Breathing Easier: Simi Valley Hospital’s Subacute Unit Provides Specialized Respiratory Care in a Homelike Setting

The hospital becomes home for most people who depend on a tracheostomy — an opening in the windpipe that is connected to an oxygen supply and/or a ventilator — for the breath of life. Simi Valley Hospital’s Subacute Unit specializes in providing long-term, personalized care for adults in these circumstances and peace of mind for their loved ones.

“Our focus is on dignity, quality of life and privacy for our residents,” said Cathy Jimenez, nursing director of Simi Valley Hospital’s Subacute Unit. “We provide an atmosphere that is as close to a home setting as possible.”

The Subacute Unit’s emphasis on creating a homelike environment begins with using the term resident instead of patient. Residents are encouraged to dress in regular clothing, bring furniture with them from home and surround themselves with photos, decorations and other things they enjoy that meet the hospital’s health and fire safety standards. Family members and friends are always welcome to visit and to participate in their loved one’s care.

Professional Care

While the Subacute Unit is a place of calm and comfort for its residents, it is also a place where highly skilled, specialized staff members provide round-the-clock medical care. At least one registered nurse (RN) is on duty 24 hours a day, and the entire staff is skilled in caring for the special needs of people with a tracheostomy.

On January 5, 2007, the Ventura County Department of Health Services approved expansion of Simi Valley Hospital’s Subacute Unit from 10 beds to 16. It is one of only two such facilities in Ventura County.

“For the most part, nursing home staff don’t have the training required to care for people with a tracheostomy,” Jimenez said. “That’s why the Subacute Unit is so important for our community.”

Subacute Unit residents must meet Medi-Cal admission criteria. For information on admission screening, call Simi Valley Hospital’s Utilization and Resource Management Department at 805-955-6840.

Meet Gurdip Flora, MD

Board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease, Gurdip Flora, MD, joined Simi Valley Hospital in 1990 after a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care at USC Medical Center.

A former Simi Valley Hospital chief of staff, Dr. Flora has also held several other medical staff leadership positions, including chairman of the department of medicine and medical director of the Cardiopulmonary Department.

Dr. Flora is currently the medical director of the Subacute Unit, where he takes an active role in providing goal-oriented care and services tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

To find a primary care doctor or physician specialist in your neighborhood, please use the Find-a-Doctor search or call our physician referral service at 805-955-8000.

Spring 2007