UC Irvine Health Affairs
 
 
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Gary Brentlinger

The following was written in the nomination of Gary Brentlinger:

“I am nominating Gary for extraordinary service to support a very unfortunate patient, Charley.  Last April, Charlie was a normal guy in Orange County on business from Georgia.  Charley had a sudden devastating change in his mental status with aggressive behaviors and speech.  He was admitted to another hospital with diagnosis of stroke.  Then discharged to a non-UCI rehab center.  Then Charley was brought to our ED as the rehab center could not handle his behaviors.  Charley did not meet criteria for an inpatient stay or rehab stay.  The decision was made to admit Charley to our ARU for supportive care and to determine a plan of care for him.  He has now been in ARU for two months.  The entire team of ARU physicians, therapists, case managers and nursing staff has provided him with skilled, compassionate care, even though his behaviors were very stressful for the unit.   Gary was able to form a relationship bond with the patient that challenged other care team members.  Charley's symptoms were quite atypical, and numerous diagnoses were ruled out.  Gary led the team as Mr. CSI in researching the symptoms, and a diagnosis of a quite rare thalamic dementia secondary to thalamic stroke was finally made.  Gary works tirelessly to find Charley's friends, family and a support system in Georgia which is almost non-existent.  Gary worked with Charley to learn the code to his cell phone, and with his permission searched out contacts and pictures.  Gary has made hundreds of phone calls to try to arrange for facility and insurance in Georgia to support Charley's return home.  The ARU case manager now calls Gary "Charley's Angel" and I totally agree!”

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