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Community Memorial Health System

Advocacy and “Actitude” How one woman brings hope to women with breast cancer

Breast cancer isn’t a death sentence. It’s a life sentence.

REAL LIFE, REAL HEALTH IN VENTURA COUNTY Lisa Barreto Breast Cancer Survivor & Advocate




wilde thoughts The Value of Caring


2006 Gary L. Wolfe, Chairman Gregory H. Smith, Vice Chairman Glen C. Farr, Secretary Harry L. Maynard, Treasurer Stanley Frochtzwajg, M.D., Chief of Staff, Community Memorial Hospital Fredrick Menninger III, M.D., Chief of Staff, Ojai Valley Community Hospital


Recently the Ventura County Star and the Los Angeles Times published articles on the role Southern California hospitals play in the region’s economy. The information presented was commissioned by the Hospital Association of Southern California, and was quite an eye opener. It was reported that hospitals in Southern California contribute 12.1% of the region’s economic output. In Ventura County, hospitals generated $2.4 billion of the county’s total gross economic output of $35.7 billion in 2004. Yet, we are a vulnerable industry, with 107 out of 212 hospitals losing money in 2004. And the challenge gets more difficult with each passing year.


Gary Wilde, President/CEO

Because of your support, Community Memorial Health System operates in the black, but we are becoming more mindful of the fact that hospital revenues of yesterday have been significantly reduced in today’s marketplace, and that prudent management of our resources is imperative to maintain a solid financial footing. This rings even more true for us, as we are an independent, community owned, not-for-profit health system, serving the residents of Ventura County. We operate without the financial safety net of a corporate or government entity backing us up during lean times. We are solely dependent on the communities we serve for financial stability. Although we are a significant part of the economy of the communities we serve, how we take care of the residents within those communities is most important to us. Our success is based upon providing the best, personalized medical care available, and we are proud of our legacy of providing such care for over 100 years. We recognize that every individual we treat is a stakeholder in our system, and that each of you has our commitment that we will strive to do our best to meet all of your expectations while you are our guest. In 2005, many of your neighbors and friends received such personalized care. An example of some of that care is within the 3,338 babies delivered in our Maternal Child Health Center; the 15,424 community residents hospitalized for care; the 12,744 individuals who underwent surgical procedures; the 176,632 people who visited one of our nine Centers for Family Health throughout the county; and the 40,960 who found their way into our emergency centers. We believe in neighbors taking care of neighbors, and it is this relationship that means the most to us at Community Memorial Health System. In this issue, meet a few of your neighbors. My personal thanks to Lisa and Bob Barreto, Chilant Sprague, Marci Grace and Joy Stevens for sharing their personal stories, and to our outstanding team of physicians and staff that so compassionately take care of all of us. Enjoy this issue of Caring, and please let us know how we can better serve you.

Ralph R. Bennett Michael D. Bradbury, Esq. Philip C. Drescher, Esq. John M. Edison, M.D. Timothy J. Gallagher John J. Hammer William L. Hart, M.D. John V. Hill, M.D. Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller Fritz R. Huntsinger Robert J. Lagomarsino, Esq. Sandra R. Masiel F. Ted Muegenburg, Jr., Esq. Martin A. Pops, M.D. John W. Russell Kathryne Weldon Douglas A. Woodburn, M.D. EMERITUS MEMBERS OF THE BOARD Ralph Busch, M.D. Leonard Ortiz Janice P. Willis

Michael Ellingson Vice President of Marketing and Development Mary McCormick Editor Amy Bentley Michael Briley Kelly Eells Lisa Snider Stan Whisenhunt Woody Woodburn Writers Richard Slack Brooks Smothers Nick Weissman Photographers ZestNet Art Direction/Design Published by: Community Memorial Health System A not-for-profit organization.

147 N. Brent St., Ventura, CA 93003

Gary K. Wilde President & CEO Community Memorial Health System 2




©2006 Community Memorial Health System For permission to reprint any portion of this magazine please call (805) 652-5492. COVER PHOTO: RICHARD SLACK


On Solid Ground Greg Smith Vice Chairman, Community Memorial Health System Board of Trustees

A lot of exciting things have happened at Community Memorial Hospital since Gregory Smith joined the Board of Trustees in late 1998. The Ventura Hospital opened a series of community-based clinics around western Ventura County to provide top-notch healthcare to people in their hometowns. Community Memorial Hospital has become well known for its state-of-the-art technologies that have brought innovative ways of treating patients,

such as the da Vinci surgical robot. Through all this, CMH has remained independent and fiscally sound. “It’s a remarkable achievement in today’s healthcare environment,” said Smith, the Board of Trustees’ Vice Chairman. Smith is proud of these and other accomplishments at CMH while he has been on the Board. Smith, who grew up in Ojai, also was pleased to see CMH join with Ojai Valley Community Hospital. The two hospitals joined with the Centers for Family Health to form Community Memorial Health System. For Smith, the biggest challenge for the future will be to keep Community Memorial Health System on solid financial ground while rebuilding CMHS facilities to meet new state earthquake standards. The goal is to rebuild by 2020 without closing or halting services. “It’s critical and essential to stay open,” he said. In addition, Smith said, “I’d like to see us increase our role in wellness and preventative medicine.” Serving as a Trustee is just one way Smith gives his time to public service, a family tradition. Smith’s mother, Janice Willis of Ventura, was a longtime CMH Trustee. Smith has served on the boards of the Ventura County Museum of History and Art and the New West Symphony for many years and co-chairs the museum’s capital campaign. He serves on the board of Ivy Lawn Memorial Park and is active with the Downtown Ventura Organization. Smith now lives in Ventura with his wife Shelley and sons Ryan, 17, and Logan, 13, who were born at CMH. Smith attended Thacher School and the University of California at Berkeley, and he is the managing partner of Smith-Hobson, a company that manages family-owned agricultural, commercial and residential properties in Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.

contents LIGHTING THE WAY A Beacon for Women with Breast Cancer

4 5 6 7 11 11 12 14

THE OTHER HALF A Husband’s Experience with Breast Cancer A TRIBUTE TO A HERO FOUNDATION NEWS

ROBOT ASSISTED SURGERY Breaking New Ground QUALITY OF LIFE A da Vinci Success Story

CHIEF CONCERNS A Spirited Q&A with the CMHS Chiefs of Staff

FEELING GOOD Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem After a Mastectomy


REDUCING RISK CMH Takes the Lead in Ground Breaking Carotid Stent Study



Western Casino Night Benefiting Ojai Valley Community Hospital Saturday, May 13, 2006 Ojai Valley Inn Ranch & Stables For more info: 805-640-2317

Relay for Life Benefiting American Cancer Society Saturday & Sunday, May 6&7, 2006 Buena High School Info: 805-276-8148,

PACS The Whole Picture

Gold Dust Gala Benefiting Community Memorial Hospital Saturday, May 20, 2006, Seaside Park For more info: 805-667-2881

NICU Golf Tournamnet Benefiting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Friday, July 28, 2006 Sterling Hills Golf Club For more info: 805-667-2881

COMMUNITY @ Community

15 16 16






“actitude,” which means taking action using a positive attitude.

THE WAY Two decades ago, Lisa Barreto’s home burned to the ground and she “lost everything.” Or so she believed at the time. In 2002, Lisa gained a new perspective of loss when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “My first thought was I was going to lose my life,” Barreto says, recalling the moment she learned she had ductal carcinoma in situ, a type of breast cancer. Barreto lost her left breast to a mastectomy and admits that like many women in her situation, she feared losing her husband because of it. Yet instead of being about loss, Lisa Barreto’s story is about what she has gained from her challenging journey. “I learned that breast cancer isn’t a death sentence,” the 47-year-old Venturan shares. “It’s a life sentence. It makes you look at life in a new way.” Barreto’s new view of life began in February 2002 when she went in for a routine annual 4




mammogram. The results showed two tiny suspicious spots that warranted a biopsy. “Waiting for the biopsy results seemed like an eternity,” Barreto remembers. Four days later on Good Friday — “I don’t know what was so good about it,” she now jokes — the bad news she feared came back: breast cancer. The good news, however, was that it had been caught as early as possible in Stage 0. Still, “cancer is cancer,” Barreto says. “It’s very scary.” With her world spinning wildly, Barreto refused to be knocked off her axis. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she focused on the challenge at hand. “I researched the disease,” Barreto says, noting that she tries to live by a word she coined: “actitude,” which means taking action using a positive attitude. Barreto decided to be her own advocate and began by selecting her own medical team that included oncologist Dr. Rosemary McIntyre, general surgeon Dr. Michael Sparkuhl, and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Sam Bern. “They are all absolutely fabulous,” she says. Shortly after being diagnosed, Barreto sought a breast cancer support group on campus at Ventura College — where she had recently enrolled — only to discover there wasn’t one. But she found support nonetheless. Her English professor, who himself had battled cancer, couldn’t have been kinder. Her Spanish professor was likewise “incredible” after noticing Lisa crying in class one evening. After discussing her treatment options with her doctors, Barreto made the decision to have a

