Posts by madisol

Los Rios, Partners Announce Comprehensive Plan to Address College Affordability

Posted on Jul 11, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Investments from Sutter Health, SAFE Credit Union, Wells Fargo and VSP Global mark largest combined corporate contribution in college affordability in Los Rios history

Press release courtesy of Los Rios Community College District

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–The Los Rios Community College District today announced the largest set of investments to address college affordability in Los Rios history. In total, Sutter Health, SAFE Credit Union, Wells Fargo and VSP Global will contribute $752,500 resulting in 1,234 Promise Scholarships that will remove financial obstacles to education for low-income students, like textbooks and living expenses, that are not typically covered by existing aid programs. These funds

Numerous community partners, including Sutter Health, are making investments into the Promise Scholarship program benefiting community college students.

build on the state’s newly announced two-year California College Promise Program, which guarantees free tuition for all first-time, full-time California community college students. These investments and state funds, along with partnerships with the City of Rancho Cordova and the City of West Sacramento and their respective Promise programs for the residents of those cities, will help Los Rios students reduce the financial barriers to academic success.

“Los Rios is committed to solving the financial challenges that our students face,” said Brian King, chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District. “We are proud to partner with the committed leadership at Sutter Health, SAFE Credit Union, Wells Fargo and VSP Global to address college affordability by building on the state’s investment in our students and providing the support our students need to achieve their academic goals.”

The combined total marks the largest contribution to address college affordability in Los Rios’ 50-plus year history.

Sutter Health is providing the largest investment toward the Promise effort, committing $512,500 over five years. In a single year, this funding will support 180 students with $500 Promise Scholarships—helping reduce financial barriers and to support students’ post-secondary and workforce success. Additionally, a portion of the investment will be added to the Los Rios Promise Endowment, ensuring that students benefit from Sutter’s generosity for generations to come. They will also be using some of their contribution to create an endowment for the Los Rios Colleges Foundation Student Emergency Fund, which will build a sustainable source of funding to provide emergency grants to Los Rios students in their time of greatest need.

“As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health reinvests in the communities we serve. We appreciate the opportunity to form strong partnerships that support impactful programs, which help meet our communities’ most pressing needs,” said Keri Thomas, vice president of External Affairs, Sutter Health Valley Area. “Education is one of the foundational pillars to the health of any community. We hope that these Promise scholarships provide the reassurance and spark the inspiration students need to continue pursuing their dreams and reaching for their goals. Students of today will help shape our communities of tomorrow.”

Wells Fargo was the first corporate partner to support this effort, giving $90,000 total over the past two years. Their gifts will fund 80 of the 120 inaugural Promise scholarships this fall, at $500 per student, and another 90 scholarships next year. Their gift will also support an additional $10,000 for the Los Rios Colleges Foundation Student Emergency Fund.

SAFE Credit Union’s gift of $120,000 will be shared between the Los Rios Promise Scholarship, providing 120 student scholarships, as well as supporting students who serve as program assistants at the STEM Center at American River College’s innovative new STEM building under construction. SAFE’s first pledge payment created the Los Rios Promise Endowment, and 10% of all future Promise Scholarship gifts will be invested into the endowment so that funding can support Los Rios students in perpetuity.

VSP Global’s recent gift of $30,000 to the Promise Scholarship will help support 54 students with $500
scholarships and $3,000 contributed to the Los Rios Promise Endowment. Several years ago, VSP Global
designed ‘Professional Pathways – with VSP Global,’ a school-to-work/college program in partnership with Los Rios, Cordova High School, Folsom Lake College and the City of Rancho Cordova. The program helps local underserved students successfully transition to a path aligned with their career aspirations following high school.

The cities of Rancho Cordova and West Sacramento have been leaders in this effort, having dedicated local voter-supported tax measures to help residents of their cities with the cost of attending college. In Rancho Cordova, those funds have supported student tuition fees, book vouchers and other mandatory fees. In West Sacramento, the funds have covered tuition and other student fees as part of the city’s West Sacramento Home Run program.

