Local healthcare district accepting all COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients at all locations

BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District officials announced May 20, Pioneers Memorial Hospital remains operating with open doors and ready to accept any patients including those COVID-19 positive or exhibiting any other form of respiratory illness.

According to the PMH release, the hospital experienced a sudden surge of COVID-19 patients on Monday, May 18, yet the Emergency department and other services remained available to care for patients as they arrived throughout the day and evening on Tuesday and into Wednesday.

“We are here to provide healthcare to those who need it,” stated PMHD CEO Larry Lewis.

The release said a recent surge in COVID-19 inpatients caused reasonable concern among community members as it related to available space and hospital accessibility, Lewis reiterated anyone seeking care at PMH would receive needed care as usual.

“If a COVID positive patient arrives, they are taken to the appropriate room in the ER, or wherever their condition dictates,” Lewis explained. “There are also two outside emergency tents with air conditioning, as a primary staging area for possible COVID patients.”

Lewis also explained local ambulances are bringing patients to the closest hospital for care and the hospital is working with its affiliate, Scripps Health, to transfer patients if needed.

According to the release, Lewis explained the hospital has sufficient beds, ventilators, and other necessary equipment to add more patients and only needed additional nursing and respiratory staff to accommodate sudden increases.

“The state is assembling a small team to assist the hospital in the short term, which may take a few days,” Lewis said. “We are currently reallocating experienced nurses from other areas until more staff arrives.”

Lewis commended the efforts of the hospital’s staff for working around the clock to provide care for everyone.

“The caregivers are performing well as a team to reorganize and prepare,” Lewis said. “We’re still here and working hard for our community.”

Lewis noted the importance of seeking medical care in an emergency and reiterated that the hospital as well as the district’s 12 health centers and clinics were all open and receiving patients.

“We are here when you need us,” Lewis said.

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