total mastectomy to remove the entire left breast. It was an emotional decision, to say the least. “Many women worry their husband will leave them because he won’t love them after they lose a breast,” explains Barreto, adding she felt the same way. “I believe breast cancer is not just a medical illness. For a patient it is a social illness because of the way we think about women’s breasts. I felt like that part of me, my breast, was being erased. For a long time I couldn’t even go to the bookstore and look at books on cancer. When I finally did go, I couldn’t find one thing about hope. If someone could just give me a word.” Displaying “actitude,” Barreto sent out postcards and e-mails asking individuals to give her just such a word. “I got words that helped put things in perspective,” she says. “I got words all the way from Oxford, England.” “Headlights” was an especially powerful word for her, arriving as the title of an essay that talked about not worrying over what you can’t see in the dark off to the side or behind you, but rather focusing on the illuminated road directly in front of you. On June 5, 2002 — a date Lisa can recall as quickly as her birthday or wedding anniversary the road led her to an operating room to have a mastectomy. Lying in her hospital bed afterwards, Barreto looked out the window at a tree. “It was a windy night,” she shares, “and I thought to myself: ‘I’m as strong as that tree. My roots go deep. If my cancer hasn’t spread, I’ve got to do something to help others.’ ”

The Other Half

Bob & Lisa Barreto With her cancer completely removed “there’s a 99 percent chance it won’t return,” she allows — Barreto wasted no time in keeping her word. During her hospital stay, a nurse told Lisa she also had breast cancer and asked for a word of hope. “I gave her the word ‘headlights,’” Barreto says. “Now my role had turned. Two months later I was in the waiting room with that nurse’s husband and father while she had surgery.” Further keeping her word to help others, Barreto in 2002 founded the Ventura College Breast Cancer Education & Advocacy Group. She also routinely visits breast cancer patients when they go into the hospital for surgery. She provides a calming influence and hope. After all, in addition to her mastectomy operation, Barreto underwent a series of three separate reconstructive surgeries at Community Memorial Hospital: tissue expansion, saline implant, and nipple surgery. “It’s not a simple process,” says Barreto. “I called other women who had reconstructive surgery. It’s a very personal thing. I decided it was right for me.” Asked how she finds the time and energy to help so many others while being a wife, working part time as a paralegal specialist and pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the University of California Santa Barbara (at the Ventura Center) on a prestigious Regents Scholarship, Lisa Barreto replies simply and succinctly: “Headlights.” Indeed, she is a beacon illuminating the journey ahead for others.

Each year more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but often overlooked are the husbands and boyfriends who must also cope with the disease. “I had to deal with the reality that I might lose her,” recalls Bob Barreto, whose wife Lisa had a total mastectomy four years ago. “It makes you realize how vulnerable life is. But I decided I wouldn’t dwell on the possibility of losing her.” Lisa, however, like many women with breast cancer, couldn’t help but dwell on the possibility of losing her husband as a result of having a mastectomy. “I thought he’d leave me,” Lisa confides, noting the importance society places on women’s breasts. “It was so important when Bob told me, ‘We’ll get through this together.’ Those words made me feel so safe.” Bob, who will celebrate a 15th wedding anniversary with Lisa this September, admits he experienced tears and fears after his wife was diagnosed. “I was definitely scared, but I wanted to focus on being supportive. I always kept my hope and tried to give her hope.” “He was always there for me,” Lisa says. “Always.” After her mastectomy, after Lisa had lost her left breast, Bob reassured his wife that in his eyes nothing about her had changed. “I told her she’s beautiful and pretty,” Bob relates. “I still tell her she’s beautiful.” “I needed to hear that,” says Lisa. “We were slammed by a wake up call,” says Bob. “You’re never ready for something like this, but it teaches you about the real priorities in life the health of your loved ones.” Bob Barreto looks over at his wife seated next to him in their Ventura home, smiles, and adds this: “She’s an amazing woman. We had a wonderful bond before, but this has brought us even closer together.”

“I had to deal with the reality that I might lose her”







A short distance away outside Room 108 a similar plaque reads:

to a


Chilant Frenzell Sprague

On January 21, 1967, United States Army Private Herbert Ernest Frenzell, in an act of heroism to save some of his platoon members who were pinned down by a Viet Cong ambush, gave his life in service of his country at age 22. This January, thirty-nine years later almost to the very day, Chilant Frenzell Sprague gave a refurbished patient room to Ojai Valley Community Hospital in memory of her only child. In addition, the 91-year-old Ojai resident donated an additional $12,000 to refurbish a second room in honor of her husband, Mansfield “Mannie” Sprague. “I love my community and this hospital and I just wanted to do something to honor my husband and my son,” Chilant explained. Like her son and husband, Chilant is a role model to be admired. Her generosity and action to aid others serves as a shining example of what individual members of the community can do to help their hospital, be it at OVCH or Ventura’s Community Memorial Hospital. 6




“We live in a beautiful community and giving something back can give you a beautiful feeling.” “I would encourage anyone to renovate a room or help buy new medical equipment,” Chilant said. “We live in a beautiful community and giving something back can give you a beautiful feeling.” On that fateful day nearly four decades ago, Herbert Frenzell was actually in a position of relative safety, hidden in a tree line when the ambush occurred. However, with total disregard for his own safety, he exposed his position by opening fire in order to draw fire away from his fellow soldiers. This selfless act allowed his platoon mates to escape, but when Frenzell attempted to rejoin his squad by crossing an open marsh an enemy bullet pierced his heart. For his valor, Frenzell earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart Medals. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and his name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Now his name appears on a plaque outside Room 104:

In Memory Of My Son Herbert Frenzell Your Loving Mother Chilant Sprague

In Honor Of My Husband The Honorable Mansfield D. Sprague Your Loving Wife Chilant Sprague Mannie Sprague, now 95, is also a model of service to our country. During World War II he served in the Navy and after the war enjoyed a successful career in politics, including a position as legal counsel for the Department of Defense under President Eisenhower. Sadly, Mannie, like Chilant, knows what it’s like to lose a loved one in war: His younger brother, Charles “Bud” Sprague, was killed at age 28 on a flight mission for the Air Corps. Mannie and Chilant met in Paris and have been married for 45 years. Prior to that Chilant was married to Herbert’s father for 20 years. The couple came to Ojai 27 years ago. Chilant was born in Michigan, but grew up in Santa Barbara. She earned a master’s degree from UCLA and enjoyed a 40-year career in education — mostly in Sacramento — as a teacher and principal. This is all the more impressive when this daughter of a French mother and Italian father laughingly tells you, “I flunked kindergarten because I didn’t know any English.” As a tennis enthusiast, Chilant has annually been part of the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament even serving as a linesperson. “One time I called a shot out and this guy turns and yells at me, ‘Old lady, put your glasses on!’ ” she recalls. “But the truth is it was out. I didn’t think I was old. I was still in my early 80s!” Asked the secret to her vitality, Chilant answers: “I swim every day. It’s not just physically important, but mentally and emotionally important to visit with my friends at the pool.” She is at Ojai Valley Athletic Club every morning at 10 a.m. to swim four laps. “If I have a little bit extra energy I might do six laps,” she allows, adding with a smile, “I used to play tennis every day, but my knees didn’t hold up — at about (age) 85 I had to give it up.” Now she’s focusing on giving back. Thanks to her philanthropy, Rooms 104 and 108 now feature beautiful wood floors, new furniture (including a comfortable recliner in each) and new lighting fixtures. In addition, the closets have been resurfaced, the window treatments have been redone and, perhaps most pleasing to Chilant, the walls have been painted a warm aqua. “The new color is so good for relaxing,” said Chilant. “It is exactly what I would like if I had to stay in the hospital. I wanted to contribute to my community and I think the new rooms are a great way. I’d be very happy if others followed suit. Giving back gives you a wonderful feeling,” says Chilant Frenzell Sprague.

Helping CMH in its continuous effort to offer the best healthcare possible by consistently investing in the newest technology, education and training.

Get Ready

For the 16th Annual Gold Dust Gala


Dust off your dancing shoes because The Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation is gearing up for its 16th annual Gold Dust Gala! The Foundation is pleased to welcome back headline entertainer and country music star, Phil Vassar. On the heels of his Arista Nashville album, Shaken Not Stirred, Vassar’s performance is sure to bring the house down, just as it did three years ago. If you missed that show, be sure to get your tickets early this year, as folks are still raving about what was one of the best performances the Foundation has ever hosted! Local country band Caught Red Handed will kick off the evening. And again this year, Van Gundy Jewelers will feature Digging for Diamonds, rewarding one lucky winner with a loose cut diamond, and all purchasers will receive a cubic zirconia. All proceeds from this year’s fundraising event will be used exclusively for early breast cancer detection with an emphasis on providing mammography examinations for women in the community who lack access to these life saving exams. The Breast Center at Community Memorial Health System will fund these tests, and other services, through money raised from donations and proceeds from the Gala.