Along with the generous support of corporate partners, the Los Rios Promise effort is supported by a number of individual donors, who are making it possible for the Los Rios Colleges Foundation to award 40 Promise Scholarships in 2019-2020.

Sutter Health and Blue Shield of California Renew Agreement, Extending Their Network Relationship in a New Multi-Year Deal

Posted on Jul 10, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Blue Shield of California and Sutter Health have signed a new multi-year agreement giving the nonprofit health plan members uninterrupted access to Sutter’s integrated network in Northern California.

While the current agreement doesn’t expire until the end of this year, the two organizations were able to renew their contract to extend the network relationship with a new multi-year contract.

Blue Shield of California members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual or Medicare Advantage plans that currently have in-network access to Sutter providers will continue to enjoy their services without interruption.

“At Blue Shield, our members have the choice to get great care from a wide range of in-network medical providers across the state,” said Paul Markovich, President and CEO at Blue Shield. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Sutter Health to give our members access to their integrated network.”

“Sutter Health and Blue Shield of California’s early contract renewal is great news and provides certainty to tens of thousands of Northern Californians that they will continue to have access to Sutter Health’s integrated network of hospitals, physicians and other providers,” said Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans. “Our goal is to always deliver healthcare to our patients that is safe, personal, affordable and accessible.”

Safari-Themed ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day’ Gives Career Exploration A Whole Meaning

Posted on Jun 19, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento hosted a “Take Your Child to Work Day,” but this is much different than the usual one where the children just sit around and watch Mom or Dad work. More than a dozen stations were set up for children to learn about healthcare and try their hand at specialized skills.

Among the stations:

  • A giant-sized game of “Operation” where kids can test their surgery skills.
  • A machine will “X-ray” the children’s arms in real time.
  • Kids were able to pet and interact with dogs used for therapy throughout the hospital.
  • The hospital’s germ-zapping robot will be displayed to show how it helps to kill germs in patient rooms.

“I love our pediatric services, and I love kids,” said Trisha Klaassen, R.N., SMCS clinical nurse educator who helped construct the oversized “Operation” game. “I wanted to find a good way to teach them about what we do here and how we teach.”

It was presented with a safari theme—featuring exotic animals (not real, of course!) such as lions, zebras, elephants and monkeysadding to the fun and adventure of the day.

The event is really a celebration of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento teams and the work they do every day. Staff put on the entire event themselves and look forward to it each year.

According to a new list by Forbes magazine, Sutter Health ranked 26th on California’s list and took the top spot for employers headquartered in the Sacramento region.

Sutter Health Unites with The Kennedy Forum to Establish West Coast Presence, Improving Access to Mental Health and Addiction Care

Posted on Jun 11, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Sutter Health today announced that it has united with The Kennedy Forum to improve access to mental health and addiction care in California.

The collaboration will focus on advancing critical state parity legislation, educating California consumers on mental health parity and parity rights, and hosting thought leadership forums to engage California communities in advocating for mental health as part of elevating the total health of the community. The California-specific effort will serve as a model for future engagement with communities nationwide.

“The Kennedy Forum is proud to join forces with Sutter Health,” said former U.S. Representative and founder, Patrick J. Kennedy. “Sutter Health is an award-winning health system that is committed to treating the body and the mind equally through quality, integrated care.”

Sutter Health continues to work with community partners that share its vision to increase access to mental health resources, services and support, and expand philanthropic efforts to serve those individuals and families most in need in the communities it serves.

“We are delighted to welcome The Kennedy Forum to our community,” said John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA, CEO, Mental Health Services at Sutter Health. “By advocating for policies that support increased access to mental health and addiction care, we’re taking a critical step toward designing the care of the future. This collaboration will be a tangible example that addresses a very specific need in California.”

A designated Kennedy Forum Fellow, scheduled to join the Sutter Health team later this month, will guide the work from a newly formed Kennedy Forum office in Sacramento. The Kennedy Forum’s West Coast office will be located within the Sutter Health-Steinberg Institute space across from the capitol.

