Posts by Monique

Stanford Health Care and Sutter Health sign letter of intent to explore opportunities to enhance care and improve choice for oncology patients in the East Bay

Posted on Jul 17, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Story Summary: This LOI formalizes ongoing discussions that began more than a year ago between Sutter Health and Stanford Health Care to expand and enhance clinical integration among their existing, high quality services, with a shared goal of providing patients and their families with coordinated, seamless cancer care in the East Bay. The two organizations are also in discussions about a potential joint venture that would operate an outpatient cancer center in the East Bay.


East Bay Area, CA (July 17, 2019) – Sutter Health and Stanford Health Care have signed a letter of intent to formalize discussions focused on opportunities to jointly provide cancer care for patients and their families in the East Bay. Initial activities between the two entities will focus on ways to build upon current and developing cancer related services and care settings already in place within the two organizations’ respective networks, to explore ways to increase access to cancer clinical trials and to make other enhancements to choice and quality of care for East Bay patients and their families.

Discussions also include potential plans to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary cancer center in the East Bay, modeled on the highly successful Stanford Cancer Center South Bay concept. This outpatient cancer center would serve as a local hub for cancer care and offer East Bay patients and their families access to the most advanced, complete and coordinated care – from screening through survivorship.

“With this new collaboration, Stanford Health Care aims to bring the full complement of its world-class cancer prevention, treatment and clinical research programs to serve patients in the East Bay,” said David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care. “Partnering with Sutter Health, with its well-established, high-quality cancer program in the area, is the ideal opportunity, and we are pleased to move forward with them in this effort.”

“As an integrated network, Sutter Health has proudly provided accessible, high-quality care to our patients across the East Bay for over a century, and we’re excited to build on this legacy,” said Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “This announcement is an example of Sutter and Stanford’s shared commitment as not-for-profit health systems to provide quality, compassionate and convenient care, and to do so in a way that delivers the best outcomes for our patients and our community.”

Julie Petrini, president of Bay Area Sutter Hospitals, agreed: “A collaboration between Sutter and Stanford is a natural fit, and one that will establish an unprecedented and easily accessible suite of services for all East Bay cancer patients. We are excited to formalize our discussions with Stanford through this LOI.”

Complete cancer care, delivered locally

The intent of the collaboration is to increase access to high quality, exceptional cancer care for patients as close to home as possible, by building on the integrated care networks of both Sutter Health and Stanford Medicine, with Stanford’s extensive oncology expertise. Both entities have a deep commitment to caring for the whole patient, and together their efforts will surround patients and their families with a full spectrum of coordinated, supportive care. The new East Bay oncology collaboration would help local patients simplify care coordination, reduce travel time, and focus on treatment and recovery.

New opportunities for innovative treatments

The treatment of cancer is a rapidly evolving field. A collaboration between Stanford and Sutter Health would greatly improve access for East Bay cancer patients to new opportunities for clinical care and clinical research, including an expanded array of clinically relevant local and offsite industry- and investigator-initiated clinical trials.

“Working with Sutter Health in the East Bay will broaden opportunities for participation in some of the world’s most innovative cancer treatment trials,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “With breakthroughs in the detection, prevention and treatment of cancer and its side effects, Stanford Medicine’s physician-scientists are actively investigating new therapies and working to make sure that they are available to everyone who needs them. This collaboration presents a real opportunity for improvement for patients, and a benefit to the progress of cancer science, as more inclusion enables more discoveries.”

Stanford Health Care and Sutter Health also believe that this opportunity could greatly enhance their shared commitment to health equity by improving access to exceptional care for underrepresented minorities in the community who often lack access to advanced care options and the ability to participate in clinical trials.

Nationally recognized cancer and integrated healthcare

To this collaboration, Stanford Health Care brings its strength as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and its leadership as one of the founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of 26 of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.

Stanford Health Care is consistently recognized as one of the top hospitals in America for cancer care by US News & World Report, recognized for overall quality and safety by Vizient in 2018, and awarded an ‘A’ from The Leapfrog Group’s spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

A collaboration with Stanford and Sutter Health would also build on the efficient and high quality of care for which Sutter Health’s integrated network is consistently recognized, and would provide East Bay residents with seamless coordination of cancer care and support services from one caregiver to another.

Four hospitals within Sutter Health, including Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC), have been recognized as top hospitals in California by US News & World Report. ABSMC has also received the highest rating (5 Stars) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Quality Ratings.  Additionally, Sutter Health includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations.

