Food Rx: Sutter Health Invests $265,000 to Support Community Food Banks

Posted on Nov 19, 2019 in Carousel, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Working with partners to provide nutritious food is one more way Sutter helps keep communities healthy.

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Dedication to Duty: Blackouts and a Wildfire Won’t Stop Sutter Nurses

Posted on Nov 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

A spine injury at age 19 left Santa Rosa resident Ken Kilgore with paralysis in both his arms and legs. Bedbound and dependent on a special electric mattress that circulates air to prevent bedsores, Kilgore was nervous about the planned power shutoffs, until his bigger fear came true: an evacuation order.

Kilgore was one of approximately 150 patients routinely seen in their homes by the staff of Sutter Care at Home in Sonoma County who had to evacuate in response to the Kincade Fire. Through the uncertainty, fear and displacement, Kilgore says there was one constant: his nurse Paige Medeiros and the whole Sutter Care at Home family. “I must have gotten three calls a day from Sutter,” remembers Kilgore who is now safely back at home.

While the wildfire raged and blackouts rolled, Medeiros worked every day to make sure patients who rely on Sutter Care at Home had an in-person visit, or when that wasn’t possible, repeated phone calls to check on symptoms, give medical advice and guide patients to in-person care options as needed.

“These are people with feeding tubes, IV pumps, wound vacuums or special air mattresses like Ken’s,” Medeiros explained. “These are very frail patients that have high medical needs and are all homebound.” Working down a list, Medeiros drove to each patient’s house or the location where they’d been evacuated to, and checked if they needed supplies or nursing services, seeing to the needs of her regular patients and several patients who were normally cared for by other nurses, who had themselves been evacuated.

“It was a real team effort,” recalls Medeiros. “All of my co-workers and the whole Sutter family pitched in.”

Medeiros praised a nurse who drove from Marin to Mendocino (approximately 131 miles one way) to give a patient an in-home infusion (a special treatment that not all nurses can provide) and another who problem-solved through a four-day power outage, charging patients’ phones from her car battery and driving medical devices to the community resource center to be charged before returning them to her homebound patients.

James Conforti, chief operating officer for Sutter Health, knows that staff work tirelessly to provide quality care to patients. “Sutter’s integrated network allows us to coordinate care and contact patients. From filling prescriptions, rescheduling appointments to keeping vital chemotherapy infusions on track, we make sure our patients have continuity of care. The resilience of our staff and community never ceases to amaze me.”

But perhaps Kilgore said it best: “It’s not just a job to them—they really care about us.”

Preparedness Tips for Power Shutoffs

Posted on Oct 31, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Many Northern California communities have been impacted by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) throughout the last month.

When PSPS plans are announced, we work with PG&E to identify facilities located in potential outage areas and implement preparedness protocols to minimize potential impacts. Sutter is also able to leverage the strength of our integrated network to help keep patients connected to care.

As additional shutoffs are announced, or you prepare for colder winter weather, consider these personal preparedness tips to help safely manage power outages.

  • Make sure you and your family are prepared for an outage at home, helpful information can be found at: prepareforpowerdown.com
  • Have emergency supplies, food and water.
  • Consider a backup plan for your refrigerated and frozen foods. Buy ice at the grocery store and place needed items and prescriptions in coolers.
  • Have a plan for child and pet care, should school or work places be affected, or your normal schedule change.
  • Fill up your gas tank in advance of known power outages.
  • Allow for extra travel time as traffic signals may be out, and limit travel when possible.
  • Be cautious when using open flame light/heating sources and generators, as they can be dangerous.
  • If you receive home healthcare support, ensure your provider has contact information to reach you, as well as your emergency contacts.

Find out more about the shutoffs at pge.com or call PG&E at (866) 743-6589

Takin’ it to the Streets: ‘Magic Bus’ Brings Healthcare to Homeless

Posted on Dec 3, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

New mobile service expands access to care for San Francisco’s most vulnerable

SAN FRANCISCO –Providing access to healthcare at the curbside to homeless people in the City’s Tenderloin neighborhood is the goal of HealthRIGHT 360’s new mobile healthcare service. The mobile clinic is a collaborative effort with major support from California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), a member of the not-for-profit Sutter Health’s integrated network of care.