In addition to individual tickets priced at $75.00 for general seating and $95.00 for preferred (dinner included), sponsorship levels are available as follows:

Platinum Nugget Sponsor $10,000 Major sponsor recognition on all promotional materials. They receive two complimentary tables for eight.

Gold Nugget Sponsor $5,000 Major sponsor recognition on all promotional materials. They receive one complimentary table for eight.

Silver Nugget Sponsor $2,500 Prominent name recognition on all promotional materials. They receive four complimentary tickets.

Turquoise Sponsor $1,000 Prominent name recognition on all promotional materials. They receive two complimentary tickets.

Copper Sponsor $500 Prominent name recognition on the invitation. They receive two complimentary tickets.

Buckaroo $250 Business card size advertisement. They receive one complimentary ticket.

The Gold Dust Gala will take place at Seaside Park’s San Miguel Hall at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 20, 2006, and more than 1,000 people are expected to attend. To purchase tickets, contribute an auction or gift bag item or make a donation, please contact the Foundation office at (805) 6672881, or visit their website at Tickets will also be sold at the Wharf

in Ventura. The Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization with the basic mission of providing meaningful ways to educate the community regarding the service capabilities of Community Memorial Hospital; to work with the community to develop new services at CMH; and to raise funds for the development, operation and maintenance of those services.





Caring for Our Hospital and Our Community Meet Foundation President Sandy Masiel


Sandy Masiel, the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s president for the past five years, is so much more than a fund-raising organizer for her local hospital. The longtime Ventura resident and mother of two is a citizen like us all, someone who lives and works in our community who is fortunate to have access to a firstrate hospital and excellent medical care when it really mattered. In February 2005, this point was driven home hard to Masiel, 47, and her family when Masiel was rushed by ambulance to CMH in the middle of the night

after blacking out at home and feeling her heart pound hard. She was brought to the emergency room, then the Cardiac Care Unit, and treated for a severely high heart rate. Masiel now enjoys good health, thanks to her CMH physicians, nurses, medications and regular check-ups. Masiel has been a Foundation member for eight years, helping to raise money primarily for CMH’s Breast Center and Prostate Institute. She has always known the importance of having access to an excellent hospital near home, and she feels more gratified than ever

that she has helped CMH provide the highest-quality healthcare to patients. “To be involved with the hospital is so worthwhile. There are so few non-profit hospitals that have been able to stay open because of cutbacks in healthcare,” Masiel said. Masiel works in Oxnard as senior vice president and a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, an investment firm. She and husband Paul Masiel, a Ventura City Fire Captain, are the parents of Brandon, 20, a college student, and Collin, 12, a seventh grader. Masiel steps down this year

as Foundation president but will continue to actively serve her community. She also helps to raise funds for the hospital with the Benefactors, and she is a 22-year member of the Soroptomists, raising education scholarships for Ventura County women re-entering the workforce and high school students who volunteer in the community. Masiel also is a founder and member of the Women’s Legacy Fund, which supports community projects under the auspices of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation


Board of Directors Sandra R. Masiel, President Kay Woodburn, Vice President Barbara Rose, Secretary Dorothy Jue Lee, Treasurer Gary Wilde, President & CEO Joanie Abou-Samra Moustapha Abou-Samra, M.D. Trudy Bale Loye Barton Ralph R. Bennett Michael D. Bradbury Jim Butterbaugh Bonnie Carlton Solange Daggett Ray DiGuilio Philip C. Drescher Michael Ellingson Anthony P. Fowkes Dave Glyer John J. Hammer William L. Hart, M.D. Lydia Hopps Fritz R. Huntsinger 8



Marvin E. Isensee Lynn Jacobs William J. Kearney John P. Keats, M.D. Gregory F. Lamp John Masterson Harry L. Maynard Barbara Meister Leonard B. Ortiz Dottie Pas Jeffrey D. Paul Jeanne Peters Tommy Slater Ken Strople Carolyn Tedesco Dominic J. Tedesco, M.D. Norm Weitzel Stan Whisenhunt Bob Wiker Doug S. Wilkinson, M.D. Gary L. Wolfe James D. Woodburn, II, M.D. James D. Woodburn, III, M.D.


State of the Hospital Address

April 20, 2006, Open to the Public 5:00 PM: Welcome Reception

5:30 PM: State of the Hospital Poinsettia Pavilion 3451 Foothill Rd. • Ventura, CA

Please RSVP:


Presented By:

Gary Wilde President & CEO Community Memorial Health System

Why I Support CMH Ventura Chamber of Commerce CEO, Zoe Taylor


Zoe Taylor moved to Ventura from Burbank in 1996 to serve as President and CEO of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce. Her role over the last 10 years has brought about many welcomed opportunities to support Community Memorial Hospital. She sums up the reasons for her support thoughtfully, “CMH is a hospital that is managed by a team of very caring professionals and community leaders with a CEO that has patient care as a number one priority.” Through her numerous community affiliations, serving on prominent local boards and commissions, Taylor came to know the hospital’s President and CEO, Gary Wilde, who now serves on the Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. “Gary is such a positive force for

the hospital.” Wilde participated in Leadership Ventura, a Ventura Chamber of Commerce program that examines and finds solutions to community issues. When Wilde suggested to Taylor that they collaborate on Safe Harbor, a house owned by CMH that, once converted, will offer a program for victims of abuse, Taylor immediately lent her support. “I felt this was a worthwhile program because it will provide women and children a center that promotes dignity and respect while minimizing trauma and maximizing criminal prosecution.” Taylor’s dealings with CMH became more personal in nature when the long-time supporter became a hospital patient early last year. After what she calls “years of abuse” with her back,

her condition became so painful she nearly couldn’t stand up. Her doctor immediately recommended surgery to repair a ruptured disk in her lower back. During her three days in the hospital following the surgery, Taylor received top-notch treatment. “The whole staff was efficient, friendly and caring.” Taylor was back at work

could continue to fulfill work and community obligations. And with two grown children and four grandchildren, she was eager to be on her feet. And now? “I am doing extremely well!” answered Taylor, who was the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 2004 Small Business Advocate of the Year. As a leader in the communi-

“CMH is a hospital that is managed by a team of very caring professionals and community leaders with a CEO that has patient care as a number one priority.” within 4 weeks, which, thanks to regular sessions of physical therapy, was even sooner than she or her doctors expected. Getting up and about quickly was a big priority for Taylor, so that she

ty, Zoe Taylor knows how critical it is to have a hospital that cares. “When you are in the hospital, anytime that you feel that the staff really cared for you as a person, not just a patient, is a plus.”





Ways to Give Steps of Life


If you’ve ever had the opportunity to set foot in Community Memorial Hospital’s Matilda Huntsinger Memorial Garden, you already know what a lovely spot it is. Located just off the hospital’s first floor, the garden’s serene setting - with it’s plush green lawn, bursts of colorful flowers, statuesque bamboo trees, and awe inspiring mosaic - offers an ideal place for hospital visitors and staff to enjoy a quiet contemplative moment, or simply breath a bit of fresh air. The garden is also the focus


When considering ways to make charitable gifts more effectively, many have discovered that gifts of real estate can result in special benefits for both the donor and the recipient. Whether property has increased or decreased in value, real estate can be a practical and beneficial gift. If you are reviewing your plans in light of recent changes in federal tax laws or current economic conditions, the real estate you own can offer a number of opportunities. If you own a home or other property, you no longer wish to occupy or manage, and you would like to make a charitable gift, you may find that a gift of such property can be a very efficient way to meet both goals. Regardless of whether the property has increased in value or decreased in value there are substantial benefits available to you. If you would like to make a gift of a principal residence or per-




Help Support CMH

of an important Foundation fundraising effort called “Steps of Life.” Each of the thousand or so sunset-hued bricks may be purchased for $100 apiece, and will then be engraved professionally with the name of a friend, family member or other loved one as you designate. The inscribed bricks offer a lasting, visible means to honor, show gratitude for, or memorialize those who hold a special place in our hearts. What’s more, the proceeds obtained from the sale of the bricks will help fund educational programs for hospital personnel. If you are interested in leaving a lasting legacy to the hospi-

The Gift of Real Estate

haps a vacation home, you may do so in a way that allows you and your spouse or another survivor the right to enjoy the property for life. At the same time, you would have the opportunity to take a charitable deduction for the current value of the property in the year the gift is made. Charitable gifts of real estate may also be made in ways that result in income to you for life as a fixed annual amount or a variable


annual amount through the creation of a charitable remainder trust. As you can see, your gift of real estate can be of great benefit to both you and make a lasting contribution. Please contact the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation at (805) 667-2881 for more information. As always, seek advice from your own financial advisors as you plan gifts of this type.

tal, and doing something nice for someone you care about, you may want to act quickly, because only a limited number of bricks are available.

