Introducing the New CMHS Blog!

CMHS Newsbites The new CMHS blog will feature informative and timely articles that will keep you up-to-date with the latest in healthcare as well as important happenings at CMHS.  After today, you will begin to receive NewsBites in a new email format as new blog content is available. We look forward to continuing to bring you valuable information about healthcare in our community!

Visit the New Blog

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Free Seminar – Ouch! My Aching Back

2018 Speaker Series – Ouch! My Aching Back

Is back pain keeping you from doing things you enjoy? Most of us move our
bodies with little thought – to walk, run, lift, bend and play. That is until an injury
or illness limits us in some way often affecting bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscle tissue. Nationwide, bone and joint health problems have become
the leading cause of disability. Come join us and learn about:

  • Causes
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Rehabilitation

Antulio Aroche, D.O.

Dr. Aroche is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes
in spine surgery. He is dual fellowship trained in orthopedic
and neurosurgical spinal surgery at New England Baptist
Hospital in Boston, MA. He completed his orthopedic surgery
residency at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.
He is a member of the North American Spine Society,
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and several
honor societies. Dr. Aroche is an active member in the
Ventura community. He is on staff at Community Memorial
Hospital and Ojai Valley Community Hospital.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
6:00 P.M.
Community Memorial Hospital
Nichols Auditorium, 8th Floor
147 N.Brent St., Ventura
or contact Brown Paper Tickets
at 800/838-3006


KVTA 1590 News/Talk Radio SeaView IPA Accountable Care Alliance of Ventura
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Heart Month at Community Memorial Health System

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month – a great opportunity to focus on small changes that can have a BIG impact on the health of your heart!  According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, but there is so much you can do to protect yourself from its common causes.  Heart month is the perfect time to commit to showing your heart a little more love.

Know Your Numbers

The journey to a healthier heart starts with knowing your numbers, which is why Community Memorial Health System is inviting you to drop in for a FREE blood pressure reading at our NEW Wellness & Fitness Center.  Stop by any Monday in February between 7am and 10am, have your blood pressure read by one of our wellness professionals, and receive a complimentary red heart letter opener!  The Wellness & Fitness Center is located at 2723 E. Main Street in Ventura.

CMHS also offers an online Heart Assessment to help you determine your risk factors for heart disease.  If your assessment results in positive risk factors, you’ll be eligible for a FREE consultation with a CMHS Nurse Practitioner.  Click here to take the the 7-minute assessment!

Start With Small Changes

Once you know your blood pressure, you can start making progress toward a healthier heart by incorporating one or more of these small changes into your lifestyle:

  1. Schedule a Visit with Your Doctor to Talk About Heart Health – Your physician can help you set specific heart-health goals and recommend strategies for achieving them.  If you’re looking for a trusted physician to have these important conversations with, let CMHS help!  Use our Find a Physician tool to select the best local doctor for you.
  2. Eat 3 Heart-Healthy Meals Each Week – Changing your entire diet can be daunting, so start by focusing on improving the quality of just 3 meals per week.  Heart-healthy meals can be comprised of vegetables (think plant-based!), fish or other lean protein, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.  Keep the sodium low and avoid unhealthy fats.  If you need a little more guidance, CMHS is here to help with individualized, one-on-one coaching with Registered Dietitians.  Visit our Nutrition Counseling Services page for more information!
  3. Quit Smoking – Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs.  It significantly increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.  Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s possible with the right support system in place.  CMHS offers ongoing 7-week Smoking Cessation Classes to help you quit.  Click here for upcoming session dates, details, and sign-up information.
  4. Safely Increase Your Daily Exercise –  Whether it’s walking a little bit every day, taking a yoga class, or joining your neighborhood gym, pick one way to increase your movement every day.  We recommend consulting with your physician to determine which type of activity is best for you.  If you’re looking for a great community gym with all the amenities staffed by health and wellness professionals, check out the new CMHS Wellness & Fitness Center!

If you take just one of these steps in February, you’ll be well on your way to improved heart health in 2018!  For more information on American Heart Month and all the Community Memorial Health System resources available to improve your heart health, please contact Andrea Ricketts, HealthAware Manager, at or 805-652-5454.