“These are challenging times in healthcare, especially for the vulnerable populations we serve. Being able to provide Mobile Healthcare Services is a huge step forward,” said Vitka Eisen, MSW, Ed.D HealthRIGHT 360 president and CEO. “Over the years, our clients have gotten sicker, they have many more complex health challenges, more co-occurring mental health conditions, and fewer resources. Everyone is somebody’s child, somebody’s mother, someone who matters, we see the person and we’re here to heal.”

“Sutter and CPMC are proud to provide funds to help acquire and equip this medical bus. HealthRIGHT 360 addresses the healthcare needs of the City’s homeless population, including medical issues related to complications from behavioral health and substance use, with a focus on people seeking services in the high-need Tenderloin neighborhood,” said Dr. Warren Browner, CEO of CPMC.

HealthRIGHT 360’s new mobile service builds on its innovative, community-based healthcare model that integrates medical, dental, mental health, and substance use treatment for people who are very low-income and often marginally housed or experiencing homelessness. The street-based model is staffed by a range of medical providers and an outreach team, the mobile clinic has two complete exam rooms, a bathroom, and an elevator wheelchair lift. Currently operating in the Tenderloin neighborhood, the services will expand to the Haight Ashbury and other areas of great need across San Francisco.

“This mobile clinic is all about meeting people where they are and bringing quality medical care directly to the people who need it most,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “It’s another great example of HealthRIGHT 360’s commitment to responding directly to the most pressing needs of San Franciscans, and demonstrates the importance of nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and government working together.”

In addition to Sutter Health and CPMC, other sponsors of HealthRIGHT 360’s Mobile Healthcare Services include Veritas Investments and Wells Fargo Bank.

HealthRIGHT 360 started in the 1960s during the historic “Summer of Love” in San Francisco, where two of its legacy organizations, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House, provided medical care and substance use disorder treatment to the youth who came to the City, motivated by the anti-war movement, music, sex, drugs, and the desire to bring about cultural change.

Counting Holiday Blessings

Posted on Dec 3, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Thanks to the generous spirit of employees, Sutter Health’s Holiday Adopt-a-Family program is making the difference in the lives of families across the region. Let’s count all the ways in 2019!

250+ families will receive gifts this year, bringing the total to more than 2,500 Sacramento area and Central Valley families adopted in the past decade.

• Sutter Health collaborated with 10 not-for-profit community agencies that identified families in need:
o the Child Abuse Prevention Council in Sacramento County
o the Fighting Back Partnership in Solano County
o Hands of Hope in Yuba and Sutter counties
o Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus
o KidsFirst and Lincoln Lighthouse in Placer County
o Nexus Youth and Family Services in Amador County
o Women’s Center Youth and Family Services in San Joaquin County
o the Valley Crisis Center in Merced County
o Yolo County Children’s Alliance

• At 12 drop-off locations across the Sutter Health network, employees donated new gifts that range from clothes and shoes to toys and books—based on lists put together by the families.

Countless smiles from those involved, spreading holiday joy and goodwill to all!

• As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health believes in giving back. Sutter Health’s total community benefit investment in 2018 was $734 million. These funds supported traditional charity care, unreimbursed Medi-Cal costs, health education as well as community clinics.

Photo: Numerous Sutter staff and community partners, including Sutter Center for Psychiatry’s Jenna Newman and Rebecca Monroe, foreground, supported the 2019 Holiday Adopt-a-Family program.

The Cancer Treatment Within You

Posted on Nov 20, 2019 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation

How blood, urine and gene mutations may unlock secrets to lung cancer treatment options.

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When Online Matchmaking and Cancer Treatment Collide

Posted on Nov 19, 2019 in Affiliates, Expanding Access, Innovation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

More than 600 types of drugs exist to treat cancer. A new tool will help doctors supercharge their searches for the ones that will work best for their patients.

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City of Vallejo and Local Healthcare Systems Collaborate to Build Navigation Center for the Homeless

Posted on Nov 18, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Courtesy of the City of Vallejo

Rendering of Vallejo Navigation Center

VALLEJO, Calif. – The City of Vallejo today announced that it has secured the funding needed to move forward with the construction and operation for a new proposed Vallejo Navigation Center in south Solano County. The center will provide access to temporary housing and wraparound services to support men and women living unsheltered in the City of Vallejo, thanks to a combined investment of $6.2 million from three not-for-profit healthcare systems: Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay Healthcare.