Take a Step To purchase a brick with a tax deductible donation of $100 you may mail your donation using the enclosed envelope and a representative will contact you. Please indicate that your donation is for the “Steps of Life” program. Or, please call us at (805) 667-2881.

Give and Receive Milton and Donna Callison, 69 and 67, own a home in Ventura. They paid $95,000 for the property about 30 years ago and today it is valued $875,000. They would like more income in retirement and have thoughts of selling the house and investing the proceeds at a conservative rate of 6% per year. If they do so, however, they must first pay capital gains tax on the sale and thus have reduced income. Through a charitable remainder trust they will receive the income from the entire $875,000 plus receive a charitable deduction in the year of the donation.

Helping Ojai Valley Community Hospital in its continuous effort to offer the best healthcare possible by consistently investing in the newest technology, education and training.

2006 Western Casino Night Great Fun and a Great Way to Support OVCH


Calling all Cowboys and Cowgirls! Git yer boots on and mosey on over to Ojai Valley Community Hospital Guild’s fourth annual Western Casino

Night, complete with casinostyle gambling, tasty vittles, footstomping music, a silent auction and raffle. With entertainment by local legends, The Ojai Valley Boys, and Tex-Mex fare by the valley’s own Jim and Rob’s, this year’s event promises to be the best one yet. Sponsored by the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation Guild, the event will be held Saturday, May 13th, 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Ojai Valley Inn Ranch

and Stables’ historic Rancho dos Rios barn at 117 N. Creek Road. “It’s an event that brings the whole community together. Ev e r y o n e d r e s s e s u p ; i t ’ s a very fun evening,” remarked this year’s co-chair, Charlene Hartenstein. Anne Kaplan will join Charlene this year in co-chairing the event for the first time. “We’re offering a new feature this year: line dancing!” Last year’s event raised over

$30,000, which went toward a recent contribution by the Guild of $87,388 to fund equipment and supplies at the hospital. Tickets are $65.00 per person and include dinner, one drink and gambling funny money. What better way to support a critical service provider in the valley and enjoy an entertaining evening at the same time? Call (805) 640-2317 for more information and to purchase tickets.

Why We Support OVCH The Jones Family


The main offices of Jones & Jones, a project management and construction management company with an international reach, are directly across the street from Ojai Valley Community Hospital. The location is not exactly a coincidence, according to Kevin Jones,

Kevin, Nan, Alice & Jerve Jones

owner of the company. “My father, Jerve, and I joke that we rented the office close to the Hospital - just in case - so that we’d feel more comfortable in our high-stress jobs,” says Kevin. He and Jerve work as partners in Jones & Jones, which manages

construction projects from design through completion from Ojai to Shanghai. The Jones family construction dynasty began in 1915 in Los Angeles when Kevin’s grandfather established the first of several Jones companies, which over the years built some of the largest projects in the Los Angeles area. Kevin’s son, Cameron, now working with Jones & Jones, is the fourth generation in the family business. Kevin also hopes to attract his son, Aaron, to the firm. For seven years, Kevin was in the Far East providing construction management services for a number of clients, including Raffles International, owners and

operators of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. On that Far East tour, Kevin met his wife, Nan, a native of Thailand. The couple has been married six years. Jones & Jones will be managing construction of the new Ojai Performing Arts Theater, and Kevin hopes to become involved in the expansion of the Ojai Library. They are also managing construction of the new Calabasas Civic Center, and are now looking at a major project in Shanghai. Kevin’s primary focus is on public and private institutional work from the Central Coast to Los Angeles. After many working visits See Why We Support OVCH page 10





Friends &

DONORS Ren & Victoria Adam Phil & Tucker Adams Dolli Alexander June Allyson Ashrow Edna Mae Amend Don Anderson & Nita Whaley Ted & Delores Angus Frankie Anthony Julieta Arceo Matilda Armstrong Ronald Arruejo Ross & Patricia Atkinson Robert Aviles Berit Axelsson R. F. Ayres Herman & Ursula Baertschi Berkley & Suzanne Baker Edward & Mary Ann Balaban Claude & Jean Ball Maurice Bamberger & Hazan Samaniego Charles & Marabeth Barkman Chuck Barnett Gary & Kate Barnhart Mirko & Silvia Basich Elizabeth Bauer Dr. James Todd & Alicia Beaty Gregory Becher Ann Bedau Ann Marie Behrendt Alan & Kristen Bell Carol & Paul Belser George E. Berg Stuart Berggren Norman Bergman Jack & Gayle Bertsch Donald & Mary Betlach Theresa Billingsley Andy & Sharon Bisaccia B. J. Blackwell Keith Blair Leonard & Patricia Block Julianne Bloomer & Scot Rabe Lori Bolton-Byer Robert Bonewitz & Ruth Lasell William Boone Lance & Kimberly Boyer Jeff & Beckaa Bradford Maurice Bralley Norma Branch Daniel & Victoria Breen Priscilla Brennan Scott Brewer Michael & Michele Briley Elena Brokaw James & Lee Brown Stanford & Eleanor Brown William & Velda Brown Buchman Family Thelma Burman Mary Ann Burright Peter & Mel Calvin

Allen & Marilyn Camp Debra Campbell Andrew & Laura Carlson Mary Carson Scott Carson David & Melodie Catlett Joe & Emily Chacon Esta Chapman Alice Chesley Claire Clark Austin & Sharon Cline Connie Cline Cathy Cluff Donald & Sheila Cluff Sidney & Sheila Cohn Fredrick Coleman, IV Corinne Collins James & Dorothy Combs Carl & Jody Cooper Peter & Ann Costigan Carmen Costsis Ora Lee Cox Thomas & Dorothy Crossman Bruce & Diana Crothers Gregory Culbert Phillip & Betty Culbert Ken & Jackie Curry Robert Daddi Duane Dammeyer Robert Dautch Robert Calder & Greta Davis Jim Dawson Josephine De Leon Paul & Clayre De Midio Anthony & Roslyn Demaria Robert & Amy Dennis Vickey & Will Des Lauriers Judith & Don Diaz Nicolette Diaz Joseph Dickey David & Sally Disco Elaine Donnelly Alan & Jacqueline Dorfman Marcia Doty & Celeste Matesevac Christine & Sanford Drucker Irmgard Dubay Nicole Dubeau Frank & Pauline Duffy Bentley & Clara Dunwoody Jean Easley Paul Ebert Sandra Eckels Simone Ecker Dr. & Mrs. John Edison Craig & Deborah Edwards Orville & Lillian Edwards Roberta Edwards Monica Eguez Jack & Artenia Ellinger Michael Ellingson Katherine Erickson

We apologize for any omissions or misspellings. 8




Marilyn Essick Cathy L. Estill William & Karen Evenden Ruth Farnham Gary & Brenda Farr Dr. Fred & Shirle Fauvre Jack & Marge Fay Kenneth & Louanne Fay Katie Fellows James & Kristen Finch Raymond & Debra Flowers Emilio & Katherine Fontana Boyd & Maxine Ford Maidie Forster Terence Foster Kathleen & Patricia Francis Nic & Susanne Frank Stephen & Karen Frank Fred & Katrina Frape Richard Fulton, M.D. Deborah Gallagher Donald & Maggie Garrett George & Maxine Garvey Ralph & Dorothy Gates William & Karen Ghormley Michael & Amy Gilmore Barry Glass Harriet Glass Richard & Joan Glenn Romelio Gonzalez Helene Gordon Emmett Gosnell Richard Gould, M.D. Carl & Katie Graves Charles Griswold Dennis Guernsey Dennis & Jennifer Guernsey Larry & Maj Hagman Michael & Carol Hall-Mounsey Dr. James & Robyn Halverson Leo Hammerschmitt William & Nancy Hammond Marvin & Patty Hanson Whitley & Helen Harris Wyatt Harris, D.D.S. Dr. Ken & Charlene Hartenstein Brian Haworth Herbert & Julia Hawthorne Richard & Velvet Heller Michelle Henson Oliver Hess Priscilla Hickman Virginia Hill Dr. Anthony & Barbara Hirsch Gerben Hoeksma William & Aurora Holland John & Judy Hooper Gary & Mary Sue Horgan Rikki Horne & Rudy Petersdorf Elizabeth Horton Thomas & Dorothy Horton

