UCI Health to provide emergency room services on Catalina Island

August 31, 2016

The UCI Health Department of Emergency Medicine is pleased to announce that it will begin providing emergency room services at Catalina Island Medical Center in Avalon starting Sept. 1, 2016.

The agreement calls for round-the-clock daily high-level emergency and urgent care evaluation services for 4,500 Catalina Island residents and more than 1 million annual visitors.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with CIMC and to serve the community and visitors of Catalina Island for their urgent and emergency care needs,” said Erik Barton, MD, chairman of the UCI Health Department of Emergency Medicine.

Catalina Island Medical Center’s emergency room treats more than 1,900 patients annually and is the island’s only source of complete emergency medical services.

“Working with UCI Health raises the level and quality of care available to our community,” said Jason Paret, CEO of Catalina Island Medical Center.  Paret joined CIMC in January 2016. “As the hospital for Avalon and the island, it’s important that we provide continuity of care for the community.  Working with UCI Health will allow our primary care physicians to work only in the clinic and not have to cover the emergency department.”

Paret said the recent recruitment of family medicine physician Dr. Aimee Warren, in the clinic, and the commitment of UCI Health, in the emergency room, will strengthen the quality of care provided at Catalina Island Medical Center.

“This arrangement with Catalina is just the first step of a potentially larger outreach effort by UCI Health to expand telemedicine services, specialty consultations and strategic growth of outreach opportunities,” Barton said.

Catalina Island Medical Center and its predecessor, Avalon Municipal Hospital, has provided medical care at 100 Falls Canyon Road, Avalon, since 1960.  The original building featured six beds and could serve eight people at a time. Subsequent expansions added emergency and operating rooms, and laboratory, x-ray and observation rooms. In 1982, a new wing with patient rooms, a physical therapy room and administrative offices was built. In the mid 2000s, the hospital completely renovated the emergency and operating rooms and added new clinic exam rooms and space for physicians. It purchased a new CT scanner and began to offer telemedicine services to connect island patients to medical specialists on the mainland. 

“Providing the highest quality of emergency and urgent care will be our goal at Catalina Island Medical Center” said Shahram Lotfipour, MD, vice chair for education and research, UCI Health Department of Emergency Medicine, and newly appointed medical director for the emergency room at Catalina Island Medical Center.

UCI Health Department of Emergency Medicine physicians and the emergency department staff at UC Irvine Medical Center receive nearly 50,000 patient visits annually and provide the backbone for Orange County’s emergency medical services. It is one of only eight in California designated as a “comprehensive emergency department” and has access to immediate consultation from 25 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. The department by far the most complete source of emergency care in the region.

Areas of special expertise include medical education, toxicology, emergency ultrasound, pediatric emergency medicine, infectious disease, public health/injury prevention, international emergency medicine, medical informatics, geriatric medicine and pre-hospital/disaster medicine. 

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 16 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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