Community leaders hear about the latest in technology and innovation being employed at Hazel Hawkins.

Darlene De Brito, Hazel Hawkins Hospital Director of Diagnostic Imaging was the featured speaker at the San Benito Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau Lunch with Leaders event held at Ridgemark Golf and Country Club last Wednesday afternoon. The event was sponsored by the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation and highlighted the Hospital’s progress in facilities, professionals and state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies.

In describing her journey that began at birth at Hazel Hawkins, De Brito, daughter of Hollister chocolatiers Arnold & Alene De Brito, recounted her vocational journey that has taken her from cutting apricots for Manuel Pereira and Joe Gomes, running the parts department at Hollister Equipment Service and running warranty claims at Tiffany Motor Company though her education locally at Gavilan, Hartnell and Foothill Colleges to professional positions at Stanford Hospital, heading the radiology department at San Francisco General Hospital, x-raying San Francisco County prisoners for MobileX Portable X-Ray, supervising pediatric imaging services for Children’s Hospital of Detroit, to Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and being recruited back home to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in September of 2010.

Upon being coerced by a former mentor to consider the post and tour the hospital, De Brito had once expressed, ”How is it that little Hazel Hawkins has better equipment than Good Samaritan?” Thus began her personal and professional commitments to offer her hometown community the best possible services, radiology career opportunity and technologies available.

With the support of the Hospital Auxiliary, Foundation and San Benito Health Care District, De Brito has recently upgraded the Diagnostic Imaging Department to host state-of-the-art equipment including an ultrasound, a cardiac/heart ultrasound, defibrillator and most recently a major upgrade for the Hospital’s MR Scanner/MRI with CinemaVision Goggles- currently underway. The MR upgrade will be a major asset, superior to MRIs in the Bay Area region, especially vital to the Hospital’s thriving, renowned orthopedic surgery program. The upgrade will be beneficial in diagnosing and viewing hip, pelvis, spinal canal, soft tissue- ligaments, cartilage, tendons, kidney, and brain.

De Brito also explained her “wish list” of equipment for her current department as well as for the impending opening of the 2nd floor of the Women’s Center. She is currently seeking a new bone density scanner, high-resolution digital mammography machine and breast ultrasound equipment. Fundraising is currently underway to bring these advances to Hazel Hawkins as the Measure L bond only financed the construction of the Center.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Outpatient Radiology Services are located at 911 Sunset Drive, Hollister. Open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 8:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am to 3:00pm. Additional information may be found on the Hospital website at, via phone at (831) 637-5711 or on Facebook. To donate, contact the Hazel Hospital Foundation at (831) 636-2653, the hospital website or on Facebook.

With more than a decade of community engagement, business advocacy, public relations and government affairs experience, Kristina Chavez Wyatt specializes in building and favorably positioning projects,...