Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Research at Sutter Health Brings New Hope to People With ALS

Posted on Jul 10, 2019 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Stephen Hawking—one of the world’s most accomplished physicists— lived most of his life with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His lifetime of accomplishments and worldwide renown cast an international spotlight on the debilitating disease. Read More

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.




New research by Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research focused on fostering physician wellness

Posted on Jul 2, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO – How do you take care of those whose life’s work is to take care of others? “Physician, heal thyself” is an increasingly challenging objective to achieve for the more than 50% of American clinicians who report symptoms of burnout. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, depression and feelings of helplessness burden the care providers staffing primary and specialty clinics nationwide.

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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.


New digital health tool aims to help patients keep better tabs on diabetes

Posted on Jun 5, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO (Calif.) Type 2 diabetes is not curable, but it is controllable—but as any patient or doctor will tell you, managing diabetes comes with its own set of challenges.

Given the disease’s complexity, patients and doctors need to maximize their time together. To help improve the care of people with cardiometabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, investigators in Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR) and collaborators at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals developed and piloted an online tool called CM-SHARE (cardiometabolic Sutter Health Advanced Reengineered Encounter) to help primary care providers better manage patients with diabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions during their office visits.

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Shining Light on Multiple Sclerosis

Posted on May 30, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Sutter researchers launch new digital health tool to improve care for people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS)—a potentially disabling immunologic disease of the central nervous system— affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide, including almost 1 million Americans. Despite new research and over a dozen treatments for MS, the specific cause remains unknown and the disease has no cure.

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