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 Escondido & Palomar Medical Center Poway

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.

Michelle Gunnett MSN, RSN, CEN

Emergency Services Director
Palomar Medical Center Escondido

Michelle received a bachelors of Science in Nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University and Masters of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from Loyola University, New Orleans.

Michelle has been with Palomar Health since 1999. While at Palomar Medical Center she has worked as a staff nurse, supervisor, manager, and assumed the role of Director in August 2014.
Michelle has a combined 22 years of Active Duty and Reserve service with the United States Navy Nurse Corp. She retired as a Commander from the Navy in September 2014 after serving in a variety of clinical and leadership roles in the San Diego area. She served a period of time on both of the hospital ships USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy. 

Michelle grew up in Southern California. She is married and has 2 boys. Her free time is spent with kid’s activities and sports, family vacations, and home improvement projects.

She is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau, and Association of the United States Navy.



Do you have questions about Emergency Services at Palomar Health in North San Diego County? Visit Our Services for more information, Contact Us or Find our Location(s).