California Pacific Medical Center

When Experience Counts…

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO — With 38 years of experience, Dr. Fung Lam has delivered more than 5,600 babies at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and has identified many pregnancy complications that resulted in referrals to specialists. When San Francisco resident Aliisa Rosenthal came to Dr. Lam, during the early stages of her pregnancy

KGO interviews Dr. Fung Lam about Molar Pregnancy

with her second child, everything appeared to be normal.  However, Dr. Lam noticed a rare anomaly on her ultrasound that he had seen before—a molar pregnancy.

A molar pregnancy occurs when the cells that become placental tissue grow at such an accelerated rate that it overwhelms the fetus and typically will not result in a viable fetus. This accelerated growth leads to the development of a tumor which must be surgically removed. Molar pregnancy is rare. In the U.S., 20 women out of 100,000 that will be affected. Women from Asia and South America can experience occurrences as high as 1,300 per 100,000. Of those who experience a molar pregnancy, less than 10 percent result in the tumor being malignant. After a molar pregnancy, 98 percent of women later go on to have normal pregnancies.

According to Dr. Lam, with the use of ultrasound, prenatal care starts much earlier than it did years ago. This allows obstetricians to often identify pregnancy complications much earlier. Because of Dr. Lam’s past experience with identifying the subtitles of a molar pregnancy, Aliisa’s situation was identified early at about nine weeks. She is now doing well and spending precious time with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.

Research at Sutter Health Shows New Treatment Approach Improves Survival, Reduces Metastasis in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – Prostate cancer impacts one in every nine men in the U.S. Although death rates from the disease have declined over the last two decades, over 25,000 men die from prostate cancer annually.

Docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat other types of cancer, has improved overall survival with limited toxicity in men whose prostate cancers have metastasized and who are no longer sensitive to androgen suppression therapy (i.e., patients are hormone resistant).

Researchers at Sutter Health and other leading centers across the U.S. and Canada hypothesized that adding docetaxel to standard therapy could potentially improve overall survival and other clinical outcomes in men with localized, high-risk prostate cancer.

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Teacher saved by liver transplant helps open S.F.’s newest hospital

Posted on Mar 15, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Among the dignitaries who recently gathered for a ceremonial ribbon cutting marking the opening of California Pacific Medical Center’s (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital, stood a man who was grateful to attend the ceremony for a very personal reason: He almost didn’t survive to see it.

Jennifer Guy, M.D., director of the CPMC Liver Cancer Program with patient Richard Shapiro.

Nearly two years ago, San Francisco resident Richard Shapiro received a life-saving liver transplant at CPMC, part of the not-for-profit Sutter Health network. After several decades of living with the hepatitis C virus, the Lowell High School physics teacher’s liver function was being monitored closely by CPMC liver specialists. In 2014, a follow-up on a suspicious MRI scan revealed a liver tumor. The tumor was successfully removed, but subsequently, his liver function declined and he needed a liver transplant to save his life. After two years on the organ transplant wait list, a donor liver became available. In May 2017, he received the liver transplant that saved his life.

Shapiro feels extraordinarily lucky to have received his transplant surgery at CPMC and says his survival is “a miracle which is the result of the skills, the dedication and the humanity of an amazing liver transplant team working within the Sutter Health network of care.” He is thankful to the dozens of caregivers at CPMC who kept him healthy enough long enough to receive a liver. Says Shapiro, “That’s part of the miracle; the fact that I continue to have the opportunity to do what I love to do—which is to teach physics to the profoundly wonderful students at Lowell.”

Two years post-transplant, he has completely recovered and has returned to his normal activities, including teaching and walking his Potrero Hill neighborhood with his dog.

Shapiro’s participation in the hospital ribbon cutting is a powerful reminder of the primary importance of patients at Sutter and CPMC: our patients’ health is at the heart of what we do every day.

Tiny Twin Fighters Will Win Your Heart

Posted on Mar 8, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images, Uncategorized, Women's Services

The road ahead it twists and turns .  . . but I keep, keep on pushing through,” sings John Isaac in the soulful song titled I Get Up. This song is the perfect anthem for Mason and Logan, fraternal twins, who need the specialized care of doctors and nurses at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus. The neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, is a special section of the hospital dedicated to babies born early or with delicate medical  needs. In the NICU babies gain weight and develop a little more every day until they are healthy enough to go home.

At Sutter we want all of our patients to be at their strongest and the spirit of these two twin fighters matches our mission and echoes these poignant lyrics: “With every step my heart it pounds, yes I’m sure I’ve had my doubts, but I must keep, keep on pushing through. Yeah I get up, and I may fall right back down – but your love lifts me back to solid ground.” Thank you, Mason and Logan, for showing us how to keep on pushing through.


The Heart of CPMC Van Ness: Successful Teamwork

Posted on Mar 7, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – A new video is spotlighting the excitement and amazing teamwork behind the opening of California Pacific Medical Center’s (CPMC) new Van Ness Campus hospital in the heart of San Francisco. The video features behind-the-scenes footage of staff and physicians as they work together to safely carry out the carefully choreographed move by ambulance of more than 170 patients. Those patients include adult cancer patients and fragile preemies from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), who were transported over two days from the Pacific and California campuses to the new hospital.

“We are absolutely excited for our patients,” says oncology nurse Ann Su, R.N.



“We’re moving close to 30 [NICU] babies today,” says CPMC director of neonatal outreach, Christopher Retajczyk, M.D. “It has been an amazing experience. It’s been happening with military precision.”

Fifteen years in the making, the new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital merges advanced technology, safety, efficiency and personal touches – such as private rooms – to support the highest quality care. The facility represents a milestone community investment in the health of San Francisco. The state-of-the-art facility, featuring 11 floors and all private rooms, houses inpatient services with an emphasis on maternity care, pediatrics, transplant, emergency and cardiac care, among other primary care services. Every detail of the new hospital is geared toward creating an inclusive, healing environment, where high quality, technology, safety, efficiency and personal touches continue to be the norm.


“Blessed in Multiple Ways”: First Twins Born at the New CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital

Posted on Mar 6, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – On Monday, March 4, Dien Ngueyn and Alexander Hsu of Oakland welcomed the first twins to be born at the newly-opened Van Ness Campus hospital. The babies were delivered by Fung-Yee Chan, M.D.

Baby girl Callista was the first to arrive at 2:43 p.m. Callista weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 18 inches. Callista’s brother Callan, who arrived a minute later at 2:44 p.m., weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and measured 20 inches.

The twins’ parents chose to deliver at Sutter’s CPMC because of the medical center’s outstanding reputation of care in the maternal and fetal medicine program.

During a routine amniocentesis, to screen for developmental abnormalities in a fetus, a benign growth was found in baby Callan’s lung. The parents soon discovered why Sutter’s CPMC enjoys a stellar reputation for maternal and fetal medicine. Immediately upon finding the lung abnormality, CPMC staff connected the family with Regina Arvon, M.D., a geneticist and obstetrician at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation (SPMF) who specializes in multifetal pregnancies. Mom began receiving seamless care from a multi-disciplinary team that monitored and reviewed the progress of the both babies’ development, as well as changes in Callan’s medical condition.

Dr. Arvon explains that CPMC and SPMF’s multi-disciplinary approach in maternal and fetal medicine program is “like an incubator designed to care for the family.” As baby Callista and Callan were born, a team stood ready in the delivery room to provide diagnostics and specialty care to immediately address the birth defect, if needed.

The care team is happy to report that both infants are doing well and that they will continue to monitor baby Callan to determine future steps to care for him as both children transition into their home in Oakland.