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Healthcare Hero: Renee Pimentel
Renee pic
Renee Pimentel - photo by Photo Contributed

If you do not know Renee Pimentel, you should. While not a household name she is a healthcare hero.

Her primary position is Director of Emergency Services at Emanuel Medical Center, but that is only one of her jobs.   Renee is that amazing professional who juggles multiple jobs, varied family and community responsibilities, but never loses her focus on what matters most: quality patient care.

Renee has been a licensed Nurse Practitioner since 2009, and prior to that worked as a registered nurse.  She received her Nurse Practitioner’s degree from Sonoma State University, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Holy Names University, Stanislaus.  She has always believed that education is one of the pillars of learning.  Clearly this is a family trait because her husband, Jerry, also has an advanced medical degree.  He is a licensed Physician’s Assistant.

There are three qualities that distinctly define Renee: quality patient care, the unrelenting pursuit of understanding the “why" and family.

Quality patient care is part of the fabric of who Renee is.  While she is Director of Emergency Services (the Emergency Room) at Emanuel, she has a reputation for rolling up her sleeves to help with an over- crowded emergency department.  To her, excellent patient care is what matters most, and is the one quality that people you talk with say is synonymous with Renee.

However, people admire and respect Renee in and outside the hospital setting.  When Renee is not working at Emanuel, she is using her Nurse Practitioner skills at an urgent care clinic or elsewhere.  Her goal is a simple one: offer care to those in need recognizing that sometimes care is simply listening.  As one physician shared with me when asked about Renee, she has these amazing intuitive abilities — the skillfulness to listen to what the patient is saying and not, and the medical understanding to probe to ensure the patient ultimately feels comfortable sharing everything.  This is a quality you cannot teach someone – they either possess it or not.  Renee redefines excellence in patient care.

The quality of Renee the person is best described as that daughter who wraps care and love into a single package.   As her parents are aging, Renee and her husband decided it was important for mom and dad to live with them.  They expanded the house to accommodate them, and in doing so, sent a quiet but subtle message to the community and their friends.  No aging parent should ever fear that a nursing home is right around the corner.  Rather, she personifies the belief that as my parents cared for me, it’s my turn to care for them.  Renee is that person who would simply never betray a promise.

Family for Renee is a love.  The mother of seven children and four and a half grandchildren, family has always been at the core of defining Renee.  Not always easy, but unwavering.  Her commitment to family has never sputtered to an end, she has refused to ever let that flame extinguish.

In all of our lives, the bridge of time is not always kind, but for Renee she simply refused to let anything stop her pursuit of quality care for patients, being a mom, a friend and a wife.  She always has that cheerful optimism, and for those in need, time to listen.  That’s why Renee Pimentel is a healthcare hero.

— Jeffrey Lewis is the President and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment a Turlock-based philanthropy serving parts of Stanislaus and Merced Counties.  He can be reached at (