Thanks to his week's correspondent:
Kristen Beall Watson
Invocation: Josh Shirley
Flag Salute: Pat Collins

Happy Birthday to Cathy Abernathy!



In honor of this week’s Democratic National Convention and the significant star power it draws, we viewed a clip from “Revolutionary Road” starring Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and our very own Jon Sampson.

Given that Jon is our closest proximity to Hollywood royalty, President Ken suggested that we follow his lead when it comes November’s ballot – Vote Hollywood!


New Member Induction

President Ken introduced the Club’s newest member - Ashley Sodergren.

Ashley serves as the Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter.  She has been with the Alzheimer’s Association since May 2018 and previously spent 8 years with the American Cancer Society. A product of Kern County, she graduated from Frazier Mountain High School and earned a B.A. in Business Administration from CSU San Bernardino. President Ken reminded the club that with Ashley, he has sponsored 14 new members and has his eyes set on toppling Sheryl Barbich from the “Most Members Sponsored Throne.” Watch out Sheryl…..

Save the Date: A Virtual Margarita Party – Thursday, October 1st

This will be in place of our regular meeting at noon on that day. More information to follow but in keeping with a longstanding tradition, it will involve Lou and Sheryl Barbich. In fact, October 1st is Lou’s Birthday so undoubtedly it will be a huge blowout!


Good News & Announcements

President Ken revealed a picture of the new well that the Club had funded through a donation to Love Water.

Pat Collins announced that he has left the islands and found a new gig – Sunbelt Business Brokers and Advisors. Best of luck Pat!

Ken Keller shared that 4 BPD squad cars were parked at the entrance of the hospital. Like a responsible CEO, he stepped away from the meeting to ask if there was an issue. No issue – rather a celebration. One of their own had just delivered a new baby and they were there to escort the new mom and baby home as the baby’s father is currently serving overseas. Bakersfield proud!!!!

Joe Gregory announced that Grapevine MSP Technology Services has been named to Inc.com’s 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing privately held companies for the 5th year in a row and has achieved a ranking of 111 worldwide. Also making the list – Stria (Jim Damian) and Ascend Real Estate and Property Management (Nik Boone). In recognition of this amazing achievement, Joe received a $111 fine.

Wearing his Halle, Porter, Newland and Rickett sweatshirt, President Ken debuted the latest COVID Connect Video featuring Josh Shirley BRIEFLY sand surfing in Oceano with his son. Apologies to Sam Newland for the $50 fine.

Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed the preferential treatment Josh has received since Ken's succession to president? I wonder why?