Ojai Valley Community Hospital appreciates the many generous gifts from our friends. Contributions to the Foundation benefit our community in many ways. We gratefully acknowledge the following contributions received between October 1, and December 31, 2005. Stanley & Wendy Hubbell Kathleen Huber Jane Hubler Rosalynn L. Hunt Robert Hunter Carolyn Huntsinger Richard Husted Charles & Willa Irwin James Jackson Michael & Carol Jackson Ramona Jackson Allan Jacobs Jaspa Philip Jevanian Herschel & Norma Johnson Willoughby Johnson & Victoria Matthews Colin & Cindy Jones Jerve & Alice Jones Kevin & Nan Jones Wendy Jones Ann DerbyJoy Gerald & Anne Kaplan Stan & Hallie Katz Mary Kazmer H. Lindy Kell, D.D.S. Arlene Kelley Joan Kemper Geraldine Kennon James & Roberta Kerwin Oatley Kidder John & Martie King Jerry & Marilyn Kinyon Marjorie Kiphut Tom Krause Kathleen Kreitsek Melvin & Yvette Krogh Zelda Kunkle Eugenia Lambert Jonathan & Linda Lambert Roger Lancaster Rex & Heidi Lanning Elizabeth Lashbrook Roberta Latimer Donald & Linda Law Gerald Leavitt Craig & Karen Lewis Barbara Lindsey Ronald & Cherry Loe Dorothy Loebl Maren Long Richard Loza David & Lisa Luckenbach Daniel Lukasiewicz Eric Lund Bent & Else Lundbye Mike & Nancy Lurie Dr. Ian & Virginia MacLean James & Jackie Malone Edwin & Jacqueline Marks Don & Elaine Marshall Robert & Airdrie Martin

Mitchell Mashburn John & Ann Mason Anne & Katarina Matesevac Betty Matson Franklin Mayfield Carol McCormick Thomas & Janice McCormick Dwayne & Susan McCulloch Craig & Mary McDonald Julie McFadden Steven & Chris McLean Antoinette McLennan Pam McMillan George & Peggy Melton Wilma Melville Jerry Mendelsohn Heather Mendoza Dr. Fredrick & Margaret Menninger Frank Messana Leo Meyer Mary Militello Burkhard & Evangeline Moll Barry Molony Jo Ann Monak Ray & Virginia Moon John D. Moon, Jr. Hal & Catherine Moore Richard & Gail Moore Laurie Morgan Charles Morrey, III Charles Morris Stephan J.M. & Anne Morris William & Marguerite Mors John Mothershead Ted & Dale Muegenburg Doloris Mungo Mae Murphy Barbara Muska David & Barbara Nakada Sandra Nelles John Nelson, M.D. Joan Nicholson Betty Nielsen Keith & Victoria Nightingale Marilyn Noad Charles & Nancy Nordstrom Thomas D. & Yvonne Odle Harry & Ann Oppenheimer Thomas & Julie Oyan Deitrich Pahnke Jackie Pahnke Shirley Palmer Donald Park Joyce Parkel Richard Parsons Luce Patricolo Edwin & Claire Paulson William & Laura Peck Nancy Pepper Antoinette Perrou Ronald & Linda Phillips

Wayne Pickerell Dr. Martin & Barbara Pops Oral & Winona Potts Hollie Priddy Edwin Procter Annat Provo Dr. William & Mrs. Judith Pugh Alexa Pulley Mary Quijada Deborah Quinn Earl & Alice Ragland Alan & Jan Rains Alice Rains Lakshman Rasiah, M.D. Dan & Mara Redden Sidney & Jayne Rice Ronald Richard Connie Rimpa Mark & Dawn Robbins Robert A. Roddick Suzanne Roll Tom Rooney Jay & Barbara Roske Judy Ross Harold W. Ruddick John & Peggy Russell Agnes Ryan

Violet Ryder Donna Saenz Rebecca Sarate-Zarate Mary Liz Savini Donald & Ann Scanlin Christine Schaffels Martin & Nancy Schechtman Dietrich & Valerie Schmidt Clella Schneider Rosemary Schumacher Darwin & Jennie Scott Paula Scott William & Penny Sechrest Lu Setnicka Dave Settem Marvin Shagam Tim Shates Robert & Patricia Shaw Tom & Karen Sheehan Dorothy Shirley Shelton Marilee Sherman Francis Shields William & Dolores Shouse Joseph Signorino Moises Silva Rigmore Silva Charles & Linda Simon

In Memory of Edward Amend – Edna Mae Amend Conley Anthony – Frankie Anthony, Carl & Katie Thelander Hugo A. Bedau – Mrs. Ann Bedau Bernard Behrendt – Ann Marie Behrendt Kermit Burman – Thelma Burman Heather Dickey – Joseph Dickey Dr. Larry Easley – Jean Easley Robert Essick – Marilyn Essick John D. Farnham – Ruth Farnham Lt. Col. Joseph J. Giuliani – Dolores Smith Helen Gray – Charles & Linda Simon Jarvis Gulbransen – Charlotte Louise Tittle Leonard Hunt – Rosalynn L. Hunt Carl Huntsinger – Carolyn Huntsinger Lucille Ivie – Rosemary Schumacher Alice Jevanian – Philip Jervanian Hailey Good Kennon – Geraldine Kennon Dr. & Mrs. Robert Komura – June Allyson Ashrow Edward R. Lambert, M.D. – Eugenia Lambert

Richard Latimer – Roberta Latimer Freddie & Louise Menninger – Julianne Bloomer Kit Mungo – Doloris Mungo Ken Nielsen – Mrs. Betty Nielsen “Our Parents” – Don & Elaine Marshall David Parker – Kathleen & Patricia Francis Chemo Quijada – Mary Quijada Tom Schneider – Clella Schneider Clara Shagam – Marvin Shagam Rose Siegel – Carol Smith Lupe Silva – Moises Silva J.T. Starr – Delana Starr John Stewart – Elise Stewart Hazel Timbrook – Mary Ann Burright Otho (Pete) Vaughn – Lucille Wierzel Ernest V. Watson – Barbara Watson Tony Wierzel – Lillian Wierzel Herbert Wittenbrock – Leo Meyer Dorothy Zuker – Nancy Pepper

Sally & Steve Simpson Harry & Margery Sims Nate Sinclair David & Edie Skaggs Shari Skinner Jeffrey & Pegi Skoff Michael & Denise Small Carol Smith Dolores Smith Graham & Leeanne Smith Jessica Smith Randy & Sherry Smith Robert Smith Henry & Martha Snyder Dan Soma Dr. Daniel & Edie Sommer William Spellman Mansfield & Chilant Sprague Delena Starr Hilton & Phyllis Stemwedel Elsie Stewart Margaret Stiegele Paula Suddes Dr. & Mrs. Leo Tauber Nell Taylor John & Caroline Thacher Carl & Katie Thelander

Charles & Charlotte Thompson Hazel Timbrook Charlotte Louise Tittle Mary Ellen Tolotti Burt & Cheryl Townsend David & Mary Trudeau James & Sally True Gary Tull Rosalyn Tuttle Frederick & Marion Twichell Dean & Gloria Vadnais Fred Van Wingerden Lucille Vaughn Sherry & Victor Vizcaino Eugene & Kathryn Volkerding Jakob & Marianne Vos Thomas & Esther Wachtell Fred & Janet Wachter Steven & Adelfa Wagner Eldon & Eileen Walker Judy Walker Barbara Watson Don & Barbara Weber Martin Weiner Richard & Jane Weirick Jacquelyn Welsh Allan & Joyce West

J.B. White Ashley White-Brown Jim & Martha Whitledge John & Nancy Whitman Lillian Wierzel Mr. & Mrs. Charles Wilcox Thomas & Alison Wilcox Gary & Cheryl Wilde Larry Wilde Stephen & Stephanie Wilk Ruth Willett Julie Williams John & Ginger Wilson Mary Lou Wingate Gary & Ann Wolfe Timothy & Teresa Wolfe Roy & Jan Worsham Mr. & Mrs. David Wrather Terry & Cynthia Wright Ward & Margaret Wright Herbert & Sue Scott Yager Martin & Doree Young Mareen & Dudley Zoll

Companies &Foundations Arie & Ida Crown Memorial Assisted Home Recovery, Inc. Behavioral Science Technology, Inc. Century 21 Buena Vista Crooked Creek Ranch Forest Pharmaceuticals Halite Steel Help Unlimited HomeCare Images & Illusions Studio Inside Track

The Kindred Spirit Krogh Construction & Engineering Medical Arts Pharmacy Merrill Lynch Mid-State Bank & Trust The Morse & Sadie Gould Foundation The Oaks at Ojai Ojai Community Bank Ojai Family Podiatry Clinic

Ojai Medical Equipment Ojai Rexall Drugs Ojai Valley Emergency Physicians Med Grp, Inc Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Pueblo Radiology Medical Group, Inc Rainbow Bridge Suzanne's Cuisine Waite, Jacobs & Atkinson Wilde-Guernsey, Inc.

