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Our stories

“I am grateful that in our rural community, emergency medical healthcare remains accessible.

The Jerold Phelps Community Hospital has made it possible for me to continue working here in this sublime place I call home doing what I am passionate about, teaching music to elementary school students.

The Jerold Phelps Community Hospital has made it possible for me to continue working here in this sublime place I call home

I never expected to be diagnosed with an incurable cancer (Chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL).  It’s something that I can live with, but it does weaken my immune system.  Teaching in an elementary classroom is probably not the safest workplace for me but I have the medical back up I need.  I’ve had some serious infections, including about twelve bouts of pneumonia and my first care when I get a fever is at our local Emergency Room in Garberville.  Sometimes I’ve needed follow-up care at major hospitals.  One time I was admitted to our local hospital to recover from pneumonia and in 2017, I had a short stay at our skilled nursing facility after having surgery at UCSF for a brain infection.

Because CLL is incurable, I’ve had three chemo treatments to keep it under control.  I have a surgically placed infusion port which needs maintenance every four months.  Thanks to our emergency room, I do not have to drive to Eureka to get this done.

Supporting our local hospital is important because it allows me and others like me to continue to live here and be a part of this community!

-Hal Lepoff,
Former violin section leader, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
Music Teacher at Redway Elementary School


“In recent months I have had occasion to need care for health issues that were unexpected and scary. Generally, I try to stay informed and treat myself at home, have patience with vague symptoms, and not go running to the doc until really necessary. So when I finally went to the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic last spring, I was beginning to feel pretty frightened about my health.

From the moment I called for an appointment until the most recent diagnostic visit just a week or so ago, I received stellar treatment. Every provider and every staff member treated me with dignity and concern, and showed utmost professionalism in all aspects of my care.

Every provider and every staff member treated me with dignity and concern, and showed utmost professionalism in all aspects of my care.

The lab, the CT staff, the front desk, and the medical assistants were all friendly and efficient and I felt seamlessly supported throughout the various departments I required services from. The providers themselves were truly caring and went above and beyond in communication with follow-up and test results.

This recent experience contributes to a different kind of well-being than is normally expected of a healthcare facility. The comforting feeling that excellent care is available locally is an immeasurable factor in good health. Thank you.”

-Ann Constantino,
Yoga teacher, personal trainer and youth sports coach in Southern Humboldt since 1990


A while ago after eating lunch, I suddenly began feeling sick. Within minutes I had intense itching and swelling of my lips, hands, and feet, and shortness of breath. What I learned was I had a life-threatening allergic response, which came without warning.

Steve, my husband, whisked me to the ER at the center of Garberville. I was seen immediately by the ER physician and given a shot of epinephrine and other medications.

Thankfully, as soon as I was treated, my symptoms began to subside, but they kept me for a few hours of observation until I was stable. Had the hospital and ER not been there I would have died.

You never know when an emergency could happen. We are fortunate to have doctors, nurses, and healthcare facilities in our community.

In an emergency, minutes matter. Your life of the life of someone you love could depend on it.

-Christina Huff,
Garberville resident



I had fallen asleep in my favorite chair when I suddenly woke up. It felt like somebody had hit me in the chest with a baseball bat.

I knew I was having a heart attack and couldn’t wait for an ambulance to come and get me. Connie drove me to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital ER and as soon as she helped me through the door, the staff wasted no time in rushing me in to see the doctor. He immediately ran extensive tests to make sure I was stable enough to travel by ambulance to get the help I needed. The doctor forwarded my results and adamantly demanded they have a cardiologist ready on site when I arrived. He called more than once to emphasize the seriousness of my condition and I thank God he did! If they hadn’t been prepared to receive me with the right staff in place, I would not be here today. I was in rough shape and ultimately life-flighted to St. Helena and underwent extensive open-heart surgery the very next day.

I’m alive today because of the experienced and dedicated staff at our healthcare district who stabilized me and conveyed the urgent need for special staff to receive me for my best chance of survival. I am so very grateful that we have a hospital and I know Connie, my three grown children and my five grandchildren are too.

-Larry Basquez,
Garberville resident


“I support the new hospital because it was at our ER that our daughter, Angie finally received care after many frustrating trips up north waiting hours to be seen.”

-Kristi Nicola-Clark and Roger Clark


“Before my husband, Stewart, was sent to Santa Rosa Hospital for a successful triple bypass he was stabilized at our local hospital. Having that local emergency room is essential in our rural community. Although our hospital is not perfect, let’s move forward to improve it–because we need it!”

-Lelia Moskowitz


“The Garberville Hospital treated a severe BMX induced staph infection in my shin as a teenager. I may have lost my leg without their help. Any community lucky enough to have a hospital should support this campaign.”

-Ross Huber