Lots to report this month. I was invited by the San Joaquin Medical Society to shadow two physicians in the Stockton area for half a day each. The “Community Intern Program” was started several years ago by our beloved Dr. Joe Serra. Members of the business community are invited to accompany physicians on their daily rounds or even stand in and watch a surgery. The idea is to give community leaders an inside look at the world of healthcare. The cost and complexity of healthcare impacts all of us. Understanding how it works can only help us make better decisions on insurance and future healthcare legislation.
On Wednesday afternoon I reported to cardiologist Dr. Manshadi and ran to keep up for with him for three and a half hours. What an eye opener! Dr. Manshadi really ties into his patients’ lives and offers healthcare that we only read about. Did you know your heart can be monitored by cell phone? What an inspiration to watch such a talented, intelligent man get on the same level as his patients and offer heartfelt healthcare to those in need.
Patients look him in the eye as they recite their symptoms and he calmly assured each one that they would be okay. Trust, caring, compassion, and knowledge are the words that come to mind when watching Dr. Manshadi work his magic.
I offered one of his patients a recipe for halibut, as he thought fish had to be fried. Being a people person, I had a very hard time keeping my mouth shut, but I’m working on that.
Dr. Manshadi is the prime move behind defibrillators for high schools athletic teams. He works hard to arrange donations to local high schools and has been very successful. He also works with the Sacramento Kings.
I reported on Thursday afternoon to Dr. Walter Wager, a life-long resident of Stockton and practicing physician for 37 years. Dr. Wager‘s office is at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation on Hammer Lane. I shadowed him for the better part of the day. I was amazed by the number of patients he saw but the time he spent with each one was surprising. With an organization as large as Sutter, I thought time management would be first on the list. I was wrong. Dr. Wager sat with each patient for as long as they needed to talk about their families, their aliments and their path of treatment. His patients love him and I can see why. He has the Andy of Mayberry approach: down to earth and homespun.
I must say that the people of Mayberry never even dreamed about the technology used by Dr. Wager. Did you know your prescription can be emailed to your pharmacy of choice, by the doctor while he is still in the room speaking to you? No paper prescription needed. Now that’s GREEN!
There were 14 interns and 14 doctors participating in the program this time and they plan to host another program in the fall. I was skeptical at first as I’m not at ease with pain or blood, but to my amazement, I totally locked in on the quality of the care and the passion of the doctors. We are blessed with the many talented “super star” doctor’s in the Valley. God bless each and every one of you for choosing the healing path as I now know that the money certainly isn’t the driving factor behind what you do.
Did you know that a hip replacement costs the patient on the average of $90,000 and the operating doctor receives only $1,300 to perform the surgery? Crazy! Dr. Wager told our group that the reason for such a multitude of medical talent in the Valley was attributed to Stockton’s historical sanitarium. In 1850 Stockton opened the first sanitarium west of the Mississippi. We attracted talent here because of the opportunity to work with the mentally ill. This area now is the location of the Cal State Stanislaus Stockton Campus.
I would like to tell you about an exciting new columnist for the Central Valley Business Journal. His name is Ham Shirvani, President of California State University Stanislaus, a man who has been dealt a lot of challenges. Because of the economic weakness, there have been large budget cuts, increased tuition and fees, lost faculty members and diminished classes. This has been happening to all colleges and all across the nation, but California is dire. The California State University cut 22% last year and a 28% cut compounded over the past three years.
In this tough monetary climate, leadership efforts by President Shirvani have led to increases in private support to the University, increased numbers of freshmen (from 500 to 1,200), the recruitment of more highly qualified students, development of the first doctoral program, enhanced online learning opportunities for students, construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and the adoption of a new campus facilities master plan. In addition, for five consecutive years CSU Stanislaus has been selected for inclusion in The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” in the United States.
Of particular interest to us at the Central Valley Business Journal, President Shirvani has established various partnerships with the business community. A great example is the Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health partnership at the CSU Stanislaus Stockton Center, where a series of health profession programs and certificates are offered. A very unique partnership in the United States, it will greatly serve the desperate need for health service professionals in the Central Valley.
The types of initiatives that are being advanced by Cal State Stanislaus are precisely what the Central Valley needs to move forward socially and economically. The future stability and growth of our great Central Valley, and our country, will undoubtedly require the kind of clear-eyed vision and leadership demonstrated by President Ham Shirvani. We are grateful to include him as a columnist in the Central Valley Business Journal.
Memorial Day, May 30, was a time to remember our veterans. One in every four who are dying America are veterans. They have lived lives of purpose and deserve our everlasting thanks.
God bless America,