From the daily archives: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
EL CENTRO, Calif. – June 25, 2014 – El Centro Regional Medical Center, along with other partners in the Patient Safety First…a California Partnership for Health, was awarded the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission.
The Eisenberg Award recognizes major achievements of individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and health care quality, consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy – better care, healthy people and communities and affordable care.  Better care in particular focuses on improving the overall quality by making health care patient-centered, reliable, accessible, and safe.
Patient Safety First…a California Partnership for Health was launched  in 2010 to improve quality of care, reduce health care costs and ultimately save lives by improving patient safety and perinatal care in California. Patient Safety First (PSF) is a groundbreaking partnership between National Health Foundation, California’s Regional Hospital Associations, Anthem Blue Cross and over 160 hospitals across the state, including El Centro Regional Medical Center.  During the first three years (2010-2012) of focused attention on specific quality measures, partner hospitals reported phenomenal results, including:
•74% reduction in early elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestational age
•57% reduction in cases of Ventilator Assisted Pneumonia
•43% reduction in cases of Central Line Blood Stream Infections
•26% reduction in Sepsis mortality
•3,576 deaths avoided as a result of reduction in Sepsis mortality
•$63 million in costs avoided for participating hospitals
“Our team at El Centro Regional Medical Center has done a remarkable job of assessing patient safety needs, and implementing new, meaningful programs that are focused on improving patient safety,” said David Green, Chief Executive Officer of ECRMC. “Their dedicated efforts have paid off which is evident in our most recent patient safety scores and awarding of the Eisenberg Award. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff.”
The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards were established in 2002 by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission in memory of John M. Eisenberg, MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Eisenberg was a member of the founding Board of Directors of the NQF and an impassioned advocate for healthcare quality improvement.
These annual awards perpetuate the enduring contributions of this health care and community leader by recognizing the achievements of individuals who have made significant contributions to improving patient safety and health care quality, and organizations that, through a specific initiative or project, have made an important contribution to patient safety and health care quality.



By Mario Conde The Imperial County Board of Supervisors discussed the potential impacts of the possible transfer of undocumented immigrants to the areas for processing. The County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday morning and the topic of discussion as an emergency item by CEO Ralph Cordova and had a lengthy discussion about it. Cordova spoke about possible transfer of illegal immigrants from Texas to California that could bring up to 140 immigrants family and children units every three days. The U.S. border agents have apprehended about 52,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border since the beginning of October. Most of them come from Central America and Mexico. Cordova said that the plan is to fly the detainees to Yuma and then be brought to Imperial Valley on a bus. U.S. Border Patrol has decided to cancel plans for the moment to fly the detainees from overcrowded detention centers in Texas to San Diego and El Centro to be processed for the moment. However, CEO Cordova said that if this continues there would be impacts to the County services and hospitals in the Imperial Valley. “This will have an impact on several of our County services form social services to our county jails.” Cordova said. Supervisor Mike Kelley said the County needs to do its part in finding solutions and proposed to use the current ICE Facility to keep the detainees and keep the families in the new detention facility. “We as a County need to do our part to solve our part and be prepared for whatever situation we might be facing.” Supervisor Mike Kelley said. Representatives from the U.S. Border Patrol where present at the meeting and answered questions the board had. Supervisor Ryan Kelley said that it was the federal government that crated this problem and they need to recognize that. “Let them know that we are willing to have a conversation with them and talk about the impact this will have in our community.” Supervisor Ryan Kelley told the Border Patrol representatives. CEO Ralph Cordova suggested contacting Congressman Juan Vargas so he can take the lead on this issue and it was agreed by the board to continue this discussion for next week and what will be the contingency plan of action the county will take should this transfer resumes in the next couple of days.


Public health officials warn the public about preventing tick bites to prevent tick-borne diseases.


IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Heath Officer, Dr. Stephen Munday, announced today that a middle-aged resident of Imperial County passed away this week due to Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a tickborne disease.  The individual visited a local hospital in May after feeling ill with fever, nausea and vomiting but was unable to recover.  Public health officials continue to investigate the death and it is unknown where the individual contracted the disease.  Monitoring and testing of ticks around the individual’s home and property is being conducted.  This is the first case and death due to RMSF reported in Imperial County.

“This local death in our community is an unfortunate case,” stated Dr. Munday. “It is a sad reminder of the seriousness of tickborne illnesses and the importance of prevention and treatment.  Avoiding tick bites is the best way to avoid getting diseases such Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other tickborne infections.”

Ticks are small, insect-like creatures that feed on blood by biting and attaching to animals and humans.  There are many different kinds of ticks in California, but only six kinds are known to commonly bite humans.   Sometimes these ticks carry germs like bacteria or viruses that can be transmitted to a person while the tick is attached.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii and is a cause of potentially fatal human illness in North and South America.  The brown dog tick has been identified as a reservoir of R. rickettsii, causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever, in the southwestern United States and along the U.S-Mexico border. Dogs are the primary host for the brown dog tick for each of its life stages, although the tick may also bite humans or other mammals.  In the American Southwest, RMSF cases have been identified in an area where the disease had not been previously seen. The brown dog tick is found on dogs and around people’s homes. Almost all of the cases occurred within communities with a large number of free-roaming dogs.