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Ventura Family of Physicians Cares for CMH Patients for Over 100 Years

Four Generations from Woodburn Family Devote Their Careers to Medicine

Physicians from the Woodburn family have been taking care of patients at Community Memorial Hospital for over 100 years – 105 years combined to be exact – and they are proud to share that legacy of service with the newest fourth-generation family member to become a doctor.

Dr. Julie Woodburn Hein, 29, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who is completing her residency training at UCLA.  As part of her residency, Julie, who graduated from Ventura High School and was a junior volunteer at CMH as a teen, joined the CMH staff for six weeks through January.  At CMH she has performed surgeries with the gynecology and oncology teams.  Julie will complete her residency in June 2019 and plans to work as a community-based OB-GYN, taking care of patients just like her dad, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Julie’s great-grandfather, the late Dr. Lemuel Ansel Woodburn, was the first in the family to practice medicine.  Born in 1891, Lemuel graduated from medical school in 1921 and worked as a family doctor in Urbana, Ohio, a small rural town where he made house calls, often taking along his son James II.  Lemuel passed away in 1968.

Inspired by his dad, James II, now 91, attended New York Medical College.  He returned to Ohio for his residency training in general surgery and moved to Ventura in 1972, joining the CMH staff that year as a general surgeon.  James II and his late wife, Audrey, have three sons and a daughter, with two sons, Jame III and Doug, becoming general surgeons as well.  Doug joined the CMH medical staff in 1988 and James III came on board in 1989.  The brothers used to love visiting their dad while he was working and they grew up around the medical community, becoming inspired to follow in his footsteps.

Together James II and sons James III and Doug Woodburn have cared for thousands of patients at CMH for a combined 105 years.  They are thrilled that Julie, James III’s daughter, chose a career in medicine as well and is helping CMH patients.  A highlight of Julie’s time at CMH came during the first week of January when Julie and her Dad performed surgery together, with her grandfather assisting in the operating room.

“It makes me very proud to be part of a family of physicians over four generations and I’m thrilled that my daughter is continuing our legacy,” James III said.  “Seeing her work at CMH has been exciting for the entire Woodburn family.”

Julie said she has wanted to become a doctor since she was a child.  “I’m a chip off the old block, what can I say,” she said jokingly.

James III’s wife Kay Woodburn added, “Jim likes to take care of patients and he has truly enjoyed being a doctor in a community where he has gotten to know and follow his patients for many years.  Julie worked in our office between college and medical school and she wanted to go into a branch of medicine where she could get to know and follow her patients for many years also.”

CMH would like to thank the Woodburn family for their commitment to CMH, their patients, and their community.  And, who knows…maybe Julie’s baby daughter Audrey will become the fifth generation of Woodburns to become a doctor and join the CMH staff as well.

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Free Seminar – Dialysis Access Options

2018 Speaker Series
Dialysis vascular access is a surgically created vein used to filter toxins, waste and extra fluid out of a person’s blood as treatment for kidney failure. Considered a patient’s lifeline, vascular access allows for roughly
a pint of blood to be filtered every minute. Access options include:
  • Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula
  • Arteriovenous (AV) Graft
  • Venous Catheter
  • Peritoneal Dialysis

Come and learn as Dr. Major explains each access option, short-term vs. long-term use, and how to prevent problems that require further treatment.

Dr. Kevin Major

Dr. Kevin Major specializes in vascular surgery. He received
his medical degree from Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and
completed General Surgery residency training at Cedars Sinai
Medical Center and Fellowship training in Surgical Critical Care
at Cedars Sinai Medical Center including a Vascular Surgery
Fellowship at The University of Southern California. He is
board certified in all three specialties and is an active member
of the Community Memorial Hospital medical staff.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
6:00 P.M.
Community Memorial Hospital
Nichols Auditorium, 8th Floor
147 N.Brent St., Ventura

or contact Brown Paper Tickets
at 800/838-3006


KVTA 1590 News/Talk Radio SeaView IPA Accountable Care Alliance of Ventura
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Flu Recognition and Prevention

The Flu Hits Hard This Season, Take Preventative Measures

Influenza, or the flu, is a serious illness that can land you in the hospital – and also kill you.  In Ventura County, at least 16 people have died in flu-related cases as of Jan. 11 this flu season, which typically runs from October through March.  Health officials say that one strain, Influenza A H3N2, is making the flu season more severe this year.

