Posts by madisol

A Welcome Mat for Wherever You Are

Posted on Apr 3, 2020 in Innovation, Scroll Images

Nothing beats the comfort of home. And while many of us are staying as safe as possible under our own roofs to help curb the spread of COVID-19, there are still those essential workers who head out the door to their jobs each day—including front line health care workers.

As healthcare organizations across the nation prepare for the surge of patients with COVID-19, there will be a need for front line health care workers to travel and meet areas of greatest need. And Sutter Health just made it easier for those front line staff.

Sutter is collaborating with the newly launched Airbnb Work to help support front line health care workers find temporary lodging around hospitals where they may be relocated to support. This service can help support healthcare workers who are self-isolating from their families or who need rest immediately after shifts, as they continue to care for others in need.

“Sutter Health is supporting our front line health care workers in many ways during this unprecedented public health emergency. We are seeking solutions to support our staff as they are caring for our patients and communities,” Jill Ragsdale, chief people and culture officer for Sutter Health. “This service helps remove the added pressure for staff caring for patients in other locations from finding temporary lodging while working away from home. We greatly appreciate how the greater community has opened their doors through the Airbnb program to support our care givers.”

This is one example of how Sutter Health is using the breadth of its integrated network to increase critical care capacity. The Airbnb Work service will be offered in several locations near existing Sutter hospitals including: Burlingame, Castro Valley, Modesto, Oakland/Berkeley, Roseville, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Tracy and Vallejo.

“The spirit of collaboration and innovation is exactly what’s needed right now as we tackle this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Chris Waugh, Sutter Health’s chief innovation officer. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with Airbnb to help support Sutter’s frontline healthcare workers who need temporary lodging near hospitals where they’ve been redeployed to care for patients. Through Airbnb’s collaboration, we can help care for them while they care for others.”

Making Conversations Around COVID-19 Kid-Friendly

Posted on Apr 1, 2020 in Safety, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

How can parents/guardians provide reassurance to children when a lot remains unknown? COVID-19 has changed our world in a short amount of time—and perhaps the course of history—but how can parents talk to kids about it now?

Krystle Balduzzi, M.D., pediatrician at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, suggests that parents/guardians acknowledge that the situation affects adults just like it affects kids. Families are watching the news or absorbing information via social media trying to find the answers that will make each other feel safe. This is where parents and caretakers can model good behavior by sharing emotions in a healthy way and encouraging children to do the same. “In order to help our kids we need to help ourselves first,” she says. “We need to understand the extreme fluid nature of this whole situation.”

Creating a Safe Place to Share

Most kids know about the coronavirus and will have questions. Dr. Balduzzi suggests parents and guardians need to ask and answer questions about COVID-19 in an age-appropriate way. “Saying everything will be fine or ‘don’t worry about it’ won’t cut it,” she says. “Reassure the child that they are safe and that everyone is working together even though we can’t be with others.”

How IS the Family Helping?

Dr. Balduzzi suggests focusing on ways the family is helping the situation: washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, keeping distance between themselves and others, making sidewalk art for neighbors or donating supplies to those in need. Children may also have questions about when they can return to friends or school. Dr. Balduzzi recommends being honest and saying no one knows yet. Rather, encourage children to help think of other ways to stay connected, like virtual visits with friends, teachers or extended family.

Finding a New Norm

Children crave structure, says Dr. Balduzzi, so getting them back into a schedule as much as possible is key. It’s important for parents and caretakers to get older kids’ input on the structure they would like to create for themselves. For those caring for younger ones, charts can help visually signal how they can stay on track. “We are now their teachers, too, and schools run on schedules, so we should considering doing the same,” she says. Dr. Balduzzi recommends keeping things simple at first: wake up, get dressed, school time, craft time, lunch, outdoor time, etc.

Family Bonds

For those in the immediate household, this is a time to stay close and connected. Hug your child, play with them at their age-appropriate level or cuddle on the couch for a movie. Dr. Balduzzi states that this will help kids feel safe. When kids don’t feel safe, they tend to act out. This behavior change can include temper tantrums, new bedwetting or fear of the dark. For older children, this can include more risk-taking behaviors. “We need to create a safe, calm environment so that their growing minds can process what’s going on around them,” she says. Dr. Balduzzi also emphasizes that it is important for parents to acknowledge that they are human and to always forgive themselves if they have a breakdown. “Sometimes we need to get it out in order to move on,” she says. “These are trying times for everyone and the saying ‘we are all in it together’ never held more meaning than it does now.”

