LVMC Community Update, July 29, 2022

Written by Steve Popkin on

This week our CEO updates the community on COVID Comments, Vaccinations, Patient Satisfaction and Patient/Family Feedback, and Narcan (Naloxone) Distribution.

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This week our CEO updates the community on COVID Comments, Vaccinations, Patient Satisfaction and Patient/Family Feedback, and Narcan (Naloxone) Distribution.

Dear Lompoc Valley Community:

What happened on this date in history?

(July 29 was apparently a “slow day” in history)

  • 1899 – First motorcycle race (Manhattan Beach, NY)
  • 1907 – Sir Robert Baden-Powell formed the Boy Scouts in England.
  • 1921 Adolf Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Quote of the week

“If you want a job, and you’re not as good as the next guy, then work longer than the next guy.  Work faster.  Be there before him—because talented people show up late, and sometimes s--- needs to get done.” —Kevin Costner
(This wasn’t my first choice for a quote, but I gave it the nod because Kevin Costner was my brother’s roommate in college…at Cal State Fullerton!)

COVID Comments

  • Covid cases have been on the rise. The official figures show Santa Barbara County with a 7-day average of 37 cases per 100k population. This compares favorably to the state figure of 44 cases per 100k population. (For both the county and state, these figures are considered to significantly underrepresent the actual number of cases, due to the use of Covid home tests, the results of which are not typically reported to the county or state.) There are 58 counties in the State of California. Santa Barbara County has the 12th highest rate. On a cumulative case rate basis (rather than a 7-day average), Santa Barbara County has the 20th highest rate.
  • There were four Covid-related deaths reported over the last week in Santa Barbara County. None of them were at LVMC. The county 7-day average death rate was .09 per 100k population. This is slightly higher than but comparable to the statewide rate of .08 per 100k population. Of the 58 counties in the state, Santa Barbara County has the 16th highest 7-day average death rate and the 31st highest cumulative death rate.
  • Covid positive hospitalizations remain steady in Santa Barbara County. Although the official figures show 39 hospitalizations, the actual “fresh off the press” number is 35, with 5 of those receiving ICU care. Five are at LVMC, with none receiving ICU care.

Vaccinations

  • Our vaccination clinics continue each Friday from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm., at the hospital, for ages five and above. Appointments are available at myturn.ca.gov, and walk-ins are welcome.
  • LVMC is the only hospital (and to the best of my knowledge, the only entity of any kind) in Santa Barbara County that continues to operate a regularly scheduled vaccination clinic. Over time, the demand for vaccination has diminished. We have averaged “60ish” vaccinations each Friday over the past few weeks. Although that may not be a huge number, it is hugely important to those 60 individuals who get vaccinated/boosted each week. So, we will continue to operate our vaccination clinics, until further notice.
  • Through our Lompoc Health medical clinics, we are offering Covid vaccinations for children ages 6 months to 5 years. For more information, please call Lompoc Health North H Center at (805) 737-8760, or North Third Center at (805) 736-1253. Other pediatric providers in the community will also be providing vaccinations for this age group, so please check with your pediatric provider.
  • Some “fun facts” about the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals who have had at least one booster dose:
    • Nationwide: 3%
    • California: 3% (ranking 9th)
    • Vermont: 8% (ranking 1st)
    • North Carolina: 3% (ranking last)

Patient Satisfaction and Patient/Family Feedback

  • I will give you some hospital “inside baseball.” When hospital accrediting organizations (like The Joint Commission and Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality) perform hospital accreditation surveys, one of the many things they look at is the number and rate of medication errors. One would intuitively think they would want to see an extremely low number, or better yet, zero. But, not so. These accrediting organizations understand that, due to the sheer volume of medication orders, every hospital will have medication errors. They want to see if hospital staff are reporting medication errors, and if hospital management has created a system, and more importantly a culture, that encourages staff to properly report errors.  The purpose for this is so errors can be investigated to determine if there are issues pertaining to policy, process, technology, or other systemic issues that contributed to the error, so it can be corrected going forward. So, for some of us in management (at least for me), there is cognitive dissonance: we want to see a low number to feel good that errors are not happening, but want to see a higher number to feel good that our reporting system and culture are working as intended.  Please read on…
  • The reason I provided the long-winded discussion above about medication errors is because it is analogous to everything we do at the hospital, CCC, and Lompoc Health. For the Fiscal Year that ended June 30, 2022, we had more than 96,000 patient visits at our Lompoc Health clinics and urgent care center, approximately 30,000 resident days at the CCC, and more than 102,000 patient visits/encounters at the hospital, including inpatient days; Emergency Room visits; outpatient surgeries, endoscopies, radiology procedures, lab tests, cardiopulmonary procedures; and others. With more than 227,000 encounters per year in total, there will, regrettably, be times that we fall short of the high standards we set for ourselves. When that happens, we want to know about it, so we can use our best efforts to “fix” the specific situation, and take any necessary actions to reduce the likelihood of the same or similar issues happening going forward. Soon, we will be making it more convenient for patients and family members to provide their feedback to us. In the meantime, please feel free to communicate with any person in a leadership role at the hospital, CCC, or Lompoc Health. And, please always feel free to communicate directly with me at (805) 737-3301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Narcan (Naloxone) Distribution

LVMC is participating in Project Opioid, an initiative aimed at reducing opioid overdoses and deaths in Santa Barbara County, with emphasis on reducing fentanyl overdoses. LVMC is a public distribution site for Naloxone (the generic for Narcan). Naloxone is a reversal agent for opioid overdose. Members of the community may request and receive a Naloxone kit at the LVMC Emergency Room registration area.  The kit is free of charge, and no prescription is necessary. The kit, which is packaged for public use, contains the Naloxone nasal spray and instructions for its use.

Thank you for your continued support, it is very much appreciated. As always, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (805) 737-3301. Until next time, be well and stay safe!

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Steve Popkin
Chief Executive Officer

Steve Popkin
Written By Steve Popkin, Chief Executive Officer
Stephen D. “Steve” Popkin became Chief Executive Officer of LVMC in February 2019. Mr. Popkin has more than 32 years of experience in senior health care management, including 18 years in Chief Executive Officer positions.