Los Alamos Medical Center CEO John Whiteside/Courtesy photo
BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
During the July 7 Zoom meeting, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos hosted an informative presentation by guest speaker John Whiteside, CEO of Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC). He began by crediting LAMC staff for their cohesive teamwork and also praised the Los Alamos community for its support and steady engagement, including those who made masks, thereby saving precious personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical community; those who donated sanitizer; and those engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who produced face shields from 3-D printers, as well as plastic sheathing to protect first responders from breathing contaminated air while performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Whiteside explained that when the corona virus became trending news from China in February, the medical center staff began buying surgical masks, gloves, and gowns so that the hospital was well-positioned in March for the escalating pandemic crisis. LAMC is following tight controls: Currently there is a zero-visitor policy with very few exceptions; the only entrances open now are the main door and the emergency room where screening takes place. At the time of this program, July 7th, there were no COVID-19 patients at the hospital, although completely separate care units are available for them.
In addition to preparations to handle COVID-19, Whiteside reported that the medical center continues to upgrade its facilities. A new ultrasound machine has been ordered, surgical equipment is being replaced, and a new roof will be installed soon. A doctor of obstetrics-gynecology (OB-GYN) is close to signing a contract with LAMC; a podiatrist will join the hospital in August. The hospital has also recently added a urologist.
Whiteside, who holds Master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration and in Business Management, began his studies and career in Florida and Louisiana before starting here in 2016. He is a Board member of the YMCA and United Way and is a member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. Whiteside served in the Marine Corps for 10 years, the last three as a Commanding Officer. He believes his military service, which includes multiple deployments overseas, is a solid foundation for his position with the Los Alamos Medical Center.