Humboldt General Officials Working Toward Dedicated Center for Women, Children

In just over two months, Humboldt General Hospital has recruited two new maternity providers and a third will soon be on her way.

“Rather quickly, we are one step closer to creating a dedicated women and children’s center,” said Interim CEO Karen Cole.

Now, Cole said the next item of business is to find appropriate clinic space for those and other providers who will soon be arriving at HGH.

Cole shared her concerns with board trustees at the regular Tuesday, March 26, meeting of the board. She advised trustees that she and HGH Practice Administrator Robert Johnson, PA, would begin reviewing medical space usage within the hospital.

"We want to make sure we are making the best use of our space," she told trustees. “We want to do what’s best for patients, providers and staff.”

This week, Cole and Johnson agreed the Rural Health Clinic space at the north end of the hospital campus will become the focal point for a women and children’s center—a one-stop location for women and children ages 0 to 18, with an emphasis on maternity patients.

“This is a family community,” said Cole, “and we are a family hospital. We want to centralize our clinics as much as possible, so our soon-to-be-mothers or young mothers with children are not traversing this hospital for care.”

Cole said the Rural Health Clinic was built specifically with women and children in mind. It’s especially valuable for maternity patients and their providers since the Mother and Baby Unit is located directly beneath the clinic space.

“We want our moms to park in the new parking garage, take the elevator straight to the clinic and receive their needed care,” said Cole.

She said the hospital is even working with other hospital departments to bring some services, like blood draws, straight to the clinics.

The proposed women and children’s space already houses HGH’s two new maternity providers, including OB/GYN Roger Brecheen and Family Practice/OB physician Sara Thorp; a soon-to-be-recruited nurse midwife will also practice there.

Cole said the women’s center will not only address maternity care of the younger woman, but it will also increase the hospital’s capacity to address gynecological issues and care of more mature women in the community.

Dr. Brecheen’s gynecological expertise complements the services that OB/GYN William Beckman has been providing at HGH since March 2018, and the two are collaborating on patient care. This summer, Alex Curtis, MD, also plans to join HGH in providing Family Practice and Obstetrical services.

In August, the hospital will also welcome Veronica Janhunen, a board-certified Pediatrician; she will see children ages 0-18 in clinic, as well as care for newborn babies in the nursery.

Until Dr. Janhunen arrives, board-certified pediatricians are providing services for children through the HGH Pediatric Clinic, located in Suite A near the main admit desk.

Cole said recruiting physicians for the community will remain a top priority.

She is actively working to recruit an Internal Medicine specialist for adults—especially those who are chronically ill—as well as an additional Family Practice physician.

March 26, the hospital board also approved hiring another nurse practitioner or physician assistant to provide care at the HGH Walk-In Clinic; the extra manpower may also allow the clinic to extend its daily hours as well as open weekends.

“We are hoping to make this a great experience, with excellent providers and easily accessible clinics,” said Cole.

“Our mission at HGH is not just to treat an illness or disease, but rather to assist our patients in attaining and maintaining their highest level of wellness possible.”

Patients who need assistance finding a care provider should contact HGH Practice Administrator Robert Johnson, PA, at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1696, or HGH Interim CEO Karen Cole at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1123. A list of providers is also available on the HGH website at www.hghospital.org/find-a-provider/.

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