California Pacific Medical Center

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.

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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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A New Lens to Study the Origin of 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, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – A new research collaboration will allow Sutter to collect and analyze ‘big data’ in hopes of identifying new disease markers for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is a difficult disease to treat because its cause is unknown. 

“MS is challenging to manage because there are no biomarkers or blood tests to diagnose or understand the individual patient’s prognosis and his or her likely response to medications,” says Joanna Cooper, M.D., a Sutter neurologist and MS clinician-investigator. “We know that disease course and presentation of symptoms vary by gender, age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. But we don’t know which treatment would be optimal for which patients, and why.” Read More

Sutter Delivers the Best Mother’s Day Gifts: New Babies

Posted on May 12, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Uncategorized, Women's Services

SACRAMENTO and SAN FRANCISCO — While looking down lovingly at her brand-spanking-new little baby boy, Cody, a tired yet glowingly beautiful Leah Strange of Sacramento pondered how grateful she felt to have given birth on Mother’s Day.

Leah Strange gave birth to baby Cody on Mother’s Day at Sutter Medical Center. Looking at his baby girl is Dad Adam Strange.

“He was overdue,” Leah said, “but I had a feeling he was going to wait it out and make it an extra-special day.”

By Sunday afternoon, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento already made it an extra-special day for 11 women by delivering the best Mother’s Day gift ever – 11 new babies. By the end of the day, it was expected that 15 bundles of joy would be born at what is known by the locals as “Sacramento’s baby hospital,” which has delivered a city worth of babies – nearly 400,000 – in its 95-year history. More than 6,000 babies are born there every year.

Ninety miles west, it was the first Mother’s Day at Sutter CPMC Mission Bernal campus, one of the newest hospitals in Northern California, having replaced the venerable St. Luke’s campus. As extra-special treats, Mission Bernal serenaded new moms with a musical duo from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to go along with their new, spacious rooms and penthouse views of the City by the Bay.

Janelle McCarthy was born at St. Luke’s, but gave birth to her second daughter, Evelyn, at the new CPMC Mission Bernal hospital campus. With them is Dad Sean McCarthy and their first daughter, Alexandria.

Janelle McCarthy, with her baby, Evelyn, was getting ready to go home, but she and her little family stopped long enough to appreciate the calming classical sounds of the flute-and-guitar duo.

“I am really happy to be at this hospital,” she said. “I was born at St. Luke’s, my first child was born at St. Luke’s, and now my second child was born here at Mission Bernal. They really take care of you here. It’s great.”

In Northern California, more babies are born at Sutter Health hospitals than anywhere else. The CPMC campuses at Mission Bernal and Van Ness deliver half of all babies born in San Francisco, and Mission Bernal is on target for more than 1,000 newborns in its first year. Throughout Northern California, an average of about 85 babies – or almost four kindergarten classes worth – are born at Sutter Health hospitals every single day … and some, like Cody Strange, hold out to be born on Mother’s Day.

“I feel super lucky and fortunate to have the opportunity to carry him and deliver him, and then be healthy and here,” said Leah Strange as she fought back tears. “So, I’m super grateful.”

Charisse Francis and Kalin Green are all smiles with Kalin’s “Mother’s Day gift,” baby Marley-Rose.

Down the hall, though, it sounded more like the Mother’s Day present was for Dad, not Mom.

Charisse Francis of Sacramento looked stunning as she prepared to go home with her third child, a beautiful, little girl named Marley-Rose. Waiting at home are Marley-Rose’s two brothers, who are just 3 and 2 years old.

“I have two boys who really, really love Mom a lot,” said proud papa Kalin Green as he held Marley-Rose. “I understand. I’m a Mama’s boy, and they are too, so I need a Daddy’s girl.” As Charisse laughed, Kalin looked down at his little sweetheart and said, “So this is mine.”