Eastern Sierra hospitals sign MOU for mutual aid

“Eastern Sierra Hospital Mutual Aid Network” MOU  (Press Release from Inyo-Mono Public Health Officer Dr. Rick Johnson)

nihWe (public health) are pleased to announce that the CEO’s of all three hospitals in the Eastern Sierra have signed a mammoth-hospital-entrance.jpgMemorandum of Understanding to provide mutual aid to each other when an emergency/disaster exceeds the response capability of a given facility. This took effect on October 1st, and is automatically renewed annually.

The MOU demonstrates their commitment to the sustainability of our local healthcare coalitions and to our rural communities. Having such an agreement in place is especially important in that timely aid from outside of the area is more difficult to obtain due to the long distances and frequent challenges due to weather.

The document outlines the intent to provide mutual aid when there is a federal, state, or local declaration or proclamation of an emergency or health emergency by the government officials with authority to do so. Locally, that is the Board of Supervisors, the County Sheriff, or the Health Officer.

Southern Inyo HospitalThere are 5 sections:

–       Organizational Structure and Communications – outlines how the hospital will organize itself in order to integrate seamlessly with both private and government response structures, such as Emergency Operations Centers

–       Patient Movement, Distribution, and Evacuation – outlines operational aspects of the movement of patients from one facility to another, both for assisting and accepting facilities

–       Equipment and Supplies – outlines principles of sharing of “stuff”

–       Personnel – outlines principles of the sharing of staff

–       Financial and Legal – outlines the legal and financial aspects of mutual aid

This document was created by Dr. Johnson as the Health Officer for both counties. We wish to thank the 3 CEO’s: Lee Barron of Southern Inyo Hospital (SIH), John Halfen of Northern Inyo Hospital (NIH), and Gary Myers of Mammoth Hospital (MH) for their willingness to join together in this effort. Their capable and dedicated staff participated in the review and editing of the document, led by Colleen Wilson of SIH, Andrew Stevens of NIH, and Lori Baitx of MH.

Now the real work begins, as we begin to train on this document, and use it in upcoming drills and exercises. This, like CPR training, is an item we hope and pray we will never have to use! However, as Benjamin Franklin said, “Not planning is planning to fail”!

11 Responses to Eastern Sierra hospitals sign MOU for mutual aid

  1. Mammoth Man October 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Thank you Mammoth Hospital! A great idea, made into a reality by a great organization!!!

  2. Mammoth Man October 11, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Thank you Mammoth Hospital! A great idea, made a reality by a great organization!!!

  3. Desert Tortoise October 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I wonder why Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is not included in the pact. They have a brand new facility.

  4. Mongo The Idiot October 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Sounds like a good plan.

  5. Trouble October 9, 2013 at 5:42 am #

    All Bishop Hospital does in a emergency is fly ya to Reno for twenty eight grand . That’s fact.

    • Benett Kessler October 9, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      That’s not fact. Northern Inyo Hospital is designated as a Critical Access Hospital, with better Medicare reimbursement. But anyone who will have a three-day length of stay or longer has to be sent to another hospital under that designation. There is a full emergency room with physicians available to take care of every emergency that comes in, and they do. Again, only those with conditions that can’t be handled here or are expected to have long hospital stays go to Reno.
      Benett Kessler

      • Ken Warner October 9, 2013 at 10:09 am #

        Sounds pretty much like Mammoth Hospital. I was flown to Reno with internal bleeding that needed special treatment. I’ve also spent more than a week at Mammoth Hospital for something they could handle.

        The people are professionals. They know what they are doing at both hospitals.

      • Trouble October 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

        Benett, I say that is a fact. If you go to the emergency room and find out you are having a heart attack, you will be on the a flight to Reno in minutes. I love having Bishop Hospital here, but if you need any specialist in a emergency, you are put on a flight out. I happens several times a week. Ever week.

        • Trouble October 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

          sorry about all the typing errors!

        • Benett Kessler October 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

          Yes, people are flown out, but many people are admitted to the hospital after having surgery here. Many others are treated for a full range of maladies. I’m not sure what you are trying to say – That small rural hospitals can not employ experts in every field? True. That Northern Inyo Hospital is capable to handling most emergencies and is able to evaluate when someone needs a higher level of care? true. Our investigations have revealed that NIH is capable of diagnosing and treating most problems with state of the art equipment in their new hospital and imaging center.

          • Trouble October 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

            I know of a few people who have had heart problems diagnosed here and then flown strait out. I and they think they should have been referred to Reno to avoid the twenty eight thousand dollar flight out. It’s more the cost of the flight that amazes me, and most insurances only cover a little of that cost. I don’t mean to belittle the great doctors we have here.


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