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Hazel Hawkins expands diabetes services

GENEROSITY”S REWARDS A donation by Mary Ann Barragan, shown here at new diabetes center at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, made the center’s opening possible.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has expanded its diabetes services with the new Barragan Family Health Care and Diabetes Center.

The center was funded by a donation by Mary Ann Barragan and a grant from Monterey Peninsula Foundation, and is the first and only of its kind in San Benito County.

The Diabetes Center, located at 930 Sunnyslope Road, Ste. A2, offers a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to the care of diabetes under direction of a team led by endocrinologist Michael Koteles, MD, with Dr. Aileen Wang.

The center was made possible by a donation from Barragan, a longtime resident of Hollister, in honor of her late husband Ray Barragan, who suffered from diabetes for many years.

Current data indicates that 17.5 percent of the adult population in San Benito County has diabetes, and an estimated 30 percent of the adult population is considered pre-diabetic or at risk of becoming diabetic, according to the hospital.

“A comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to the care of diabetics has shown to significantly improve their outcomes,” said Dr. Koteles. “Mrs. Barragan’s generosity will allow this type of comprehensive care to be available to all the citizens of San Benito County.

“Our center provides personalized care, education, counseling and treatment,” he said in a statement. “We are able to offer motivational programs, screenings, informative literature, seminars and outreach to improve the health status of our community.”

The center also has a kitchen where cooking demonstrations will teach patients about healthy eating.

With support from the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation, the Diabetes Center is also partnering with the Central Coast YMCA to provide a Diabetes Prevention Program for the residents of San Benito County.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults (starting at age 18) at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Admission into the program is through physician referral.

Hazel Hawkins Hospital also announced that it has finalized a partnership with Pediatrix Medical Group of California, a MEDNAX affiliate that also provides services to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. Pediatric hospitalists from Pediatrix will begin supporting women’s and children’s services at Hazel Hawkins as early as February 2019.

“I would to commend our CEO Ken Underwood for finalizing a partnership with Pediatrix Medical Group of California, a nationally renowned pediatric medical group,” said Dr. M. Aslam Barra, of the hospital medical staff.

Pediatrix and Hazel Hawkins will work together to establish a premier pediatric hospitalist program in Hollister, increasing community access to top-quality pediatric care.

Pediatrix will provide hospital-based pediatric hospitalists to assist with high-risk newborn deliveries, help determine when a newborn requires transport out for critical care, and support the care of well newborns in the nursery, as well as inpatient children and teens.

Pediatric hospitalists will also be on hand to provide onsite consultative services to attending medical staff and emergency physicians and to help stabilize patients in emergency situations.

Pediatrix provides the same spectrum of pediatric services to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and to several other South Bay hospitals.

Dr. Richard Powers, MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist and chief of staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, will serve as the liaison between Good Samaritan and HHMH and facilitate recruitment and staffing of pediatric hospitalists in Hollister.

Good Samaritan Hospital’s neonatology group has, for many years, been assisting HHMH with the stabilization and transport of high-risk newborns, and supported physicians with telephone consultations. “We have a long-standing relationship with Hazel Hawkins, built over the last 10 to 15 years, and this is the next step,” said Powers. “The importance of this program is placing quality physicians in the Hollister community to establish continuity of care.”

The Hollister hospital pursued a partnership with Pediatrix due to the need for full-time pediatric support at the hospital, according to a statement. Currently most pediatricians in Hollister have established office-based practices and cannot staff the hospital.

“Pediatrix has a history and national reputation for providing excellent care to newborns and children,” said Ken Underwood, Hazel Hawkins CEO. “This partnership will bring experience and vital support to our top-tier Women’s Center and ER, and to children admitted to Hazel Hawkins Hospital.”

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital also announced the hospital  has received an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group, awarded in Fall 2018 for their commitment to exceptional patient safety and meeting the highest quality and safety standards. Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.