Tag Archives: big pine news

Teamwork and Preparation Most Important in NIHD’s Response to COVID-19

It is an overused analogy, the war against novel coronavirus, but as any employee at Northern Inyo Healthcare District will tell you, the battle is real. Ironically, it is a battle most have prepared for throughout their respective careers.

“Every team member brings something to the fight,” says Dr. Stacey Brown, Medical Director of NIHD’s Rural Health Clinic and current Vice Chief of Staff. “Every department plays a role.”

For NIHD Board President Jean Turner, the show of teamwork fits right into the District’s operational design. “When I came onto the Board, I was told our basic structure is that of an inverted pyramid,”
Turner says. “Leadership at the bottom, the workforce at the top. The top is where the real work goes on; it’s where things really matter. If I wanted our community to remember one thing at this point in time, it’s this: Our staff is disciplined, well-trained, and ready for this challenge.”

The District’s fight against coronavirus began in mid-January. For weeks, Infection Preventionist Robin Christensen, RN BSN HIC, kept an eye on what was transpiring in China. On January 28, she called the first team meeting to talk about coronavirus and its potential impact on NIHD and the community. Everyone in the room knew the odds, had watched the numbers coming in from China.

“It is safe to say we wished for the best, but as healthcare workers, we always prepare for the worst,” Christensen says. “It’s who we are; it’s what we do; it is what the community expects from us at a time like this.”’

As the NIHD team developed needed plans, they carried on with providing day-to-day care. Hallway conversations and internal emails began to refer to coronavirus more frequently. The District conducted a pandemic disaster drill on February 13. The tipping point came March 6 when a two-hour coronavirus meeting gave way to a day-long review of staffing levels, supplies, policies, plans, and shared concerns.

The group met the next afternoon again for several hours. They got a late start, beginning at noon. It gave those who volunteered to help at the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Walk & Run a chance to meet their commitment. For many at NIHD, it was the last “normal” day of the month.

NIHD initiated an internal Incident Command on March 10 and continues working under it today. Incident Commands use a standardized approach to direct, control, and coordinate emergency response. More importantly, it brings people together to reach a common goal.

Like her co-workers, this was not the first time Allison Partridge, RN MSN, worked under an Incident Command. Partridge, the Director of Nursing for the Emergency and Medical-Surgical departments, knows the system well and aids Chief Nursing Officer Tracy Aspel in keeping the daily meetings on task.

Partridge now spends much of her days working with others to put together workflows for the departments that will be most affected. With guidance from Infection Preventionist Christensen, Partridge
and others closely watch the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Public Health Department for direction. No area or service escaped review.

“We track daily our current availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and the recommendations for use,” Partridge says. “Additionally, we have made modifications in how we provide services and how visitors access the campus. All of these measures are in place to protect our teams and community. We encourage all employees to adhere both while at work and at home to the recommendations issued by national, state, and local government.”

Carefully crafted plans address the care of Patients Under Investigation (PUIs). Partridge says the standardized workflows are based on the patient’s level of care, whether that be critical care at the hospital or self-isolation at home. Care of multiple positive COVID-19 patients within the hospital remains an area of concern for the small 25-bed hospital.

“A great amount of planning and preparation has gone into every action, and it’s still ongoing,” Partridge says. She notes that just this week, the team was searching every square inch of the facility for places to place more beds. No space is overlooked. An unused and unfinished room located in the two-story hospital was turned into a four-bed safe patient care area within hours.

As for staffing, the level is adequate at this time. The District is working closely with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union on staffing plans should the virus take hold of the community.

As non-essential services are scaled back, staff in those areas become available for use in others. Nurses and caregivers were surveyed to see if they would be OK to serve in other departments they were cross-trained to work in. Recently retired nurses may be considered for voluntary return to bolster staffing numbers. The dedicated care given by generations of NIHD nurses is legendary in the community.

They were also asked who would be willing to work with critical coronavirus cases. No one will be asked to step into a situation they are uncomfortable with — and to date, no one has opted out.

As for the physicians, Dr. Brown and Dr. William Timbers, NIHD’s Chief of Staff, are relying on the aid and advice of many of the District’s Medical Chiefs – Dr. Richard Meredick (Orthopedics), Dr. Charlotte Helvie (Pediatrics), Dr. Sierra Bourne (Emergency), and others. The Medical Support Staff office issued emergency credentials for other physicians in the area should their aid be required at bedsides.

