Four New iPads Donated to the Grossman Burn Center ICU at San Joaquin Community Hospital

Four New iPads Donated to the Grossman Burn Center ICU at San Joaquin Community Hospital


iPad burn pic

From left: Karen Garner, Trever Martinusen, Ralph Renz, Darci Combs


The name for a new program that will bring four iPads to the Chain Cohn Stiles ICU, Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital came about pretty naturally: “Keeping Survivors Connected iPad Program.”


And that’s what the use of this technology is meant to do – enable burn survivors as well as their loved ones to maintain connections to their family, friends, co-workers, etc. while they undergo treatment.


Thanks to the joint efforts of the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation and Chevrolet Limited of Bakersfield, burn survivors and their families will have full use of an iPad – and all the “connections” the device can offer – throughout their stay at the burn center.


“As we’ve seen, if there is a child here in the burn unit, one or both of the parents are with them 24/7, as any parent would be,” said Trever Martinusen, a captain with the Bakersfield Fire Department and the executive director of the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation. “Having these iPads here allows those parents and the patients to use Skype or e-mail, whatever they want, to stay in touch with their other children and family members.”


Of course, burn patients of all ages are also free to use the iPads for entertainment, education and keeping in touch with classmates/teachers. Perhaps most importantly, the iPads can provide distraction. In fact, each of the four iPads will be equipped with waterproof cases that can withstand use in the the inpatient burn unit’s hydro-therapy room.

“If these iPads can be a diversion tool while a patient is undergoing treatment that could be painful, then we are happy to provide those tools,” Martinusen said.


The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation partnered with Chevrolet Limited of  Bakersfield – a local car club that started as a social organization but expanded into supporting several charities – for funding the Keeping Burn Survivors Connected Program. The club has teamed up with the foundation for the last 13 years.


“The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation does the barbecue at our annual car show, so the support goes both ways,” said Ralph Renz, vice president of Chevrolet Limited of Bakersfield. “One of our members presented the idea of making a $2,000 donation that would provide iPads to the inpatient unit at the Grossman Burn Center at SJCH and we thought it was a great idea because with our grandkids, we see how reliant society, and especially kids, has become on technology. Hopefully, it can help make their experience a little brighter.”


Martinusen added that he plans to make a presentation about the Keeping Burn Survivors Connected Program at the American Burn Association’s annual conference in March 2014. By then, he should also be able to share iPad tracking results that will show the most popular uses of the devices.


“We hope to inspire others to start a program like this so that other burn patients and their families can stay connected, too,” Martinusen said.


Since opening in 2009, the Grossman Burn Center at SJCH has cared for more than 1,000 patients, with burns ranging from small scalds to life-threatening full-body burns. Of those patients, approximately 40 percent were children under the age of 18. Before the center opened, residents were forced to travel more than 100 miles from Bakersfield in order to receive specialized burn treatment.


To learn more about the Grossman Burn Center and its services, please visit or call us at 661-395-3000.