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Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Launches the Community’s First Neurosurgery Spine Clinic in Collaboration With Keck Medicine of USC

February 2019, RIDGECREST, Calif. – Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) is both excited and proud to announce the opening of a Neurosurgery Spine Clinic, specializing in spinal care, in collaboration with USC Neurosurgery, part of Keck Medicine of USC. The clinic opened its doors to its first patient on January 31, 2019.

The collaboration with Keck Medicine of USC will connect RRH patients to a comprehensive system for spinal care with one of the best neurosurgery programs in the United States. RRH will work hand-in-hand with Keck Medicine to offer patients outstanding pre- and post-op care. The spine clinic will focus on patient evaluation and treatment, with collaboration and coordination at Keck Hospital of USC for surgical services, should these services be required.

Patients will initially see current RRH providers Christian Schwartz PA-C and Kelly Doty PA-C, who will manage all pre-surgery evaluations and necessary diagnostics. The collaboration will then connect patients with Keck Medicine neurosurgeons Patrick Hsieh, MD and John C. Liu, MD, who will be based at RRH for one day every month. RRH will then proceed to manage post-surgery care for the patient.

“The focus is to manage treatment and therapy locally, when possible,” said Michelle Whalley, rural health clinic administrator. “Partnering with the excellence of USC Neurosurgery makes world-class spinal care accessible and convenient to our local community – and that is a big deal.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the highly specialized care that Keck Medicine of USC is known for to an even greater patient population,” said John C. Liu, MD, co-director of the USC Spine Center at Keck Medicine of USC. “This collaboration allows us to offer the comprehensive, coordinated care for complex cases that our academic medical center can provide.”

The RRH Neurosurgery Spine Clinic will be open on Fridays. For appointments, please call (760) 499-3366 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Notes to Editors:

About Ridgecrest Regional Hospital

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is a nonprofit, full service, acute care hospital, accredited by DNV Healthcare. Located in Ridgecrest, California, it was founded in 1945 by Dr. Thomas A. Drummond, who realized the need for medical care, to support the then recently established Naval Ordnance Test Station. Today, RRH continues as the only regional healthcare system providing a variety of services to the rural communities of the Southern Sierra. Our Vision is to be a leader with other healthcare providers in offering the highest quality, patient-centered, affordable healthcare and wellness services to the people of our service area.

The RRH health system currently consists of 78 active medical staff members and advance practice professionals, offering multi-specialty healthcare and state-of-the-art facilities, including Gastroenterology Lab, Cardiology, Dermatology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics and an accredited Sleep Lab, to name a few. The hospital also offers a Cancer Center, as part of an ongoing oncology affiliation with UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network, and is one of only a number of hospitals across the country to install FDA-approved state-of-the-art automated breast screening ultrasound technology in the Women’s Imaging Department, clinically proven to increase cancer detection by 35.7 percent. The hospital has been awarded the ACR gold seal of accreditation in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, representing the highest level of image quality and patient safety and the Emergency Department has been designated by Kern County Public Health, as a Level IV trauma center, providing stabilization and advanced trauma life support.

Future plans include a new Emergency Room, new helipad for air ambulance services and construction is currently underway for the relocation of the South Medical Plaza. For more information, visit us at: and

About Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine of USC is one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Its internationally renowned physicians and scientists provide world-class patient care at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and more than 40 outpatient clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC, which consists of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, among the top three hospitals in Los Angeles and top seven in California. The medical center also ranked in the top 10 in urology; top 20 in ophthalmology, geriatrics and cancer care; top 25 in orthopedics; top 26 in neurology and neurosurgery; and top 50 in gynecology, nephrology and cardiology and heart surgery.

For more information, visit