Marcella Booth had a lot on her mind during a doctor’s appointment in January 2016. The 61-year old Long Beach resident had been hospitalized for gall bladder surgery the month before at another hospital, and now she was feeling pain around her lungs. Her doctor had scheduled Marcella for a CT scan later that day, and she was sitting in the lab waiting for a blood draw. Then she passed out.
“When I woke up, the staff walked me over to a table,” Marcella recalls, “They started an IV, took my blood pressure and drew my blood.” Concerned, Marcella’s doctor insisted that she go to the emergency room for an immediate evaluation. The CT scan would have to wait. She called an ambulance to transport Marcella to the closest hospital, but its emergency room was full. “That’s when I asked the paramedics to take me to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital,” she says.
Marcella works as a receptionist for a medical group that recently started working with Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center (FVRMC). Her husband Wally had also gotten excellent care at FVRMC when he was hospitalized there last year. But she never expected the reception she received at the ER. “When I arrived, Dr. Timothy Korber was waiting for me as the ambulance pulled up,” she says. “He asked me why I was there and then said, ‘We have your room waiting for you right here.’ When I told him I was supposed to go to another hospital but it was full, he laughed and said ‘Well you just got an upgrade!’”
Dr. Korber set the tone for what Marcella remembers as a very pleasant experience. “I try to meet as many patients as possible when they come through the door via ambulance,” he notes. “It’s one way we strive to deliver exceptional care to our patients.” Marcella feels she received just that at FVRMC. “I work in a medical office and I’m not used to being a patient. I’m used to caring for them,” she notes. “I really appreciate that they took me to a private room. The nurses took good care of me. They immediately drew blood, took my vitals and scheduled me for a CT scan.” The medical team confirmed that Marcella had passed out due to low blood pressure. She says during the wait for her scan and then the results, the nurses were very attentive. “I had come in around 11 am and later that afternoon, I was starving and asked the nurse if I could get something to eat. It didn’t take very long at all. They brought me a cute boxed lunch that was appropriate to my specific dietary needs---and very good!”
After the CT scan and other tests, Dr. Korber sat down with Marcella and explained that her pancreatitis—which was the reason for her gall bladder removal-- was flaring up, and most likely the source of the pain around her lungs. “He was able to explain certain things so I could understand what was going on with my illness,” she declares. Before she was discharged, Marcella wanted to express her appreciation for the care she received in the ER. “I told him, you don’t belong here---you belong on TV. You remind me of Dr. Kildare!”
And then Dr. Korber did something Marcella never expected. “He called me the next day to follow-up and make sure everything was OK. That impressed me.” While it wasn’t a house call like fictional Dr. Kildare would make, the gesture showed Marcella that real doctors still put their patient’s well-being first.