Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:59 PM

Community HealthCare Heroes earn recognition

When it comes to heroes, there’s not a day that goes by you couldn’t walk into any one of Community Medical Centers’ facilities and point one out. And two have been specially recognized by Fresno’s Heroes in HealthCare Awards for their heroic efforts. 

Reza Beheshti, RN, cares for a patient in the emergency department at Community Regional Medical Center.

From Community Regional Medical Center, emergency department nurse Reza Beheshti was selected for going above and beyond to help a patient. From Clovis Community Medical Center the Guild – a volunteer group – was selected for its members’ long-time philanthropy and support of the hospital.

Registered nurse Reza Beheshti said he just couldn’t sign the discharge papers allowing a patient to walk away from Community Regional’s emergency department – and risk possible paralysis. He was compelled to offer more than medical care when he heard the man’s dilemma. The patient had to make the toughest of choices — to have the medical procedure he needed or feed his family. His spinal injury was very severe and painful, but the patient said he had to continue. The patient told Beheshti, “How can I think about myself when my family will have nothing?” So Beheshti took the patient aside and asked a very important question because he didn’t want to influence him on a medical decision.

He asked if the patient didn’t have bills for rent, utilities or food to worry about, would he have the surgery. The patient stated he would because it would help him get better. But the patient said he had no other option or resources to call on so he had to keep working regardless of his medical condition.

Then Beheshti offered to pay his rent, food and bills for the time he would need off. “If a man is willing to lose so much to feed his family – I couldn’t let him go home,” Beheshti said.

“He is the angel who came to my rescue,” the patient said through a translator. “He put me at ease and reassured me one way or another, my bills would be paid.” That patient had a successful surgery and recovery. Today his life is back on the right track – thanks to one special nurse.

Volunteers – the gift that keeps on giving
Since 1954, the Clovis Community Hospital Guild has worked to do special things for Clovis Community. To date, the group of about 50 volunteers has raised more than $825,000 for the hospital since it was first formed in 1954.

The Guild raises funds in many ways, but first and foremost through the gift shop, which is located on-site near the hospital’s main entryway. Funds raised from the gift shop go right back to help the hospital. Over time, the Guild has given thousands of dollars to help in areas such as the Clovis expansion projects, cardiac catheterization lab, Clovis’ area of greatest need, televisions for patient rooms, badge scanner improvements and most recently the water fountain feature that now welcomes guests to the Clovis campus. Volunteers combined put in about 2,500 hours of work each month and serve in the hospital’s information desk, maternity unit and surgery waiting room.

Clovis Community Medical Center staff and Guild members (from left) Lowell Hull, Joan Pregno, Margaret Corasick, Paulla Sebra, Joyce Morrelli, Otis Parks

Guild members also serve a luncheon after the Clovis Kiwanis Club golf tournament for which the club gives them $2,500 to benefit the hospital. Volunteers also work at the Clovis health fair and provide three $1,500 scholarships each year for high school seniors in Clovis schools. And the Guild does more than just raise money and volunteer – they have members who crochet baby blankets and knit hats for newborns, some of which are sold in the hospital’s gift shop. They also knit and crochet blankets for dialysis patients.

The Guild and Beheshti were recognized for their exceptional contributions to healthcare by Business Street Online.

Mary Lisa Russell reported this story. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@CommunityMedical.org.