Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

How To Keep Your Kids Safer in the Water

Posted on Aug 10, 2020 in Affiliates, Eden Medical Center, Safety, Scroll Images, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

As parents scramble to find ways to keep their kids active during the pandemic, water safety is even more important

ANTIOCH, Calif. –When the weather’s hot, it’s natural for kids to be drawn to water — a pool, lake, river or ocean. Water is sparkly and refreshing, a place to have fun.

But now more than ever, experts are warning parents and families to be sure to take the right safety precautions around water.

Late summer and early fall raise special concerns in the Bay Area—especially in the inland areas like the Delta and the Tri-Valley, where warm weather is typical as late as October. Because of the pandemic, community centers that once offered supervised swimming pools may be closed. And schools are again providing instruction remotely, so kids are spending more time at home and possibly more time around a swimming pool or taking end-of-summer-vacation trips to rivers, lakes and other natural bodies of water. Add to this that many parents are working from home and may be distracted, and the potential for danger increases.

“Many people think about pools as fun and not necessarily as a hazard, but I always ask parents what steps have you taken to keep your child safe around the pool,’’ said Geri Landman, M.D., a pediatrician based in Berkeley with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF), part of the Sutter Health integrated network of care.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children 1 to 4 years of age, and at least one in five drownings are children ages 14 and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

William Francis, M.D., an emergency room doctor at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, said he has treated several children for water-related injuries since the pandemic started.

“There’s an explosion of above-ground pools and spas, and part of that is because people start to look at what they can do around their house and there’s a rush to install equipment,” Dr. Francis said. “We have to remember that when a pool is installed – either above ground or in the ground – children need to be supervised 100 percent around water.”

Pediatricians with SEBMF say they counsel parents on safety measures and may also remind them that accidents around pools, even drowning, are a reality.

“Counseling is important during well-child visits and it’s important to remind parents it doesn’t take much for a child to for a child to drown,” said Susan Adham, M.D., an SEBMF pediatrician based in Antioch. “If necessary we remind parents that this continues to happen in our communities. Kids can get into trouble so quickly.”

To help kids stay safer in the water, clinicians at Sutter Health recommend:

  • When young children are in or around water, an adult should be supervising at all times. If adults are in a group, appoint a “water watcher’’ who will pay close attention to the children, and avoid distractions like talking on a cell phone or drinking alcohol.
  • Pam Stoker, a trauma injury prevention specialist at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, encourages parents to follow a protocol for active supervision that includes:

    Attention – focusing on your child and nothing else because anything that takes your attention away increases your child’s injury risk.

    Continuity – constantly watching your child. For example, don’t leave your child by the pool to go inside and get a towel.

    Closeness – stay close enough to actually touch your child. If you are out of arm’s reach of your child, your ability to prevent injury goes down significantly. While it is impossible to actively supervise your child 24 hours a day, it is important to do so during activities that are high risk to your child’s safety.
  • Pools should be fenced on all sides with a 4-foot fence that kids cannot climb. The fence should have a gate with a lock that kids can’t reach.
  • When using inflatable or portable pools, remember to empty them immediately after use. Store upside down and out of children’s reach.
    Consider installing a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
  • Don’t rely on water wings or noodles as flotation devices. They are fun toys but no substitute for a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. A life jacket is particularly important in natural bodies of water that may be murky because the bright color stands out and is an effective way to locate children.
  • Teach children to swim. They can start swimming lessons as young as 1 year.
  • Learn CPR. Check for resources on first aid training at a local fire department, American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

First Responders Salute Eden, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation Healthcare Heroes

Posted on May 15, 2020 in Affiliates, Eden Medical Center, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

CASTRO VALLEY, CALIF. –It was a wonderful afternoon for a joyful first responder parade to salute and thank the dedicated Eden Medical Center and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation nurses, doctors and staff working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two mounted officers from East Bay Regional Parks, riding Domino and Guinness, lead off the parade. They were followed by dozens of first responders representing the Alameda County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol/Castro Valley, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, East Bay Regional Parks and FALCK Northern California ambulance.

In turn, about a hundred Eden and SEBMF nurses, doctors and staff members held handmade signs, waved and shouted their appreciation back to the first responders in a heartfelt show of mutual support.

Remember to Breathe: Doctor’s Mindful Breathing Practice Helps Foster Calm

Posted on Apr 14, 2020 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Wellness

Leif Hass, M.D.


OAKLAND, Calif. — The world-wide pandemic is causing worry and uncertainty for many. Leif Hass, M.D., a family practitioner with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation and a hospitalist at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, is working to reduce his stress one breath at a time, through his mindful breathing practice.

In a new “Science of Happiness” podcast, Dr. Hass shares his mindful breathing tips and describes how the practice helps him stay calm, focus his attention and be present for his patients. The podcast is fittingly called, “Remembering to Breathe. How a doctor stays calm and centered during times of uncertainty, one breath at a time.”

Listen to the podcast.