The Rural Health Clinic team launched drive-in coronavirus testing well before some larger, urban hospitals did. The move was based on when the RHC offered drive-in flu shots more than a decade ago.
“Hometown health care can work anywhere, even in the big city,” Dr. Brown smiles.

Dr. Brown’s reliance on RHC Directors Paul Connolly and Jannalyn Lawrence, RN, is evident. Both work closely with the District’s outpatient clinics and played critical roles in clearing barriers for drive-in testing. When offered kudos for the work, Lawrence scoffed. “One Team, One Goal,” she says, incurring the closing line of the District’s mission statement.

Later, as Director of Nursing Partridge studies the endless worklists that paper the walls of Incident Command, she agreed with Lawrence. “Teamwork has played a huge role in managing every aspect of this situation,” she says. “This collaboration has taken place across all disciplines and has included a multiagency approach across Inyo and Mono counties. This great work truly exemplifies our mission of ‘One Team, One Goal, Your Health.’”

Meanwhile, as another day ends for the District team, Infection Preventionist Christensen is in her office. It is quiet in the usually bustling hallway; the result of the District’s temporary telework plan. Almost 80 employees are working from home, practicing social distancing.

Laying across Christensen’s desk are signs of a community lending its support to its healthcare workers: Packages of the valued N95 masks recovered from businesses and home garages, plus several handcrafted face masks. The handcrafted masks, with bright patterns of cacti, cats, and paisley, are especially touching
to Christensen.

NIHD is looking into options that could allow the homemade masks to be used as covers for approved personal protective equipment. That would occur if, and only if, NIHD’s supply of approved masks is
depleted. The covers would help keep the N95 masks free of transferred hand oils, possibly extending the life of the N95s.

“One team,” Christensen says, circling her index finger, gesturing from east to west, north to south. “It’s all of us in the community. Together, we will get through this.”

This Facebook Group is Helping Keep Local Businesses Alive During a Pandemic

With the spread of coronavirus happening across the world, businesses everywhere have been forced to either shut their doors or greatly modify their services. One industry which has been affected greatly by the rise of COVID-19 cases, is the restaurant industry.

Dining rooms at restaurants are no longer allowed to stay open which forces customers to choose delivery or take out options only. In order to try to assuage some of the revenue losses businesses face in the Eastern Sierra, Local Real Estate Broker Jake Rasmuson has created a Facebook group called “Bishop Restaurants Offering Take-Out and Delivery.”

The hope is that the Facebook group will encourage people to order takeout in order to keep these businesses afloat.

“Well as a group, we set up so that we can keep the general public abreast of which restaurants are open, who is offering what food, and where for delivery.” Rasmuson said during an interview with KIBS/KBOV News. “It really gives the restaurants a chance to keep moving forward in this time of need.”

So far, the community has responded enthusiastically. This Facebook group was created about a week and a half ago, and it already has over 1,000 people in it.

“You know we are just over a thousand members. The response in our community has been amazing, just the number of people who are offering to help and who are offering to promote other restaurants. I think the biggest part is the local community members who are really trying to support the local restaurants and get up there and patronize the restaurants that are still open,” Rasmuson said.

Though Rasmuson implemented the idea locally, he says he stole the concept from a friend who lives just north of the United States border in Ontario, Canada. He stated, “You know I’ll be honest, another real estate agent friend up in Ontario, Canada, started a group very similar up there. I thought it was a great idea, and frankly, I stole it and got it started for our area. And I would encourage other areas to do the same thing because I really think it provides a great data base for our community to help those local restaurants.”

It’s safe to say none of the local restaurants or his friend care that this plan was not conceptualized by Rasumson.

Local restaurants aren’t the only businesses on board with this group. Jake Rasmuson conveyed that he is working with Bishop Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Tawni Thompson, to get retail businesses included.

“Things have been great.” Rasmuson expressed. “Everybody has really been promoting their businesses and their friend’s businesses. I got an email from Tawni Thompson, so we are going to add several of the local retail shops that are still open that are doing take out or delivery as well, so we are really trying to expand that aspect.”

At this time, Rasmuson is not sure how big of a dent the “Bishop Restaurants Offering Take-Out and Delivery” Facebook group is having when it comes to keeping the lights on for these businesses, but he guesses it is definitely helping. “I would guess that just from a takeout standpoint, their orders have increased. I think really the goal is to supplement the income they are going to lose form having to close down their dining rooms. So, if everybody who has the ability can go out and patronize our great local restaurants, I’m sure the owners and then the employees would absolutely benefit there.”

