Emergency Services Team at Palomar Health


Jaime Rivas, M.D., F.A.C.E.P.

Medical Director
California Emergency Physicians Medical Group Palomar Medical Center & Pomerado Hospital

Dr. Rivas, a highly accomplished and award winning physician, is a full partner with the California Emergency Physicians (CEP) which he joined in 1996 and serves as Medical Director of the Emergency Departments at Palomar Health’s two north county hospitals. He also served as the start-up Medical Director at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, CA in 1999.

Dr. Rivas earned a Baccalaureate in Physiology at the University of California, San Diego and attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he graduated with the honor of Excellence in Emergency Medicine. He also completed his Emergency Medicine residency at UIC.

Dr. Rivas is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), California Chapter, and a member of the Compensation Committee. He has served as a board member of the Palomar Health Foundation, and is a current board member of the CEP. In 2000, Dr. Rivas received CEP’s San Diego Regional Physician of the Year award.

When he is not working, Dr. Rivas enjoys surfing, soccer and tennis.

Catherine Prante RN, MSN

Emergency Services Director
Palomar Medical Center

Since 1990 when she received her Associate Degree in Nursing at Grossmont College, Cathy Prante has applied her extensive skills at hospitals and facilities throughout the San Diego area. From 1990 to 2007, she worked in pediatrics at Rady Children’s Hospital as a nurse. Her primary focus was in the pediatric emergency / trauma center. She held positions in bedside nursing, leadership and education at Rady Children’s before joining San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Care in 2007. There she also served in the Access Center in a leadership position.

Cathy’s passion for holistic patient care and identifying opportunities to contribute to and improve excellent patient care intensified while earning her Masters Degree In Nursing Science at San Diego State University.

Cathy joined Palomar Health in the role of Emergency Services Director for Palomar Medical center because of its reputation for an excellent nursing work environment, the community it serves, and the opportunity to serve on a dynamic leadership team.

Cathy grew up in San Diego, spending much of her childhood on beaches and playing in local canyons. Today she is married and has three adult children. Her free time is spent with family and friends, as well as in cooking, collecting wine, gardening, hiking and reading.

Joanne Barnett, RN, BSN

Emergency Services Manager
Pomerado Hospital

Joanne graduated from nursing school in 1986 and went on to receive her BSN from California State University Dominquez Hills. She has been with Palomar Health since 2004.

Her nursing experience includes work in Pediatric Intensive care, Adult Intensive Care, and for the past 16 years, the Emergency Department. She has trauma experience at a level two trauma center and transport experience including Critical Care Ground Transport and Helicopter Flight Nursing with Mercy Air Services for more than ten years.

Prior to her hospital experience, Joanne was involved in the RSI study for the county of San Diego. She was a speaker for multiple Emergency Medical Services field care audits and trauma care conferences in San Diego.

Joanne’s article, “Coping with the Dark Side: The Psychological Implications of Sudden Vision Loss Due to Trauma” was published in Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmologic Emergencies.

She is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE.)



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