Some people are especially vulnerable, including those with serious medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems, very young children, and those 65 and older.  This year however, the flu is also hitting younger people more than usual.  One theory is that older people probably had a viral illness at some point previously that is similar to H3N2 and they have partial immunity, while young people were not exposed previously and do not have immunities.

5 Major Symptoms

“Everyone should be aware of the five major symptoms of influenza,” says Dr. Stan Frochtzwajg, Community Memorial Health System’s Chief Medical Officer.  “They are fever, headaches, cough, sore throat and muscle aches.  This is when physicians render the diagnosis of the flu.”

Without three or more of those symptoms, it’s hard to diagnose the flu.  Having at least three and a physical examination corroborating the history can lead to a “presumptive” diagnosis, but if you see your doctor, they can also take a nasal swab for a definitive diagnosis.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising doctors to treat flu patients with a presumptive diagnosis so that treatment can start right away.

Vaccination and practicing good health and hygiene habits can go a long way to preventing you from getting the flu, says Dr. Frochtzwajg.

5 Prevention Tips

  1. Avoid close contact with other people who are sick.  Stay home from work and don’t send sick kids to school.  Don’t even run errands!
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing to help prevent the spread of germs.
  3. Keep clean!  Washing your hands often helps protect you from germs.  Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.  Also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and spreading germs.
  4. Help improve your immune system by getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced diet, staying well hydrated, and avoiding fatigue and stress!
  5. Get vaccinated!  Vaccinations can be effective through February.  Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after you have been vaccinated.  These antibodies protect you against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.  Even though the vaccine this year is less effective on the flu strain that is going around, it can help lower the seriousness or intensity of your illness if you get the flu.  Some protection is better than no protection at all!

When You Have The Flu

If you do get sick, you can see your doctor, but health officials would like people to avoid a trip to the hospital emergency room unless symptoms are severe or you are in an at-risk group.  ER physicians can’t really do much more than your own primary care doctor (of course there are some exceptions).  If you are in doubt, please call your doctor, advises Dr. Frochtzwajg.

Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can ease the fever and muscle aches.  Antiviral drugs can help, too.  Antivirals are prescription medicines that are not available over-the-counter.  They can make a case of the flu milder and shorten the time you are sick, and may also prevent serious flu complications.  It’s recommended that antiviral medications be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms to be most effective.  Again, talk to your physician.

Finally, Dr. Frochtzwajg emphasizes that a healthy lifestyle helps people avoid the flu and heal faster if they do get sick.  It’s never too late to eat healthier, get more sleep and exercise, and take steps to lower stress levels.  Your body will thank you all year round!

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Community Memorial Hospital First in Ventura County to Offer Innovative WATCHMAN Procedure

Community Memorial Hospital is the first in Ventura County, and among the first in California, to offer patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term, blood-thinning warfarin medication with the newly approved WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant.

“The WATCHMAN device has proven to be extraordinarily helpful in the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF),” said Dr. Ishu Rao, Director of Electrophysiology Services at Community Memorial Hospital.  “With this minimally invasive procedure, we can eliminate the need for blood thinners in patients with AF who have high risk features for stroke.  The CMH program has been growing since its inception in August 2017, and patients have already experienced the benefits of discontinuation of their blood thinners.  We expect the WATCHMAN to become a key tool in our management of patients with atrial fibrillation.”

For patients with AF who can take warfarin but seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant is an alternative for reducing their risk of AF-related stroke.  The WATCHMAN Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to prevent harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke.  By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.

The most common treatment to reduce stroke risk in patients with AF is blood-thinning warfarin medication.  However, long-term warfarin medication is not well tolerated by some patients and carries a significant risk for bleeding complications.  Implanting the WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour.  Following the procedure, patients typically stay in the hospital for just 24 hours before discharge.

