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Leadership Modesto Becomes Doctor For The Day 

By Micheal King, Doctors Medical CenterLeadership Modesto

Leadership Modesto’s Healthcare Day on Feb. started at Sutter Health’s Memorial Medical Center with a warm welcome from Memorial’s CEO, Daryn Kumar, followed by a presentation from our Healthcare Day co-chair and Leadership Modesto alumni Jonathan Felton. Memorial is a 423-bed level II trauma center with approximately 3,000 employees.

Felton discussed organizational priorities of Memorial’s management and employees. Patient safety is first and foremost. Memorial approaches safe care and operations improvement using lean methodologies. Lean is a process of continuous improvement that was made famous by Toyota Manufacturing in the 1990’s.

Another focus is creating value for patients and the community. Memorial strives to ensure patients receive the care they are seeking and expecting. Their approach is patient-centric. The patients are fully involved in decisions and processes relative to the care they are receiving.

Our morning ended with a tour of Surgery, Emergency Department, Cardiac Cath Lab, and Clinical Laboratory. Jonathan and the Memorial team did a great job educating the Leadership Modesto group about Healthcare.

At Doctor’s Medical Center we were greeted by Carin Sarkis, Healthcare Day Co-Chair and Leadership Modesto alumni.

After a tasty lunch we toured Surgery, the Level III Neonatal ICU, and the Four-West patient floor. The NICU had 24 babies including one that was recently born after 24 weeks of gestation. This approximately 1 pound baby will stay at DMC for nearly four months. Four-West is an upscale wing of rooms with amenities that one commonly sees in a five-star hotel. The wing was opened this past summer and its patients have given it a 96 percent patient satisfaction rating due to the excellent environment and the outstanding service-oriented staff.

We participated in a stimulating exercise entitled “a day in the life.” There were five scenarios that presented real life challenges that may be faced in a hospital. The exercise demonstrated that healthcare workers and leaders must make tough decisions considering social challenges, ethical dilemmas, partnering with others, media considerations, operational priorities, community relations and more.

Finally, our group spent an hour with DMC CEO Warren Kirk. Kirk gave a very engaging presentation. He introduced what DMC means to our community as a safety net hospital providing the highest level care available in the region. DMC is a 465-bed acute care hospital and the region’s only Level II Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons. Kirk discussed how DMC manages its business, including a fascinating explanation of how the healthcare system is financed. Medicare and Medi-Cal pay for most of the patients seen in a hospital, but not enough to cover the entire cost of caring for the patients. To balance the budget, our employers pay a premium for insurance to subsidize the costs not paid for by the government. This is a primary reason healthcare costs are so high for private employers.

As our day wrapped up, our Leadership Modesto group came away with a true appreciation of how fortunate our community is to have such outstanding healthcare available for its citizens.


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