OR Staff before leaving for Fiji

Written by Nora Wallace on

Three members of Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC)’s clinical staff are heading this week to a remote island near Fiji on a medical mission. Perioperative Services Director Katie Gorndt and Surgical Technicians Marisol Ruiz and Francesca Davis leave Friday for 10 days on Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu.

Manuel Medina

Written by Lompoc Valley Medical Center on

Manuel Medina spent 10 years in the U.S. Army and 12 years in the military Reserves. Now, he spends at least once a week visiting military veterans who are residents of Lompoc Valley Medical Center: Comprehensive Care Center.

Thyroid Cancer

Written by Randall Michel, MD, FACS on

In the year 2000, the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association initiated and sponsored a Thyroid Cancer Awareness program for one week every September. This was expanded in 2003 to include the entire month of September as a worldwide program. That is notable because there has been an increased incidence in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer in the last 25 years, not only in the United States but worldwide. 

Written by Jeremy Farnum on

A special thank you to Brittanii Hodges, who took time to offer up a public thank you on social media to the caring nurses of Lompoc Valley Medical Center Critical Care Unit. Brittani’s daughter, Ava, turned 7 on Sunday and was treated to a rousing celebration from nursing staff and Dr. Cindy Blifeld. Brittanii had been in the CCU with Ava’s newborn sister, Zoe, since last week and had worried about not being able to gather presents for her oldest daughter.

new parents

Written by LVMC on

When a baby is born at Lompoc Valley Medical Center ("LVMC"), there are several newborn screenings completed before discharge. Babies complete a hearing screen, a congenital cardiac disease screen, and a newborn screen, all prior to discharge.

Barlow Baby, BornAtLVMC

Written by Nora Wallace on

Three decades ago, Dolores Garcia Barlow was born at the old Lompoc Hospital. Her arrival signaled the 3rd generation of her family to call themselves Lompoc natives, going back in years to the birth of her grandfather, Rodrigo DeLira, in 1936. Now, Dolores and her husband Philip have welcomed the newest Lompoc native in their family – Isaac Jackson Barlow.

Skills Week, 2017

Written by Melinda DeHoyos, RN MSN on

Each year in the fall, LVMC hosts an interactive session known as “skills week” for its nurses, a requirement to ensure they are competent with the many tasks they must perform. In two conference rooms within the hospitals, nurses go from station-to-station to complete each required task.

Kirsten Ball

Written by Nora Wallace on

For 17 years, Kirsten Ball worked in banking and investments, rising through the corporate world of First Valley Bank, Montecito Bank and Trust and AG Edwards Investments. She was a teller and later operations manager and loved her work. But all those years, she longed to become a nurse.

man sneezing into tissue

Written by Melissa Debacker, MSN, RN, CPHQ, HACP on

Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. Significant flu activity can begin as early as October, last as late as May, and typically peaks in February.

 Roasted Salmon


In terms of health benefits, salmon is an ideal meal. Having two servings of salmon each week has been said to help reduce risk of having a heart attack, help control blood pressure and infuse your body with all kinds of beneficial vitamins.

September Heat Wave Advisory

Written by Nora Wallace on

September is starting off with a sizzle, as a wave of high pressure descends over the western US. So that means it’s time to take extra care with your health. Extreme heat warnings issued by the weather service suggest staying indoors, drinking extra fluids and easing off on excessive outdoor physical activity during the times when temperatures are hitting and exceeding triple digits.

Dr. Michael Ashnin

Written by Nora Wallace on

Dr. Michael Ashnin is the son of a nurse. His late wife was a nurse. He is the father of a nurse. And as he put himself through medical school, he too was a nurse. In his family are many medical professionals – nurses, doctors, and dentists. He was born and raised in the medical world. The native of Latvia – a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia – earned his medical degree from the Latvian Medical Academy.


Written by Rahim Raoufi, MD on

A colonoscopy is one of those procedures no one likes to talk about, but which is critically important to your continued healthy life as you age. Screening for colon cancer and rectal cancer is an important function of colonoscopy. Cancer of the large bowel, also called colorectal cancer, usually develops from a benign precursor, a polyp. A polyp is a mushroom-like growth on the inside wall of the colon or rectum. Polyps grow slowly over many years; some become cancerous, others do not. 


Written by Dr. Nathan C. Steinle on

On Monday, we will be able to witness the rarest and spectacular cosmic event of our generation. The Great American Eclipse of 2017 will take place Monday with its path of totality extending across the United States from Salem, Oregon all the way to Charleston, South Carolina.

The path of totality is a 70-mile wide trail where a full, total eclipse can be viewed. The solar eclipse will be unlike anything you have seen before.

Amy Misner

Written by Nora Wallace on

A year after graduating Lompoc High School, Amy Misner was working in the LVMC cafeteria, serving meals and staffing the cash register.

She met her future husband that way, and also found a career. One day while working at the register, a coworker stopped by and mentioned she was leaving her job as a hospital phlebotomist and asked Amy whether she’d be interested in applying for the position.