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CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital receives the Šimanek Distinguished Service Award

vista del mar
Vista del Mar Hospital
Vista del Mar CEO in Ventura won an award for taking action during the Thomas Fire.

VENTURA, Calif. - Jenifer Nyhuis, CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital in Ventura, has received the 2019 Šimanek Distinguished Service Award from the California Hospital Association Center for Behavioral Health.

The Šimanek Distinguished Service Award is named after the first recipient of the award, Joe Šimanek, and recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in the behavioral health setting.

Vista del Mar Hospital said Nyhuis was just six months into her tenure as CEO when the Thomas Fire destroyed Vista del Mar’s Administration and Patient Care buildings during December 2017.

Nyhuis took early action to evacuate the patients and staff from her hospital during the fire.

“Jenifer exercised her sharpened leadership instincts and made the critical decision to evacuate the hospital, securing the safety of her staff and patients,” said George W. Greene, Esq., President and CEO of the Hospital Association of Southern California. “Following the devastation caused by the fire, she has been a powerhouse in working with city officials on civil infrastructure, statewide leaders for planning approvals and the surrounding community to re-open the hospital. It was sheer determination that the hospital was operational in just 10 months.”

The hospital said 70 patients and 25 staff members were evacuated with no injuries within a few hours of the fire overtaking the campus.

“I am truly appreciative of the solid team and my incredible family that has surrounded me throughout this process," said Nyhuis. "I could never have imagined going through something this significant, but this life event has shown me my inner strength and perseverance through the most challenging times.”

The Vista del Mar Hospital in Ventura specializes in stabilization and dual diagnosis for patients with mental illness and chemical dependency. It is located at 801 Seneca Street in Ventura.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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