“The center is a longtime dream of mine, and I’m so proud of our community for coming together and finding a way to make this a reality for people who are desperately in need,” said City of Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan. “Sutter, Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay have proven track records of improving the health in this region, so it was no surprise that all three not-for-profit healthcare systems stepped up to help. This is truly a remarkable demonstration of how we can collaborate for the overall good of our community.”

The proposed Vallejo Navigation Center is an important step to enhance the regional shelter infrastructure for people experiencing homelessness. For the City of Vallejo, building the center is a critical milestone in implementing a spectrum of housing policies that help create a pathway for individuals without housing to secure housing. This means connecting individuals to health services, income sources, and eventually a path towards permanent housing; this is an effort that has been dubbed P.A.T.H. – Providing Access To a Home.

Like many places in California, the City of Vallejo and the County of Solano have identified homelessness as a significant and concerning issue as the city has seen an increase in the number of homeless people. To deal with this issue it is important for the City to find ways to maintain safe, healthy communities where residents can be housed.

“Homelessness is a statewide crisis and public-private partnerships like this are exactly the type of solutions we need to bring to scale throughout California,” said Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor and Co-Chair on the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. “This facility will provide a safe place for people experiencing homelessness to stabilize, access on-site supportive services and the housing coordination needed to get off the streets and into housing.”

The center will serve as a “one-stop shop” for services that are critical to help address some of the core causes of homelessness. It will include:

• Access to shelter beds;
• Individual case management to help connect those who need services like respite care after medical treatment, substance abuse counseling, mental health support and job training; and
• Assistance with housing readiness support, training and securing permanent housing.

The City of Vallejo focused its efforts following the vision of the Community Action Partnership of Solano Joint Powers Authority’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, which recommends a ‘housing first’ policy approach to lower barriers to permanent, emergency and temporary housing and also recommends the improvement of navigation of homelessness services. Providing navigation can help connect individuals to the right services to improve their ability to obtain and maintain shelter. The Vallejo Navigation Center will do both: improve the access to wrap-around services and provide access to temporary shelter beds for up to six months.

“The center will provide a safe, healthy and stable environment where vital services can more effectively coordinate and have a significant impact on getting individuals experiencing homelessness on a track to obtaining ongoing services and support, while lessening the impact on other public services,” said Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.

“As a not-for-profit integrated health network, Sutter focuses on improving the health of those inside and outside the walls of our hospitals and care centers,” said Sutter Solano Medical Center CEO Abhishek Dosi. “We know that when unhoused people find housing, their health improves. This investment builds on Sutter’s commitment to improve the health of the entire community we serve.”

“Projects like this can transform communities and change the narrative around homelessness. This initiative will highlight the profound impact that a person-centered approach coupled with comprehensive services can have,” said Nor Jemjemian, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president and area manager for Napa-Solano Area. “We know that this center will transform lives. We hope that it will also be a catalyst for change in how those who are homeless are treated – here in Solano County and beyond.”

“We all play a role in lifting up our communities,” said Aimee Brewer, NorthBay Healthcare Group president. “When private and public partners team up, creative and thoughtful approaches emerge. The Vallejo Navigation Center is evidence of that teamwork.”

“The project could not move forward without the partnership of the City of Vallejo and Solano County joined with the support of all three healthcare systems,” said Supervisor Erin Hannigan, Chairwoman of the Solano County Board of Supervisors. “We are now better positioned to improve our efforts to properly address the homelessness crisis in our community.”

The Vallejo Navigation Center is expected to serve up to 125 people at one time and serve approximately 500 people annually. The center will receive referral services from direct referral partners, including law enforcement, area hospitals, coordinated entry and Veteran’s the Administration. It is scheduled to welcome its first clients in 2020 and will be operationally sustainable for the next three years, thanks to the investments of Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, and NorthBay Healthcare.

A media kit with renderings, a staff report, video clips and photos will be available here.

Sutter Health Welcomes Two New Board Members

Posted on Nov 15, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Two accomplished healthcare and community leaders, Helen MacLeod Thomson and Anthony Wagner, joined the Sutter Health Board of Directors in November 2019.

“We are pleased to welcome these valued colleagues to our Sutter Health board of directors,” said Sarah Krevans, president & CEO of Sutter Health. “Their long-standing service and commitment to the health and wellness of Northern Californians will greatly benefit our 3 million patients and the diverse communities we serve.”

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