This month, Alameda Health System (AHS) experienced profound tragedy and challenges.
On Monday, Sep. 5, a beloved AHS physician resident intern, Dr. Jing Mai, died of an apparent suicide at Highland Hospital. We have been in close contact with Dr. Mai’s family as they grieve this enormous loss. Dr. Mai’s father requested that we share the following message with AHS on behalf of the Mai family:
Jing Mai was suffering from serious anxiety and depression. She had sought treatments and had the support of her family, friends, AHS, and the AHS-Highland Internal Medicine Residency program. We have posted information about what happened on Jing’s Facebook page and hundreds of people are expressing their condolences. Jing was very loved by so many people. Thank you for the help and support AHS staff has provided to Jing and the family.
As we were grieving Dr. Mai’s heartbreaking passing, on Wednesday, Sep. 7, we learned that John George Psychiatric Hospital (JGPH) nurse Maria Tran was killed, along with her husband. Maria was a brilliant and excellent nurse who cared deeply for those we serve. She had many friends at AHS who are mourning her loss.
My sincerest condolences go out to Maria Tran’s and Dr. Jing Mai’s friends, families, and colleagues. These compounded tragedies are traumatic for us all, especially those who worked closely with Maria and Dr. Mai. However, none of us are grieving alone. Support and mental health services are available to all who need them. The most up-to-date information about when and where to access help is on the AHS intranet here. Please support a culture of well-being by taking advantage of mental health support for yourself, encouraging others to seek help, and doing your part to destigmatize seeking behavioral and mental health services.
These terrible events unfolded at the height of a heat wave that strained the entire infrastructure of California. AHS experienced electrical issues at our Fairmont campus, JGPH, and San Leandro Hospital, including the temporary failure of some cooling systems. Staff across the system mobilized and worked diligently to procure, install or repair the equipment we needed to ensure the safety of staff and patients. We owe them all our gratitude.
I am beyond proud of how we came together during these challenging times. I witnessed the strength of our AHS community as we leaned on each other, consoled one another, and stepped up to help when duty called. I thank staff members at every level of our organization who helped us continue to serve our patients despite our collective grief and difficult circumstances. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for you all.