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Mendocino Coast unveils new chapter in community’s care

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Community leaders, hospital staff and physicians celebrated on Wednesday as they unveiled the hospital’s new name—Adventist Health Mendocino Coast—signaling the start of a 30-year partnership to increase access and deliver high-quality healthcare on the coast.

“This is a glorious day for Adventist Health and our Mendocino Coast community as we begin a new chapter in healthcare,” said Judy Leach, the hospital’s administrator at the unveiling, which occurred while social distancing. “We are grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received from our community and look forward to building a bright future together.”

With 90% voter approval from Mendocino Coast residents in March, the journey began, inviting Adventist Health to the community. The healthcare system has been managing the 25-bed hospital and its services since May while lease provisions were finalized.

“We’re thrilled to have Mendocino Coast join our family,” said Scott Reiner, CEO of Adventist Health, which is based in Roseville and serves more than 80 communities on the West Coast and in Hawaii. “It’s a beautiful region of our country and a wonderful community, and we’re honored that you chose us as your partners in healthcare.”

In this new chapter, community members are able to keep their care close to home while gaining the expertise and resources of a large healthcare system, says Jason Wells, president of the three Adventist Health hospitals in Mendocino County. “I’m excited to continue to learn and grow together as we share the best ways to care for our community and coordinate that care to the benefit of all.”

Hospital employees, who began receiving their new name badges on Wednesday, said they appreciate being part of the family of 23 hospitals and services that includes the other two hospitals in Mendocino County: Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and Adventist Health Howard Memorial in Willits.

Anita West, a registered nurse and emergency room manager who has served at the Mendocino Coast hospital for 25 years, spoke highly of Adventist Health’s focus on healthcare excellence. “Having lived in this community most of my life, the most important thing is to provide excellent care to our community, which are my friends and my family. Adventist Health supports that.”

Physicians also are grateful for the system’s support, said Dr. William Miller, the hospital’s chief of medical staff. “We’re faced with a significant national challenge with this pandemic, and already we’ve seen many of the benefits of this affiliation. In the past several months, we’ve received a number of shipments of personal protective equipment from Adventist Health, even before we were affiliated with them.”

Miller also sees other benefits for the community, including the long-term survivability of the hospital, additional specialties and leadership expertise. “One of the reasons that I have supported this affiliation from the very beginning is the advantage of having three hospitals in this county under one umbrella. It’s going to produce an important network of care for our patients.”

In addition to the three hospitals, Adventist Health’s services in Mendocino County include 26 outpatient medical offices, a new family medicine residency program, oncology care, joint replacement surgery and many additional specialty care services. The combined Mendocino County team includes more than 1,300 associates and 400 physicians and providers.

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