Delivering babies, celebrating birthdays

Community hospital reflects on the past, looks forward towards the future 

Twin Cities Community Hospital recently celebrated their 40-year anniversary, in conjunction with National Hospital Week. A ceremony and ribbon-cutting honoring past and present employees, medical staff, volunteers, governing board members and founding physicians was held in the courtyard area directly in front of the hospital.

A community wellness fair took place immediately following the ceremony from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Blood pressure checks, BMI calculations, healthy recipes, breastfeeding support and information on local health resources were all available free of cost. Hundreds attended the event, including hospital staff, local dignitaries, and general members of the community. Twin Cities Hospital opened its doors officially in 1977. Prior to that, citizens of Paso Robles and Atascadero, (the “Twin Cities”) had to go to either Atascadero General Hospital, or Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital, both of which had become outdated and lacked state-of-the-art equipment.

The new hospital united the two locales with some of the newest and most sophisticated equipment available, and was built in the beautiful town of Templeton, halfway between North County’s two main cities. The hospital also attracted specialty physicians that far surpassed what had been available at the older two hospitals. Today, the hospital’s reputation has grown, and the town of Templeton has become the recognized medical hub of the county.

Many local dignitaries spoke at the event, including Atascadero Councilwoman Heather Moreno. She said coming from Southern California, she took world-class medical facilities for granted. Upon her first visit, she was immediately impressed with Twin Cities, but said she can also imagine a time when the hospital wasn’t there. The citizens of North County are blessed to have access to world-class medical facilities while still living in a beautiful area with small-town charm.

Representative Debbie Arnold shared her first experience with the hospital. She shared a story about how, while she was 8 months pregnant, she had to drive her sick husband from Carissa Plains to Templeton for medical attention. Upon checking in and seeing her… condition… hospital staff put her in a wheelchair and began to wheel her away when she had to protest, “no we’re not here for me, it’s my husband!”

CEO Mark Lisa beamed with pride when asked what was his favorite part about working with Twin Cities. He said it is very gratifying to come home from work every day and know that he was part of a team that was helping save lives. He says the hospital staff, at the end of their shifts, although exhausted, emit a “warm glow that we’ve helped someone.”

The hospital has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 40 years, both with internal staff and external architecture. 10 years ago, in 2007, a new tower was built to mark the hospital’s 30th anniversary and better care for the needs of the community. This construction changed the entire façade of the building and brought the total number of beds to 122.

Twin Cities Community Hospital CEO Mark Lisa treats the crowd with a speech, while beaming about the impact TCCH has made in the community.

Now, with a medical staff of more than 200 physicians (10 times the original number) and 400 caregivers and support staff, the three-story hospital specializes in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedics and a broad array of medical, surgical and outpatient services.

The hospital’s critical care unit has received the Beacon Award for meeting rigid criteria for excellence, exhibiting high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients’ families. It has been designated a “Center of Excellence” by Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Total Hip and Knee Replacement, and is listed in U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals in the treatment of congestive heart failure.

Twin Cities is located at 1100 Las Tablas Rd in Templeton. For more information, call (805) 434-3500 or visit www.twincitieshospital.com.