Celebrating Pride Across the Sutter Health Network

Posted on Jul 9, 2019 in People, Scroll Images, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It’s Pride season and Sutter Health employees, physicians and volunteers are bursting with pride and joy at events across Northern

Team Sutter color guard spreads joy at Sonoma County Pride in Santa Rosa

California—and even further afield. So far this year, Sutter teammates have marched, danced and waved flags in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Davis, Sacramento and Utah. Sutter teams will participate in upcoming Pride events in Castro Valley, Modesto and Honolulu.

“I could not help noticing the smile on my husband Edwin’s face as he waved the rainbow flag. His joy and appreciation was priceless. This day was filled with joy and comfort for all,” said Esteban Ortega Menjivar, Sonoma County Pride Sutter team lead and medical records referral coordinator for Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

Team Sutter waves a giant rainbow flag at Sacramento Pride

At the June 9 Sacramento Pride event, about 400 employees, their family members and friends came together to march, dance, wave flags and joyfully celebrate Sutter’s steadfast support for LGBTQ+ teammates and patients. Representing Sutter’s 2019 Pride theme ‘Wave Your Flag,’ the team included a color guard with flags that represented several of the identities within the LGBTQ+ community. The show stopper was a giant rainbow flag, measuring half the length of a football field that billowed in the wind as the Sutter team proudly carried it in the parade.

At San Francisco Pride on June 30, another Sutter team dazzled the crowds with:

  • More than 400 Sutter team members, their friends, family members marching, dancing and waving flags
  • 70 brightly colored flags, including a fabulous color guard, representing gender and sexual identities of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Sutter vehicles, one of them an ambulance with the siren blaring
  • 1 giant rainbow flag, half the length of a football field, carried by the proud Sutter team
  • 1 sparkly float with 16 Sutter teammates aboard, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd

“I felt totally loved,” said Marena McNaney, digital imaging services coordinator at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, who was the DJ and master of ceremonies for the Sutter San Francisco Pride parade team and rode on the Sutter float with her wife Claire and her family. “It was such a great feeling to be surrounded by my family, teammates from so many Sutter locations and hearing the cheers from the crowd. I’m so glad to work for such an awesome company that is committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community.”

The Sutter Pride Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) leads the organization’s participation in Pride events in local communities. The Sutter Pride IRG, one of four employee inclusion groups at the healthcare system, fosters an equitable and inclusive working environment where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer employees, and their supporters/allies, feel a sense of community and opportunity. The group adds value at Sutter by appreciating and promoting diversity and inclusion in the community.

Sutter is committed to leveraging a diverse and inclusive workforce and environment to achieve superior business results and attract, develop and retain the best employees. As it strives to be an employer and provider of choice, Sutter is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion where all individuals feel respected, are treated fairly, and have an opportunity to excel in their chosen careers and reach their maximum potential. To that end, Sutter Health supports Inclusion Resource Groups including Pride, Ability, Multicultural, and Military and Veterans groups.

From Sidewalk to Services: Working Together to Shelter Homeless People in Oakland

Posted on Jul 3, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Sutter Supports ‘Community Cabins’ to Offer Safer and Healthier Respite from the Streets


OAKLAND, Calif. –Sutter Health and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center representatives today joined with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Emeryville Mayor Ally Medina, state and local government officials, and other community partners including Home Depot, Target and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, to announce the opening of the city of Oakland’s fifth Community Cabin site. The new site, which will house 76 unsheltered people, is located on Caltrans property near the West Oakland/Emeryville border on Mandela Parkway.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announces the Mandela Parkway Community Cabin site opening

Sutter and Alta Bates Summit are committed to improving the health and wellness of the community by investing in innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships. Together, they have contributed nearly a half million dollars in community health grants to support the city of Oakland’s initiative to help move homeless people from encampments into temporary shelters. The Mandela Parkway Community Cabin site is the fifth such site in Oakland to which Sutter and Alta Bates Summit have provided monetary support over the past couple of years.

According to Mayor Schaaf, there are roughly 3,000 unsheltered people living on the streets of Oakland—the majority of whom are long-term Oakland residents.

Community Cabin sites are an emergency intervention designed to serve as a temporary bridge from the sidewalk to services, from the street to housing. At the Community Cabin sites, people in need are connected to health services including healthcare, mental health and addiction recovery services, wrap-around social services, public benefits and other resources to help them end their unsheltered status. The Community Cabin sites are designed to increase people’s health, stability, dignity and safety while service providers work intensively to help end their unsheltered status.

One of the new Community Cabins at a new site to temporarily house unsheltered people in Oakland

“What is unique about this model is that we’re offering people privacy and security,” Mayor Schaaf said. “They know their possessions are securely stored and they have onsite navigators to help them toward full employment as well as permanent housing.