It’s important that individuals remember that diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever are caused by ticks, not by dogs.  If a dog has ticks and becomes ill, it is the ticks that have caused the disease and the dog cannot spread the disease to individuals.  While it is a good idea to use preventive measures year-round, individuals should be extra careful in the warmer months (April-September) when ticks are most active.  If you are going to be in a tick-infested area, use repellents that contain at least 20% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.  Persons exposed to tick-infested habitats should do a careful inspection and remove crawling or attached ticks.  For added protection, wear long sleeves, pants and light-colored clothing that allows you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing.

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases.   Individuals can take steps to control ticks on their property and on their pets. It’s important to use a tick preventive product on dogs because vaccines are not available for all tickborne diseases that can affect your pet.  A variety of products are available such as shampoos and drops that can be applied on the dog’s skin to protect your pet.  To reduce the chances that a tick will transmit disease to you or your pets:

  • Check your pets for ticks often, especially after they spend time outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.
  • Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam.
  • Reduce tick habitat in your yard like leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Mow the lawn frequently and remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.

If you find ticks in your yard or on you or your pets after being outside, your yard should be treated to reduce or eliminate the ticks.  Pesticides are available at hardware and home improvement stores for treatment of outdoor areas.  It is very important to always follow product application instructions.  Licensed pest control operators also have the appropriate products to treat areas for ticks and other pests safely.

If you are bitten by a tickpromptly remove it.  If you develop symptoms 1-30 days after a bite, consult with your physician and let your physician know that you were bitten by a tick.  Symptoms of RMSF include a fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite.  A rash often appears on extremities on the wrists, forearms, palms or soles of the feet. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is best treated by using a tetracycline antibiotic, usually doxycycline. Because laboratory confirmation is generally not available during acute illness, treatment is initiated based on symptoms and it is very important to let your physician know that you were bitten by a tick.

For more information visit: California Department of Public Health:   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: tick information is available on the Imperial County Public Health Department’s Website:


The Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce, on Monday, approved SB 1139, a bill that would diversify the state’s energy portfolio by requiring energy retail sellers to procure 500 megawatts of electricity from baseload geothermal power plants by 2024.

Authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) and Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), the bill was approved on a vote of 8-5 and now heads to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee for a hearing on Thursday. It was approved by the Senate in May.

Imperial Irrigation District has endorsed the bill, which it views as critical to advancing its Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative and the development of new geothermal energy projects at the sea as a platform – and funding mechanism – for its ultimate restoration. The Known Geothermal Resource Area in and around the Salton Sea, the majority of which is located on IID-owned lands, is estimated to contain up to 2,000 megawatts of untapped geothermal energy.

IID Board Vice President Stephen Benson said the district is pleased with the efforts of Senator Hueso and Assemblyman Pérez in moving this legislation forward. The support the legislation has received is critical to IID’s Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative. “Working together, the initiative can help assure the future of the Salton Sea, protect public health, conserve vital species habitat and create stability for meeting California’s water supply and energy needs,” Director Benson said.

SB 1139 has the potential to generate up to $38 million per year in local revenue, hundreds of high-paying jobs and investments toward meaningful economic development, said Senator Hueso. “This bill creates the kind of smart development needed in California to produce jobs, protect against fuel price increases and reduce greenhouse gas and fossil fuel emissions.”

Californians are still learning about the benefits of geothermal – its ability to provide baseload power with nominal greenhouse gas emissions “makes it a great choice for filling the gap created by the closure of San Onofre, while enabling the state to stay on track with our emissions reductions goals,” said Assemblyman Pérez. “At the local level, the development of geothermal resources will create jobs for our Coachella and Imperial Valley communities as well as potential financing for Salton Sea restoration.”


By Mario Conde
After several weeks of closed session meeting, the Calexico City Council appointed a new interim City Manager.
The Council met in closed session this past Tuesday and had only one business item on the agenda and that was to appoint an acting administrator. After closed session was over, Mayor Pro Tem John Moreno made a motion to name Richard Warne as the acting City Manager. The motion passed 3-2 with Council members Kim and Castro casting the dissenting vote.
Kim argued that the City needed leadership and wanted to have the new acting city manager to start this Thursday. Mayor Pro Tem John Moreno asked the City Attorney about the procedure to approve the contract of the City Manager. City Attorney answered by saying there was a change to the Brown Act that will now require the salary of an executive to be discussed on open session on a regular meeting.
“The Council can appoint someone today but the salary has to be approved and discussed in open session.” City Attorney said.
Councilwoman Maritza Hurtado said that the council should allow the participation of the citizens in an important item such as this one, and have the public ask questions and not make the mistakes that have been done in the past.
Mayor Bill Hodge said that he wants stability but said his wife would be on surgery this week but he said he would like to have City Manager start fresh and have a good run.
“Let’s be open and give him a chance. I think we have appointed someone that is well prepared for the task.” Mayor Hodge said.
Warne served as City Manager for the City of Twenty-nine Palms up until April 2013 when they decided to part ways. Later on he served as interim City Manager of Lynwood, California and Livingston.
Warne will replace the previous interim, Andrew Takata, who was appointed acting City Manager after the retirement of former City Manager Oscar Rodriquez. However, Takata’s contract was not approved by the Council.
Warne has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and has more than 28 years of local government experience. Warne served as a captain in the U.S. Army and is married with six children.

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