PMHD Hosts First Of Three Town Hall Meetings
By Chris Furguson
The City of Brawley’s Council Chambers held a special Town Hall meeting hosted by the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District last week on the topic of “Improving Healthcare In Imperial County.” The Brawley town hall meeting drew about two dozen people from the hospital’s staff, related industries and around the city.
Thursday’s event was the first time in the nearly 70-year history of the hospital that they have reached outside their walls to engage the communities they serve.
The meeting began with a short presentation by Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis on the history of the hospital and some of the more recent improvements from the District, from bringing in new doctors for their Cancer Center and the Digestive Center. Lewis also highlighted the District’s affiliations with Scripps Health and, most recently, Rady’s Childrens Hospital.
Lewis also mentioned some of the District’s future plans, which involve potential expansions of the Emergency Room and the main hospital itself.
After Lewis’s presentation, the floor was opened to comments and questions from the assembled crowd. Topics ranged from youth education on asthma and diabetes to help with psychiatric care for some patients.
One of the more engaged topics of the evening came from an assistant working with Southwest Dental, who suggested that the hospital include dental care in future community outreach.
The assistant also said that some of the problems within the Valley could be directly tied to proper dental care.
“I’ll admit, that’s not something we’ve thought about,” answered Lewis. “But we will definitely look into it.”
Other suggestions for the staff included working with the county on mental health issues, starting a youth education program on asthma and diabetes and improving services for LGBTQ citizens.
Cancer Resource Center of the Desert board member Diana Peacher also suggested that the hospital work on improving available Endocrinology (hormone) and Gerontology (senior health) services in the face of a growing population of elderly citizens.
There will be two more Town Halls hosted by PMHD in the coming weeks. The first took place yesterday in Imperial and the final one will be on April 13 in Calexico at City Hall.