First, do no harm: Vision for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital shared with Red Rose Society donors |

First, do no harm: Vision for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital shared with Red Rose Society donors

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

When Dr. Brian Evans was a physician at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, he became sick and a bit afraid — in his own hospital.

“I found myself a patient in my own emergency department,” he said.

But he felt comforted by hospital staff, and for his peace of mind, that made a significant difference.

Evans, the CEO and president of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, announced he wanted compassion to be a priority at his hospital.

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“Our objective is to get to zero harm” committed by physicians and hospital employees, said Evans. He wants to offer an exceptional hospital “from and for” the community.

Evans was talking about the current and future climate of the hospital at an event Tuesday night meant to honor Red Rose Society members, or people who donate $1,000 or more each year to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“(It is) kind of like a ‘state of the hospital’ event,” said Sandra Barrington, associate director for the foundation.

There are about 280 total individuals, couples or groups that comprise the Red Rose Society, said Barrington, most of them residing in Nevada County.

“We can’t do what we do at our hospital without philanthropy,” said Kimberly Parker, executive director for the foundation.

The foundation has a goal of raising $2 million this year, of which they have achieved about $1.5 million, said Parker.

The hospital put donation money toward projects like constructing a nuclear medicine camera, CT scan, and adding Americans with Disabilities Act compliant signage and restrooms, said Evans. The hospital is renovating a pharmacy to be completed by September.

Evans said a good margin to operate a hospital at is 2%. Nevada County’s hospital operates at “about .2 percent.”

Keeping margins high concerns Evans as, he said, about 100 community hospitals closed over the last 10 years in the U.S.

Much of the money for the hospital, said Evans, helps pay about 800 employees, making the institution one of the largest employers next to the county.

Generally, the president and CEO is trying to help his staff uphold the hospital’s five values: stewardship, excellence, collaboration, justice and dignity.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at

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