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50 years of caring & healing
Doctors Hospital celebrating golden anniversary
mark-lisa-DHM lt
Doctors Hospital of Manteca Chief Executive Officer Mark Lisa. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Fifty years ago there was no waiting at all in the hospital emergency room.

It was the first day the Manteca hospital at the corner of North Street and Cottage Avenue was open for business. Not one single patient checked in on that first day shift on Feb. 26, 1962. The first patient - Hugo DeGaff - didn’t show up until the PM shift.

Fast forward to today.

The hospital has come a long way since it first opened its doors on Feb. 26, 1962. There are a lot more patients but even so the emergency room wait is almost as short as it was 50 years ago. Credit that to Doctors Hospital of Manteca’s InQuikER web-based app for social media that allows patients to get a scheduled time that the hospital is targeting to meet within 15 minutes. It allows patients to stay at home instead of having to sit for hours on end in the emergency room waiting to be seen by a physician. Besides being able to wait in the comfort of your own home, it reduces the exposure to other patients who may have contagious diseases.

It is just one of the many innovations that Doctors Hospital has put in place as it starts its second 50 years of providing medical care for the South County including Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, and Escalon.

The hospital is conducting a 50th anniversary celebration Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the hospital conference center at North Street and Cottage Avenue.

While technology and innovation are essential to modern health care that’s not the key, according to Chief Executive Officer Mark Lisa.

“Our staff is what makes Doctors Hospital of Manteca a success from nurses to housekeeping to engineering,” Lisa said. “They are the hospital.”

Lisa notes that the hospital’s 341 fulltime equivalent employees work seamlessly to provide the best health services and best caring environment for patients.

“There are a number of behind the scenes people a patient never sees that makes sure their stay here goes well,” Lisa noted.

Tenet has made sure it supplies the latest technology and services to wed with a dedicated staff to deliver the best possible health care. It is partnering with local physicians to provide a one-stop cancer treatment center in Manteca due to open later this year just blocks away in Spreckels Park. There are very few medical services that can’t be provided at Doctors Hospital Manteca such as trauma treatment and brain surgery. It does, however, provide a repertoire of services and treatment that allow it to meet virtually all of the needs of the 120,000 people who reside in the greater Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, and Escalon communities.

The goal is to provide effective, efficient, and caring treatment. And that means more than just focusing in on staff and the latest technology.

There are 157 physicians with privileges at the hospital. Because the hospital is in Manteca and is constantly updating to stay abreast of new technologies aimed at enhancing patient care, a number of specialists have located offices near the North Street and Cottage Avenue campus. That in turn generates additional support jobs in medical offices.

“A hospital is a good economic engine,” Lisa said. “Not only does it help create local jobs but it brings outside money into the community not just for health care but for other local (offerings).”

Ground was broken on Aug. 2, 1961 for the original 11,000-square-foot hospital costing $335,000 on North Street at Cottage Avenue. It consisted of 28 beds, 2 surgical units with one used for the emergency room, 1 central supply unit, 4 bed maternity unit, 2 bed labor unit, 1 delivery room nursery, 1 nursing station, three 4 bed units, five 2 bed units, a 2 bed unit with reverse air for isolation and recovery room, an X-Ray room with one X-Ray machine, a small laboratory, an office, a dining area, a kitchen, and two lounges – one for the doctors one for the nurses.

Today there are 73 beds and a long list of cutting edge medical support facilities and equipment.

What a difference a few decades makes

A few years ago, staff made comparisons between 1962 and 2009 at the hospital.

•Employees went from 41 to 455.

•Doctors went from 7 to 195 with staff privileges.

•Volunteers went from 8 to 46.

•Medication went from being poured by registered nurses to being prepared by the pharmacy

•Meals were hand delivered while now they are delivered on warming carts.

•Birth policies allowed no fathers in delivery to mothers be allowed anyone in the birthing unit they wish.

•Delivery was done by General Practitioner and now delivery by obstetrician or midwife

•The physicians were General Practitioners.

•Requirement for nurses’ education went from needing to know a little on all aspects of nursing to more specialized knowledge.

•The auxiliary went from being called Pink Ladies and being all female to being called volunteers who can be either male or female.

•Nurses back then wore white uniforms, a cap, white nylons and white shoes while today it consists of scrubs and no hats.

•Patients would stay 4 to 5 days now many go home the same day or stay 24 hours.