Posts by madisol

Landed to Expand Homeownership Assistance Program to Sutter Health’s Essential Professionals in Healthcare

Posted on Oct 16, 2020 in Innovation, People, Scroll Images

Pilot marks first expansion of Landed’s down payment program and homebuyer education services into healthcare sector

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, Landed and Sutter Health announced a pilot program to expand Landed’s homeownership assistance program to the healthcare sector. Landed, a personal finance company aimed at helping essential employees afford to buy homes, will bring new homeownership options to staff and physicians of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, respectively, as well as employees of Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.

The pilot program with Sutter Health is Landed’s first expansion into the healthcare sector, which comes on the heels of the company’s recent milestone of helping 500 educators nationwide access homeownership over the last five years through down payment assistance and other homebuying services.

“Now more than ever, we need to uphold essential healthcare workers as they uphold us on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by making it easier to buy a home in the communities they serve,” said Alex Lofton, co-founder of Landed. “We’re thrilled to work with Sutter Health as our first healthcare partner, who like us, knows firsthand how challenging the expensive Bay Area market can be to retain good talent in these critical, essential professional jobs.”

Landed’s down payment program invests alongside employees working in healthcare and education to help them reach a 20% down payment. Landed’s funds, up to $120,000 per household, come in the form of an equity investment, meaning that homebuyers share in a portion of the gain – or loss, if any – of the value of the home once the partnership is ended — typically by sale or refinance. Landed also offers access to a network of agents and lenders, free homebuyer guidance and resources to help make informed buying decisions.

As part of its 2019 “Live Well, Work Well” project, Sutter Health explored options that might help staff purchase homes near their workplace—thereby decreasing commute time and helping employees live in the communities they serve. Landed’s decision to offer its program to healthcare workers at Sutter has potential to positively impact Bay Area communities now and in the future. For example, hours saved on the road gives more time for clinicians and staff to rest, recuperate and recharge. Additionally, Landed’s assistance could help a pediatrician live in the community he or she serves and increase the possibility that families have the same provider for their children for their entire youth.

Catherine A Martin, D.O., MPH

“I’m really excited about the potential of this down payment assistance program. I chose family medicine because I want to care for my patients from cradle to college. A program like this could help me achieve my goal of putting down roots in this community,” said Catherine A. Martin, D.O., MPH, from Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group who cares for patients in Watsonville. Read Dr. Martin’s story.

Jill Ragsdale

“Our teams are living our values every day, supporting numerous patients and families,” said Jill Ragsdale, Sutter Health’s senior vice president and chief people and culture officer. “We understand the importance of caring for our employees so that they may care for others. Sutter Health is responding in creative and compassionate ways to help employees feel supported—especially in a time with many unknowns. We believe helping alleviate some of the stress associated with aspects outside of work can ease team members’ peace of mind and enhance their well-being. We are very pleased Landed has agreed to offer its innovative support program to our valued staff.” Read an employee story that demonstrates why it’s important that our staff can put down roots in the communities they serve.

Sutter Health, like other healthcare systems in Northern California, faces recruitment and retention challenges in markets with a high cost of living and lack of affordable housing. Facilitating access to programs like Landed that enable employees to live where they work further enhances the health of the diverse communities Sutter serves. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017-2018 housing was by far the largest expenditure category for households in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. area, accounting for 39.4% of the household budget, as compared to the 33% U.S. average.

Since its founding in 2015, Landed has helped hundreds of educators purchase homes in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Honolulu, Seattle, Portland (Ore.), Washington DC, and Boston metro areas. Hospitals and care centers across Sutter Health’s not-for-profit, integrated health network support the delivery of safe, high-quality, affordable care to more than 3 million Northern Californians each year.

Can COVID-19 Spur Change in Mental Health?

Posted on Sep 2, 2020 in Mental Health, Scroll Images

Mystery still surrounds COVID-19. How will it impact the upcoming flu season? Will younger generations eventually experience more severe symptoms?

COVID-19 has also brought attention to matters important to the here and now, like the broader need for mental health support, especially in times of crisis. A recent report in Psychology Today notes that one-third of U.S adults have reported clinical anxiety and depression symptoms related to this public health crisis. Professionals are concerned that suicide rates will greatly increase over the next few months, and they’re calling for change in how we care for and talk about mental health.

John Boyd, PsyD.

