Posts by Monique

Eight Sutter Medical Network Organizations Achieve IHA Top Quality Honors

Posted on May 20, 2019 in Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) has recognized eight Sutter Medical Network (SMN) organizations for reaching a high level of quality care for Medicare Advantage patients.

The following five SMN organizations achieved 4.5-star ratings for performance across a subset of 12 quality measures during the 2017 reporting year:

  • Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation – Sutter East Bay Medical Group
  • Sutter Gould Medical Foundation – Gould Medical Group
  • Sutter Medical Foundation – Sutter Medical Group
  • Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation – Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods
  • Sutter Palo Alto Medical Foundation – Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group

Three other Sutter Medical Network organizations received 4-star ratings:

  • Brown & Toland Physicians
  • Central Valley Medical Group
  • Sutter Palo Alto Medical Foundation – Mills-Peninsula Division/Mills-Peninsula Medical Group

Nearly 200 physician organizations participate in IHA’s Medicare Advantage Measurement Program. IHA is a statewide, multi-stakeholder leadership group that promotes quality improvement, accountability and affordability in healthcare. IHA collects clinical quality data and provides it to the Office of Patient Advocate (OPA) for the Health Care Quality Report Card. OPA considers physician organizations “very good” for achieving 4.5 and 4-star ratings.

To learn more, visit the OPA website.

SMN consists of the Sutter medical foundations, their exclusively contracted medical groups, and contracted independent practice associations. These organizations agree to work collaboratively with the goal of achieving sustainable high quality outcomes and services at an affordable price.

Young Mother Receives Gift of Surgery

Posted on May 14, 2019 in Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery & Endoscopy Center

SANTA ROSA, Calif. –Nancy Arrango, 35, was legally blind for a decade. When she closed her right eye, she couldn’t see anything out of her left. She had a hard time caring for her children, and she lost her ability to drive and to work. But without health insurance, cataract surgery was out of reach.

Late last year, Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery & Endoscopy Center and Operation Access partnered to give Nancy the Gift of Surgery. Sutter Health collaborates with Operation Access and other community health clinics every year to provide surgeries and procedures for uninsured patients based on their medical condition, health status and financial need.

Today, Nancy has a new lease on life.

Move-In Day is Near for San Francisco’s Newest Medical Office Building

Posted on May 8, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Women's Services

10-story facility integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care

SAN FRANCISCO –Sutter Health today announced the June 3 opening of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation’s (SPMF) Van Ness and Geary medical office building (or MOB) at 1100 Van Ness Ave. The building, owned by Pacific Medical Buildings, is a 10-story, 250,000 sq. ft. facility located across the street from Sutter’s new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital, which opened in March. More than 120 specialty physicians and clinicians from the Sutter Health network will occupy five floors of the building in the heart of San Francisco. The MOB completes the creation of a coordinated medical campus community that integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care.

The new Van Ness and Geary Medical Office Building (MOB) opens its doors on Monday, June 3. This 250,000 sq. ft. building completes a coordinated medical campus community that integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care.

Physicians and clinicians affiliated with SPMF, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) will occupy five floors. Private physicians will lease space on floors 7-10. Among the practice areas: advanced organ therapy (including transplant services), women’s services, medical and surgical specialty clinics, neurosciences, and cardiovascular services. In addition to a 383-spot underground parking garage, a Walgreens pharmacy is located on the street level. Lab and imaging facilities will be available by July 15. A 125-foot-long, staff-only tunnel connects the MOB with the hospital, completing the new medical campus community.

“Sutter’s Van Ness and Geary medical office building is designed to enhance convenience and access to high-quality care, as well as create an exceptional experience for patients, their families and friends,” said Kelvin Lam, M.D., Interim CEO for SPMF San Francisco and Marin. “The opening of this modern and centrally-located facility adds another world-class, multi-specialty healthcare center to the Sutter portfolio. This medical office building incorporates a powerful healing environment with an integrated continuum of services to support the community for decades to come.”

A truly integrated healthcare network

Sutter’s integrated care model allows patients to access primary care in local neighborhoods and higher level specialty care at the new MOB and at other care centers throughout the Bay Area.  The CPMC Van Ness hospital serves as the hub for all consolidated inpatient facilities and outpatient services. With the completion of the MOB, the campus knits together hospital and emergency services, affiliated medical offices and specialty outpatient services – including convenient underground parking for patients.

