Posted on October 23, 2013

Bakersfield: PG&E Supports Hospital Burn Center with Donation

By Tracy Correa

Holding an oversized check from PG&E are. from left, Bakersfield City Council Member Terry Maxwell, Karen Garner with SJCH, Kevin Burton with SJCH (Foundation), PG&E’s Raj Beasla, SJCH CEO Doug Duffield and Hal Chilton, Sharlet Briggs and Margaret White, all part of the hospital’s executive leadership team. (Photos by Tracy Correa.)

BAKERSFIELD – Patients being treated at San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center as well as their families will benefit from a donation presented today (Oct. 23) by PG&E.

Hospital and PG&E officials joined medical staff and community members to make the donation announcement in front of the hospital located in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield City Council Member Terry Maxwell also attended the morning event.

Kevin Burton, president and executive director of San Joaquin Community Hospital’s foundation, noted the years of business and community support that have helped make the burn center a success. Now, he said, a new one joins the ranks.

“I’m pleased to announce yet another partner,” he said of PG&E. “You guys are great partners in the community.”

PG&E’s Raj Beasla, Central Valley corporate affairs director, said he is impressed with what is being done at the burn center. “I hear a lot of good things… This makes us feel great.”

PG&E’s Raj Beasla, Central Valley corporate affairs director, talks about the Grossman Burn Center and PG&E’s recent donation.

Beasla said it’s especially comforting to know that when an accident happens, that there are places like the Grossman Burn Center to take care of patients.

He shared how he has seen the injuries — first hand — of burn patients.  Over his 31 years with the company, Beasla said he knew three employees who suffered injuries from electrical or flash burns and visited them over the course of months during their very difficult recoveries. “We never want an accident to happen,” he said. But when it does, he said it’s good to know there are places like the Grossman Burn Center to care for burn survivors.

PG&E made the announcement during Fire Prevention Month, which Beasla noted as he talked about the company’s ongoing commitment to the American Red Cross’ Team Firestopper program. Team Firestopper is unique to the Central Valley and helps educate residents on how to prevent house fires.

The Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Hospital is credited with bringing world-class burn treatment to Kern County. Before the center opened in 2009, local burn patients and their families were forced to travel to more than 100 miles to Fresno or Los Angeles to receive specialty burn treatment.

Bakersfield’s burn center is affiliated with the Los Angeles-based Grossman Burn Center, founded in 1969 by Dr. A. Richard Grossman.

Since opening four years ago, the Bakersfield burn center has treated 1,781 patients – 246 of these patients just this year.

Trina Headlee, featured in this poster, was seriously burned three years ago. She was treated at the Grossman Burn Center in Bakersfield and shows almost no visible signs of her injury today.

And 42 percent of the patients treated have been children including Trina Headlee, who was 3 when she was seriously burned in 2010. Trina suffered second- and third-degree burns when – trying to be mommy’s helper in the kitchen – she decided to remove a bowl of boiling water out of the microwave before her mother could stop her. (Read her story here in The Bakersfield Californian.) Today, Trina shows nearly no sign of her injuries and is featured on posters promoting the extraordinary health care provided at the Grossman Burn Center.

Karen Garner, director of the hospital’s Grossman Burn Center, said PG&E’s donation will help purchase burn garments for patients and will be used for housing and transportation (gas cards) for families who want to be close to loved ones treated at the center.

“Thank you very much for this precious gift and the sacred work that it supports,” said Garner.

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