Exterior of Emergency Department at St. John’s Regional Medical Center

Dignity Health-St. John’s Regional Medical Center Receives Award to Support HIV and HCV Screening and Linkage to Care in the Emergency Department

Grant awarded by Gilead Sciences, Inc. to improve access to care in Ventura County

Media Contact: Christina Zicklin, (310) 922-8522, Christina.Zicklin@DignityHealth.org

OXNARD, Calif. – April 4, 2022 – Dignity Health-St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) has been awarded a FOCUS award from Gilead Sciences, Inc. to establish a program that implements routine Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening and linkage to a first appointment, including linkage to HIV comprehensive prevention services, as appropriate, in the Emergency Department (ED).

“We are thankful to Gilead Sciences for this generous award,” said Robert Streeter, MD, Chief Medical Officer at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “Enhancing routine screening in the ED is integral to connecting newly diagnosed patients to the appropriate care. Studies show that early diagnosis plays a vital role in improving quality of life and disease management.”

The new screening program will improve the ED’s current screening and linkage to care practices by making routine testing a standard of care for appropriate patient populations. Patients with positive test results will be linked to a first appointment by a designated patient navigator.

“St. John’s Regional Medical Center is appreciative of the incredible support of Gilead Sciences,” said Barry Wolfman, President and CEO of St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo. “Their contribution enables us to advance the care of our patients with infectious and communicable diseases and to improve public perceptions of these types of diseases in our community.”

Infectious and communicable diseases, such as HIV, HCV, and syphilis, have become more prevalent in Ventura County. The incidence of these diseases increased by 23 percent in Ventura County between 2010 and 2019, according to Ventura County Public Health. The rate of persons living with HIV increased by 17 percent between 2013 and 2019; the HCV incidence rate increased by 1,240 percent between 2016 and 2019, and the syphilis incidence rate increased by 357 percent between 2013 and 2018.

Gilead’s FOCUS program is a public health initiative that supports the implementation of routine HIV and HCV screening and linkage to care in healthcare settings in accordance with screening guidelines promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), and state and local health department guidelines.

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About St. John’s Healthcare Foundation
St. John’s Healthcare Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1985 to serve Ventura County by providing philanthropic support for building projects, equipment, patient care services and community programs for St. John’s Hospitals (Oxnard and Camarillo). The Foundation staff works closely with the Foundation Board of Directors and hospital leadership to oversee a comprehensive fund development program, which incorporates campaign outreach, special events, private foundation and corporate grants, along with individual giving and planned gifts. For more information about supporting St. John’s Hospital Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center, visit SupportStJohns.org.

About Dignity Health-St. John’s Regional Medical Center
Dignity Health-St. John’s Regional Medical Center is a 265-bed acute care, award-winning facility. Serving Ventura County for more than one hundred years, St. John’s is the first and only Certified Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center in Ventura County and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s, Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Designated as a STEMI Receiving Center, St. John’s is highly recognized in the community for excellence in cardiac care. Our Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and our Integrated Breast Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. SJRMC houses a comprehensive Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, providing specialized care to the tiniest patients as well as a Beacon Award-Winning Intensive Care Unit. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities. Learn more at DignityHealth.org/StJohnsRegional.