SVMC welcomes all-doctor, PA hospital board

The Sun-Gazette

Sierra View Medical Center’s new board members include two doctors and a physician’s assistant

PORTERVILLE – It’s not uncommon for nurses and doctors to sit on the local hospital board, but Sierra View Medical Center can boast that all five of its board members are doctors or physicians assistants.

Sierra View Local Healthcare District (SVLHCD), the public agency overseeing the Porterville hospital, held its first full board of directors meeting following the November election of Liberty Lomeli, PA-C, Dr. Bindusagar Reddy, MD, and the re-election of Dr. Gaurang Pandya, MD. Returning members of the board include Dr. Ashok Behl, MD and Dr. Kent Sorrells, PhD.

Sierra View’s board gathered in late December where the three newly elected members were sworn in and took an oath of office. The board selected Sorrells as the new chairman, Pandya as the vice chair and Lomeli as secretary of the board. Jan. 26 was the first opportunity the board has had to meet as a group. During this first meeting, the main topics that were presented to the board and discussed were nursing education, an update on the pandemic: the COVID-19 vaccine and testing, and hospital financials.

“With keeping a common mission and vision of promoting health and ensuring access to high quality health care services to meet the needs of the community, I believe our board is equipped to guide us into a future that continues to strengthen our efforts to provide a strong health care facility,” said Donna Hefner, chief executive officer of Sierra View Medical Center.

Reddy, who is triple-board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a local cardiologist, represents District 1. He has been a part of the Porterville community for nearly 30 years.

“My background in medicine and business, coupled with my Bakersfield Heart Hospital Board experience, gives me a unique perspective on how to run a successful medical center while prioritizing patient care,” Reddy said. “I look forward to the opportunity to bring this knowledge and a fresh perspective to the SVMC Board.”

Also new to the board is Lomeli, currently a physician’s assistant at Family HealthCare Network and representing District 4. Lomeli has deep roots in Porterville and he wants to see the hospital that is fundamental to this area, continue to thrive.

“Sierra View is my hospital and as a community member and patient, I truly want the best for our hospital and the people it serves,” Lomeli said. “The reason I wanted to be on the board is to make a difference and I believe I can because of my long-time experience in health care.” Lomelli has 30 years of experience in the industry and got his start in the U.S. Marines and the Navy before returning to his home town.

Pandya, who represents District 2, has served on the board since 2012 and has been active in the community for more than 30 years. In fact, Pandya volunteered for Active Military Duty after his surgery residency and relocated to Porterville and began his private General Surgery Practice in 1988.

“I am very thankful to our district residents for placing their trust in me and giving me an opportunity to serve them, so that together we can make a difference,” Pandya commented. “We have an opportunity to help steer the local health care delivery system in a direction to provide high quality local medical and surgical services so that our patients do not have to travel to get those services out of the area.”

Start typing and press Enter to search