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News & Updates

 

September 1, 2020 

Foundation Remembers Esther Calac-Heller

Palomar Health Foundation mourns the loss of Esther Calac-Heller, a member of its Board of Directors who passed away August 31, 2020 at the age of 75.


Esther worked as a community care provider and educator for Indian Health Council, Inc., a consortium of nine Native American tribes that jointly work to better Indian health and wellness. Trained as a nurse specializing in obstetrics, Esther previously spent 25 years working for Fallbrook Hospital. 

Esther was committed to giving back to her community through volunteer service. In addition to serving with Palomar Health Foundation, she was a member of the Board of Directors at Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc. and the Foundation board at California State University San Marcos, where her family has supported scholarships for students entering the medical and health fields.

Palomar Health Foundation is grateful for Esther’s leadership and dedication to improving health in our community. 



 




September 2, 2020

Palomar Health Foundation Receives Platinum Seal of Transparency

We’re 100% committed to transparency about how we use donor funds to create a healthier community. That's why Palomar Health Foundation has just earned the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. It's part of our commitment to be open and honest with you about our work and our progress towards our goals. Go behind the scenes and find out why GuideStar has given us their highest award at: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/93-3573154




July 27, 2020

Mobile command center trailer donated to Palomar Health

Ready America, a Vista-based company that sells disaster preparedness supplies, has donated a mobile command center trailer to Palomar Health. This generous gift is now being used to screen patients for COVID-19 at Palomar Medical Center Poway. The 48-foot trailer is large enough to safely socially distance five patients at a time. Support from partners like Ready America is greatly appreciated and helping keep our facilities – and community – safe.

Medical staff had been directing patients with COVID-like symptoms to tents outside the Emergency Department but with summer temperatures heating up it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for patients and staff. The trailer is climate-controlled and an overall more protective environment. If a patient with COVID-19 is admitted for treatment, they are placed in a Negative Pressure Room inside the hospital.

Once the pandemic is over, the trailer will be repurposed for other needs (health screenings, clinics, etc.) and can be towed anywhere on its three axles and six wheels. Originally customized for a private citizen, the trailer is outfitted with an open floor plan, kitchen, full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, sink, toilet and hot shower, making it a perfect option to be used as a command center in the event of a disaster. The trailer is set up with solar, a gas generator and wiring for computers, phones and other technology.




July 21, 2020

Foundation concludes 2020 fiscal year

Palomar Health Foundation wrapped up its 2020 fiscal year on June 30. With your help, we've raised more than $3 million dollars -- our most successful year in five years! Your gifts have made a major impact on the quality of care that Palomar Health can deliver. In addition to funding five ultrasound echocardiogram systems valued at nearly $1M dollars and major support for Palomar Health’s COVID-19 response, your gifts provided a glidescope and examination lights for Palomar Medical Center Poway, chemo certification for nurses, a mobile X-ray system, music therapy programs at The Villas at Poway and much more.

  

July 10, 2020

High School Robotics Team Designs, Donates Face Shields

A local high school robotics team used their competition robot to deliver 100 face shields they custom designed and 3D printed to staff at Palomar Medical Center Escondido. The robot used a four-wheel mecanum drive train and a 3D printed string-and-pulley-driven lift system connected to parallel grippers to grasp and deliver the face shields from the students to the staff.
 
The high school students are members of Singularity, a San Diego-based robotics team that competes in the FIRST Tech Challenge Competition. The high school students said they wanted to do something to contribute to hospital workers’ call for more face shields, working with the Forecast 3D company to custom design and create the face shields.
 
The students have raised more than $5,900 in private donations through a GoFundMe account to pay for materials and shipping costs. They have shipped face shields to hospitals all over the country and Mexico but this was the first time they got to use their robot to personally deliver the face shields to healthcare workers in their own community.


The Singularity robot delivered face shields to Emergency Room Physician Dr. John Liboon and Palomar Health Foundation's Wayne Herron.


June 26, 2020

John Forst donates massage chair to thank ER staff
 
Thoughtful community members have been finding ways both big and small to support Palomar Health throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In recent months, donors have contributed personal protective equipment, hundreds of meals, cash and more than 30,000 cloth masks.
 
John Forst, a San Marcos resident and former chair of Palomar Health Foundation's Board of Directors, was inspired to donate a massage chair for emergency department employees to use in their breakroom at Palomar Medical Center Escondido.
 
“I was in the hospital having surgery a couple of months ago and the nurses did a good job and took great care of me,” he said. “So I asked, ‘What kinds of things could you use here in the hospital?’ There’s never a lack of things. The staff always have a wish list.” After conversations with the ER staff and hospital leaders, he decided a massage chair would be most beneficial to employees. 
 


Dawn Morrison, a nurse in the emergency department, explained why the gift is so meaningful to her team.
 
“We’re so busy taking care of other people,” she said. “This is a way for us to come and unwind and relax,” she said. Nurses and emergency room technicians often work shifts that can stretch to 12 hours, so having a chance to decompress amid the stress of their job is really appreciated.
 
“When you get in that chair, it’s great,” Morrison said. “I used it the other day and it was such a blessing. It takes you away from your work for a little while.”
 
Jen Olson, an emergency department technician, was among the first employees to try it out. “I sat in it during my entire 40-minute break,” she said. “It was so relaxing!”
 
Forst, who helped raise funds to build Palomar Medical Center Escondido and has been a major donor himself, said sometimes a small gesture is just as meaningful as a large gift. 
 
“I have had a chance to be involved with Palomar Health for the past 25 years or so. I’m pretty familiar with what happens in the hospital and how hard everybody works,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the little things that help the doctors, nurses and staff know how much they’re appreciated.”

