Back to the Blog

Like It? Share It


Subscribe to the Blog:

Critical Care training for the next generation – Success at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) is a 450-bed public teaching hospital. It was formerly known as San Bernardino County Medical Center in 1979 when Dr. Bruce Gipe began an internship there. In 2000 when a new hospital opened, the name changed to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Today, it remains a key part of the San Bernardino community. It plays an important role for patients who often face challenges with access to healthcare and also for the next generation of physicians who train at the hospital.

40 years in the making

Twenty-three years after he started his internship, in 2002, Dr. Gipe had founded Primary Critical Care, and the group began overseeing the hospitalist and medical intensive care unit services at ARMC. He served as the chair of medicine at ARMC from 2013 to 2018.

Dr. Gipe began working with TeamHealth in 2014 and is now System Medical Director for TeamHealth West Group, Acute Care Services. And, his long-standing partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center continues.

The partnership holds a special place in his life and career, especially one piece – the Critical Care program that launched his career.

ARMC Critical Care Fellowship

In 2014, during his tenure as chair of medicine and with the support of ARMC’s Graduate Medical Education office, the ARMC Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship was launched.

The program accepts two fellows per year. There are currently three full-time TeamHealth ARMC Critical Care physicians that serve as faculty members. The program director is Sarkis Arabian, DO, and the associate director is Mufadda Hasan, MD. Fernando Sorto, DO, rounds out the full-time faculty. And, the faculty will expand to four full-time equivalent members this summer with the hiring of one of its own outstanding graduates, Curtis Converse, DO.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and is actively involved in clinical research along with the following ICU initiatives: Stroke care bundle compliance, sepsis bundle compliance, liberation from mechanical ventilation, antibiotic stewardship, palliative care and Leapfrog compliance. Also, the program has been instrumental in developing the use of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscopy at the hospital, in addition to local affiliations for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), sleep, cardiothoracic surgery and pulmonary hypertension.

Dr. Gipe’s passion for the program and his expertise as a leader in critical care helped him to pioneer the fellowship – coming full-circle since beginning at San Bernardino County Medical Center as an intern.

And, today’s faculty members and fellows continue the growth.

The Fellows

Beginning July 1, the 2021-22 fellows are Luke Braxton, DO; Calvin He, DO; Essam Nagori, DO; Aftab Qadir, MD; Kia Nikoomanesh, DO; and Rory Smith, MD.

The fellows and faculty have continually raised the bar on improving quality of care since 2013. During surges of COVID-19 in July to August 2020 and November to January 2021, they worked tirelessly along with the internal medicine residents to serve patients in their time of need. The ARMC population is demographically high risk for COVID-19 with many patients experiencing comorbidities. And, during this time, the number of ICU encounters doubled and in some cases tripled, requiring the creation of a second ICU team.

TeamHealth Critical Care

“We deliver excellent care to our patients,” Rohit Uppal, MD, MBA, Chief Clinical Officer, Hospital Medicine, said when speaking of TeamHealth Critical Care. “Quality and safety are our highest priorities. Our programs lower ICU mortality rates, reduce ventilator days, reduce hospital-acquired infections and improve ICU and hospital length of stay.”

TeamHealth ARMC Critical Care physicians share this level of Critical Care training and research with the next generation of intensivists.

Being part of a team that really has a solid footprint in acute care nationally is an enormous benefit to younger doctors who are coming out of training,” said Dr. Gipe.

Learn more about TeamHealth Critical Care partnerships here.