I grew up in this area. I was very familiar with Highland Hospital. So when I went to nursing school, one of the things I was looking for was a facility that could provide me with a strong experience in nursing that would further my career.

I always wanted was to pursue a master’s degree, which I was successful in doing about five years ago. I entered into a program for a master’s of public administration, and had the full support of my supervisor in making that happen for me.

The Transfer Center was started about three years ago. I was recruited to implement that department. We had gone into partnership with San Leandro Hospital and Alameda Hospital, which were both smaller community hospitals. Our goal was to utilize them as a backup to Highland, to bridge the ability to move patients back and forth among all three of our acute-care campuses. Our emergency department on the Highland campus is very impacted, and many of our patients can be treated at our local community hospitals, within our system.

We evaluate all those cases and position patients into an inpatient environment as soon as possible, even if it’s not on the Highland campus. We are still able to provide all services, and they get the benefit of not being held in an emergency room. It’s a mutual transfer process.

Teamwork is a pivotal point for this facility. We are very collaborative. We strive for that. We all encourage each other. The collaboration is among all staff — from the physicians to the housekeepers — everybody plays a role when a patient comes through our facility. We depend on each other.

Susan Caraballo-David
Supervisor, Transfer Center
Alameda Health System–Highland Hospital