Doctors Medical Center
Doctors Medical Center may be the largest health care facility in the region in terms of physical size, patient volume, and variety of services, but it’s the people who make it a community hospital.
From the board of directors to the physicians to the nurses and ancillary personnel, the people who have built, led, and staffed Doctors Medical Center throughout its history and continue to do so today are local residents who care about the community, and they’re what make the hospital special.
“We’ve been taking care of people in the community for more than 50 years,” said Warren J. Kirk, President and CEO. “We don’t turn any patients away and we don’t pick and choose according to insurance. We take care of everybody regardless of their ability to pay.”
“We’re also the only hospital in this area that has a 100 percent local governing board, which includes physicians from our medical staff who practice here and people who live and work in the community,” Kirk said.
That’s a big asset to Central Valley residents.
The hospital was opened in 1962 by a group of local physicians. It continues to be led by a local board today, after growing to become a 465-bed multispecialty hospital and part of Tenet HealthSystem, a nationwide provider of health care services.
“I meet with the board members every month and they give me direction,” Kirk said. “They provide governance to our organization, and that’s unique to health care in this community. They care about the quality of service that we offer, and they are committed to making sure that we meet the community’s health care needs.”
Doctors Medical Center has close ties with local residents, caring for the majority of Stanislaus County employees and patients which the county is responsible for, maintains a close relationship with Golden Valley Health Centers, supports nursing programs at Modesto Junior College and California State University Stanislaus, and sponsoring organizations including the Gallo Center, the local symphony and Haven Women’s Center, among others.
“We’re all connected in trying to improve what goes on in our community and we want to play a role in that,” Kirk said. “We want to make sure we live in a vibrant community. It’s hard to find an organization we’re not connected to or support.”
The people who provide care at Doctors Medical Center are also extraordinarily committed to their patients.
“I think the quality and expertise of the care we provide is our biggest contribution to the community,” Kirk said. “I’m very proud of our medical, nursing and ancillary staffs. They have the highest level of clinical expertise, work very hard and have a great human interest in taking care of our patients.”
“For a community hospital we offer the broadest range of services possible,” Kirk added. “If you can’t get the care you need here, you’d have to go to a major university hospital. It’s a great benefit that the vast majority of people in Modesto don’t have to travel to get high quality care. As a regional hospital we also transfer patients from distances and care for them when their needs are greater than their local hospitals can care for.”
Many of the services available at Doctors Medical Center are unique to the region.
“We have a very large full service emergency department, the only full neurosurgery service in the area, the only high risk Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit for the sickest babies, the only High Risk OB Services, and the largest cardiac surgery program,” Kirk summarized. “Our trauma service is recognized and verified as a Level II Trauma Program by the American College of Surgeons’ National Recognition Program, and we also offer comprehensive stroke care and a chest pain center. We take care of people with diabetes, heart disease, high-risk obstetrics and pediatric patients. In 2013 we saw more than 90,000 patients in our ER and had more than 23,000 patient admissions, performed almost 4,000 deliveries and received about 200,000 outpatient visits.”
“We have the latest robotic surgery technology, as well as minimally invasive spine surgery which is a unique service that most hospitals do not offer,” Kirk said. “We perform a very high level of brain surgery. Our heart program is very successful and we have experienced heart surgeons, an active cath lab, a dedicated cardiac anesthesia program, and intensivists in the ICU who are dedicated to caring for the most critically ill patients.”
The high quality of care doesn’t come with a high price tag, which results in savings for local businesses.
“We’ve worked very hard to keep the cost of health care in our community as low as possible while offering the highest quality,” Kirk said. “We don’t believe you have to be the most expensive hospital to offer the best quality of care. By keeping our costs down, that allows us to contract at a lower price, which translates into lower premiums. We have several plans that exclusively contract with us and with those plans businesses save money.”
The future looks good for Doctors Medical Center.
“From a business perspective we’re successful, financially stable and healthy,” Kirk said. “We have an electronic medical record that went live last year, and as we move forward this will enhance efficiency and improve the connectivity between physicians and the hospital, reducing the chance of errors and creating a safer patient environment. In the future, we will continue to purchase and bring into the community high quality equipment, improve buildings and our facility, recruit physicians to the community, and offer an even higher level of service.”
Ultimately, people will continue to be at the core of the hospital’s community health care philosophy.
“Our customer service and the clinical quality that we provide continue to improve even as our costs remain lower than the average hospital and the volume of patients seeking care continues to grow,” Kirk said. “Ultimately, it’s all about the patients we care for and making sure they receive the quality care that they deserve.”