Toni Harper introduced an amazing panel of healthcare leaders to give us an overview of the local COVID hospitalization numbers, treatment methods, and a future outlook regarding local hospital capacity and projected peak dates. 
From left to right:
Dr. Hemmal Kothary, Chief Medical Officer for Dignity Health Central California Division, CEO Bruce Peters, Mercy Downtown and Mercy Southwest Hospitals, CEO Ken Keller, Memorial Hospital
Bruce Peters, CEO of Mercy Downtown and Mercy Southwest Hospitals, began with a County update.
  • 27,388 positive cases (194 new today)
  • 229 deaths (1 new today)
The level of cooperation among local hospitals and Kern County Public Health has been excellent even with the recent spike in cases and hospitalizations. In response to the spike, teams of National Guard medics, nurses, respiratory therapists and even doctors have been assigned to local hospitals to provide relief to the overtaxed staff. Good news in the last week is that the number of patients hospitalized has continued to decline. As an example, at Mercy the number of patients hospitalized had reached the high 70’s a few weeks ago and it has declined to a count of 38 today. Bruce stressed that frontline workers have been doing amazing work throughout the pandemic. His message to Club members is that things are under control. They are prepared, ready and able to handle the current volume of positive cases and ramping up to handle the surge that is anticipated in the Fall
Ken Keller, CEO of Memorial Hospital, continued with more data.
  • 27,000 Kern residents have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 165,000 Kern residents have been tested
With 950,000 Kern residents in Kern County, these numbers show that 16% of all residents have been tested and of that population, 16% have tested positive. This number is still a little high and will keep Kern County on the State’s watch list for a little longer.
Ken reminded members to get a flu shot and get it early. Like Mercy, Memorial continues to prepare and plan. Their National Guard teams will be leaving today, and they have been a tremendous help. Internally, Ken and his staff spend a lot of time balancing COVID-19 efforts with more standard medical care.
Dr. Hemmel Kothary continued the presentation responding to a question in the chatbox – what will the 2020 flu season look like? His outlook is that current precautions may help minimize the impact. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Currently, COVID-19 is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart attacks and cancer. The medical community has learned a lot over the past few months – first and foremost we now know that COVID transmission is through droplets, not airborne.
The big issue continues to be testing and Dignity is increasing its internal testing capacity, completing a new lab in Arizona which will allow them to process 10,000 tests per day, as opposed to the current rate of 5,000 per week. More testing helps to reduce spread because it allows for people to get a diagnosis and quarantine.
While symptoms range considerably, the three most common are fever, fatigue and shortness of breath. Most cases have mild symptoms, requiring quarantining for 10 days. More serious cases need hospitalization and treatments vary. The key to treating an advanced case is stopping replication of the virus and minimizing inflammation. Dr. Kothary highlighted some of the common treatments, including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, IV steroids, Convalescent plasma, and a new medication out of Israel.
Dr. Kothary predicts that COVID-19 will be gone by Summer 2021 as long as we continue to social distance and wear masks. Current research indicates that herd immunity will occur when 46% of the population is immune. The several months will grow the numbers of people with immunity and then a vaccine in the 1st quarter of 2021 will take us to 46%. He reiterated that Flu shots were key this Fall but suggested waiting until October so that immunity would last well into the Spring.
Responding to a variety of questions in the chatbox, the panel provided the following additional information:
  • Public Health is conducting increasing levels of contact tracing.
  • While a smaller percentage of children are getting COVID, they still can serve as transmitters and those that unfortunately do get a serious case have a difficult time because of the inflammatory effects of the virus.
  • Frontline workers are staying safe. Those that contract the virus, generally are exposed through family gatherings, etc.
  • Fatigue tends to be a lingering condition for patients’ contracting COVID.
  • The predictive modeling that is being done is not completely accurate because several of the inputs are best guesses and difficult to determine
  • Besides masks and social distancing, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and use zinc lozenges, if your throat gets scratchy.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Leslie Golich
August 1
Russell V. Judd
August 3
Dave Turner
August 4
Bernie Barmann
August 5
Shawn Shambaugh
August 5
Ken Secor
August 6
Mike Chertok
August 6
Steve Illingworth
August 6
Lyle Martin
August 9
Edward R. Paine
August 10
Louis Gill
August 12
David Morton
August 14
Harry "Doc" Ervin
August 18
Cathy Abernathy
August 20
Susan Benham
August 24
Morgan Clayton
August 25
Lynn Blystone
August 28
Ron Eaves
August 28
Spouse Birthdays
Jerry Battisti
August 20
Bob Burdette
August 1
Duane Keathley
Corey Keathley
August 1
Patrick Collins
August 14
Join Date
Benjamin Taft
August 1, 2016
4 years
Ray Karpe
August 2, 2001
19 years
Nick Ortiz
August 4, 2016
4 years
Bob Burdette
August 15, 2002
18 years
Jorge Barrientos
August 15, 2019
1 year
Ken Carter
August 15, 1996
24 years
Michael George
August 16, 2012
8 years
Toni Harper
August 16, 2018
2 years
Dick Porter
August 23, 1984
36 years
Horace Mitchell
August 26, 2004
16 years
Bryon Schaefer
August 28, 2014
6 years
Duane Keathley
August 31, 2000
20 years
Jack D. Henderson
August 31, 1967
53 years

Area Meetings

Tuesday @ noon
Bakersfield North

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ noon
Bakersfield West
at the Stockdale Country Club

Wednesday @ 6:45 am
Bakersfield Breakfast

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ 6 pm
Bakersfield Twilight

at The Mark

Bakersfield  Downtown
at the Museum of Art

Friday @ noon
Bakersfield East

at Bakersfield Museum of Art

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