Valued Physician, Grateful Patient

By Jeremy Brewer, Director of Marketing & Communication
Interim Foundation Director, Simi Valley Hospital Foundation

His friends in Rotary, former patients, hospital staff, physician colleagues—we all just call him Doc. And although his proper name is Elvin Gaines, for those of us with any history at Simi Valley Hospital, he’ll always be “Doc.”

During his long tenure as a physician, Doc was a continual presence at the hospital; at any hour of the day or night, you might have seen him in the hallway, coming out of a patient room or interacting with staff at a nursing station. To this day, he is that warm and strong handshake that always comes with a smile and a friendly “Oh, hi there!” or “How are you today?”

Unfortunately, Doc recently had a little scare when he was the subject of a Code Blue—hospital lingo for a cardiac or respiratory arrest—and ended up in a “deluxe suite” in Simi Valley Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He considers himself fortunate to have actually been in the ICU when his medical emergency occurred.

Doc and his wife, Geri, are grateful for the care he received as a patient at Simi Valley Hospital.

“The physicians, nurses and others who took care of me were competent and very caring,” he says. “I really felt I was in good hands.”

I’m glad to report that Doc is recovering well after his stay with us. He tells me, though, that his hospital bill gave him a real shock. But it’s not what you think: It’s not the total of his bill that surprised Doc—no, he was shocked by how little his insurance company and Medicare reimbursed Simi Valley Hospital for his care.

“It’s appalling to see just how little the hospital receives from the government and insurance companies,” Doc says. “I fail to understand how you can balance the hospital’s budget with rising salaries, build a new hospital, expand services, purchase medical supplies and stay current with technology with such low rates of reimbursement.”

In response to his outstanding care—and the abysmal reimbursement from his insurance—Doc and Geri recently gifted the Simi Valley Hospital Foundation with a check for $50,000 to advance patient care services at Simi Valley Hospital. The Foundation board and the hospital are grateful for the Gaines’s generous gift, which makes them our first major donors.

“Giving to the Simi Valley Hospital Foundation is something I can truly get excited about because I know that my gifts make a real difference in people’s lives,” Doc says. “I pray that God will continue to bless Simi Valley Hospital as they bring health to our town.”

Giving Back

Our grateful patients donate to the Simi Valley Hospital Foundation as a way of saying thank you to the people who were there when they needed them most—our physicians, nurses, technologists, therapists, housekeepers and other health care professionals. Our caregivers work hard to make a difference in our community every day. Have you been touched by one of them?

You can make a gift in honor of a Simi Valley Hospital physician, employee or volunteer to say thank you for the special care you received. Just call the Foundation office at 805-955-8143 or go to “Give a Gift.” When we receive your gift, we will send a card and a token of appreciation to the health care professional you wish to honor.

Learn how your gift can make a difference in the lives of Simi Valley Hospital patients and their loved ones. Call the Simi Valley Hospital Foundation at 805-955-8144.

Spring 2008