In Honorof Emergency Staff at Ojai Valley Community Hospital –Josephine DeLeon Members of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital

Foundation –Jerry Mendelsohn Dr. James Halverson –Thomas & Dorothy Horton

Kim Shaw –Rosalyn Tuttle Dr. Tim Williamson –Allen & Marilyn Camp

Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation truly plays a major role in OVCH’s sincere ongoing “Commitment to Caring.” By supporting the Foundation, you are not only making an investment in the health and well being of Ojai Valley residents today, but are also helping ensure a healthy future as well. For further information on gift opportunities, call the Foundation office at (805) 640-2317. COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM




Giving Back Meet Foundation Director Nita Whaley


Since arriving in Ojai in 1991, Nita Whaley has been almost as busy in community volunteering - much of it in leadership roles - as she was in her long career as a communications professional in the private, nonprofit and governmental sectors. What keeps her going at warp speed? “The quality of life we enjoy in Ojai depends to a large extent on people in the community being willing to participate in nonprofit organizations and share their time, creativity and expertise,” says Ms. Whaley. “My reward is knowing that I have contributed or given something back to this community and have helped my neighbors in some way.”

Ms. Whaley is a past president of the Ojai Valley Library Friends and Foundation, serving at a pivotal period with the Library support group as it worked to establish homework centers and secure private funding. She has just completed a two-year term as chair of the Education Committee for the Ojai Music Festival. Serving as a state certified counselor on Medicare issues, she provides health insurance counseling at Help of Ojai, as well as performing other volunteer services for the nonprofit social services organization, which serves persons of all ages, primarily seniors. She writes a monthly column on senior health insurance concerns for the Ojai Valley News.

Ms. Whaley is currently in her second term on the Advisory Council of the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, now serving as secretary. She and her husband, Don Anderson, teach a memory improvement course under auspices of the Ojai Rotary Club. Since its inception, Ms. Whaley has been involved with the Hospital Foundation Guild, handling publicity for several fundraising events and serving for the past year on the Guild Board as program chair. As a member of the new Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, Ms. Whaley says she’s excited to be working with such a talented and committed group of people. “I

Why We Support OVCH


Continued from page 7

and vacations in Ojai, Jerve and Alice (Kevin’s mother) decided to move to Ojai from Los Angeles ten years ago, followed by Kevin and Nan in 2003. Kevin, an outdoorsman and avid equestrian, says Ojai was a perfect fit for him and Nan, who enjoy riding their horses and taking hikes in the local mountains. Both generations of the family enjoy the antics of Kevin and Nan’s two dogs, Conrad and Lilah, which Kevin says are “endearing, comical and mischievous.” Jerve and Alice had been active supporters of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and when 10



Kevin and Nan arrived, they followed suit, joining the OVCH Foundation Guild. “We enjoy the quality of the people in Ojai, particularly those who have had the vision to save and maintain our hospital, which is extremely important to this Valley,” says Kevin. “Many families such as the Rains, Russells, Wests, Kempers, Hirsches, Farrs and Pops’ had the foresight to preserve our acute care facilities. That is a principal concern of my family, too. We are pleased to be part of the larger team now with CMHS. It is a quality group. We are glad Gary Wilde is leading the team.”


share the Foundation’s vision of helping to establish the Ojai Valley Community Hospital as a toprated medical institution in terms of quality of patient care, physician services and facilities,” she adds. She hopes to use her communications skills and experience to help broaden support for the hospital. “Community support and financial participation are essential to realizing our vision, and to continue enjoying the convenience, caring and services of a local hospital,” she says. Although her time for hobbies is limited these days, Ms. Whaley is a person of many interests: the arts, travel, reading, crossword puzzles, cooking and gardening.

State of the Hospital Address

April 6, 2006, Open to the Public 4:30 PM: Welcome Reception

5:00 PM: State of the Hospital St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall 185 St. Thomas Dr. • Ojai, CA

Please RSVP:


Presented By:

Gary Wilde President & CEO Community Memorial Health System

Gary Farr Vice Chairman Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation

ROBOT Assisted Surgery Breaking New Ground for Colon Patients More and more surgeons at top medical centers like Community Memorial Hospital are using hightech, remotely guided robotic arms for everything from surgery, removing cancerous prostates to aiding in heart surgery. At CMH, general surgeons Constanze Rayhrer and Gosta Iwasiuk are breaking new ground by using the da Vinci robotics system for colon surgery as well. The new surgical techniques they developed have helped them successfully operate together on at least 17 colon

Quality of Life a da Vinci success story In late 2004, Marci Grace Alcott could no longer handle the terrible pain she felt in her abdomen. The Ventura woman was diagnosed with diverticulitis, or inflammation of the colon due to small fissures and tears in her colon, which

patients in the past year. “It’s something unique that we’re doing,” said Dr. Rayhrer. In fact, using the robot for colon surgery is so new that Dr. Rayhrer could not find any published articles on it in American surgical journals. Dr. Iwasiuk had to travel to Illinois to view a similar procedure. No surgeons in California were using the robot for colorectal surgery. Until now, the da Vinci robotics system has mostly been used in the areas of urology for prostate surgery, gynecology and cardiac surgery. Now, its applications are expanding as leading surgeons like Drs. Rayhrer and Iwasiuk perfect new techniques. “We are excited to see CMH emerge as a leading hospital on the West Coast in applying da Vinci robotics technology to colorectal surgery,” said Ryan Rhodes, senior marketing director of the robot’s manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, which tracks all new medical applications of its da Vinci system.

“These two surgeons have emerged as leaders in applying this technology to colorectal surgery,” Rhodes said.

Dr. Constanze Rayhrer

Dr. Gosta Iwasiuk

geons perform minimally invasive surgery — they use small cuts rather than a huge incision — with the aid of three-dimensional imaging for a better view and robotic arms that precisely copy their movements. The robot cuts, grasps, cauterizes and stitches inside the body as the speciallytrained surgeons control the robot. Robotic surgery patients tend to lose less blood, suffer less trauma to their bodies, and recover faster. Dr. Rayhrer’s and Dr. Iwasiuk’s patients had parts of their colon removed, using the robot, due to colon cancer, disease, infection or inflammation of the colon. All were released earlier from the hospital than traditional surgery patients, and the patients were able to eat and return to work faster than surgery patients who had large incisions. “It’s a really dramatic difference,” said Dr. Rayhrer. CMH Physicians with privileges trained to use the da Vinci robotic system.

In late 2004, CMH became the first hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco to install and use the da Vinci system that is revolutionizing surgery around the world. With da Vinci, sur-

General Surgery: Dr. Constanze Rayhrer, Dr. Gosta Iwasiuk, Dr. Helmuth Billy, Dr. Doug Woodburn Urology: Dr. Marc Beaghler, Dr. Cedric Emery, Dr. William Klope, Dr. Paul Silverman.

caused chronic, extreme infections. Surgery was needed, and after Alcott visited general surgeon Dr. Gosta Iwasiuk, he recommended surgery using CMH’s da Vinci robot. Alcott had heard about the many benefits to patients, so she agreed. She had been told that traditional surgery using a large incision across her abdomen to remove the diseased part of the colon would require a six-to-eight-week recovery time. She went with the robot, and hasn’t regretted her decision. More than a foot of Alcott’s colon was removed on a Thursday last May during robotic surgery, using five small incisions. Alcott, 56, went home from CMH the following Sunday and was back at work a week after her operation. She feels great, the pain is gone, and she can eat anything she wants without getting sick. “Not only did CMH and the doctors and

the da Vinci robot save my life, they saved the quality of my life. I’m thrilled CMH was smart enough to buy this robot,” said Alcott. Alcott is such a believer in using the robot for colorectal surgery that she produced a halfhour show detailing her experience with robotic surgery for her regular public-access cable television show called “LOVE” (“Loving Our Ventura Experience”) that airs several times a week on Channel 6 in Ventura. LOVE focuses on health and wellness issues, and now Marci Grace is the story. She interviewed Dr. Iwasiuk and his surgical partner Dr. Rayhrer for the show, and calls them, “a dynamite team.” The segment also includes taped clips of her surgery. “These doctors are right here in Ventura. You don’t have to go to L.A. or San Francisco to get these surgeons. And they are at the top of their field.” COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM




Chief Concerns

Q The Chiefs of Staff at Community Memorial Hospital and Ojai Valley Community Hospital sat down for a spirited discussion with Caring about the two hospitals following the January board meeting of the Community Memorial Health System trustees.

for this year in continuing to improve the trust of the medical staff and its relationship with the hospital, and to enhance communication. I saw a big deficit in the past on how leadership didn’t disseminate information as readily as it should have to the medical staff. I want the whole medical staff to have access to important advances and the exciting relationship we now have with the administration. I really look forward to getting the information out.

Dr. Stan Frochtzwajg, Chief of Staff at CMH, has been in family practice for 26 years and has been on the CMH staff the entire time. He was educated at UCLA and the UC Irvine Medical School, with his residency at the Ventura County Medical Center. Dr. Frochtzwajg lives in Ventura with wife, Heidi. They have two sons, Gabriel, who attends UC Berkeley and Daniel, who attends Ventura College. Dr. Fredrick Menninger III, Chief of Staff at OVCH, has been an orthopedist for 18 years in Ojai and Ventura, and has been on the staffs of OVCH and CMH the entire time. He lives in Ojai with his wife, Margaret. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona and the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.

