Complex Care, Close to Home

Ten years ago, a patient had to leave Solano County for open heart surgery. Or treatment for a stroke or brain cancer. Or complex surgery for a broken pelvis. Or a damaged eyeball. The list went on and on. But not anymore.

While mega organizations often send patients out of the county to their larger facilities in bigger cities for specialized care, NorthBay has been systematically and strategically building a network that offers such services right here in Solano County.

“From neonatal intensive care to trauma to neuroscience, we have brought services home to Solano County, allowing patients to receive treatment here, instead of having to travel,” said Elnora Cameron, vice president for strategic planning.

NorthBay Healthcare is Solano County’s only homegrown health system, says Konard Jones, president and CEO. “We not only make all of our health care decisions right here in this county, we are residents, neighbors, family, friends and care providers. NorthBay has grown with Solano County and when it comes to saving lives, every minute counts. Having a health care system with the most advanced medicine in the county is a badge of honor.”

The growth is not by accident but by methodical design. NorthBay opened the county’s first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1985, and two years later opened Vacaville’s first hospital and the NorthBay Cancer Center.

NorthBay Healthcare then began laying a broader groundwork for expansion to excellence, with the goal of serving at least 85 percent of patient care needs within the NorthBay system.

The first step was opening the NorthBay Heart & Vascular Center in 2009 and the next year the Center for Women’s Health. Soon, NorthBay was established as a Chest Pain Center and Stroke Center.

In 2012, NorthBay Medical Center was verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level III Trauma Center. After the NorthBay Center for Neuroscience opened in 2013, the way was paved for the hospital’s verification to rise as a Level II Trauma Center.

“That allowed more critically injured patients to receive treatment and stay at NorthBay for follow-up care,” said J. Peter Zopfi, D.O., Trauma medical director. “We’re not just here for the initial care and resuscitation, but also for the after-care..”

The trauma designation not only benefits seriously injured patients, but others receiving care in the hospital, as a more complete support staff—from surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists and lab techs—is now available 24/7 for all other patient services.

Surgical suites are busy all day, every day, where leading-edge treatments and technologies are undertaken. And, as part of a $200 million expansion currently underway at NorthBay Medical Center, eight new state-of-the-art surgical suites are being built. When the project is complete in 2019, it will also feature 22 “patient rooms of the future,” and an expanded Emergency Department.

Not all the action is in Fairfield, either. Now that the NorthBay Cancer Center has moved to Vacaville, NorthBay VacaValley Hospital specializes in cancer care, with staff trained to treat oncology patients.

“We’re providing high-tech equipment and tools to provide patients the care they need, when they need it,” said Aimee Brewer, NorthBay Healthcare Group president, “and that’s just going to grow.”

That growth is also reflected in NorthBay Medical Group, which now includes more than 130 providers, up from 45 just five years ago. Their areas of expertise cover the full spectrum, from primary care, orthopedics, cardiothoracic surgery, infectious disease, rheumatology, urology and gastroenterology to psychiatry.

In 2016, NorthBay Healthcare became the first hospital in Northern California to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which now includes more than 40 health care organizations across the country and around the world. “We have many opportunities to be innovative. We are expanding and modernizing our facilities, which will help our physicians and clinicians redesign the way we deliver care,” Aimee continued. “It’s about working together to put the patient first. That’s when great care occurs.”

Healthy, High-Tech Additions

  • Total ankle replacement.
  • Partial knee replacement.
  • Comprehensive neurosurgical care, including personalized brain mapping for tumor care.
  • ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram) which uses an endoscope and X-rays to examine ducts of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
  • Onco-pulmonology care, involving cancer in the respiratory tract.
  • Interventional pulmonology using endoscopy and other tools to diagnose and treat conditions in the lungs and chest.

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