Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for July 18, 2024





NIHD press release

With a continued focus on improving patient service and access, Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Rural Health Clinic quietly launched a new Same Day Care program this past August. Going into its third month of operation, the program is now gaining momentum.

The Rural Health Clinic’s Same Day Care team consists of Admissions Clerk Oscar Esparza, Physician’s Assistant Jenni Figueroa, and Medical Assistant Jessica Nichols. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Why the quiet launch? To be honest, staff and leadership were a bit hesitant as the District had tried offering this type of service in the past and encountered staffing and scheduling problems.

We never want to let our patients down,” said Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Inyo Healthcare District, “So this time, we waded into the service waters and waited to see if we earned the right to swim.”

Relying on word of mouth and grass-root marketing, the Same Day Care schedule began to fill up within a few weeks and looks to have a robust following.

So what is Same Day Care? Physician Assistant Jenni Figueroa explains it best. “We’ve all been there: It’s Friday evening and you are looking forward to finally relaxing after a long week. As you are chopping your zucchini for dinner, the knife slips and you cut your finger,” she said. “So, your doctor’s office is closed and you really don’t feel like waiting in the Emergency Department. Where do you go? Same Day Care.”

Another common scenario is outlined by Figueroa. “It’s Tuesday at noon and you get a call from the school nurse saying that your child has a fever and is complaining of ear pain. You call the pediatrician and they are booked for the remainder of the day,” Figueroa said. “Where do you go from here? Same Day Care.”

Same Day Care is open for patients ages 6 months and older from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and is located inside the Rural Health Clinic. “We are here for medical complaints that require immediate attention, but are not life threatening,” Figueroa explained.

Typical Same Day Care cases may include coughs, colds, influenza, sprains or strains, allergies, pink eye, ear or throat pain, or mild asthma attacks. More severe issues like chest pain, head injuries or shortness of breath would require a visit to the Emergency Department; more routine things such as annual wellness exams, medication refills or specialty referrals require a visit to your primary care provider.

To schedule an appointment, call the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) at (760) 873-2849 and ask for a Same Day appointment. Due to the nature of same day care at RHC, appointments will be seen first, but walk-in patients are also welcome.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies, and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.


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