“We need to create organizations, healthcare systems and communities where it’s ok for our young people and others to openly talk about needing additional mental health support,” said Sutter Health’s Mental Health & Addiction Care CEO, John Boyd, PsyD. “That means bringing human design back into mental health and addiction care. At Sutter Health, we believe mental health is human health, and we are studying new ways for youth to manage mental health in their everyday lives.”

Hear more from Dr. Boyd on this topic in the Healthcare Executive Podcast, a program by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Clearing a Path to Care

Posted on Aug 13, 2020 in Innovation, Scroll Images

When Sutter Health adapted its operations to continue caring for patients while responding to COVID-19, it meant leaning heavily on its integrated network and technology and innovation teams.

During a recent Sacramento Business Journal podcast, Albert Chan, M.D., M.S., Sutter Health’s chief of digital patient experience and Chris Waugh, Sutter Health’s chief innovation officer discussed the rapid expansion of virtual care and telehealth to help support patients and improve their experience.

Albert Chan, M.D.., M.S.

“Our telehealth expansion was originally planned for 2021 and estimated to take 18-24 months. But in response to COVID we rolled out that expansion within six weeks,” said Dr. Chan. “We trained thousands of new physicians on using the technology … and saw a 32,000% increase in telehealth visits in just two months.”

But it’s not just an increase in virtual appointments that drives Sutter’s innovation-focused dynamic duo, it’s the important access that telehealth offers to a wide range of patients who otherwise might not have received the care needed.

Chris Waugh

“We had [patients] who would not have used this technology previously, now willing,” said Waugh.

Dr. Chan shared the story of a patient in rural Northern California who was concerned after finding a lump. Dr. Chan was able to diagnose the lump as a hernia and instruct him on how to recover at home — all through the safety and convenience of a video call.

“Normally, this patient would have had to come in person for an appointment, and he lives a four-hour round-trip from the facility he would need to get to,” Dr. Chan said. “Patient access has been truly transformed … and this is especially important for our remote and rural areas.”

Dr. Chan says the goal is to take a thoughtful approach to implementing technology and look at every step in the patient journey to make it simpler and more efficient. He emphasized that the aim with telehealth is to create better health outcomes at a lower cost.

And better health outcomes are made possible by what Waugh calls the ability of technology to “reduce friction” — or obstacles to accessible care.

“Whenever we can use technology to make the experience more human, not less, therein lies the silver-lining” said Waugh. “We want to create a more human exchange from beginning to end — between the healthcare system and the patients they’re serving — with the goal of creating better relationships and therefore better [health] outcomes.”

Care Coming into View

Posted on Aug 4, 2020 in Innovation, Scroll Images

Arleen Beviacqua-Enriquez

Arleen Beviacqua-Enriquez noticed two things about her body in the fall of 2019. First, an irregular mole, which the 65-year-old had already developed a trained eye to spot. Its irregular edges told a familiar tale. Moles are a hereditary condition passed down for generations in her family.

The second? A lump in her breast.

Beviacqua-Enriquez set the mole aside in her mind to focus on what she felt in her heart was the more critical issue: the lump. Working with the support of her Palo Alto Medical Foundation primary care doctor, Rebecca Ashe, M.D., Beviacqua-Enriquez went in for a diagnostic mammogram where it was confirmed she had breast cancer in November 2019. Surgery followed in December. The turn of the calendar—and the ushering in of a new year—brought the beginning of chemotherapy in January 2020.

Beviacqua-Enriquez remained focused on her breast cancer treatment for the next several months even as COVID-19 tore through the U.S. While the world grappled with the implications of this global health crisis, she navigated through her own. Despite being immunocompromised—not to mention feeling fatigued and vulnerable—her care team kept her medically necessary treatment on schedule. Once May finally arrived, she could see the finish line to her chemo.

But now that mole. It had started to tell a different story. It grew ugly—jagged, inflamed, painful. It bled.

“I knew I had to get back into the saddle about that dermatology appointment,” she said.

Rajiv Bhatnagar, M.D.

When she first contacted the dermatology office in May, Beviacqua-Enriquez learned the first in-person appointment wasn’t until September. Rajiv Bhatnagar, M.D., a dermatologist with Palo Alto Medical Foundation, suggested a video visit, which could happen as soon as the next day. Video visits have increased at an astonishing rate across Sutter’s not-for-profit integrated network since the outbreak of COVID-19 in California—providing a safe and convenient option for care. She accepted a video visit for the upcoming Monday. While she admits she isn’t the most tech-savvy person, she has familiarity with the format. Beviacqua-Enriquez, who works in sales for the airline industry, often conducts meetings with her colleagues via video.

