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NIHD Medical Staff Unveil COVID Heroes for April

  • Category: NIHD News
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  • Written By: Barbara Laughon, NIH Strategic Communications
NIHD Medical Staff Unveil COVID Heroes for April

NEWS RELEASE | April 16, 2020

Contact: Barbara Laughon, NIH Strategic Communications

(760) 873-5811 ext. 3415 |

NIHD Medical Staff unveil COVID Heroes for April

Sometimes heroes are the most visible on a team, and sometimes they are the ones with heads down, doing the most important support work. This month’s selection of COVID-19 Heroes by the Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Medical Staff covers the gamut of those heroes with recognition for the District’s former Chief Medical Officer, a Rural Health Women’s Clinic clerk, and the Clinical Base Manager for Reach Air/Sierra Life Flight.

Dr. Will Timbers became one of the most recognizable faces from NIHD for his commitment to providing ongoing pandemic education to the community. He gave presentations to partnering healthcare organizations and, alongside Dr. Stacey Brown, became the voice for the District during news conferences, all the while serving in a dual capacity as Chief Medical Officer and an Emergency Department physician.

Nominated for the honor by Drs. David Pomeranz, Adam Hawkins, Anne Goshgarian, and Sierra Bourne, and endorsed by all of Emergency’s physicians, the group hailed Timbers as being the medical voice of reason for the District during the pandemic.

“He stepped up to a brand new role as CMO last spring and has led the hospital and the medical staff through this unprecedented and extended crisis,” wrote Dr. Bourne in her nomination. “We have no doubt that his leadership has decreased the morbidity and mortality of this disease in the hospital and community.”

Timbers’ successor as CMO, Dr. Joy Engblade nominated Lisa Davis of Reach Air for her award, noting the key role Davis played in arranging the transfer of critically ill patients out to larger healthcare facilities when needed during the pandemic. While many were those most affected by COVID, the majority were patients simply in need of higher care during a time when most facilities were hesitant to accept outside patients.

“Lisa is an advocate for all members of this community, especially in this time of COVID,” Dr. Engblade wrote. “With her connections to NIHD and Reach Air, she has made sure that members of our community get access to the medical care they need by helping NIHD join a network of hospitals to help transfer our sickest patients. We very much appreciate Lisa for her advocacy and her contributions to our community.”

As for Nicole Cooper, the Rural Health Women’s Clinic clerk, she received her accolades from Dr. Jeanine Arndal, who works side-by-side with Cooper every day. Dr. Arndal, known for having a sharp eye in recognizing often the quietest members of the NIHD team, praised Cooper for balancing the additional work that came with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

“Nicole has been a consistent cheerful, helpful presence in the Women's Health Clinic for years,” Dr. Arndal wrote. “She has needed to change her job duties many times during the last year to accommodate all the changes that we have had in the women’s clinic due to other employees leaving, or needing quarantine during the pandemic. She has taken on more than her typical job duties and has done it with grace and professionalism.”

Each recipient receives a certificate and local gift card from the NIHD Medical Staff. The Medical Staff plans to recognize NIHD team members and trusted partners with this COVID Heroes honor each month for the near future.