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Katie Ellis named Director of Nursing at Comprehensive Care Center

Lompoc Valley Medical Center announces the hiring of Katie Ellis as Director of Nursing for the Comprehensive Care Center, a 110-bed comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility.

Ellis is responsible for 185 employees, including 135 full-time staff workers, at the facility located at 216 N. 3rd St. The Comprehensive Care Center provides physical, occupational, speech and intravenous therapy.

Ellis began working part-time at Lompoc Valley Medical Center in 2010 as a registered nurse in the Critical Care Unit, and at the end of 2011 became a full-time employee. She soon took on the position of Charge Nurse, working as a liaison between nursing staff and management. She moved into the job of Nurse Manager in CCU in 2013 and then to the job of Director of the CCU.

Since she was a young child growing up in Whittier, CA. Ellis said she it was always her dream to become a nurse. She began her work career as a receptionist at an urgent care facility and later spent 13 years as the office manager in a Santa Maria chiropractor’s office. She has also worked at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria.

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L. Wayne Mills named new Chief Financial Officer

L. Wayne Mills has been named the new Chief Financial Officer for Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
 Mills, who began his new position Jan. 5, replaces longtime CFO Bob Baden, who retired Dec. 31, 2014 after 17 years with the district.

Mills is a respected healthcare executive with an extensive history in rural healthcare districts and financial management.

At LVMC, he will be responsible for the accounting and finance functions of LVMC, the Comprehensive Care Center and the Champion Center; health plan contracting and negotiations; budgeting and financial reporting and monitoring and controlling the assets and fiscal commitments of the hospital district, among other duties.

“We are very fortunate to have Wayne join Lompoc Valley Medical Center,” said CEO Jim Raggio. “Wayne brings a wealth of knowledge to LVMC regarding the complexity of health care financing as related to all California hospitals and California Healthcare Districts. His professional expertise is complimented by his remarkable management skills and makes him a fantastic cultural fit with our organization.”

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CFO Retires after 17 Years

After a career of processing numbers and watching budgets, Lompoc Valley Medical Center Chief Financial Officer Bob Baden insists any future volunteer work he does in retirement won’t involve money.

Baden was hired June 16, 1997 CFO, and will retire as of Wednesday – the final day of 2014 --- after 17 years.

Baden and his wife of 22 years, Pandi, will retire to Arizona, just northwest of Phoenix. “We’re probably just going to relax for awhile,” he says with his characteristic smile. 

A retirement celebration was held Tuesday at the hospital.

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Dr. Rodney Huss Named LVMC 2014 Physician of the Year

Dr. Rodney Huss has been named 2014 Physician of the Year at Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

An obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Huss was chosen by LVMC staff for exemplifying Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s values and for maintaining the trust of the community, patients and residents; for continuously striving to improve services; for communicating openly and honestly and for working as a team member with hospital staff.

Dr. Huss is in solo practice in Lompoc, and estimates he has delivered well more than 10,000 babies in his career.

“I love my job,” he said. “It feels great. There are not many jobs where you’re called into work at 2 a.m. and you can be happy about it. About 99 percent of the time it’s a fun and happy time.”

Lompoc Valley Medical Center CEO Jim Raggio called Dr. Huss an amazing physician.

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Keller Promoted to Medical/Surgical Department Nursing Director

Registered Nurse Sasha Keller has been promoted to the position of Medical/Surgical Department Nursing Director.

Keller, a Lompoc High School graduate, is now responsible for the nursing care of patients in the Medical/Surgical Department, including supporting all aspects of patient care, ensuring staffing levels are adequate for the department’s needs, monitoring nursing practices, ensuring all licensure requirements/credentials/certificates for personnel are valid and current, among other administrative duties.

“I felt like nursing is a profession that really advocates for individuals,” Keller says. “I felt like we were given skills, or obtained skills, that are there to guide and help people to live a better life. In other professions, it’s the same, but it was a calling to me. I feel so fortunate. It was a gift to find my calling, my passion.”

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