Tahoe Forest HospitalHospital thriving under UC Davis partnership | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest HospitalHospital thriving under UC Davis partnership

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Tahoe Forest Health System’s partnership with University of California at Davis makes it the best hospital in inland California, Tom Hobday said Thursday.

and#8220;Davis designated Tahoe Forest Health System a rural center of excellence,and#8221; said Hobday, a Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation Board member. and#8220;It’s really an extraordinary fact that Tahoe Forest is the first and so far the only hospital in California to receive this designation.and#8221;

In early January 2010, UC Davis officially named Tahoe Forest its first-ever rural center of excellence.

As a part of the Rural- PRIME program, medical students from UC Davis complete their training at Tahoe Forest rather than urban hospitals. The result, according to officials, is more involvement with procedures and the real-world challenges for doctors who don’t have a legion of specialists at their disposal and#8212; like medical students at university health centers do.

Hobday, during a presentation Thursday at Truckee Town Council, detailed the benefits of the partnership to things like cancer treatment, rural care and even working with the Truckee Fire Protection District on emergency care.

and#8220;The Tahoe Forest Cancer Center is an economic engine for Truckee, generating $4 million a year that wouldn’t be here,and#8221; Hobday said. and#8220;It’s treating 62 percent of patients in the area, far beyond our expectations.and#8221;

Being technologically connected to UC Davis allows the district to have cutting-edge treatment without the all cost of supporting it, Hobday said, as UC Davis Medical Center has a $1 billion a year budget.

The partnership also means 14 local doctors are professors for UC Davis medical students, and the and#8220;rural rotationand#8221; at Tahoe Forest has become extremely competitive for applying students, Hobday said.

and#8220;Students were afraid to leave the teaching hospital and go to rural hospitals,and#8221; Hobday said. and#8220;Now all the students want to come up here … It gives us a great advantage for the future.and#8221;

Hobday said people ask him if UC Davis is trying to take over Tahoe Forest Hospital.

and#8220;Absolutely not and#8212; they want to use us as a prototype for rural care, which is important so we don’t have to sell out to a corporation,and#8221; Hobday said.

When hospitals get bought out by large corporate entities, it’s the community services that go first, he said.

and#8220;This is a stunning thing for our community, something to be proud of,and#8221; said Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee.