor. He has been my parents’ primary care physician for many years. Recently my mother had problems with the pharmacy filling a critical medication for her hypertension that Dr. Garcia had prescribed. The pharmacy was contacting the wrong doctor and she was without medication. Once we notified Dr. Garcia, he took the time to contact the pharmacy and get it all straightened out for her and he did this on his personal time on a weekend. She was also having problems with her insurance company approving a medication her cardiologist had prescribed.  Dr. Garcia stepped in to help get authorization for her medication when everyone else was dragging their feet on this. Dr. Garcia truly demonstrates Adventist's vision and values and makes his patients feel cared for.”

Dr. Mark Hoffman

“I was brought in by ambulance on a Monday night to Adventist Health ER. To say I was scared is an understatement. Upon arrival at the hospital, I was immediately put into a room and a nurse and Dr. Hoffman came right in. They talked to me about what was going on, told me what tests they were going to run, and got right on it. Everything happened very quickly, for which I am very appreciative as I was in severe pain and thought it was my heart. Dr. Hoffman was very comforting, explained everything that was going on, and came back several times throughout the evening to check on me. The next night, Dr. Hoffman personally called me to see how I was doing. He said he was worried about me and wanted to make sure I was feeling better and asked if I had any questions. I'm very appreciative for the care I received from Dr. Hoffman and the ER staff.”

Dr. Rehan Kanji (2 comments)

“I have the privilege of working with Dr. Kanji doing case management. Dr. Kanji is proactive in making sure his patients receive the care they deserve from the time they first come to the hospital to the time they leave. I've seen him here first thing in the morning, and also seen him in the hospital at nearly midnight, spending 16 hours or more in-house without complaint. He doesn't leave until his work is done; and what a hard worker! He will see patients that are holding in ER, awaiting beds to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks, and follow up with Med-Surg patients in the evening (after most other staff have left) to reassure them. He treats his patients with compassion, making sure that their questions are answered, and is respectful toward staff when they have questions. When patients near the end of life, he does everything he can to ease their suffering and support their families. I'm thankful that we have a physician like Dr. Kanji in our community.”

“Words cannot describe how special Dr. Kanji is. He cares for his patients both medically and spiritually. He understands that to heal someone you need to heal the whole being. He shows heartfelt compassion when he visits his patients on his off-time, to make sure they are doing well. Many of his patients have anxiety issues and he comes in to reassure them that their discharge plan will still go as planned. He demonstrates enthusiastic respect for his patients regardless of their situation. He gives of himself on his time-off without asking for compensation or acknowledgement. He treats the whole patient ̶ ̶   not just their illness, but their inner well-being. If someone has anxiety, he realizes we cannot expect their heart rate to go down if they are feeling anxious. He also possesses inner integrity. He does not see the patient as good or bad, right or wrong. He does not judge them if they are homeless, drink alcohol excessively, or if they do drugs. He treats them as any other patient, providing the same treatment and care he would give to any other patient. Dr. Kanji is what Adventist Health strives to be about   ̶ ̶   compassion and care for patients, staff and coworkers.”

Dr. Sohail Mamdani

“In a span of just over three weeks, starting on February 13, I went from experiencing sharp abdominal pain with severe digestive dysfunction to Dr. Sohail Mamdani diagnosing me with a gangrenous gallbladder that required immediate surgery. … I was scared but knew I was in good hands. … He then monitored me very closely for the next few days and I was finally released to go home on March 8. I continue to improve each day! I can’t thank Dr. Mamdani enough. He is so kind and caring. I truly believe his thorough and aggressive treatment saved my life!” 

Dr. Mario Martinez

“My daughter was born a little more than a month early, weighing just 4 pounds. She had this bump on her head that was getting bigger. On her 3-day checkup, we saw Dr. Martinez and he assured me everything would be fine. He took such good care of her. … He always explained everything to me so I would understand. The bump turned out to be a hematoma and it went away on its own. Today, my daughter is almost 2 years old and she still loves to see Dr. Martinez!”