Practical Tips to Reduce Anxiety During Uncertain Times

Posted on Mar 18, 2020 in Scroll Images

Times of uncertainty—like the global COVID-19 pandemic—can spike anxiety in many people. Lives are upended and routines are erased. Schools are closed. Loved ones 65 years and above are homebound. Employees are working from home exclusively. And more importantly, as the number of COVID-19 cases rise across the U.S., causing concern for public health and the health of those closest to us.

How does one find solace during these difficult times? Urmi Patel, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and director, clinical care for Sutter Mental Health Services, provides practical suggestions for those who feel unsure and overwhelmed during this unprecedented time.

Meaningful Engagement
Social isolation may appear unavoidable right now, so it’s more important than ever to work together as a family and stay connected as a community. Dr. Patel suggests checking in on friends and family via phone calls or video chats. “Talk about things outside of COVID-19 to remind one another there are many other things to focus on during difficult times,” she says.

Modeling
Dr. Patel says children will look to their parents’ or caretakers’ behaviors and emotional responses for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times. Address children’s concerns or anxiety together as a family so they also see how their parents or caretakers are managing theirs.

Management
Information is everywhere and it can be extremely valuable as the COVID-19 situation evolves. However, people should consider limiting their exposure to social media or the Internet if they find themselves overwhelmed by the information. “If need be, consider looking to trusted sources of information, such as the CDC or news media outlets, to get important information daily,” says Dr. Patel.

Movement
Given social distancing is recommended throughout the world, consider implementing other forms of physical activity in the home or outdoors, if permitted. Simple daily physical exercises can be helpful to maintain a sense of health and balance.

Mindful
Mindfulness goes beyond one’s self-awareness and acceptance—it means being conscious of others. COVID-19 is impacting many countries and individuals around the world. Dr. Patel recommends not attaching the pandemic to one ethnicity or nationality, and not avoiding others due to stigma or fear. “Try to remain kind to each other during this stressful time,” she says.

New App Supports Growing Families at Every Age and Every Stage

Posted on Feb 27, 2020 in Innovation, Scroll Images

Personalized health guidance connects to vetted resources within the Sutter Health network via Wildflower Health’s digital platform

Mom, dad, and their toddler and infant daughters snuggle up together playfully on the couch. Big sis is kissing mom, dad is watching them, and little baby sis is staring at the ceiling.

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. AND SAN FRANCISCO–From the moment a woman realizes she’s pregnant, there’s so much to think about, from coping with morning sickness to remembering to take prenatal vitamins and preparing for delivery.

In hopes of making it easier for prospective moms to find all the information they may need, Sutter Health and Wildflower Health have teamed up to offer an app that supports women and their partners before, during and after pregnancy: My Family by Sutter Health™.

The app, which is intended for those 18 years or older, is powered by Wildflower’s digital platform. It is designed to help patients connect to trusted local resources available within Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health network serving more than 3 million patients in Northern California. It provides pregnancy guidance reviewed by Sutter network doctors as well as other helpful resources, including nutrition and exercise ideas, weekly pregnancy checklists and reminders, and a guide for discussing a woman’s labor and birth preferences with her provider. It provides tips for caring for newborns, too—from breastfeeding to safe sleeping. The entire family’s health can also be supported in the app. With the ability to create multiple profiles for parents and kids, users can manage their family’s health at every age and stage.

“What makes My Family by Sutter Health ™ app unique is that it offers advice that has been reviewed and vetted by Sutter physicians,” said Albert Chan, M.D., M.S., FAAFP, Sutter Health’s chief of digital patient experience. “The information comes from sources like the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is backed by the local doctors taking care of local families. It gives our patients convenient, accessible and reliable information, when and where they want it.”

The free mobile app joins Sutter’s comprehensive suite of maternity, pediatric, family medicine and women’s health care services, connecting families to hospital birth centers, classes, breastfeeding support, neonatal care services, emergency services and more.