“The Kennedy Forum is a recognized champion of health equity that has effectively advocated across the country to get insurers and health plans to comply with laws that require equal coverage of brain disorders as for other physical conditions,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “We are honored to support their new collaboration with Sutter Health, and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts to advance evidence-based practices and policies for treatment of mental illness and addiction.”

Telepsychiatry Bridges Gap to Help Create Better Access to Mental Health Services

Posted on Jun 10, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images

Sean Wade, a registered nurse at Sutter Davis Hospital, demonstrates how a mobile work station allows patients to connect with psychiatrists from around the country. On screen is Tim Jones, telepsychiatry program manager for Sutter Health.

DAVIS, Calif.—Every year, more and more patients experiencing urgent mental health issues come to emergency rooms across California in need of help—just one example of the state’s growing mental health challenges.

To ensure patients are evaluated as soon as possible by a licensed psychiatrist, 16 hospitals across Sutter Health’s not-for-profit, integrated network use a telepsychiatry service that draws on teams of qualified providers from around the country. That includes Sutter Davis Hospital, which has provided this service to around 80 patients since it launched at the hospital about a year ago.

“We were very excited because, with increasing population and mental health challenges, access to psychiatrists was just a must,” says Harpreet Bains, nurse manager for Sutter Davis’ medical/surgical and intensive care units. “Now that we have it, I can only say that it’s working really well.”

Bains points to a number of situations where the telepsychiatry service has helped a patient get the right care at the right time and the right place by providing 24/7 access to providers. Those might include determining if a patient has the mental capacity to make decisions related to their medical care, whether they need an adjustment to their medications or what certain changes in behavior may be indicating. It’s also been helpful with care transitions, she says, such as helping ensure that an elderly patient was ready to transfer from the hospital setting to a nursing home.

“Delivering optimal care to patients during mental health emergencies is a multifaceted challenge,” says John Boyd, Psy.D., CEO of Sutter Mental Health Services. “As healthcare providers, it is our duty to ensure they receive quality, compassionate and timely care, in the most appropriate setting.”

Sutter Mental Health Services works with Virtual Medical Staff, which recruits providers and manages the call center that takes in requests for consultation. The call center has a single number that every hospital uses to access the service. The expectation is that telepsychiatry providers are available within one hour of a request to the call center. All telepsychiatry providers are physicians, hold privileges in each of the Sutter hospitals where the service is available, have the ability to review records, enter notes in Sutter’s medical record system and put in orders.

Using safe and secure video conferencing technology that is also HIPAA compliant, telepsychiatrists can visit with patients 13 years or older via a workstation equipped with a computer screen that can be wheeled into the patient’s room. If the patient is alert and oriented, the nurse then leaves the room to provide additional privacy. If needed, they stay to help facilitate the interaction between patient and provider. Given the prevalence of electronic devices in daily life, patients have been receptive to seeing a psychiatrist this way, Bains said.

“Because of the way it works, they still feel like they’re connecting,” she says. “Seeking mental health services isn’t looked at as taboo anymore—that’s one thing I love, that people have this additional way to talk about the help they need.”

Tim Jones, Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry program manager, explains that extra layer of support broadens access for patients across Sutter’s diverse not-for-profit network, which ranges from the Gold Country foothills through the greater Sacramento area and downward to Silicon Valley.

“We have several rural-area hospitals inside our geographic footprint. In some instances, there are very limited options for psychiatry services or none at all,” Jones said. “But the need for psychiatric care is constant. We worked very hard to identify an option that would treat the whole patient, mind and body, in an acute-care setting.”

The benefits of telepsychaitry haven’t gone unnoticed. The American Psychiatric Association notes the service improves access to mental health evaluations, reduce delays in care and enhance continuity of treatment, since outpatient care is often recommended for patients once they are released from the hospital.

Since Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry program launched, more than 4,200 patients have been received services. For Jones, it’s a sign of progress.

“We believe this is the right thing to do for patients. It can have a very powerful cumulative effect,” he said.