Caring: In light of the past conflict between physicians and administration at CMH, how is the current relationship between physicians and administration?

Caring: What is your focus for the coming year as Chief of Staff ? Dr. Frochtzwajg: I see my job and biggest goal





Dr. Menninger: Primarily to complete the transition and strengthen the relationship of the two medical staffs since the merger. It is very easy to sign the papers and make them part of one health system, but there needs to be an infrastructure for integration that is ongoing to both hospitals. I need to be a facilitator in that regard and work to enhance that.

Dr. Fredrick Menninger III

pital President/CEO, usually for at least two hours. He brings us up to speed on issues that are going on at the hospital, as well as any up-andcoming concerns. He enhances that communication with a physicians advisory committee which is composed of about 25 members of the medical staff representing almost all the departments of the hospital. Caring: Dr. Menninger, you’ve been on medical staff at both hospitals. Do you see any difficulty in strengthening the relationship of the two staffs?

Dr. Frochtzwajg: It’s like talking about apples and oranges. There is no comparison between what we have now and what we had prior. The current administration has all the hallmarks necessary to strengthen the relationship: transparency, honesty, enhanced communications, and support of the medical staff . Because of the excellent communicative skills at the administrative level and the philosophy of the administration, we really have a medical staff that has bought in to cooperatively working with the hospital administration

Dr. Menninger: In theory, there are potential difficulties. But in reality, many if not all, of the physicians who are on staff at OVCH had at least training relationships with many of the practitioners at CMH, and most of the physicians in Ojai have or have had staff privileges at CMH. Will we ever be joined as one medical staff? Apparently there is a rule that dictates to California hospital boards that there can’t be a single medical staff. We can share many committees and many relationships but we can’t be one staff.

Caring: How will you as Chief of Staff at CMH continue to develop this better relationship?

Caring: So there will continue to be Chiefs of Staff at both hospitals?

Dr. Frochtzwajg: Our medical staff leadership meets twice a month with Gary Wilde, our hos-

Dr. Menninger: Yes. My tenure as Chief of Staff at OVCH is for two years. At CMH

Our physicians have shown remarkable dedication to patients’ quality of care.

Caring: How important is community involvement and support for your hospital? Dr. Menninger: It is critically important that the community view these two facilities as a healthcare delivery system that the community wants to be involved with. There are a host of things that community members can do as volunteers, and through financial support. Dr. Frochtzwajg: We’re only as good as the community that supports us. We do not draw patients from Los Angeles or Santa Barbara. So, if we do not have the confidence of the community, people will seek healthcare elsewhere and it will hurt the hospital. We need to instill in our community a sense of allegiance and alliance with the hospital, and a trust with the community that only can occur with good quality medical care. People will know that by their own experiences. We have to have a rapport with the community based on our performance, and that’s where we must make sure our level of care competes with the very best. Otherwise, we will not be supported by the community.

A Dr. Stanley Frochtzwajg

they serve one year, but they keep the past chief and the chief-elect on the board, which enhances staff representation on the board at the hospital.

Caring: What are the challenges in recruiting new, young doctors to the staffs at CMH and OVCH?

Dr. Frochtzwajg: It is definitely a problem - both locally and nationally - but, most acutely a problem in California where housing costs are so high. It doesn’t take much to do the math. Dr. Menninger: In Ojai specifically, the economics are such that you can’t guarantee the opportunity to have a nice place to live. The economics of buying a house are staggering. I could not afford to buy a house in the area if I was just starting a practice here. Caring: What are some of the advantages of integrating the two facilities?

Dr. Frochtzwajg: There are a number of advantages. First of all, it expands our footprint. People in the Ojai Valley will look at OVCH as a hospital that has served them well for years, and is now even stronger because of its association with CMH. Number two, the ability to transfer patients from the Ojai Valley for those who need more intensive care to CMH is also a bonus. We no longer call ourselves Community

Memorial Hospital. We are now Community Memorial Health System, and that’s a nice transition. It makes us stronger to be a bigger system.

Dr. Menninger: One additional asset is that OVCH has a skilled nursing facility connected with it. It affords an extra option for CMH to have a place for transitional patients who still need attention but not necessarily acute care. Caring: How accessible is the hospital administration and the trustees to the community?

Dr. Frochtzwajg: The community will support us even more if they have a sense that we are headed in the right direction, and that we have separated from past behavior. Residents of Ventura have the ability to speak directly with the administrator of the hospital, and with board members individually. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity here, and I’m going to sing that tune to the medical staff and anyone else I can because we need to preserve what we have. We have a wonderful non-profit, community-based hospital that provides high quality patient care. Dr. Menninger: People in Ojai do have that option to make an impact. The names of the trustees are listed. The administrators are approachable.

Caring: Any last thoughts?

Dr. Menninger: I appreciate the opportunity to share these ideas with the community. I look forward to a productive year and the development of our relationship between OVCH and CMH. The medical staff will benefit from this relationship, but most importantly the broader community will benefit. Dr. Frochtzwajg: My big emphasis is that I’m really impressed with the doctors with whom I work. We have a medical staff composed of physicians who have shown remarkable dedication to patients’ quality of care and to this hospital. And, ninety percent of these physicians spend countless additional hours serving on committees devoted to improving care. Not only that, these same physicians who dedicate hundreds of hours and so much effort and energy in taking care of our community also end up staying in the forefront of medical knowledge and expertise and deliver a wonderful level of care which never ceases to impress me. I’ve gone to other hospitals and have seen how the care is there; well-known, respected hospitals. And I can honestly say that I’m oftentimes more impressed with the care I see here, than at well-known, respected hospitals. I see the physicians here as looking upon their patients as their neighbors, as people they bump into at the grocery store and as their friends. I think that’s a wonderful, wonderful formula that we have here. It’s hard to reproduce anywhere else. COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM




Feeling Good Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem after a Mastectomy Dr. Samuel Bern

For many women who have had a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery can do more than rebuild the breast contour; it very often rebuilds the patient’s self-esteem. “Most patients say there is a great psychological benefit,” notes Dr. Samuel Bern, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has practiced at Community Memorial Hospital since 1992. “They say (breast) reconstruction helps their confidence and self-esteem. They also think less about cancer when getting dressed.” Furthermore, studies reveal that women who have breast reconstructive surgery suffer less depression than those who don’t.

Still, Dr. Bern is quick to point out that breast reconstruction is not for every mastectomy patient: “It’s definitely a very personal decision.” For those women who do make the decision to have breast reconstruction, the options today are many, including choosing between an implant and a TRAM flap procedure that uses extra skin, muscle and fat from the tummy area. If the former option is selected, another decision is choosing a saline-filled implant or one filled with silicone-gel. One factor often weighing into the salineversus-silicone decision is recovery time. The TRAM flap procedure is a larger operation and typically requires four or five days in the hospital


RISK CMH Takes the Lead in Ground Breaking Carotid Stent Study

Having a stent implanted to open a blocked artery was nothing new to Mr. Joy Stevens. Mr. Stevens had stents previously placed in his heart several years ago following a heart attack. But last summer, the Ventura man became the first patient at Community Memorial Hospital to have a stent implanted in the carotid 14




artery in his neck as part of an ongoing medical study to test the first stent of its kind used to treat carotid artery disease. CMH was one of about 100 hospitals nationwide chosen last year to participate in the study conducted by Guidant Corp., using Guidant’s new ACCULINK carotid stent. Guidant’s ACCULINK Carotid Stent System is designed specifically for use in the carotid artery, and can help high-risk patients avoid a more risky major surgery. Vascular surgeon Dr. C. Shawn Skillern is

followed by six weeks of recovery. An implant surgery, on the other hand, usually requires only a one-night hospital stay (and sometimes can even be done as an outpatient) with a three-week recovery. Yet another decision facing the patient, and her doctor, is between Immediate Reconstruction (which begins at the time of the mastectomy and thus may mean one fewer operation) and Delayed Reconstruction. “The trend now is to wait and complete all the treatment for cancer,” explains Dr. Bern. Whether it is Immediate or Delayed, currently about 80 percent of mastectomy patients choose to have some type of reconstruction surgery. Of these patients, about 70 percent choose the implant course of action which actually requires two to three separate operations. First, a temporary tissue expander is implanted. This balloon-like device is then slowly filled with a salinewater solution every two weeks until the skin over the breast area has stretched enough to accommodate the desired implant. In the next operation, the tissue expander is replaced with the saline-filled or silicone-gel implant. A third surgery may be desired to create a nipple and areola. Despite requiring two to three operations over a four to six month period, studies reveal the majority of women who undergo breast reconstruction are happy they did so. “The overall satisfaction with any technique of reconstruction is more than 90 percent,” Dr. Bern points out, adding: “It is great to see a patient feel better about herself afterwards.”