“From Baby Friendly Hospitals, to well-child visits and high-quality women’s healthcare, Sutter Health and Wildflower Health understand the needs of growing families in Northern California,” said Leah Sparks, founder and CEO of Wildflower Health. “Our collaboration will build trusted solutions for families, personalized to their health needs.”

The results from a one-year pilot study with Sutter Health and Circle, another Wildflower Health pregnancy app, indicated that patient satisfaction was a key indicator of success. Of participants from the pilot study, 100 percent rated the app “easy to very easy” to navigate with a Net Promoter Score of 28. Almost 80 percent said they were likely to recommend the app experience to others.

Additionally, a peer-reviewed journal article found that users of a Wildflower Health app engaged in prenatal care earlier and had fewer low-birth weight babies than non-app users.

With the goal of creating greater access to the right care at the right times, the My Family by Sutter Health app helps support healthier families. The My Family by Sutter Health™ app seeks to help with the early identification of health issues to ensure that every individual receives the most appropriate level of care, decision support to enable healthy choices for a variety of scenarios, and adherence and compliance with care plans, appointments, vaccinations and prevention.

The My Family by Sutter Health™ app is available in English and Spanish. It can be downloaded in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by following the links provided, or searching “My Family Sutter” in the app stores.

Yolo County Unveils Health Needs Focus for Next Three Years

Posted on Feb 18, 2020 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Mental health and addiction care, disease prevention and management, and access to basic needs identified as priorities

Courtesy of Yolo County

WOODLAND, Calif.– Mental health and addiction care, disease prevention and management, and access to basic needs like housing, jobs and food were identified as priority areas to address the evolving health needs of Yolo County residents. These findings—amongst many others—were revealed today in the county’s latest Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) during a community event at the Yolo County Food Bank.

“The collaboration that went into developing this report is just the start of what we can achieve when we are partners in health,” said Don Saylor, District 2 Yolo County Supervisor. “We hope sharing these needs with the community will create a call to action for all community leaders to come together to develop strategies, interventions, and make commitments to prevent and address the significant health needs presented here today! We are excited to see this renewed commitment to ensuring a Healthy Yolo County!”

The CHNA summarizes the significant health needs facing the more than 200,000 county residents. It allows health leaders to identify and prioritize significant health needs in the region, helping to improve health outcomes for patients wherever they seek care throughout the county. Local care providers – including hospitals – use the CHNA to guide their community benefit investments to help meet the individual regional health needs.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to have collaborated with the County and our health care partners to determine and address the needs of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Gena Bravo, Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Dignity Health Woodland Memorial Hospital. “The Community Health Needs Assessment is important work, and we know it will have a direct impact on lives and the communities we serve.”

“The Community Health Needs Assessment gives remarkable insight into the targeted areas where our investments can make a difference to support the unique needs of our community,” said Rachael McKinney, CEO of Sutter Davis Hospital.

Other focus areas identified in the report include active living and healthy eating; access to quality primary care health services; access to transportation and accommodations for those with disabilities; access to specialty and extended care; safe and violence-free environments; pollution-free living environments and access to dental care and preventive services.

For the first time, the 2019-2021 CHNA was completed collaboratively by Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency Community Health Branch, CommuniCare Health Centers, Dignity Health, Sutter Health and Winters Healthcare. Research and writing of the CHNA was conducted by consultants, Community Health Insights.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (and California State Senate Bill 697) requires that not-for-profit hospitals conduct a CHNA at least once every three years to satisfy the Public Health Accreditation Board reporting requirements for the county.

“The collaborative CHNA process gave visibility and voice to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Evan Priestley, Director of Health Wellness and Promotion at CommuniCare Health Centers. “Inviting safety-net organizations to the table demonstrates commitment to capture the experiences of everyone in the community. CommuniCare Health Centers is grateful to participate in the CHNA process.”

“The Community Health Needs Assessment gives us insight into the health issues specific to our own community in Winters, while simultaneously providing information on the whole county,” said Chris Kelsh, Executive Director of Winters Healthcare. “Without this data, we are guessing on what issues are most prevalent. The CHNA supports us in working strategically with our health center, hospital, and social service counterparts to focus our efforts so we can use our resources to improve the lives of all people in the county.”

Photo: Representatives from Yolo County, along with those from CommuniCare Health Centers, Dignity Health, Sutter Health and Winters Healthcare joined forces today to unveil the Community Health Needs Assessment.