Author Archives: Helina Hoyt, RN, MS

About Helina Hoyt, RN, MS

I have always had a passion for people, and nursing has provided great opportunities to help those within my community. I was born and raised in the Imperial Valley. I grew up in a farming family. At the age of 16, I was anxious to get started with nursing and become a Certified Nursing Assistant through Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program. After graduating from Holtville High School in 1991, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Azusa Pacific University. While at Azusa, I worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Post-bachelor’s degree, I was one of 14 to participate in a Critical Care and Trauma Nurse Internship through Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. After marrying my high school sweetheart, we returned to the Imperial Valley so that our children could be raised with family nearby. Initially, I worked at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, CA as a Charge Nurse in the ICU. After a rough pregnancy, I decided to enter school nursing, and attended San Diego State University to earn a master’s degree in Community Health Nursing, as well as a School Nurse Credential. After nearly nine years in school nursing, I became the RN-BS Program Coordinator for San Diego State University-Imperial Valley. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to improve the health of our community through nursing leadership and evidence-based practice, as the president of the Imperial Valley Nursing Council. I am married and love being a mom to two children, ages 8 and 12. I am proud to be a cancer survivor and an advocate for Type I Diabetes, since my son’s diagnosis at the age of 7.

Asthma Prevention in Imperial County

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My nephew in Imperial Valley suffers from asthma. This has been both scary and hard to handle for his parents and grandparents. It began with a trip to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Since diagnosis, he has taken daily medications. Even on maintenance medications, his mom must be prepared for an attack. She always has fast-acting medications such as an inhaler and nebulizer machine available. The family is aware that any time the wind blows or after it rains, extra precautions must be taken. He has been fortunate to have physicians in San Diego that have helped the family gain control. The family travels to San Diego because there are not enough providers in Imperial County. But many children in Imperial County with asthma don’t have that opportunity.

The Most Polluted River in North America

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The New River originates in Mexico and flows into the United States through Calexico, California. The river eventually meets up with the Salton Sea, a large inland sea. The New River is the most polluted river in the U.S. Residents living in towns near the river – like Calexico and Holtville – have complained about the ‘rotten egg’ odor for many years. Various reports showed that high phosphorous levels in the river create the smell. Although no evidence shows breathing in the fumes is harmful, there are warnings posted everywhere that contact with the water is dangerous.

At the Colorado River Citizens Forum meeting held in El Centro on June 7, 2011, people discussed extensive work being done to decrease the pollutants in the New River.

Imperial County Fears Losing Kids Health Program

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In November of 1998, California voted on a 50 cent tax per cigarette pack (Proposition 10). Since then, the revenue has been used for First 5 California, a child health and education program for kids five years old or younger. … Continue reading »

The Future of Nursing is Bright in Imperial County

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Desperate times in Imperial County call for desperate measures. There is clearly a shortage of all types of health care providers, and educational opportunities are quite limited. Several innovative approaches have been initiated, but funding continues to be a core issue. Locally, many health disparities exist and there is a lack of focus on primary prevention. There are also multiple border-related issues and high poverty rates. Being a rural community in a hot, arid desert region creates complex issues for recruiting highly specialized providers.

Emergency Response Training in Imperial County

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In light of the recent earthquake in Japan and the 7.2 magnitude quake that shook Imperial County last Easter, dialogue has resurfaced about the need for more Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). In Imperial County, the Imperial County Public Health Department has taken the lead in ensuring local community members are trained and able to respond should a significant disaster occur.