As a physician for over 20 years, I could never have predicted that I would be in a position to run a hospital during a worldwide pandemic.  These last two years have been the most daunting yet rewarding years of my career.

Being a part of the team at Sutter Health Memorial Hospital Los Banos has been inspiring even in the most trying of times. As we learn how to live in a world forever changed by Covid, we have not forgotten the healthcare needs of our community. 

The most important effort we can make today is to help our community take back our physical and mental health. 

May was Women’s Health month, bringing into focus the well-being of our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. Early detection of breast cancer can forever change the arc of a person’s life. 

Over the last 10 years, breast cancer deaths have declined. A major reason is early detection with new technologies such as 3D-mammogram.  3D mammograms are more accurate than regular mammogram because they create a 3-dimensional like image of the breast that allows for early detection, especially for women with dense breasts. 

 The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommend screening mammograms at age 40, since that helps reduce a woman’s chances of dying of breast cancer. 

Some women have a family history of breast cancer and should start breast cancer screening earlier. Memorial Hospital Los Banos has had 3D mammography since 2018 and we are proud to be able to offer this level of technological advancement.  

 The stress over the last two years has transformed our lives, not always for the better.  Our collective mental health has worsened due to the stress of having to cope with isolation, loss of our emotional support groups and even the deaths of those we love. 

The bond of humanity is our relationships and when that bond is broken, we suffer. We are busy building that bond back because a healthy mind sets the stage for a healthy body. With a strong mind we can focus on our resiliency and healing. 

Sutter Health Memorial Hospital Los Banos has placed mental health resources in our emergency department. We are building mental health services at our rural health clinic for our community. 

During the pandemic, we received hundreds of letters and cards of encouragement from our schools and from community members. They called us heroes and honored us because they knew our staff ran toward the battle every day. 

We thank you for those words of support and encouragement. We will be here for each one of you, every day.

Dr. Phillip Yu is the Chief Medical Executive and Administrator of Sutter Health Memorial Hospital Los Banos. 

Dr. Phillip Yu

Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Health Memorial Hospital Los Banos