In preparation for the visit, Dr. Bhatnagar suggested Beviacqua-Enriquez send pictures of her moles. The digital photo upload option was a new feature aiming to enhance the virtual care experience. She took nine photos from various angles, and after a few clicks, the images were securely off through the online patient portal.

“It’s a good feature,” she said.

When Dr. Bhatnagar previewed the images that Sunday before, plans dramatically shifted. He examined the photos and knew immediately that Beviacqua-Enriquez needed treatment. The video visit was cancelled. Instead, Dr. Bhatnagar spoke with a dermatological surgeon and oncologist, and arranged for the patient to come in the next day for an excision of her melanoma.

“Once you get past the shock, you learn to trust,” she said.

“We very rapidly learned how to deploy video and other telemedicine visits across every specialty within Sutter Health’s network, and saw immediately, as in Arleen’s case, how impactful this can be,” said Dr. Bhatnagar. “We’re continuously learning and improving upon how we deliver both traditional and telemedicine care. Access has taken on new meaning, and we know it can only help enhance outcomes and the overall care experience.”

Beviacqua-Enriquez continues her healing journey this summer. The native Northern Californian, along with husband and college-age son, will remain close to home. When the timing is right, they will hit up some of their favorite walks and trails around the peninsula.

Their quality time together is precious and not taken for granted. While Beviacqua-Enriquez’s video visit may have never happened, it opened the door for her to get immediate care she needed—to make these moments with her family a reality.

“These are changing times. Our lives will not be the same as before COVID. It’s changed everyone’s perceptions on many things,” she said. “You have to be open to different techniques and processes. We have to have other options and thank God we have it.”

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital Named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health™ 100 Top Hospitals List

Posted on Jun 30, 2020 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Annual list recognizes excellence in clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience and financial stability

TRACY Calif.—Sutter Tracy Community Hospital today was named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. This is the second time Sutter Tracy has earned this honor, with its first recognition taking place in 2015. The annual list was unveiled on Fortune.com.

IBM Watson Health has identified the top hospitals from a rigorous evaluation of 3,134 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals in the U.S. The annual list recognizes excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient experience, operational efficiency and financial stability. Truven Health Analytics, now an IBM Watson Health company, first established the list to help identify best practices that may help other healthcare organizations achieve consistent, balanced and sustainable outcomes.

“We work to understand and best serve the diverse needs of our community,” said David M. Thompson, CEO of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, who has been with the medical center for 30 years. “Patient outcomes and patient experience go hand in hand. Our teams are extremely focused on exceeding the expectations of our patients and families while delivering safe, high-quality care.”

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital is the area’s only full service, acute care hospital, and serves more than 100,000 people in the Tri-Central Valley region. The hospital is part of Sutter Health’s not-for-profit, integrated network, which serves as a more user-friendly system by helping patients achieve healthier outcomes via greater access to quality programs and services at a lower total cost.

In 2016, Truven Health AnalyticsTM, the originator of the 100 Top Hospitals list, named Sutter Health and Sutter’s Valley Area – which includes Sutter Tracy – two of the nation’s top five performers among large healthcare systems. Other recent recognitions for Sutter Tracy include an Elite Plus Honor Roll award for stroke care in 2019 by the American Stroke Association and an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” in 2019 by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

The Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals recognition demonstrates Sutter Tracy Community Hospital’s ongoing commitment to prioritize patient-centered care, particularly during this very challenging and unprecedented time. According to IBM Watson Health, as compared to similar hospitals, the hospitals included on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list had better results on key clinical and operational performance indicators. These include survival rates, patient complications, healthcare-associated infections, 30-day mortality and 30-day hospital-wide readmission rates, length of stay, throughput in emergency rooms and ratings from patients.

“Hospitals, health systems and the dedicated clinicians and staff who work at these organizations have emerged as true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are grateful to be able to recognize these extraordinary leaders at this time,” said Kyu Rhee, M.D., MPP, vice president and chief health officer, IBM Watson Health. “From small community hospitals to major teaching hospitals, organizations on this list demonstrate a relentless commitment to high value, patient-centered care and innovation. It is clear that the COVID-19 crisis will be a catalyst for reinvention, and we believe these top-performing hospitals are positioned to emerge stronger and smarter out of this crisis.”

For more information, visit http://www.100tophospitals.com/.