The Sutter Health Newborn Connections program will be occupying space on the entry level of the building. From perinatal classes and lactation services to breastfeeding and baby supplies, Newborn Connections provides expecting families with a range of support from pregnancy to parenthood.

“We’ve been looking forward to the ‘birth’ of this vibrant space to provide families with easy access to all of CPMC’s Newborn Connections classes and services,” said Paula Sulkis, supervisor of the Newborn Connections program. “With Sutter’s new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital located directly across the street, the need for mom, baby and new families to pop in and out of multiple facilities all over town just to make their appointments is eliminated.”

Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the MOB was constructed and operates in an environmentally conscious way.

The building will feature:

  • A reduction of water use by 40 percent with water efficient fixtures
  • An energy reduction of 35 percent through lighting control design
  • A 2-year contract to purchase at least 8 kwh/gsf of green power
  • 25 percent of materials made from recycled content
  • 75 percent of building waste diverted from landfill
  • Certified low-emitting materials used in furniture and no urea formaldehyde in any wood composites
  • Bike parking and storage as well as showers and storage rooms that encourage alternate transportation

By the numbers

  • Planning and design completed in July 2017
  • 250,000 sq. ft. total; 114,000 sq. ft. available for Sutter provider clinics
  • Capacity for 129 providers
  • 20,000 sq. ft. for Ancillary Services, including a lab, imaging and Newborn Connections
  • Six-level, subterranean parking structure, with 383 parking spaces and a staff-only tunnel that connects the building to the CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital

Services Offered

The medical office building features the following services from the Sutter Health Network:

  • Comprehensive neuroscience center
  • Cardiovascular services
  • Maternity and women’s health services
  • General and complex gastroenterology
  • Surgical specialties
  • Outpatient imaging
  • Advanced organ therapies (organ transplant)
  • Women’s ultrasound
  • Outpatient laboratory and imaging
  • Newborn Connections (support and lactation consulting for new parents)

Environmental Stewardship: A Year-Round Commitment for Sutter Health

Posted on Apr 30, 2019 in Carousel, Scroll Images, Transformation, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In just the last few years, Sutter Health’s Environmental Stewardship committees have made major strides toward minimizing waste, increasing energy efficiency, and creating healthier communities for patients and their families.

Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer Stephen Lockhart, M.D., leads Sutter Health’s Environmental Stewardship program. He says protecting the environment is integral to the not-for-profit integrated network of healthcare organization’s mission.

“Our mission is to care for the communities that we are privileged to serve,” Dr. Lockhart says. “But caring comes in many forms. It’s what I refer to as caring for creation, caring for the environment in which we all live, work and raise our families.”

One of many big Environmental Stewardship initiatives underway for 2019 is the Food Committee’s plan to increase the amount of plant-based food offered in Sutter’s hospital cafeterias.

While the production, transportation and disposing of food—most significantly of meat—accounts for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, plant-based diets and diets low in red meat are associated with significantly less environmental harm.

Kim Buss, M.D., Sutter Health Telephonic Disease Management Program medical director and a member of the Food Committee, says plant-based diets have the added bonus of helping prevent and manage multiple conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

“Improving blood pressure saves lives, and one of the most powerful ways we can improve blood pressure is by changing the food we eat,” Dr. Buss says.

Other big Sutter Environmental Stewardship projects underway for 2019 include:

  • measuring the energy performance of Sutter’s existing buildings, setting targets and working to make existing and new facilities more energy efficient
  • increasing the use of reprocessed surgical supplies, and a sterilization wrap recycling program in hospital operating rooms
  • donating thousands of dollars worth of medical equipment to local charities and international NGOs
  • replacing plastic straws and coffee stirrers with compostable alternatives
  • implementing a new purchasing policy that requires consideration of human health and environmental impact in purchasing decisions

Positive Impact: Nurse-Driven Universal HIV and Hepatitis C Screening in East Bay ERs Prompts Dozens to Receive Treatment

Posted on Apr 30, 2019 in Expanding Access, Innovation, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Nurses Week (May 6-12) Marks Two-Year Anniversary of First Patient Diagnosed with HIV Infection through Program

OAKLAND, Calif. — In the U.S., one out of seven people living with HIV don’t know it, and the majority of people living with hepatitis C might be undiagnosed. In Alameda County, HIV[1] and hepatitis C[2] infection rates have not declined significantly over the last 10 years, and a disproportionate amount of people of color are affected by both diseases.

Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) in the East Bay, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit, integrated network of care, have found a way to get more people tested and into treatment. A nurse-led, opt-out screening program at ABSMC’s Oakland and Berkeley campus emergency rooms is testing all eligible patients unless they specifically decline.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland campus, 350 Hawthorne Ave.

“We routinely test people who come to our emergency departments for HIV and hepatitis C virus. They have the option to decline, but the majority of people choose not to opt out,” says Kara Vassily, BSN, R.N., nurse champion for the opt-out testing program at the ABSMC Oakland campus.

More than 12,500 patients have been tested for HIV and hepatitis C (HIV:  13,378; HCV: 12,599) since the ground-breaking program began in May 2017. As a result of the screening effort, 36 people were diagnosed with HIV. Thirty-four of them have been linked to medical care, and 33 are receiving lifelong anti-retroviral therapy (ART).[3] The opt-out screening program also diagnosed 342 people with hepatitis C.  Of these, 108 people have been connected with treatment services and many of them have already started or completed medications that can cure them of this chronic liver disease in just two months.

“Nurses are in a unique position to lead universal screening and testing programs for HIV and hepatitis C in the emergency department,” says Vassily. “Because they spend a significant amount of time with patients, collecting sensitive health history information and providing patient education, they are able to talk with them more in depth about their potential risk factors for transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. It is through these open and honest conversations that the stigma around these two diseases is reduced, universal screening is successful and the overall health of the community is improved.”

“Many of those who test positive for HIV would probably not have known their disease status until they got an opportunistic infection like pneumocystis pneumonia or, in the case of hepatitis C, only after they’d suffered severe liver damage,” says Ryan Anson, a nurse practitioner at East Bay Advanced Care (EBAC) and director of the ED-based testing program.

“An important outcome of our opt-out testing program,” says Anson, “is the significant number of very early (acute) HIV infections we’ve diagnosed. We are detecting HIV infection in people within two to six weeks of their initial exposure to the virus, which means we are able to start them on ART at a very early stage in the disease. And we know from research that the earlier we attack the virus with treatment, the better our patients’ outcomes–and the lower their risk of transmitting HIV.”

The emergency departments were chosen as screening sites because they are often where vulnerable people seek primary care.

Patients newly diagnosed with HIV through the universal screening program, many of them people of color, are now starting ART within 24-72 hours of their diagnosis at ABSMC’s East Bay Advanced Care (EBAC). For more than 31 years, EBAC has provided primary care for low-income people with HIV and AIDS. Beginning ART as soon as possible helps patients to live longer, healthier lives and reduces the risk of HIV transmission to others.

“The opt-out screening program in our emergency departments helps us identify not only who has tested positive for HIV or hepatitis C, but also who needs our specialized services at EBAC. Universal testing is helping us to improve the quality of people’s lives, while it also helps reduce the spread of infection in the community,” says Christopher Hall, M.D. co-medical director of EBAC.

In the Bay Area, only Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Alameda Health System’s Highland Hospital, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital conduct routine emergency department opt-out testing programs for HIV and hepatitis C.

Based at the Oakland campus of Alta Bates Summit, EBAC (formerly known as East Bay AIDS Center) cares for an average of 1,500 HIV-positive and 500 HIV-negative patients each year and is the only full-time, hospital-based HIV primary care center in Alameda County.  Since 1987, EBAC’s mission is to provide highest-quality, confidential, and nonjudgmental professional treatment and support services to all clients regardless of their income status, insurance or ability to pay.

[1] Alameda County Public Health Department: “HIV in Alameda County 2014-2016” http://www.acphd.org/media/493885/hiv-report-2018.pdf

[2] California Department of Public Health: “Alameda County – Chronic Hepatitis C Cases and Rates of Newly Reported Cases, 2011-2015” https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/Converted_Alameda_HCV.pdf

[3] Alameda County Public Health Department: “HIV in Alameda County 2014-2016” http://www.acphd.org/media/493885/hiv-report-2018.pdf. In 2016, nearly 5,000 new diagnoses of HIV infection were made in California, 275 in Alameda County.