As of the end of June 2019, the four exiting Community Cabins sites have served 350 individuals and are currently serving 104 people. Sixty-seven percent of all exits from the Community Cabins to date have been positive (167 of 250 exits), meaning program participants end their unsheltered status by moving into permanent housing, shelter placement, or reunification with friends and family.




Parents of Fragile Newborns Find Comfort with Monitoring App

Posted on Jun 27, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Scroll Images

Vikash and Doreen Lal learn how to check on their baby daughter using the MyChart Bedside mobile app.

BERKELEY, Calif. – Leaving a tiny premature or sick newborn for weeks—even months—at the hospital is emotionally and physically challenging for families. To help ease parents’ minds and encourage a strong connection with their babies, a pilot project at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is testing a smart tablet-based app developed by Epic. The app, called MyChart Bedside, makes it easy for parents to check on their baby any time, day or night and helps parents feel close to their babies, even when they physically aren’t.

Using their own personal or hospital-provided smart tablet, parents log in to the app to check their baby’s recent vital signs and lab results, double-check the time of an upcoming procedure or just reassure themselves that all is well. Parents are also able to access discharge planning materials and educational information through the app. Fourteen smart tablets are available for parents to check out and take home if they don’t have one of their own. NICU social workers train parents how to use the tablets and the app to monitor their newborns. Each smart tablet is password-protected and allows parents access only to their own baby’s information.

“We hope this technology will help our families feel more involved in their baby’s care and have a better understanding of what’s happening with their child,” says Alex Espinoza, M.D., Alta Bates Summit’s NICU medical director. “The great benefit of MyChart Bedside is that it allows parents to gain more insight into their baby’s progress and stay in tune with their medical treatment 24 hours a day—even when they’re not able to be at the hospital.”

“Knowing that we can log in anytime and get a live-time update on our baby’s condition definitely brings peace of mind during what can be a challenging time,” says first-time mother and Pittsburg resident Doreen Lal. Lal’s baby girl was born at Alta Bates Summit’s Berkeley campus nine weeks premature. “My husband and I can’t be at Savannah’s bedside all the time, so being able to check in remotely is very comforting.”

According to Alta Bates Summit’s chief operating officer Rose Calhan, the pilot is showing promising results. “Parents who use the app tell us that it’s reassuring to be able to check in on their baby any time. At Alta Bates Summit, we continue to encourage parents to call the unit and speak to their baby’s care team if they have questions or concerns, but we’re finding the app provides another layer of comfort for parents during a very stressful period,” says Calhan.

Doreen and Vikash Lal cuddle baby Savannah

Baby Savannah weighed a little over two pounds when she was born. Lal says being able to monitor Savannah’s progress via an iPad has allowed them to stay fully engaged with the nurses and care providers.

“The nurses have been great, and the iPad allows us to track who’s caring for Savannah and the medications she receives,” adds Lal. “We’re learning something different every day, and we’re very happy with the care our little daughter is receiving.”

The pilot launched in February. Initial results have proved so promising that there are plans underway to make the technology a standard offering at Alta Bates Summit’s NICU.


Samuel Merritt University Ranks 1st in California, 5th Nationwide for Post-Graduation Salaries on College Scorecard

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 in Affiliates, People, Scroll Images

OAKLAND, Calif.Samuel Merritt University (SMU) alumni earn the highest salaries among undergraduates from all other California universities and from nearly all schools nationwide, according to the recently updated College Scorecard from the U.S. Department of Education.

Alumni from SMU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs earn a median salary of $111,100 a decade after beginning their studies, higher than 562 other California higher education institutions. Nationwide, SMU, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network, comes in fifth for post-graduation earnings — beating out 5,868 other schools, including MIT and Harvard University.

SMU has consistently come out on top in California for the critical metric of “salary after attending” since the federal government launched the College Scorecard in 2015. Results are based on the average reported earnings of former undergraduate students who received federal loans or grants.

“This is great news for SMU’s alumni and our current undergraduate students,” said President Dr. Ching-Hua Wang. “It demonstrates that an SMU education prepares students well for successful and rewarding careers.”

Transparency in Higher Ed

President Barack Obama initiated the College Scorecard to increase transparency in higher education and help guide prospective students in selecting a school to attend.  Its metrics were intended to hold colleges accountable for cost, quality, and value by offering information that focuses on getting what he called “the most bang for your educational buck.”

The interactive, fact-finding tool uses federal data to compare schools based on metrics such as college costs and graduation rates. Unlike popular college ranking systems like U.S. News & World Report, the scorecard includes post-attendance earnings as an indicator of student outcomes.

“The College Scorecard confirms that SMU graduates receive an excellent return on their investment,” said Terry Nordstrom, vice president of enrollment and student services. “Samuel Merritt University prides itself on providing an academic experience that enables our graduates to thrive in challenging and fulfilling professions.”