Sutter Experts Say Flu Shot Still Best Way to Prevent Influenza

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Wellness

Patient receiving flu shot. With flu season well underway, physicians in the Sutter Health not-for-profit network say it’s not too late to vaccinate.

While a recent study found that this year’s flu shot doesn’t work as well as expected against this season’s most prevalent influenza virus, experts say the vaccine can still protect against other flu viruses, and reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Each year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu and more than 200,000 end up in the hospital due to flu-related complications. Flu activity usually peaks between December and February but can continue to occur as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts highly recommend flu shots for people 65 years and older and younger children.

The following precautions also help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory infections:

  • While sick, stay home and limit contact with others
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Need a flu shot?

For the latest information on the flu, see the California Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

Sutter Health Employees Celebrate National Wear Red Day

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Wellness

Sutter Health employees celebrate Go Red day.Earlier this month employees from across the Sutter Health not-for-profit network came to work dressed in red for National Wear Red Day®–a nationwide movement aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of heart disease and stroke in women.

Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. But, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Sutter Health cardiologist, Diane Sobcowicz, M.D., says knowing the following heart health indicator numbers could help save your life.


Healthy cholesterol guidelines call for:

  • Total cholesterol (LDL plus HDL) below 200 mg/dl
  • LDL at 100 mg/dl and below
  • HDL at 50 mg/dl and above
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl

Blood Pressure

The guidelines for ideal blood pressure:

  • 120/80 or less: Normal blood pressure reading.
  • 120-139/80-89: Pre-hypertension. This measure is a warning sign of potential problems, and a doctor will recommend you begin lifestyle changes to reduce your pressure. (See 7 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure.)
  • 140/ 90 and above: Hypertension, or high blood pressure. These numbers indicate you should find a way to reduce your blood pressure, which may involve lifestyle changes and/or medications.
  • 180/100 or above: Readings this high can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately by a physician.

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Sutter Doctors Encourage Vaccination During Measles Outbreak

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Scroll Images, Wellness

The recent measles outbreak, now reported in 11 states, serves as a reminder about the importance of vaccinations. Physicians within the Sutter Health not-for-profit network encourage vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread.

Measles, a highly infectious, airborne disease, typically begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, and within a few days a red rash appears. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports most of the current measles cases in California are part of an outbreak linked to Disneyland.

Our Health Maintenance Guidelines outlines recommended screenings and immunizations at all ages. In addition, Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., infectious-disease specialist at Sutter Health’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and Yasuko Fukuda, M.D., pediatrician at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center spoke about measles with the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC 7 News.

Find more information about the measles on the CDPH website.

New Year, New Sutter Babies!

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 in Wellness

What better way to ring in the New Year than to announce the birth of Sutter Health’s first babies born in 2015! Congratulations to the families that welcomed their New Year’s baby at a Sutter Health-affiliate hospital.

San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center welcomed baby Fiona only a few seconds into the New Year, making her the first baby born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. Meet the new parents and see what CPMC doctors Fung Lam, M.D., and Yuan-Da Fan, M.D., had to say on an NBC Bay Area news report.

Sutter Health’s Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame welcomed their first baby of the year to Sarah Hurd and Craig Sullivan. Healthy baby girl, Jordan, arrived at 11:22 p.m.

Just across the Bay, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center welcomed Charlotte Blanchard, born to Oakland residents Sophia and Stephane at 7:32 a.m. Read More

Bringing Diabetes Education to Our Communities

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 in Wellness

Whether you live with diabetes or someone you love does, Diabetes Awareness Month is the perfect time to learn more. According to the American Diabetes Association:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Throughout November we’re hosting a number of unique educational events. Please find details below.

Mills-Peninsula Health Services

Stop Diabetes in its Tracks!

Join us Nov. 5 at our free event to learn about prediabetes and how changing your lifestyle and habits can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

Celebrating World Diabetes Day

Join us Nov. 12 for three free events in support of World Diabetes Day. Events include free screenings, an inspirational lecture by Lou Brock, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Type 2 diabetic, and a panel discussion of expert advice covering diet and fitness.

California Pacific Medical Center

Keys to a Vibrant Life with Diabetes

To raise awareness about diabetes, California Pacific Medical Center will host an event on Nov. 13. Hear Ironman Jay Hewitt speak, watch a live cooking demo and get health tips from Karen Earle, M.D.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

2014 World Diabetes Day Health Education Fair

Join Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Diabetes Center and Ethnic Health Institute on Nov. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Health Education Center. You’ll learn how to reduce the risk of diabetes, participate in free screenings related to diabetes and learn how to live well with diabetes. Additionally, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player, Lou Brock, will meet with attendees and talk about his experience with managing diabetes. Kitchen on Fire Cooking School will provide a live cooking demo with delicious, health food samplings.

Achoo! Fighting Fall Allergies is Nothing to Sniffle At

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 in Wellness

Woman with allergiesMany of us look forward to leaves changing color, cooler temperatures, pumpkins and football games as we transition into fall, but for nearly 20 percent of Americans the fall season canbring itchy eyes, running noses, sneezing and other irritating allergy symptoms.

Sutter Health allergy expert, Ron Brown, M.D., explains while springtime is known to cause misery for most allergy sufferers, the fall season can be just as bad for a select few.

“Here in California there are relatively few fall allergens compared to the Midwest and eastern parts of the country where ragweed is a major allergen,” Dr. Brown said. “However, allergies from mold and local weeds that are still pollinating tend to cause the most outdoor allergy problems.” Read More