Dr. Agustin Rubio (2 comments)

“Dr. Rubio is a kind and attentive doctor who is genuine and does not make me feel like a bother to him. He makes me feel as though my life is important to him and works to make me a healthier person. I have confidence in his abilities to seek the best actions to help keep me up and moving, and to be the healthiest I can be. I thank him and his staff.”

“Dr. Rubio is very good for my health! He is very knowledgeable, and more important, a very good listener. He is therefore able to understand my health concerns and provide me with the proper treatment and advice. I can also see that his co-workers like working with him. Your organization is very fortunate to have him as a physician. Our community is very fortunate, as well. Thank you for this opportunity to tell you about my doctor. Dr. Rubio and his staff are wonderful!” 

Dr. Dustin Schleif

“I would like to recognize Dr. Dustin Schleif. Dr. Schleif is the best hospitalist this hospital employs. When I come into work and see that he will be the hospitalist for the night, I always feel better. I know that it does not matter what the night might bring, our patients are in great hands under the care of Dr. Schleif. “In addition to this, in my almost nine years working as a nurse, I have never seen or heard about a doctor going unit to unit sharing his birthday cake with staff! Dr. Schleif really lives God's love and shares it.”

Drs. Mike Shin & Daniel Schlund

“I am so grateful to two doctors who came together to remove a very difficult bronchial cluster cyst from my husband’s neck. In May 2016, my husband had a lump on his neck. He had been to several doctors and they couldn't diagnose him. They thought it was cancerous so we went to another doctor who ordered a biopsy. He took a sample of the bulge in my husband’s neck; it wasn't cancerous but it had started to grow. My husband started to lose feeling in his ear and neck area, so the doctor referred him to an ear, nose and throat doctor in Fresno. It was going to take 4-6 weeks to get in; meanwhile the lump on his neck continued to grow. I made an appointment with Dr. [Mike] Shin in Hanford ... He knew exactly what it was. My husband had to have the cyst in his neck drained every other week and surgery was scheduled ... After the surgery, Dr. Shin said that the cyst was too inflamed and he could not remove it, he could only drain it. He recommended having Dr. Schlund join him in the next surgery to remove the cyst. We are so thankful that the two doctors, Shin and Schlund, came together and worked as a team to remove the bronchial cluster cyst. Sometimes doctors are so sure of themselves that they don't ask for help. I appreciate Dr. Shin so much for asking for help and Dr. Schlund for providing it.”

Dr. Harmandeep Tiwana

“In October 2016, my boyfriend …, suffered a stroke and was admitted to Adventist Medical Center – Hanford. Dr. Tiwana initially evaluated [him] in the ER and continued his care after admission. I was present for a few of his encounters with [my boyfriend] and found his bedside manner to be wonderful. Dr. Tiwana took the time to explain what was going to take place that day, and he answered any questions [we] had at the time. He ordered several tests to rule out all possible causes of the stroke and never came across as trying to hurry up so [my boyfriend] could be discharged and sent home. [He] was wanting to go home each day but Dr. Tiwana was more concerned with ruling out all causes before he would allow [him] to be discharged. I felt a genuine compassion and concern from Dr. Tiwana.  We both greatly appreciate the wonderful care provided by Dr. Tiwana as well as the nursing staff. I never let on that I was an Adventist Health employee and I was impressed with the care that [my boyfriend] received at AMC - Hanford.”

Dr. Anuj Varshney

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Varshney and his fantastic staff. Spinal surgery is not something a person looks forward to, but having recently gone through such a procedure, I can only believe that I was in the best hands possible. From scheduling, through surgery and into rehab, Dr. Varshney and his team have been there for me and my wife. Dr. Varshney takes the time to listen, explains with clarity and offers his best advice along with options and possible future concerns, truly creating exceptional experiences. I would also like to thank him and the surgical team for praying with me before my surgery. They are really fantastic individuals.”