First in a series
For the first time, the “Heroes Appreciation Luncheon” included medical “heroes” in its annual appreciation event.
Included in this year’s awards were two presentations to medical heroes that had distinguished themselves in the medical profession during the ongoing pandemic.
“When most of us think of heroes, we think of a cake, a badge, and our great servicemen and women, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world that heroes come in many forms,” said Los Alamitos Medical Center CEO Kent Clayton.
“I’m proud to be here today to recognize our hospital,” said Clayton. The recent pandemic, said Clayton, “impacted not only our patients, but dramatically impacted our caregivers, facility staff, ancillary teams, and everyone involved in the hospital setting,” he said.
This unprecedented pandemic was rewarding, he noted, “as we witnessed our care providers performing at their very best. At the same time,” said Clayton, “it was emotionally, physically and mentally draining.”
During the pandemic, Clayton said the “phenomenal staff” had experienced a range of emotions from “great despair” to “cheerful displays of relief.”
“During this past year and a half I’ve been most impressed with our team of clinical and non-clinical staff.”
“For their selfless and tireless sacrifices, I’m proud today to honor two of the many of our hospital heroes,” said Clayton.
“Nursing Director Jon Blumberg was instrumental in the patient care onslaught. It seemed that we’re getting whatever was needed for patients and staff safety. John and his staff are there with the sickest patients and during their darkest hours.
There are often more patients needing beds, and that we can handle quickly. And John was creative, resourceful, and practical, when it came to supply availability.
Jon demonstrated strong leadership, managing increasing patient volumes to find ways to accommodate constant staffing … often our patient volumes were beyond capacity, and patients were sicker than we’ve ever experienced.
Jon took control and made sure patients got care and that staff had the tools necessary to do their jobs. Jon and his staff went beyond being caregivers because visitors were not allowed. John and his staff are often at the bedsides in place of family members.
He never hesitated to offer comfort or pray with a patient who was sick, scared and alone. He is a strong leader, it’s a gentle character. He is calm when everything around him is in chaos. We are so fortunate to have Jon on our staff. Jon, you are appreciated more than you know, indirect true hero to all.”
“Los Alamitos facilities director Greg what was instrumental in building a safe environment for patients and staff doing the first year of the brutal COVID 19 pandemic.
Though the fast-moving pandemic continually brought new challenges, this great team built a tent, including a triage tent with a patient waiting area, and a family waiting area, then a completely functional emergency room in the hostpital’s parking structure.
Finally, they built a field hospital in case it was needed.
Care area designations in the hospital changed almost daily resulting in construction of stopping points to identify COVID care and COVID safe halls and rooms.
One of the biggest hurdles was the oxygen supply. Greg was offered the use of oxygen generated by the County of Orange and he was very resourceful in connecting a generator with piping in the parking structure to the emergency rooms.
This resulted in an infinite supply of oxygen in an area outside the normal patient care setting; Greg got all utilities working and it ran efficiently and effectively.
This external emergency room has since been shuttered but Greg and his team provided a safe, functioning external department amid many obstacles during a raging pandemic.
Greg’s quick thinking resourcefulness and leadership of his staff enabled the hospital to provide a safe environment with care for all.”