Jenifer Nyhuis, CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital in Ventura, was presented with the 2019 Šimanek Distinguished Service Award on Dec. 9 during the 14th annual Behavioral Health Care Symposium in Riverside. Named for its first recipient, attorney Joe Šimanek, the award 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 much of Vista del Mar’s campus in Ventura. She chose to evacuate the hospital rather than wait for instructions to do so. Ultimately, 75 patients were evacuated with no injuries, prior to the fire overtaking the facility.