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Ida Lopez Chan, new CEO of Soledad Community Health Care District 

Salinas Valley Tribune
By: Sean Roney
Full article can be found here.

SOLEDAD — Ida Chan began Aug. 3 as Soledad Community Health Care District’s new CEO, officially taking the reins from Gary Staab, who had been serving as interim CEO since 2018.

The health care district is the umbrella agency in charge of Eden Valley Care Center and Soledad Medical Clinic, along with a total of 150 employees.

“As a new CEO, I oversee the organization’s financial health and I also oversee and work with the leadership team in ensuring our staff health and our staff success,” Chan said. “We work hand-in-hand with the leadership team to ensure both organizations and facilities are working to the best of our abilities to meet our community needs.”

One large project coming up for the group is a new Women’s Health Clinic being constructed on the 3.5-acre property in Soledad. Modular units were brought in and installed earlier in the year, with finishing touches delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. When the center is completed, it will host an OBGYN, women’s health services and an education center.

“The Women’s Center will be a support network for women in the community,” Chan said about the project.

Staab, who originally joined the Soledad Community Health Care District in 2006 as a consultant, will continue as building project manager for the women’s center until its completion, planned for this October. He will then retire after having served in health care administration for 50 years.

Chan’s background includes being an executive banker for 23 years. She said she opened the Soledad branch of what is currently Mechanics Bank, earlier operated by Rabobank. She noted her career has been in finances.

“I’ve been privileged to support my community in their financial health, and now I get to support them in their physical health and well-being,” she said.

Chan explained that Soledad is her community, as she has been Rotary Club president in the past, as well as Rotarian of the Year. Most recently, she has been a board member of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, overseeing grants and programs.

“My community means a lot to me,” Chan said. “It’s a place where I live. It’s a place where I raise my family.”

Chan’s business and financial sense will be immediately harnessed as Covid-19 impacts numerous areas of society.

“Unfortunately, no business is immune to Covid,” Chan said. “Covid happened so rapidly and unexpectedly and businesses were expected to react. Unfortunately, it didn’t give businesses time to put plans in place. With my financial background, it’s going to help set that plan in motion.”

With Soledad Community Health Care District having been around for years, Chan said she aims to ensure the organization is around for even longer.

“The way we plan on doing that is by setting a plan and working together as an executive team so that we can continue on for many more years to come,” she said. “We’re a sound organization, we’re a strong organization.”

Going from a world of numbers to a world of medical care comes with shifts in learning.

“I think everyday is a new and exciting day here, and although it’s health versus finance, it’s still a business. In every business, you still have the same elements,” Chan explained. “What I’ve learned is the dedication of our staff. We have professional staff here, very dedicated to the work that they do.”

The dedicated team is something Staab noted, as well.

“I will miss the dedicated and hard-working employees of the district, which I have been honored to work with these past few years,” he said. “They are the best in every respect.”

Staab said when he retires in October, he will explore the Southwest as a student of rock art and visit his grandchildren at the different universities they attend throughout the nation.

According to Chan, staff recognition has continued with weekly lunches and highlighting employees to celebrate their work and success. Another idea she is going to implement is a new banner with the phrase, “Heroes Work Here.”

“They’re coming in here everyday, tirelessly, helping our residents, helping our community to be the healthiest they can be,” she said. “They are going above and beyond the scope of their jobs to ensure that people remain healthy and people remain safe.”

Chan encourages the community to come to the clinic with their medical needs.

“We want to continue to be the beacon of this community and to continue to serve you with the best customer service,” she said.

Eden Valley Care Center Response to COVID 

Soledad, CA, August 19, 2020: The COVID-19 outbreak began on July 20, 2020 at Eden Valley Care Center.  Our mitigation plan was initiated with the guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Monterey County Public Health (MCPH). Response testing started on July 21st and has been done weekly, and families are updated on our results on a weekly basis. The facility is also reporting all data to CDPH daily and weekly.  Our total cases are monitored by Monterey County and can be found at the following web address:

There are five other facilities in Monterey County besides Eden Valley Care Center who reported less than eleven positive cases. 

As of today, all residents who were in isolation are back to their regular rooms. Staff are also released back to work by the MCPH’s discretion and guidance. We are still required to continue response testing until we have no positive cases.  We continue to follow CDC and MCPH’s guidelines all throughout this pandemic. 

Eden Valley Care Center Staff has been working hard in addressing our COVID -19 positive cases by continuously educating our staff the proper way of donning and doffing PPE, proper handwashing technique, increasing our surveillance for staff and residents, and encouraging staff to stay home when exhibiting classic signs and symptoms of COVID-19. We began having weekly family meetings on July 17, 2020. Our weekly family meetings continue with the participation of family members who have loved ones here at Eden Valley Care Center. These meetings allow direct access with staff if any questions or concerns should arise. During our meetings we discuss the COVID-19 numbers for both staff and residents. We always make sure we have a 30-day supply of PPE.

Eden Valley Care Center follows all HIPAA compliance laws and regulations, and respects the privacy of our staff and residents. We are always working with the California Department of Public Health and the Monterey County Health Department and we continuously receive advice from the County Health Department whenever we ask.  

We commend our staff on their hard work and loyalty during this crisis. They have stood by Eden Valley Care Center and have returned to duty when cleared by the Monterey County Health Department. We are proud of our staff and thank them profusely.

We have had two COVID-19 Focused Emergency Preparedness Surveys on 7/26/2020 and 8/10/2020.  We were found to be in compliance by the California Department of Public Health. We also had a mitigation plan survey on 8/6/2020 and were found to be in compliance with the CDPH.  Our team is always working hard to protect our residents and we are pleased with the outcome of the CDPH survey findings. We will continue to do our very best to care for all our residents and communicate with the family members and community.

CEO Comments:

“The current pandemic is affecting our day to day lives including the residents of Eden Valley, in order to thrive past this health crisis, we must stay united as a community…The staff of Eden Valley take care of the residents as if they were their own family. They are working on the front lines going above and beyond to ensure the residents of Eden Valley are Safe and Secure…Now more than ever let’s do our part to practice safe healthy habits to protect our entire community to prevent the infection from spreading and to slow down the transmission of COVID-19; maintain at least six feet distance between yourself and others while out in the community. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and avoid touching your face.”

– Ida Lopez Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Soledad Community Health Care District

Public Comments:

“For you guys to keep it out of the building for four months was great. You are the best facility in the whole United States. You guys care for our loved ones.” 

– Community Member

“The family of Jean Menke would like to THANK the staff at Eden Valley for the professional and thoughtful care. We know you are making every effort to keep her happy, safe and in good health.  Mom continues to be in great spirits when we visit on the phone. There are just no words I can use to express how much we appreciate the care you provide. We feel so blessed that Mom is in your care. ”

 -Margaret Ostarello 

Eden Valley Care Center is a 59-bed, not-for-profit, skilled nursing facility that opened in 1993. Rehabilitation patients and long-term residents enjoy quality of life amenities, superior care, and home-like surroundings. We are proud of Eden Valley’s 5-Star Medicare rating.

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