Pioneers Becomes Affiliate of Scripps Health Network



Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis, Pioneer Board President Jeff Klicka, Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder, and Brawley Mayor Donnie Wharton

BRAWLEY – Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) is now an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network.

The announcement was made April 26 at a ceremony at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. This marks the first time a hospital has joined the Scripps network, and the first expansion of the network outside of San Diego County.

Pioneers and Scripps entered in to a two-year agreement in October 2015, with the goal of Pioneers becoming an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network. Since then, the two organizations have worked toward providing increased value to patients through enhancing the quality of care and reducing costs.

Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis

“We are excited to have reached this milestone in our agreement with Scripps Health, which is helping us achieve our goal to be the premier provider of health care services in the Imperial Valley,” said Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis. “We have been working together during the past months to expand needed services for the Valley while improving the quality of the care we offer and now are taking the next step by becoming an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network.”

Pioneers Memorial can now refer to itself as an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network in its marketing materials.

Scripps president and CEO Chris Van Gorder

“We are proud to have Pioneers as an affiliate of the Scripps Health Network,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance the quality of health care offered in Imperial Valley.”

Under the terms of the October 2015 agreement, Pioneers runs as an independent hospital, and retains its name and current governance structure. The agreement includes Scripps providing Pioneers with leadership training and development, process improvements and other related services.

The October agreement was reached after discussions between Scripps and Pioneers that began in April 2015 upon Pioneer’s decision to pursue an affiliation with Scripps, which had responded to Pioneer’s Request for Information. The Request for Information was sent to several major acute care providers in San Diego seeking expressions of interest in affiliating with Pioneers. The Pioneers board determined that, as part of its strategic initiative to improve access to care for Imperial Valley residents, the best choice would be an affiliation relationship with Scripps.

Brawley Mayor Donnie Wharton

“One of the gems of our city has always been Pioneers Hospital,” said Mayor Donnie Wharton. “We are very fortunate to have such a great facility that has been delivering healthcare for decades. It’s an honor to be a part of this affiliation between PMHD and Scripps Health Network. It is nothing short of amazing to celebrate this. Scripps is considered one of the most prestigious healthcare names in the country. We sincerely thank all involved that made this happen.”


Pioneers board president Jeff Klicka

“We are very proud of accomplishing this affiliation,” said PMHD board president Jeff Klicka. “Scripps is the best. To be a part of the best is something special. It’s a historic day. Scripps has certain benchmarks that we have to reach to meet their quality of care. We have reached every one of those benchmarks, so far. This will be a long-term relationship. I’m very proud of our affiliation.”

“Our organization continues to grow and it’s a capstone adding PMHD to the Scripps Health Network,” said Van Gorder. “There is quality healthcare here at Pioneers. This union is a chance for both of us to improve healthcare. We have found a way for Pioneers to lower its costs of supplies. Some of the things we are looking at together are heart care, stroke care, and emergency transfers to improve healthcare. We look forward to growing the relationship. This relationship with Pioneers is living our mission, which is that healthcare be available to our communities. We can learn from each other. We are a teaching hospital and we strive to keep abreast of the latest trends. It’s all positive.”

“Pioneers has strived to keep the highest standards of healthcare possible,” said Lewis. “The affiliation with Scripps will continue to help us be a better organization. They have more resources than we have and that is why we entered into this relationship. Today we have become an affiliate of the Scripps Healthcare Network. I feel this is a great honor. It is the focus of both of these organizations to offer premier healthcare. Scripps is a superb organization. They have a great project management team. They brought those skills and disciplines to the table.”