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Congressman, State Senator tour NIHD during Memorial weekend visits

nihd nih northern inyo healthcare district

June 4, 2024
News Release

Congressman, State Senator tour NIHD during Memorial weekend visits

Northern Inyo Healthcare District (NIHD) had the privilege to host U.S. Congressman Kevin Kiley and State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil during the recent Memorial Day weekend. Even with their busy schedules, both legislators showed their dedication to rural healthcare by visiting NIHD to see its achievements and challenges firsthand.

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Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil, third from left, pauses for a photograph with the NIHD leadership team. From left: Chief Human Resources Officer Alison Murray, Chief Operations and Nursing Officer Allison Partridge, Senator Alvarado-Gil, NIHD Board of Directors Chair Melissa Best-Baker, Chief Executive and Financial Officer Stephen DelRossi, NIHD Board of Directors Vice Chair Jean Turner, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Hawkins. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Rep. Kiley and his wife, Chelsea, visited NIHD on Saturday, just before serving as the Grand Marshal of the Bishop Mule Days Celebration. Sen. Alvarado-Gil visited on Sunday. Their District Directors, Chelyssa Horvat and Lauren Hernandez, joined them on their visits.

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Congressman Kevin Kiley pauses outside Northern Inyo Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to discuss the reduction of labor and delivery services in rural America during his tour of Northern Inyo Healthcare District. From left: NIHD Chief Executive and Financial Officer Stephen DelRossi, Kiley’s wife Chelsea, NIHD Board of Directors Vice Chair Jean Turner, NIHD Chief Operations and Nursing Officer Allison Partridge, and Chief Human Resources Officer Alison Murray. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Earlier in the week, NIHD welcomed Cathy Martin, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for California Healthcare Districts (ACHD), and Sarah Bridge, ACHD’s Senior Legislative Advocate. These visits were pivotal, giving members of NIHD’s Executive leadership, led by Chief Executive and Financial Officer Stephen DelRossi, a chance to discuss the significant successes and challenges facing the healthcare district and rural healthcare as a whole.

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The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) supports and advocates for healthcare districts across the state, ensuring they have the resources and representation needed to provide quality healthcare to their communities. From left: Chief Human Resources Officer Alison Murray, ACHD Leader Sarah Bridges, NIHD Board of Directors Vice Chair Jean Turner, ACHD Leader Cathy Martin, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Hawkins, and Chief Executive and Financial Officer Stephen DelRossi. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Chief Operations and Nursing Officer Allison Partridge, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Hawkins, and Chief Human Resources Officer Alison Murray led the tour portions of the visits. The tours included NIHD’s Perinatal unit, now the only labor and delivery unit between the Nevada state line and the greater Bakersfield area, as well as the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department. Discussions in these areas focused on state and federal reimbursement rates, which have not increased in many years, patient transfers to larger facilities for advanced care, and the need for a bigger outpatient clinic facility to meet the community’s needs.

Both Congressman Kiley and Senator Alvarado-Gil were pleasantly surprised to discover that NIHD offers advanced robot-assisted surgeries using the Intuitive da Vinci robot and the Stryker Mako total knee robotic arm. This showed the high level of surgical care available in Inyo County, making a strong impression on the visitors.

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Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil inquires about the number of babies delivered annually at NIHD and the breakeven point for labor and delivery costs. The response: NIHD delivers 200 babies each year and would need to deliver 400 to break even. CEO DelRossi emphasized that the NIHD Board of Directors considers this a moral issue and is committed to maintaining the service. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

During ACHD executives’ visit, Martin and Bridge got a preview of NIHD’s new Pharmacy and Infusion center areas. DelRossi explained that the pandemic, supply chain issues, and unexpected changes by California’s Health Care Access and Information Department turned what was initially a one-year building project into a five-year endeavor. He assured the visitors that the new facilities should be ready and in service by later this summer.

“We are grateful for the time and attention our state and federal representatives have shown us, especially during the very busy Memorial Day weekend,” DelRossi said. “We hope these interactions will lead to continued support and advocacy for our community’s health needs.”

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