CMH’s participating physician in the Guidant program. He said using these new stents has helped patients avoid traditional and riskier surgery in which the plaque that clogs the artery is removed directly from the artery through an incision. The stent procedures, Dr. Skillern said, “reflect the continuing and evolving change in the treatment of patients with vascular disease. The trend is for less and less invasive procedures accomplishing the same goals.” Guidant representative Martin Rodriguez added, “This gives the doctor another option. Before there were no alternatives.” Guidant Corp., located in Temecula, California is a world leader in the design and development of cardiovascular medical products. Guidant chose CMH to participate in its new stent study for many reasons, Rodriguez said. CMH is among the best hospitals in the


Polypharmacy Polypharmacy Understanding the Risks of Multiple Medications

arthritis — whatever the affliction, there’s a drug to treat it, and that mind-set is not going to change. But polypharmacy isn’t necessarily bad. Conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are appropriately treated with several drugs. Problems arise when medications are duplicated or unnecessary, when doses are too high, when side effects are enhanced, and when drug-drug interactions occur. Sometimes taking multiple drugs becomes too complicated and results in non-compliance or inappropriate use. This can increase the risk of hospitalization. For example, antihistamines, pain medications, and certain blood pressure medications can cause drowsiness. By themselves, this may not be a problem, but taking them together may result in over-sedation. We may look at Uncle Leo and assume he’s slowing down because he’s getting old. Perhaps the only thing slowing him down is his medications. Other problems of polypharmacy can include constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, confusion, falls, depression or lack of interest in usual activities, weakness, dizziness, anxiety or excitability, and decreased sexual behavior. In addition, the more medications one takes, the greater the chance for mistakes. Several years ago, that happened to my mother. In her words, she was taking a pink pill twice a day for high blood pressure and another pink pill once a day to

“thin her blood.” Due to her poor eyesight, she got the pink pills confused and was hospitalized for too much blood thinner. It’s embarrassing to admit that this can happen to the mother of a pharmacist, but it shows that no one is immune to the problems of polypharmacy. We may not be able to eliminate polypharmacy, but some steps can be taken to make it safer. Learn the names of your medications and why you take them. Make a medication list, and include doses and frequencies. Also include supplements, vitamins, and non-prescription medications. Update the list after each doctor visit. Carry the list everywhere — you never know when an emergency hospital visit might occur. Take the list and your medication bottles when you visit ANY physician, even your eye doctor. All your healthcare providers should be familiar with your medication list. If possible, get your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, and request a periodic medication review by your pharmacist and physician. Ask the pharmacist for advice on the selection of non-prescription drugs that could be safely taken with your current medications. To avoid mistakes, be sure to throw out old, outdated and unused medication. With a little effort, many of the problems of polypharmacy can be avoided. Let’s all eliminate that four-trash-bag level of medication use.

enced in implanting stents in other parts of the body. Dr. Skillern was Dr. C. Shawn Skillern among the first surgeons specially trained to use the new ACCULINK stent, and he remains one of the few vascular surgeons in Southern California trained to use it. CMH was also the first hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco to do the carotid stent procedure. tri-counties; Ventura and Santa Barbara counCarotid artery stenting is a minimally invaties have many patients who could potentially sive procedure in which a physician uses a combenefit; and CMH has on staff an expert sur- bination of balloon angioplasty and a stent geon like Dr. Skillern, who was already experi- implant to unblock and reopen the blocked

carotid artery to help prevent strokes. The stent, made from crush-resistant nickel-titanium, is introduced into the body in a guiding catheter through a small puncture in the groin. The stent is guided to the carotid artery for placement while the physician sees the activity in an X-ray. Following the procedure, patients typically go home from the hospital after an overnight stay. Dr. Skillern says carotid stent procedures are potentially advantageous for high-risk patients, such as patients with severe heart or lung disease, or those who had previous neck surgery. Mr. Stevens was one such patient. Doctors discovered during a test that his carotid artery was becoming blocked. He said he had felt fine before hand, but opted to have the new stent implanted before his condition worsened. “He feels really well now and he hasn’t had any trouble from the stent,” said Mr. Stevens’ wife, Lola.


CORNER by Gary Metalak, CMH Pharmacist

I taught at Moorpark College for many years, and one incident comes to mind that best illustrates multiple medication use or “polypharmacy.” A student asked if I would review her mother’s medications for potential problems. I agreed, and the following week I was confronted with four large garbage bags of medication dating back many years from several pharmacies and at least eight different doctors. It was apparent why the student’s mother was having problems. The word “polypharmacy” was coined for such situations. It is often used in a derogatory sense, but the truth is, multiple medication use is a present day fact-of-life. We have the mind-set that if one has an ailment, a medication can fix it. High cholesterol, nasal allergies, heartburn, headache,






The Whole Picture If a picture is, as the old saying goes, worth a thousand words, what is an entire collage of images worth? In the world of medicine, words like priceless and invaluable come to mind. Especially now that such images as X-rays, CAT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs may be readily accessed by your doctor or diagnostician with little more than a click of a button, from virtually anywhere, while you wait. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, your doctor could be seeing you in his


office, consulting with you by phone from home, or anywhere else where there is access to the Internet, and give you up-to-the-minute results of your latest X-ray, and immediately view any other medical imaging you’ve had. And your doctor(s) don’t have to be computer whizzes to take advantage of such modern technology. All they need to be is affiliated with a hospital that’s on the cutting edge of patient care. A hospital like Community Memorial, which, for nearly a year now, has been using a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS): the modern technology that’s been giving physicians, diagnosticians, in fact, its entire community of caring reason to smile. Indeed, Kirk Pieper, Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services, is still smiling. “The feedback is all positive. It's really changed the way we do things, the way we work, and all for the better”. So is Dr. Charles North, head of Radiology. “I just love this thing. It’s a huge success.” He should know. Three years ago, It took about six days from the time an X-ray was taken to the transcribing of the story behind it. Now, your doctor can get a voice clip of the initial verbal impression made by a radiologist after taking an X-ray along with a downloaded image, within minutes. Since the advent of medical imaging, doctors and patients alike have known that every picture doesn’t just tell a story; it tells a profoundly important story. X-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scans, MRIs: When these forms of picture-

COMMUNITY COMMUNITY • Living with Cancer 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., Wednesdays Contact: Carrie Sundberg, LCSW 805-652-5012 • Prostate Cancer Support Group 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., 2nd Thurs. Contact: Maylee Berry 805-278-6100 • Bariatric Surgery Seminar 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Selected Mondays, call for more information. Contact: Nancy Barber 805-648-2227, ext. 111 • Bariatric Support Group 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., 3rd Thurs. Contact: Nancy Barber 805-648-2227, ext. 111 • Mended Hearts 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m., 1st Tues. Contact: Dick Hiser, President 805-646-4636 16



We’re Always Looking for Volunteers! Auxiliary volunteers provide that special touch of comfort, compassion and assistance to patients and their families.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please call the Auxiliary:

Community Memorial Hospital 805-652-5043 Ojai Valley Community Hospital 805-646-1401, ext. 224

Every month, the Community Memorial Health System has a variety of support and informational meetings. Please verify meeting date and location with the contact person listed. Sometimes meetings may be cancelled or rescheduled. • Meetings at CMH, 147 N. Brent St., Ventura

• Better Breathers 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., 2nd Wed. Contact: Regina Stevens 805-652-5346 • Perinatal Education, Maternity Orientation, Prepared Childbirth, Sibling Class Call for more information. 805-658-BABY (2229) • Bittie Babies (Newborn-3 months) or Bigger Babies (3-7 months) Various weekly discussions and breastfeeding support. No pre-registration required Contact: Stacy Herbert, 805-658-BABY (2229) • SuperSitter Courses, Pediatric CPR Children 11 years and older, learn to be responsible babysitters and how to administer CPR to an infant or child. 805-658-BABY (2229)


taking first came on the scene, they were considered technological wonders. Today, we take such picture-taking abilities for granted. Yet there is still much to wonder at. For instance, a PACS which gives your doctors the ability to look at all of these pictures at a glance, from wherever they are, in a near instant. Today, as Dr. North says, “We can basically help solve problems, alleviate anxiety, change lives within minutes”. Happy first birthday to CMH’s Picture Archiving and Communications System.

• Caregivers Support Group 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m., 2nd Fri. Contact: Arlene Reynolds 805-445-1181 • Lymphedema Support Group 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., 3rd Wed. Contact: Melissa Stoen 805-644-9620 Community Memorial Hospital of San Buenaventura 147 N. Brent St. Ventura, CA 93003

• HICAP (Insurance Help for Seniors) 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., 3rd Mon. Contact: Katharine Raley 805-477-7310 • Hepatitis C Support Group 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., 1st Tuesday Contact: Janeen Lyche, RN, FNP 805-641-6536 Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Community Memorial Hospital of San Buenaventura

CARING Spring 2006  
CARING Spring 2006  

THE OTHER HALF A Husband’s Experience with Breast Cancer p.4 A TRIBUTE TO A HERO p.6 FOUNDATION NEWS p.7 ROBOT ASSISTED SURGERY Breaking New...