I am writing on behalf 250,000 residents of the Bay Area’s West Contra Costa community to request your help by way of a donation or a press release to help save Doctor’s Medical Center. Next month, our community may lose the only Cardiac Center between the cities of Vallejo and Oakland, California. Doctor’s Medical Center has been serving our community for close to 60 years. It is a documented fact that if Doctors Medical Center closes, people are going to die. This hospital serves the poorest and sickest communities in the Bay Area and within Contra Costa County as a whole. It loses approximately $18 million year because the hospital serves the uninsured, underinsured and the indigent and the poor. Here are some facts: The West Contra Costa community houses some of the poorest residents in the Bay Area. Close to eighty percent are People of Color: Latino 36%, African American 27%, Asian 13%. Our community also has the highest health disparities:
We have the highest incidence of cancer within Contra Costa County. A disproportionate number of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, asthma, and renal conditions specifically affecting the African-American and Latino community. African American and Latino diagnosed with heart disease or Diabetes will most likely die of that condition because of lack preventive medical care and decreased access. Children with Asthma are more likely to be hospitalized due to acute asthma incidences relative to any other part of the county. Fifth grade children in West County are more obese than other fifth graders in Contra Costa County (This is associated with increase incidences of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.) Seventy-five percent of violent crimes and homicides happen in our West County.
At least four members of our community have died since DMC stopped receiving ambulances a few months ago. Multiple studies have reported that morbidity and mortally will increase if our hospital closes due to increase transport times to other Bay Area hospitals. A person’s life hangs on the brink of death with every passing minute when suffering from a stroke, a myocardial infarction, an acute asthma attack, or a hemorrhagic event from a trauma wound. It takes at least 27 minutes to one hour (depending on traffic) to get to the next nearest cardiac or trauma center in Oakland, Walnut Creek or Vallejo.
Even though DMC is not accepting ambulances, we still see up to 100 patients per day. Some of our patients are being wheeled-in with life threatening emergencies. These patients report that lack of money and transportation prevents them from calling the ambulance service for fear of being taken too far. Unfortunately, these same patients are then transferred out from our ER to as far as San Jose to receive acute medical services. At times, our doctors have to call at least ten hospitals in order to get a patient accepted and transferred out to another hospital. You see, other Bay Area hospitals are not only full, we get the impression that they do not want our very ill underinsured or uninsured patient population.
I am a Registered Nurse, a Richmond, West County resident and a proud member of the DMC ER team. Because I experience our community’s struggle every day, I believe it is my personal responsibility to reach out to you and request that you be a part of the positive movement that not only keeps Doctors Medical Center open, but also helps improve access to preventive and acute medical services. ACCESS to education and acute services empower communities. Please help us prevent the catastrophic and unjust closure of our hospital. Closure will serve only to increase the severe health disparities that already exist.
We desperately need your support. Over the weekend I made a YouTube video with the support of the community to help raise consciousness around this issue that you see above.
Please join us to save lives, stomp out disease, and empower our community. By funding DMC and providing critical operational support, you will take us out of the cycle of poverty, and help raise the standard of the healthcare delivery system to the poor. Lead the country by shifting the healthcare trend. Be a part of the vision. Help us Save Doctors Medical Center.
Please Send contributions or donations to The DMC Foundation at the address given… Bob Redlo Vice President Foundation Liaison Patient Relations, Labor Relations & Workforce Development Office: (510) 970-5254; Fax: (510) 970-5741 Doctors Medical Center 2000 Vale Rd, San Pablo, CA 94806 [email protected]
By:Maria del Rosario Sahagun, Emergency Room Registered Nurse Doctor’s Medical Center [email protected] 510-915-9506