Not only can an individual order delicious food from a local restaurant, they can also enjoy an alcoholic beverage dropped right on his or her front door.

“I do want to add, I know the state ABC laws have changed slightly due to the temporary restrictions, so I know quite a few of the restaurants have the ability to deliver wine, beer, and mixed drinks. So, if someone is at home and wants dinner and a cocktail, I’m sure that can be set up.”

Deceased Male Found at Big Pine Creek

BIG PINE CREEK, CA. June 9, 2019 – Yesterday evening at approximately 8:30pm, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Big Pine Fire Department, Inyo County Coroner’s Office, and a MINT (Major Investigation and Narcotics Team) Investigator responded to Big Pine Creek and the Big Pine Canal for a report of a possible deceased male in the waterway of Big Pine Creek.
Due to the swift current, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was dispatched to assist.  Once water flow was temporarily stopped, personnel from Big Pine Fire Department recovered the deceased male subject who was later identified as Jimmy Williams a 67 year old man from Big Pine, CA.
Foul play is not suspected. Please contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383 if you have any information that can assist investigators

Woman Arrested in Poverty Hills Area After Crashing

A woman was arrested Thursday after a vehicle spin-out in Poverty Hills.

22 year old, Kianna Hoops from Reno, Nevada was driving a gray Honda Accord south of Big Pine when she lost control of her vehicle for an unknown reason and spun out.

When Hoops lost control of her vehicle, CHP arrived on the scene to investigate the accident. While conducting an inspection, the officer checked inside the vehicle and discovered a lever action firearm as well as a small amount of drugs.

After running the serial number, the officer determined that the firearm was not registered to Hoops, and was stolen.

Kianna Hoops was subsequently arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was detained and booked at the Inyo County Jail. Her bail is set for $15,000.

Big Pine woman arrested following Sunday Crash

CHP arrests Big Pine resident after Sunday Crash south of Bishop

By Arnie Palu
March 14, 2016

A 41 year old Big Pine woman, Sara Vance, was placed under arrest for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence following a Sunday traffic collision.  According to the California Highway Patrols Collision report, Big Pine resident Sara Vance was behind the wheel of a northbound 2013 Toyota when it collided with a traffic sign on Highway 395 at Collins Road.  The collision occurred at 12:30 Sunday afternoon.  Vance sustained what were described as minor injuries including cuts to her right arm.  The California Highway Patrols report indicates, “Upon arrival on scene the driver was evaluated, found to have minor injuries, and subsequently placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI.  The collision is still under investigation.”

California Highway Patrol, Bishop California News, Highway 395 traffic collision, Big Pine news

Summer Time Reading Fun

Summer Reading at the Inyo County Free Library

Excitement and fun await those who journey to their local Inyo County Free Library and participate in the 2015 summer reading program: Read to the Rhythm! In addition to reading great books, library patrons can participate in exciting programs designed to introduce youngsters to the world of music, instruments, dance, rhythm, and movement.

Bishop Library
The Bishop Library will be hosting StoryTime every other Friday from 10:30-11:30.The next meeting will be on Friday, June 19th and will feature a performance by the High Sierra Chorus, who will be teaching our young patrons all about a capella singing. Kids of all ages are welcome to attend this free event!

For school-age patrons, join us at the Bishop Library every Friday this summer from 3:30-4:30 for our Elementary Reading Group. During the month of June we will be reading Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner. It’s about Rescue, a time-traveling search-and-rescue dog who is transported to the year 1850 where he meets a family migrating west on the Oregon Trail. The journey to California is long and dangerous, and it is Rescue’s duty to keep his new friends safe!

Big Pine Library
The Big Pine Library welcomes children in preschool through 6th grade to read all summer long and earn Book Bucks. Young readers can purchase prizes, and even ice cream cones, with Book Bucks! The program goes through August 8th, and ends with a big party. Parents, sign your kids up with Lydia the Librarian at the Big Pine Library – 760-938-2420.

Independence and Lone Pine Libraries
Summer reading starts in Independence on June 25th with weekly story time from 3:30 – 4:30 PM, through July 30. Meet at the Eastern California Museum located 3 blocks west of the Courthouse.
In Lone Pine, children should gather at the Lone Pine Library at the corner of Bush and Washington Streets beginning Wednesday, June 24th from 10:30 – 11:30 AM, and going through July 29th.

In both towns, the program is geared to children grades 2-5, but all are welcome to attend. There will be prizes and lots of fun centered around reading and rhythm.
Lone Pine and Independence adults who hanker to read more this summer can also participate. For every book read, a ticket will be entered in a weekly drawing for fabulous prizes!

