Kern Medical Center launches first Nuero Intensive Care Unit in Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -

Kern Medical Center is bringing together specially trained physicians, staff and monitoring equipment with the single goal of raising the standard of care for patients with neurological diseases.  Patients who have suffered from a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, brain tumor or an infection of the brain such as Valley Fever (coccidioidal meningitis) will be cared for by specialists in their field in the most appropriate setting.

Leading the medical teams in caring for these patients will be Dr. Royce Johnson, Chair of Medicine and Dr. Jan Eckermann, Chief of Neurosurgery.  These physicians work closely with nursing and other disciplines to manage each patient.  

“Medical research indicates that patients cared for in a specialized critical care unit have shorter hospital stays and enhanced recovery,” said Dr. Royce Johnson. “A Neuro ICU will clearly benefit our many neurological trauma, stroke and Valley Fever patients and will be a welcome resource for the whole community.” 

Dr. Eckermann added, “Neurological diseases tend to be complex and are best treated by specialists that have experience in applying neuroimaging and critical care technique to the specific needs of neurological patients. 

Neurocritical care units specialize in managing the unique needs of these patients.  Each room has been designed to promote healing and comfort for both the patient and their loved ones who spend hours at their bedside.  Amenities will include sleeper chairs and other features to make each room feel like home. 

The cost of renovation of the Neuro Intensive Care Unit has been funded by the KMC Foundation, a non-profit created to support the critical services that KMC provides to the entire region.  Dr. Eckermann recently joined the KMC Foundation Board and will work with the other board members in raising awareness of needs of our community and assist KMC in addressing and closing the gaps in care.

KMC serves as the area’s only Trauma Center and provides all members of our community access to basic and specialty care through a network of clinics, physicians, and affiliated medical groups. 

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