Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage.
While brick-and-mortar businesses and cultural nonprofits aim to lure masses to their doors, an organization in Rancho Mirage assumes an antithetical posture: trying to keep people from entering its 50-year-old building. This counterintuitive approach to success derives from the fact that Eisenhower Health’s overarching goal is to ensure the wellbeing of all those in its expanded sphere. That means bolstering preventive and therapeutic services to decrease hospitalization rates.
Begun as a medical center to bring life-saving capabilities to residents halfway between hospitals in the east and west ends of the Coachella Valley, Eisenhower’s current mission statement declares that the nonprofit “exists to serve the changing healthcare needs of our region.”
With “changing” as the operative word and the opening of outlying health centers and clinics, Eisenhower Medical Center emphasized the reach beyond its 1971 roots with a name change in January 2018.
“People viewed the name Eisenhower Medical Center as a campus,” explains Michael Landes, Eisenhower Health Foundation president. “We built more than nine [off-site] facilities and started a primary-care initiative to give them the convenience of seeing Eisenhower doctors all over the valley. The name ‘Eisenhower Medical Center’ doesn’t sync well with a larger network. ‘Eisenhower Health’ refers to all of Eisenhower, no matter where it is and what service we’re providing.”
“To people in the community, we are ‘Eisenhower,’” adds recently retired president and CEO G. Aubrey Serfling. “Not many would say they’re going to ‘Eisenhower Health.’ The purpose [of the name change] was to signal that we are not just a hospital anymore; our mission broadened with other services. ‘Hospitals’ used to be the center of the medical universe, not ‘health system.’” Over the past 20 years, he notes, the percentage of Eisenhower’s revenue attributed to inpatient services dropped from 80 to 50 percent.
President and CEO Martin Massiello drove Eisenhower Health’s expansion of outpatient care.
When Martin Massiello joined the medical center as its chief operating officer in 2008, he sat down with Serfling to strategize on how to address an evolution. “The hospital didn’t have much of a presence with clinics in the community,” he recalls. “Medicare and private-insurance companies wanted to shift healthcare to the outpatient setting because it is less expensive. Patients welcomed it because it meant services closer to their homes. And technology that offers minimally invasive treatments supported the move.”
Eisenhower Health in downtown Palm Springs.
Eisenhower’s most significant expansion beyond the hospital campus opened in January of 2010. Shining like the sun in its galaxy, the Eisenhower George and Julia Argyros Health Center in La Quinta encompasses 92,000 square feet and an array of specialties in addition to primary care.
Holly Ballard found the answer to her healthcare needs at the Center for Family Medicine in the Argyros building shortly after relocating to La Quinta from San Jacinto. “A lot of the moms I met when I moved here recommended Eisenhower,” says the 35-year-old with a husband and 4-year-old son. She especially was pleased to find Jenna Grindle, M.D., a family-medicine doctor, prenatal-care specialist, and pediatrician rolled into one. “When I got pregnant, Dr. Grindle told me that Eisenhower was opening a birthing center in 2021. She was hopeful I would be delivering there.” As the center approached a spring opening, the opportunity appeared likely for Ballard’s early-May due date.
The Argyros expansion fueled a phase of amplification in community presence. “We set our sights on Palm Springs, because we had a lot of folks that wanted to access Eisenhower’s services who said, ‘If we had clinics closer to home, we would go there,’” Massiello notes. From 2011 through 2014, Eisenhower opened four health centers in the Coachella Valley’s westernmost city. Today, the network also includes health centers in Cathedral City, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and North Palm Springs, as well as in the High Desert community of Yucca Valley.
“The strategy was to magnify primary care, but we also started adding specialty services [to those locations],” Massiello says. While hospital-campus buildings provide space for many dedicated disciplines, satellite centers raise the level of convenience to specialized medicine.
Massiello notes a distinction between the clinics of independent medical groups and those owned by Eisenhower.
“We have fully integrated medical records,” he says. “Anything a patient does at any point in the health system is contained in one source. Everyone that works in an Eisenhower urgent care, health center, or specialty clinic is in that network.
“We always look at where needs in the community lie,” he continues. “For now, our expansion with clinics is on our main campus; but in the next number of years, we probably will open another health center in the east end of the valley.”
AT YOUR SERVICE
Eisenhower Primary Care Health Centers
- Cathedral City North (home of internal medicine residency program) —Special services: addiction medicine
- Cathedral City South — Special services: occupational health
- George and Julia Argyros Health Center (home of Eisenhower’s family medicine residency program) — Special services: cardiology, hematology/oncology infusion, imaging, lab, orthopedics/physical therapy, radiation/oncology, sports medicine, women’s health
- Palm Desert (primary care, Primary Care 365, and an extension of the Center for Family Medicine)
- Plaza del Sol (for Eisenhower Primary Care 365 patients only) — Special services: behavioral health
- Rimrock — Special services: behavioral health
- South Palm Canyon Drive — Special services: cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology infusion, neurology, orthopedics, urology, women’s health
- Sunrise — Special services: imaging, lab, orthopedics (no primary care)
- Rancho Mirage Medical Center — Specialty services: imaging, lab, neurology/neuroscience
- Rancho Mirage Medical & Professional Plaza —hematology, oncology, and infusion
Eisenhower Health operates a physical and occupational therapy facility in La Quinta and a sleep medicine clinic in Palm Desert. The Eisenhower Memory Care Center in Palm Desert provides daycare for memory-impaired adults. Eisenhower also provides hematology/oncology infusion in Yucca Valley.
Urgent Care Centers
La Quinta (George and Julia Argyros Health Center)
Rancho Mirage (Rancho Mirage Medical Center)
Palm Springs (Sunrise)
Specialty Clinics on Main Campus
Allergy and immunology
Cancer: hematology,oncology, radiology, radiation oncology, pathology
Cardiology Cardiothoracic surgery
Dermatology and Mohs Center
Diabetes and endocrinology
Infusion center and infectious disease
Pulmonary, critical care, and sleep
Surgery Specialty Clinic
Wound care (hyperbaric chambers)