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2007: Stars

Lis Boosts Employee and Business Health

A 41-year Rideout veteran, Lis Cummings started work as a teenager. After nursing school, she moved up to staff nurse in the Emergency Department. Then, in 1990, a new challenge came along - creating a top-notch occupational health program, the Fremont-Rideout Occupational Health.

"Starting and expanding Occupational Health has been exciting," Lis says. "We help employees recover from work-related injuries and help employers grow their businesses with healthier, happier employees."

Headed by Medical Director Rajpreet Dhesi, MD, the Rideout Occupational Health provides occupational injury care, drug testing, employment physicals and surveillance programs. The clinic collaborates with Fremont-Rideout's Rehabilitation Department to evaluate employees' physical abilities to perform various jobs and to conduct ergonomic worksite assessments.

"We educate employers and employees in health issues, including substance abuse and avoiding workplace injuries," explains Lis, the Clinical Manager. "We also help employers control worker's compensation insurance costs. One business went from having 90 percent positive drug test results down to 10 percent positive over six months and reduced worker's comp claims by approximately 80 percent"

Now that is a healthy result!

Rideout Occupational Health • (530) 749-4411

Doug's Job Is Good Therapy

A "local boy," Doug Van Dusen had a life changing experience as an engineering student in Eureka. "I played sports in college, and my coach got me a job working with disabled students," he explains. "After that, I changed majors to physical therapy at Sacramento State."

Today, as Rideout's Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation, Doug finds his job therapeutic - for himself and his patients. "It's rewarding to work with people who have physical or neurological injuries and restore their ability to walk or lead a normal life," he says. "We spend more quality time with patients than other facilities, developing close relationships that result in better patient care."

The outpatient clinic is part of Rideout's Rehabilitation Department, which provides comprehensive physical, occupational, speech and hand therapy services at Fremont Medical Center and Rideout Hospital. At the clinic, an interdisciplinary team provides "one-stop care" so patients don't have to travel all over town.

In his spare time, Doug assists local sports teams, providing physical therapy for their athletes. "Community involvement is important to me," he says, "and my work at Fremont Rideout is a key part of that." 

Outpatient Rehabilitation • (530) 749-4529

Pipi Brings Human Touch to High-Tech Imaging

Pipi Leonard's career inspiration was her father, the late Dr. Louis Bugni, a local

orthopedic surgeon. "Dad took us with him on hospital rounds," she recalls. "As a teenager, I worked in his office. I'd also tag along when he was the team physician for high school sports."

Pipi enrolled at Yuba College to study radiology technology - a complement to her father's orthopedic practice. For the past 27 years, she has worked at Rideout, currently serving as a Special Procedure Technologist in Imaging Services.

Using the latest technology, Imaging Services provides a complete range of procedures from X-rays to CT, MRI, ultrasound, interventional radiology and nuclear medicine. Our state-ofthe-art 64-slice CT scanner can capture precise images of any area of the body in as little as ten seconds. Women's Imaging Services offers digital mammography, bone density studies and sterotactic breast biopsies. A picture archiving and communication system (PACS) allows computerized image storage and retrieval.

"Dad would have been so impressed with our technology today," Pipi says. "But in the midst of all the high-tech equipment, it's still important to provide the human touch, giving all you can. I was in a management role for several years, but I returned to patient care because I missed the direct contact with patients. Helping patients is what I enjoy the most."

Imaging Services • 530-749-4550

Shauna Takes Your Surgery Personally

Shauna Sparks loves being a surgical nurse. Working with the latest technology, she assists surgeons in life-saving cardiovascular surgeries. But it's not just the technical aspects

that she enjoys - it's the personal contact with patients, too.

"Surgery today is very high-tech and precise," she says. "It's amazing the procedures we can perform. People who come in for surgery are naturally nervous, though. So I put them at ease by telling them our marvelous surgeons, anesthesiologists and staff will provide the best possible care."

Rideout Memorial Hospital, Fremont Medical Center and the Feather River Surgery Center provide a broad range of surgical services, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained surgery teams. The three facilities perform over 8,000 inpatient and outpatient surgeries a year.

At one point, Shauna worked in a large urban hospital, but she prefers Rideout's close-knit environment. "Here we provide excellent technical care with a more personalized approach," she explains. "We often know our patients and their families. My mother and godmother were both nurses at Rideout, and they influenced me to work here. If anyone in my family had to go into the hospital, they would come here, so that's important to me.

"Plus," she adds, "whenever we finish an open-heart surgery and restart the patient's heart, I always get chills to see it beating again. Nothing's more rewarding than that."

Surgical Services • 530-749-4300

Irene Takes Nursing to Heart

When Irene Sosh's mother had a heart attack two years ago and decided to have open-heart bypass surgery at Rideout Memorial Hospital, Irene made a decision of her own. "Once Mom recovered, I returned to bedside nursing," she says. "I wanted to work with patients again, so that every day, I would know I had done something important."

An employee since 1979, Irene started as a nurse, moving up to supervisor and eventually director of the Medical-Surgical Unit. Now she works the night shift in Cardiac Telemetry, monitoring heart patients.

Cardiac Telemetry and Cardiovascular Surgery are just two state-of-the-art services at the Heart Center at Rideout. Outpatient services include echocardiograms, vascular ultrasounds, EKGs, Holter monitors and treadmill stress tests.

The Heart Center also provides digital cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, stent placement and insertion of pacemakers and defibrillating devices. Cardiac Rehabilitation offers exercise programs and educational classes for recovering heart patients.

"We get to know our patients as people, providing care at a pivotal point in their lives," Irene says. "When Mom was in the hospital, my daughter gave me a bracelet that said, 'Nothing is worth more than this day.' I always try to remember that-for my patients as well as myself." And that comes straight from the heart!

The Heart Center at Rideout • 530-749-4458

Cardiac Rehabilitation • 530-749-4554

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