Community Memorial Hospital Welcomes New Chief of Staff, Dr. Deborah Carlson

(Ventura, California) This year, Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) welcomes a new Chief of Staff, Dr. Deborah Carlson of Ventura, a longtime leader at CMH who has focused on improving policies and helping to adopt best practices for patients and the medical staff.

“It’s a difficult time right now for physicians and healthcare workers due to the stresses of the pandemic. I’m glad I have a chance to try to ease the burden for our medical staff while also enhancing patient care,” said Dr. Carlson, who underwent a bone marrow transplant for leukemia in February 2020. 

Dr. Carlson is grateful to the many members of the Community Memorial Health System Medical Staff who traveled to City of Hope to donate platelets when she needed them or signed up as bone marrow donors. Now that she has returned to work, she said she looks forward to giving back to the medical community in a new way.

Dr. Carlson has enjoyed a long and successful career at CMHS, having joined the Community Memorial Hospital Medical Staff over 25 years ago. Board certified in Internal Medicine, she has served at the hospital in many capacities, including as a Palliative Care Team physician, a Hospitalist and as the original Program Director for Community Memorial Health System’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. “I feel that my greatest legacy is the young doctors I graduate,” said Dr. Carlson. “They are the physicians of our future.”   

In a leadership role, Dr. Carlson has served as the Chief of Staff, Vice Chief of Staff, and as Secretary/Treasurer of the Medical Staff Executive Committee. She’s also headed several other important hospital committees, including serving as the first chair of the new EMPOWER Committee (Employment of Metrics for the Promotion of Wellness and the Enhancement of Resilience). The medical staff leadership launched the EMPOWER committee last summer to help the medical staff handle the stress and burnout brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee’s goals are to evaluate personal, professional, and organizational factors that affect physician well-being, satisfaction, and productivity; to identify best practices that can positively influence those factor; and to implement practices that promote an optimal workplace and improve medical staff well-being. In December 2020, Dr. Carlson launched a monthly e-newsletter called “CMHS Medical Staff Matters” to help keep the staff informed about decisions from the Medical Executive Committee and new initiatives of the EMPOWER Committee. 

Dr. Carlson has also chaired CMH’s Quality Assessment and Improvement Committee and the Department of Medicine, and she started the Inpatient Medicine Division at CMH, a committee that brings together numerous hospital departments to help solve problems and improve patient care by encouraging collaboration and breaking down operational silos. 

Dr. Carlson earned her medical degree from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1990 and completed her internship and residency at LAC-USC Medical Center.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system that comprises Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and several primary and specialty care clinics that serve communities throughout Ventura County, California. 


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