 

May 26, 2020

Palomar Health Foundation is proud to stand with all of Palomar Health's caregivers. These heroes don't have the luxury of staying home when a health care crisis happens. Thank you for keeping our community healthy and safe! 


May 6, 2020

With Nurses Week underway May 6-12, Palomar Health Foundation installed signs at Palomar Medical Center Poway and Palomar Medical Center Escondido in support of our nurses and all our healthcare heroes. We are proud of the extraordinary response our team has shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This gift from the Foundation is our way of saying thank you for everything you do!


Palomar Medical Center Poway


Palomar Medical Center Escondido


May 1, 2020

Palomar Health is thankful for the many gifts of personal protective equipment, financial contributions, food and other supplies received from our community. Thank you for honoring our health care team in this way! The list below reflects gifts made to our COVID-19 emergency fund received through April. 



April 6, 2020

Federal Medical Station coming to Palomar Health

San Diego County has received approval for a 250-bed Federal Medical Station (FMS) to be placed on the 10th and 11th floors of Palomar Medical Center Escondido. The FMS, sometimes referred to as a “field hospital,” is a federal government asset loaned to the state. The state then assigns a medical station to the counties with the most need. There are currently 11 Federal Medical Stations on loan throughout California.

The FMS coming to Palomar Health will be a fully operational, low acuity “hospital within a hospital” that will be staffed by Palomar Health employees.

We expect equipment for the FMS to arrive by April 15. The items will be installed by a federal team and can be operational within 48 hours of its delivery. The equipment being delivered includes 200 general use beds, 20 enhanced treatment (Westcot) beds, 10 adjustable exam beds, 5 bariatric beds, 25 toddler cots, 24 portable cribs and all necessary pharmacy and nursing supplies. 


This shelled space at Palomar Medical Center Escondido will be converted to a Federal Medical Station with help from federal and state experts.

Palomar Medical Center Escondido was built to meet the needs of a growing community and the 2.5 shelled floors were intended to accommodate future growth. 

“We could have never guessed the shelled floors would serve a more urgent community need, and we are proud to be part of the solution to keep our community safe,” Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen said. 



March 26, 2020

The Board of Directors of Palomar Health Foundation moved this week to make an emergency transfer of $500,000 in unrestricted funds from the Foundation to Palomar Health. These funds are intended to help the healthcare system pay for unexpected costs related to its COVID-19 response, including the purchase of critical supplies such as personal protective equipment and lab testing supplies. Board members also have pledged to make a personal financial contribution to support this effort.  


March 21, 2020

A message from Diane Hansen, President & CEO, Palomar Health 
and Wayne Herron, Vice President of Philanthropy & Chief Philanthropy Officer:

There’s no getting around the fact that these are challenging times. The coronavirus has impacted nearly every person in our country and millions more around the world, in terms of the way we live, work and care for ourselves and loved ones. 
 
Despite the many changes we are all facing, at Palomar Health our commitment to you is constant. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 in our community and taking every step possible to minimize its spread. We are also carefully evaluating the readiness of our facilities, equipment and personnel. Here are some of the steps we are taking as we remain focused on our #1 priority: the health and safety of our patients, visitors, employees and the public. 
 
Central Command Center
A new command center has been established to give leaders a central place to receive accurate and current information during this rapidly changing situation. Representatives from our Employee Health and Human Resources departments are monitoring the situation and providing quick response to support our staff and patients.
 
Visitation
Our visitation policy has changed. To minimize exposure to coronavirus, we are only allowing visits to end-of-life patients and obstetrics patients. Visits to end-of-life patients will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For obstetrics patients, only partners may visit at this time. The visitor must be feeling well, exhibit no signs of sickness and be at least 18 years of age. All other visitors must wait outside the hospital.
 
Non-Essential Surgeries
Since Wednesday, March 18, Palomar Health has been deferring non-essential surgeries at both Palomar Medical Center Escondido and Palomar Medical Center Poway. Classification as an essential or non-essential surgery will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the physician and patient. Rescheduling non-essential surgeries to a later date frees up hospital rooms and resources that can be reserved for emergency use. 
 
Telecommuting
Palomar Health has asked many non-clinical team members, including our Foundation staff, to work remotely during this time. This policy will not impact patient care. No matter where our employees are located, they are hard at work and available to help you. 
 
Sanitation
High-touch surfaces in all public areas are being sanitized continually throughout the day. That includes door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, vending machines and other areas.
 
COVID-19 Testing
Test kits for the public are not currently available for sale at the hospital, online or any other known place in the community. To be tested for coronavirus, you must have symptoms: a fever, cough and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath. If you do not have symptoms, you will not be tested.
Help us spread the word: unless it is an emergency, those who suspect they have been exposed to coronavirus should contact their primary care physician rather than report to an emergency room. 
 
Our community is responding with the strength and discipline that it will take to overcome this crisis. On behalf of our dedicated staff, we pledge to be uncompromising partners in our commitment to your best health.
 
We value your opinion. Please call us at (760) 739-2787 or email us at giving@palomarhealth.org with any comments or questions.
 
 
In friendship and in health,
 
Diane Hansen
CEO, Palomar Health
 
Wayne Herron
Vice President of Philanthropy and Chief Philanthropy Officer
 

  • Palomar Medical Center Escondido

     

    2185 Citracado Parkway

    Escondido, CA 92029

    442.281.5000

  • Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido

     

    555 East Valley Parkway

    Escondido, CA 92025

    760.739.3000

  • Palomar Medical Center Poway

     

    15615 Pomerado Road

    Poway, CA 92064

    858.613.4000