Long-time Employee Dorthy Ball Retires

Dorthy Ball Retires

Aurora Charter Oak Hospital bid a fond farewell to Dorthy Ball, RN who retired in August, 2018 after 20+ years of outstanding patient care, teaching, training and quality improvement activities at the hospital. Not only did Dorthy train hundreds of RNs and other employees at Charter Oak, but she also had a long and distinguished career as an educator and Assistant Dean at Mt. San Antonio College, where she helped to start the Psychiatric Technician Program

Pictured (l to r): Sheila Cordova, COO; Todd Smith, CEO; Dorthy Ball, RN


Aurora Vista Del Mar Rebuilds

Aurora Vista Del Mar Modular Office Installation

On the night of Dec. 4, the Thomas Fire razed two key structures at Aurora Vista del Mar Hospital – our sister hospital just north of Ventura. For nearly four months, 75 percent of Ventura County’s psychiatric beds, and a large proportion of its psychiatric outpatient services, were shut down. With the facility offline, area behavioral health directors saw more adolescents in crisis – including cases with serious outcomes. “It’s a delicate matter, but it’s reality,” Aurora Vista del Mar CEO Jenifer Nyhuis said. “This is the reason we moved so fast to reopen. Our motto is, ‘Every day matters.’”

Working with the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) and the California Hospital Association, California Assembly member Monique Limón introduced AB 417, which created a temporary exemption in state licensing regulations for the facility. Signed by the governor on March 23, the exemption allowed Aurora Vista del Mar to reopen outpatient services at an offsite location in Ventura, about four miles south of the main campus. (Vista del Mar Outpatient Services can be reached at 805-653-6434.)

When it reopens, the number of beds onsite will be 55 — compared to the pre-fire number of 87. Outpatient services will remain at the temporary site for two or three more years. Current plans call for additional construction to restore, and perhaps increase, the hospital’s pre-fire capacity. “We plan to rebuild the structures destroyed in the fire to regain, and potentially increase, the number of inpatient beds,” Nyhuis said. “The process is projected to take at least two years.”

(Editor's note: The hospital is scheduled to re-open at the end of September)

May 9, 2018   Audra Strickland astrickland@hasc.org


Aurora Charter Oak and The Jason Foundation Provide Suicide Prevention Education to Local Community

Suicide is a national health problem that is also one of the leading causes of preventable death in our nation. 

In California:

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for middle and high school age youth (12 – 18).
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for college age youth (18 – 22).

The California Youth Risk Behavioral Survey reported:

  • Over 1 out of 7 young people seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months
  • Almost 1 out of 11 young people attempted suicide in the past twelve months

The Jason Foundation and Aurora Charter Oak Hospital are partners in raising awareness and providing education in our local community about youth suicide. 

The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) is a national leader in youth suicide awareness and prevention programs targeted to address the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide.  Aurora Charter Oak Hospital is the affiliate office for JFI in Covina, CA. Affiliate offices serve as a hub where parents, teachers, guidance counselors, students, churches and other community organizations can obtain educational materials and learn about training programs available through JFI.  All programs, services, and materials are available to the public at no cost. 

Todd Smith, CEO of Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, said, “We are proud to be affiliated with The Jason Foundation.  Aurora Charter Oak Hospital recognizes how serious the problem of suicide is among adolescents and young adults. Every day, we work with individuals who are at-risk for suicide.  The Jason Foundation has developed excellent awareness and education materials and we are very pleased to have these additional resources for our community.”

Clark Flatt, President of JFI said, “Awareness and education are the foundation for prevention. We are very proud of our work with Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in helping to provide communities across California with programs and resources to help build this foundation for prevention.”

About JFI

JFI is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting “The Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through educational programs and resources for young people, educators, parents, and other community groups.  JFI, headquartered in Hendersonville, TN, was founded in 1997 after the tragic death of Jason Flatt, the 16-year-old son of Clark Flatt. For more information, please visit JFI’s website, www.jasonfoundation.com   

The Jason Foundation representative at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital is Steve Jennings, who may be reached at 626-214-2029 or steve.jennings@aurorabehavioral.com       


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