Click here to watch the WATCHMAN procedure animation and learn more about device implantation and function.  If you think you or someone you know might be a candidate for the WATCHMAN, ask your cardiologist or primary care physician to refer you to the Electrophysiology program at Community Memorial Hospital for a consultation.


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Community Memorial Health System Centers for Family Health Earn National Recognition for Patient- Centered Care

Eleven of Community Memorial Health System’s Centers for Family Health have earned special “Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition” status from a national non-profit health care organization for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term relationships between clinicians and patients.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced the new recognition in late December 2017 for the 11 Centers for Family Health located Ventura, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Oak View and Camarillo, and Midtown Medical Group in Ojai.  The Centers for Family Health and Midtown Medical Group provide a wide range of health care services, from Urgent Care to Women’s Health and many more.

“The CMHS Centers for Family Health are proud to have received the Patient Centered Medical Home recognition again in 2017,” said Dr. Anthony Russell, Chief Administrative Officer of Ambulatory Medicine for CMHS.  “This achievement highlights the exemplary care we are able to provide our patients while also decreasing costs.  We strive to make a difference for the patients in the communities we serve, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved in achieving this recognition.”

The NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality which accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations.  The NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care, and reduce costs.  Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits.  Each patients’ care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system.  Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

To earn the recognition, the Centers for Family Health and Midtown Medical Group in Ojai demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home.  NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

To learn more about the Community Memorial Health System Centers for Family Health or Midtown Medical Group, please visit

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Cancer Resource Center Nurse Navigator Honored with Daisy Award

Community Memorial Health System is proud to announce our 2017 3rd Quarter DAISY Award winner – Debra Lawry, RN!

Created in 1999, the DAISY Award is a very special recognition that honors extraordinary nurses who demonstrate clinical expertise, provide skillful, compassionate care, and go above and beyond for patients and family members.

Every day, Debra Lawry holds the hands (literally and figuratively) of patients who have just been diagnosed with cancer.  In her role as Cancer Patient Nurse Navigator at the Community Memorial Health System Cancer Resource Center, Debra guides patients through the diagnosis, treatment, and cancer recovery processes, and serves as a vital source of education, support, and friendship along the way.  She goes above and beyond for her patients, often attending appointments with them and spending extra time ensuring they feel truly supported on their cancer treatment journey.

Many patients have called Debra their “angel,” and have said they aren’t sure how they would have gotten through treatment without her.  But it’s not just patients that she impacts on a daily basis.  Debra is always willing to provide her co-workers with education or moral support and works hard to broaden her knowledge so she can provide the latest and most accurate information to patients and coworkers.

Debra was honored by health system leadership, physicians, and her peers last week with a celebration at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.  Please join us in congratulating her on this incredible achievement and thanking her for her service to our patients!

If you would like to nominate an extraordinary nurse from Community Memorial Health System for providing exemplary care, please visit our DAISY Award nomination page by clicking here.

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16th Annual Nightingale Ball Brings Motown Uptown Back for a Special Evening in Ojai

CMHS kicked off December with the 16th Annual Nightingale Ball on Friday December 1st at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.  The “Motown Uptown” themed event brought the glitz, glamour and energy of the iconic Motown era to the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation’s signature winter fundraiser.

Upon arrival, guests posed for photos alongside a vintage Ford Mustang and walked the red carpet where many were greeted by the Supremes! The dinner program included Motown hits performed by RamFunkshus, multiple live performances by the Got Rhythm Dance Company, and a very special rendition of the Temptations hit “My Girl” sung by Dr. Jim Halverson and Dr. Ken Hartenstein.  A special Motown dessert of Cream Puffs was served, topped with authentic Sanders Hot Fudge Sauce shipped especially for the event all the way from Detroit!

A very special Thank you to our 2017 Nightingale Ball Chairs, Committee, Event Sponsors, and everyone who attending and made the evening a success!  Click here to see the Motown Uptown photos!


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