RRH launches another first

Neurosurgery clinic now taking appointments

RRH launches another firstPictured: Patrick Hsieh, MD, and Christian Schwartz, PA-C


Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is launching the community’s first Nerosurgery Spine Clinic, in collaboration with USC Neurosurgery, part of Keck Medicine of USC.

The clinic, specializing in spinal care, opened its doors Jan. 31.

“The collaboration with Keck Medicine of USC will connect RRH patients to a comprehensive system for spinal care with one of the best neurosurgery programs in the United States,” said an RRH spokesperson. RRH will work hand-in-hand with Keck to offer patients pre- and post-op care.

“The spine clinic will focus on patient evaluation and treatment, with collaboration and coordination at Keck Hospital of USC for surgical services, if these services are required.

Patients will initially see current RRH providers Christian Schwartz, PA-C, and Kelly Doty, PA-C, who will manage all pre-surgery evaluations and necessary diagnostics. The collaboration will then connect patients with Keck Medicine neurosurgeons Patrick Hsieh, MD, and John C. Liu, MD, who will be based at RRH for one day every month. RRH will then manage post-surgery care for the patient.

“The focus is to manage treatment and therapy locally, when possible,” said Michelle Whalley, Rural Health Clinic administrator. “Partnering with the excellence of USC Neurosurgery makes world-class spinal care accessible and convenient — and that is really exciting for our community.”

“At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, we believe in providing expert and high-quality care, and we recognize that in some cases we need to utilize resources from outside of our own healthcare system to ensure the best patient outcomes. This is why collaborations, like our latest with Keck Medicine of USC, are vital,” said Jim Suver, CEO amd president of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. “By providing advanced spine surgery at the USC campus, we are expanding our state-of-the-art treatment options to patients in the Southern Sierra region.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the highly specialized care that Keck Medicine of USC is known for to an even greater patient population,” said Liu, co-director of the USC Spine Center at Keck Medicine of USC.

“This collaboration allows us to offer the comprehensive, coordinated care for complex cases that our academic medical center can provide.”

The RRH Neurosurgery Spine Clinic is open on Fridays. For appointments, please call 760-499-3366 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Story First Published: 2019-03-01