RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL RE-OPENS TO THE COMMUNITY FOLLOWING TWO MAJOR EARTHQUAKES

Monday, July 8, 2019, RIDGECREST, Calif. - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) announced that it has re-opened, following its forced closure due to a nearby magnitude 6.4 earthquake hitting on Thursday, July, 4 2019, followed by a second major earthquake of 7.1 magnitude the day after on Friday, July 5.

The Emergency Department is back to full operations and accepting ambulances, Labor & Delivery has resumed normal operations and all other departments are returning to their usual business hours. Plans are still in place to re-open the hospital’s Urgent Care facility from Monday, July 8.
The first 6.4 earthquake saw the hospital evacuate at approximately 11:40am on July 4, with any inpatients at the time being transferred to surrounding hospitals in Lancaster, Palmdale and Bakersfield areas via Mercy Air Ambulance. The Emergency Room was set up as a triage for walk-in patients in tents outside the front of the hospital and plans were in place to accept patients in active labor, with one of two available operating rooms set up for the event of a C-section delivery.

While awaiting a review on Thursday from state inspectors, following the first 6.4 quake; the hospital’s own review found no structural damage, but cracks in the walls, broken water pipes and water damage were visible. Ensuing the 7.1 on Friday, a second inspection found that the new patient tower requires repair work to the second floor. Former inpatient units in the older part of the hospital were re-opened with approval by the state, to resume normal operations at noon on Sunday, July 7. Bella Sera building was unaffected and residents remained at the skilled nursing facility, located at the back of the main hospital.

“Damage to our new patient tower is unfortunate and repairs are likely to take several months” said RRH President/CEO James Suver. “However, this will not hamper hospital operations, as we prepare to move back and utilize some of the older parts of the hospital. Our staff and physicians were incredible. Various staff members worked around the clock to get our hospital open quickly. The support of Liberty Ambulance staff, with additional support for San Bernadino AMR ambulance and Hall Ambulance, allowed us to keep providing patient care.”

On Friday, July 5, the hospital posted a message of thanks on its social media to Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden, Ridgecrest Police Department Chief of Police Jed McLaughlin and City of Ridgecrest City Manager Ron Strand, “for their unfailing support in the community's time of need.”
The hospital received numerous donations during the disaster, including: food and drinks provided by the local McDonald’s and Starbucks; pizza from Little Caesars Ridgecrest; cases of water from the town’s Walmart Supercenter; easy-up canopies from Big 5 Sporting Goods and fans from Home Depot.

“We have seen tremendous support from the community, our business partners, the city, Kern County EMS and the State EMS agency,” continued Suver. “And the dedication and commitment from our own employees and volunteers is unparalleled. We cannot begin to thank everyone enough for pulling together in this time of need and getting the hospital back open again for our community.”

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital continues to keep patients informed with regular updates through its website at https://www.rrh.org/ and social media channels:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/RidgecrestRegionalHospital)
Instagram (@ridgecrestregionalhospital)
LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ridgecrest-regional-hospital/)

#ENDS#

Notes to Editors:

About Ridgecrest Regional Hospital

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is a nonprofit, full service, acute care hospital, accredited by DNV Healthcare, with 980 employees. It is a 196 bed facility, including 25 inpatient and 125 Skilled Nursing Facility beds.

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 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: rrh.org/ and Facebook.com/RidgecrestRegionalHospital.

Contact:
Jayde Glenn, Marketing Director, jayde.glenn@rrh.org (preferred) / 760-499-3910