We Care For All Who Need It

Our entire community's well-being is at stake. At SJHS, we never turn anyone away. Here is just one example of how we are called on to care:

Elvira Carrilo, 62, was diagnosed with a tumor on her spine in November 2006. Within a year, she was experiencing severe pain and was unable to walk. Unfortunately, Elvira was unable to meet the financial demands of the surgery required to remove the tumor. 

After she had been turned away by other healthcare facilities, Stephen Smith, MD, took the case, and SJHS provided all services free of charge.

On August 24, 2011, Elvira underwent surgery. She remained in the hospital for 14 days, and said of her time there, “When I was at the hospital, the level of care was wonderful. For me, it was very special for the hospital to always have a translator near so we could communicate.”

Following her time at the hospital, she was transferred to the Saint Joseph Rehabilitation Institute, where she said, “Everyone has treated me with so much respect. I never felt different in spite of the language barrier. I am very comfortable here and appreciate everything everyone has done for me. I cannot say enough about the care I have received.”

By mid-September, having undergone therapy for three hours each day, Elvira was beginning to walk again — for the first time in four years. And she was scheduled to return home to her family in early October. At the time, the complex procedure was believed to be the first of its kind performed in this region.

Dr. Smith, who performed the surgery, said, “We’re very happy with her progress. Ms. Carrilo’s case was extremely rare — and seeing this positive impact on her life is what our jobs are all about.”

As Ken Hall, Chief Nursing Officer at SJHS, said, “For us, there was no financial reward even considered. Everyone was in it for the patient.”