And if reading great books isn’t rewarding enough on its own, several local businesses generously donated prizes for kids participating in this year’s summer reading program. The Library is incredibly grateful for the strong community support to promote reading and literacy.

If you are interested in participating in the summer reading program, the Library is looking for Story Time volunteer readers, further donations for prizes, and musicians who would be willing to do demonstrations for the kids. Please contact Heather Todd at the Bishop Library (760-873-5115) or Lone Pine/Independence Coordinator Esther Hampton, at 760-876-5035 if you would like to get involved.

cover photo, “Make Tracks to the Library” The New Warren St. improvements at the Bishop Library

inyo county library, bishop news, big pine news, owens valley news

Big Pine Softball splits with Immanuel

Big Pine splits double header with Immanuel Christian

Warriors and Crusaders will now square off in a winner take all Hi-Lo league championship game Friday.

submitted by Big Pine Coach Bob Church.

Big Pine’s Gena Lewis tossed a nifty 4 hitter, while striking out 6 and walking only 1 in the 5 inning first game.  After Melissa Barlow’s lead-off triple over the centerfielder’s head in the bottom of the first, Lewis followed followed with a hard single. Paaku’u Dewey reached 1st on a strikeout and passed ball on the Immanuel
catcher, Sienna Gutierrez had a 2 run double. Kaylee Simpson singled putting Big Pine up  4-0. That was all Lewis would need, as she faced only 9 batters the first 3 innings.

Game 1
Immanuel Chr.  1
Big Pine                7
Big Pine  Batting
Sienna Gutierrez——3 for 3, with a 2B, 2 Runs, 3 RBI.
Jamie Robinson——-2 for 3, with a Run, 1 RBI.
Gena Lewis————-1 for 2, with a BB, 1 Run, 1 RBI.
Kaylee Simpson——1 for 2, with a Stolen Base, and 1 RBI.
Melissa Barlow——–1 for 3, with a 3B, 1 Run.
Paaku’u Dewey——–2 Runs.

Game 2
Immanuel Chr.   10
Big Pine                   2
BP Batting
Sienna Gutierrez——1 for 2 with a walk.
Jamie Robinson, Lauren Simpson, and Kaylee Simpson all 1 for 3. Melissa Barlow, Gena Lewis, and Paaku’u Dewey were all 1 for 4. Barlow picked up an RBI.
AnahKee Mason had the other RBI on a Fielder’s Choice.

The Warriors will travel to Ridgecrest to play Immanuel Christian one more time, with a chance to take the championship if they come home with the win.  Game time is Friday evening at 6:00 PM. The Warriors have also guaranteed themselves a CIF-SS Softball Playoff spot, clinching at least 2nd Place. Southern Section brackets will be released on Monday.

Baseball

Game 1
Immanuel Chr 17
Big Pine     8

Game 2
Immanuel Chr.  17
Big Pine   3

big pine baseball, big pine softball, big pine news, hi-lo league baseball, hi-lo league softball

Big Pine Grad Honored

Former Big Pine Warrior honored

Korina Kemp-Riggin started playing volleyball for Big Pine in junior high school. In high school she was named All-League and All-CIF as a Lady Warrior and then went on to compete at the national level with a scholarship to Cal State University at Los Angeles.  Last Tuesday, the 1990 Big Pine High graduate was inducted into the CSULA’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Riggin, the daughter of Jim Kemp and the late Linda Kemp of Big Pine, was cited as a major reason for CSULA’s Golden Warriors volleyball program’s improved successes. The Golden Eagles had only one winning season prior to Kemp’s 1992 sophomore season. That year CSULA was 25-10 and advanced to the national semi-finals. Riggin holds the number two spot at CSULA with 169 career aces and fifth in kills with 1,271.
The following year, Riggin and the Eagles went on to the regional championship match. In Riggin’s senior year, the Eagles started the season with 18 consecutive wins and held the number two spot in the national rankings during the season.
Individual honors for the former Warrior included American Volleyball Coaches Association 2nd team All-American in 1993, 1st team All-American in 1994 and All-Region in 1993 and 1994, All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team in 1993 and 1994.
Riggin graduated from CSULA in 1995 with a major in communications and lives with her husband Mitch in Cave Creek, Arizona. She is a freelance TV camera operator covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League games and the Olympics, both summer and winter.

big pine

 

big pine high school, big pine volleyball, big pine news, eastern sierra news