California Pacific 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

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.

Read More

The Dog-tor Will See You Now

Posted on Jun 18, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Carousel, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images

Therapy Dog Cares for Patients at CPMC Van Ness Campus

Posey with 16 year old pediatric patient Buddy Pendergast

SAN FRANCISCO–Anxiety and fear are common issues that pediatricians and staff address every day when caring for children inside Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center Emergency Department. They enlist child life specialists to assist, as well as a very special team member, Posey the Therapy Dog.

Posey partners with emergency department pediatrician, Vince Tamariz, M.D., to see young patients who come in for assistance with an illness or injury. While Dr. Tamariz addresses the health issue, Posey addresses the stress children face when coming into this unfamiliar environment. With a soft and unhurried approach, Posey can easily distract a child from the frightening medical activity that is underway and bring a sense of calm and curiosity to the child, reducing the fear and anxiety.

“When Posey walks into the room kids have something to focus on that is a distraction from what is happening with their care,” said Dr. Tamariz. “Even parents admit that Posey helps relieve the stress they feel resulting from the need to bring their child to the emergency department.”

When there is a break in the activity of the emergency department, Posey can be found on the pediatric floor of the hospital. Posey makes her rounds, checking in on young patients to see if anyone needs her loving assistance. When she walks into a room spirits lift and children have a break from the ailments that bring them to the hospital. While patients love to see Posey and pet her soft fur, she will also hop up on the bed—when invited—to lay beside a patient who may have difficulty reaching her or getting out of the bed.

Many studies show that petting a dog makes you feel good; it increases oxytocin in the body, which amplifies feelings of happiness and empathy. It also lowers the heart rate, decreases blood pressure and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). These results can make a big difference for children in the hospital.

Specially-Designed Pacifier Uses Music to Teach Premature Infants How to Feed

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Pediatric Care, Quality

Parents’ Voice Singing a Lullaby Rewards Baby for Sucking

Alissa and Charles O’Neill with baby Olive

SAN FRANCISCO—Premature babies often lack a developed sucking reflex, leaving them unable to feed orally. And the inability to feed is a common reason new born babies remain hospitalized after birth. To help develop the sucking reflex more quickly, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), part of Sutter Health’s not-for-profit network of care, is using a new device called a Pacifier-Activated Lullaby (PAL) in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

According to CPMC’s music therapist Elisha Madsen, MME, MT-BC, recent studies show that about 70 percent of the premature infants who receive PAL treatment respond positively to it. They increase their ability to eat on their own, gain weight, and go home from the NICU earlier.

Charles O’Neill and baby Olive at home

The PAL rewards and motivates babies to suck on a pacifier to help strengthen their sucking reflex. The special pacifier is attached to a sensor module that measures the strength of the baby’s sucking reflex. When the PAL detects that the baby has sucked on the pacifier to the predetermined strength, the baby earns a reward –a lullaby recorded by the baby’s own mom or dad.

Madsen explains that hearing their parent singing a lullaby motivates babies to continue sucking on the pacifier –which improves the sucking reflex. “Within two and a half minutes, she says, “most babies learn they will have to suck on the pacifier to receive their music reward.”

“It’s exciting for us at CPMC to be able to offer parents a direct role in their baby’s care where they are the reason the baby’s health is improving,” said Madsen. “Parents just light up when they see their baby responding to their singing voices and learn the skills they need to eat and go home. It is just precious to see this reaction.”

Dad’s Best Father’s Day Gift? Bonding with Baby!

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality

SAN FRANCISCO –On this Father’s Day we celebrate the bonding between dads and their newborn babies. While the focus of childbirth and postnatal care typically revolves around mother and baby, and with good reason, research shows that dads can also have an incredible impact on their babies in the days after birth.

Fathers who engage in skin-to-skin contact, often called kangaroo care, with their newborns can positively impact their child’s physical and emotional health immediately. Skin-to-skin contact helps create a bond between dad and baby and helps elevate a father’s natural parenting instincts. Practicing kangaroo care also helps dads become more sensitive and aware of their baby’s needs, and more confident about their parenting skills.

For the baby the benefits are many, says Terri Slagle, M.D., director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center’s Van Ness Campus hospital. “Frequent skin-to-skin contact increases brain development and decreases stress responses. By holding his baby to his chest, dad creates a sense of security which can lead to a reduction in irritability and improved sleep, and helps to foster a regular and stable heart rhythm and breathing pattern,” Dr. Slagle says.  “It can also lead to weight gain for the baby as he or she develops better absorption and digestion of nutrients following skin-to-skin contact.”

Simply put, skin-to-skin contact stimulates the baby’s immune system and promotes physical and emotional wellbeing for both dad and baby while developing a stronger bond for the long term.

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.

Read More