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Jenifer Nyhuis, CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital, receives the Šimanek Distinguished Service Award

News Release

For Immediate Release: December 27, 2019

Contact: Jeanette Villanueva, Director of Business Development, (805) 746-1411, Email

During the devastating Thomas Fire, which destroyed much of the hospital campus, Nyhuis took early action to evacuate patients.

VENTURA, Calif. – Jenifer Nyhuis, CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital in Ventura, has received the 2019 Šimanek Distinguished Service Award from the California Hospital Association Center for Behavioral Health. The award, named after its first recipient attorney Joe Šimanek, recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in the behavioral health setting.

Nyhuis was just six months into her tenure as CEO in December 2017 when the Thomas Fire destroyed Vista del Mar’s Administration and Patient Care buildings.

“Jenifer exercised her sharpened leadership instincts and made the critical decision to evacuate the hospital, securing the safety of her staff and patients,” said George W. Greene, Esq., President and CEO of the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) “Following the devastation caused by the fire, she has been a powerhouse in working with city officials on civil infrastructure, statewide leaders for planning approvals, and the surrounding community to re-open the hospital. It was sheer determination that the hospital was operational in just 10 months.”

Seventy patients and 25 staff members were evacuated with no injuries, within just a few hours of the fire overtaking the campus.

“I feel extremely humbled and honored,“ said Nyhuis. “I am truly appreciative of the solid team and my incredible family that has surrounded me throughout this process. I could never have imagined going through something this significant, but this life event has shown me my inner strength and perseverance through the most challenging times.”

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About Vista del Mar Hospital:

Vista del Mar Hospital, which holds The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation, offers inpatient and outpatient programs for both adolescents and adults. The hospital specializes in stabilization and dual diagnosis for patients with mental illness and chemical dependency. In addition, Vista del Mar offers comprehensive outpatient services, including the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program, Adolescent/Adult Intensive Outpatient Program and the Adolescent Vista Day Program (partial hospitalization) to treat adolescence while maintaining academic responsibilities. The hospital also serves the military community with evidence-based therapies for active-duty military, veterans and their families. Vista del Mar Hospital is located in Ventura, California on 16 acres with ocean views.