Says Dr. Hass, “Mindful breathing prompts us to follow our breath, getting into a nice deep rhythm of breathing. And we know that mindful breathing can reduce anxiety and depression and help people handle pain.”

Reducing Childhood Obesity One Family at a Time

Posted on Aug 7, 2019 in Innovation, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

New Program Aims to Help East Contra Costa County Kids Achieve and Maintain Healthy Weight

 

ANTIOCH, Calif. –Making sure kids eat a balanced diet and maintain a proper weight can be a difficult task. Especially if the child is overweight, obese or a picky eater.

In Contra Costa County the problem is especially acute. Kidsdata.org, a program at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, compiled data in 2018 by grade level and found that in the county 36.1 percent of fifth graders, 35.7 percent of seventh graders and 33.4 percent of ninth graders are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, overweight or obese children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.

Richard Singer, M.D., a pediatrician with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) based in Brentwood, had become increasingly concerned about the overweight children he sees in his practice and the lack of nutritional counseling services available in eastern Contra Costa County.

So after careful planning, Dr. Singer recently started a pediatric weight management program at outpatient pediatric offices in Antioch and Brentwood. As part of the program, a registered dietician on the staff at Sutter Delta Medical Center sees patients one day a week at an SEBMF care center.

“There is an epidemic of childhood obesity and all of the complications associated with obesity,” Dr. Singer said. “Our community needs resources to help intervene and improve the quality of life of these children. The pediatric dietician will help parents and their children make better food choices as well as providing ongoing support and helping to monitor their progress.”

In June, Elika Vargas, a registered dietitian at Sutter Delta Medical Center, began meeting with parents and their children on Mondays, either in the SEBMF primary care clinic in Antioch or Brentwood. Children from 2 to 18 years of age are referred to her by primary care physicians.

Vargas reviews the child’s medical history and assesses the child’s eating patterns. Her goal is not to put the child on a diet but to guide the child and the parents on how to eat healthy meals. She also asks the parents and child about physical activity, as lack of exercise contributes significantly to being overweight or obese. Follow-up care is important to assess adherence to nutrition recommendations and weight trends.

“The idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle and gradual weight loss, and to teach families about nutrition so they can make these decisions on their own,” Vargas said. “I let them know why they should be eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get the right nutrition.”

Many barriers to healthy eating exist. The availability of convenience and processed foods, larger portion sizes and lack of physical activity are some of the contributors to obesity. Families are busy and eating fast food may be easier than preparing a balanced meal.

It can be difficult to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents have to be willing to be role models by following their own healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and plenty of exercise.

Some of her advice to parents on how to help children adopt a healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Cut out sugary desserts and juices or try fruit-infused water.
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods. Cook meals at home so children are more likely to have enough vegetables and whole grains.
  • Encourage kids to get involved in preparing meals or in helping with grocery shopping.
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors, flavors and textures.

“With kids you have to offer healthy choices such as fruit and vegetables multiple times,” Vargas said. “It’s persistence and communication.”

 

 

 

 

 

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 Primary Care Office in Antioch Celebrated

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

New Space Offers Patients Larger Exam Rooms, Light-Filled Spaces and Beautiful Art

ANTIOCH, Calif. –It’s official: the spacious primary care office that opened in Antioch has been blessed, toured and admired by Sutter Health leaders, East Bay government officials and community members.

As a crowd watched, Jimmy Hu, M.D., Area CEO, East Bay, Sutter Bay Medical Foundation, cut the red ribbon, and Dawn Morrow, a representative from Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis’ office presented a welcome plaque to Dr. Hu and Samuel Santoro, M.D., CEO, Sutter East Bay Medical Group.

Jimmy Hu, M.D., Area CEO, East Bay, Sutter Bay Medical Foundation and Samuel Santoro, M.D., president and CEO, Sutter East Bay Medical Group accept a welcome plaque from Dawn Morrow, district representative for Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis.

“We are proud to show you the space,” said Dr. Hu. “The best thing you can do in an organization is grow, and we know East Contra Costa is expanding and we are here to support the community and provide excellent care.”

About 100 people attended the mixer on June 13 that was organized by Sutter Health, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) and the regional Chambers of Commerce including Antioch, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Pittsburg, Rio Vista and West Pittsburg.

Dr. Hu explained to the gathering that a gift from Better Health East Bay, a philanthropic group in the Sutter Health network, enabled SEBMF to renovate almost 13,000 square feet on the second floor of the care center at 4053 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. After months of construction, the expansion was completed in April and the primary care doctors and their staff moved from cramped quarters on the first floor to newly designed modern offices on the second floor.

“We are proud to be here, and proud to show off the new digs,” Dr. Santoro added. “State of the art, 21st century health care is being delivered right here.”

He told the crowd: “Our Sutter values are safe, personal, affordable and accessible health care. We have an obligation to you to deliver on that promise.”

The attendees mingled and nibbled on appetizers as a DJ played various tunes. In addition to Morrow, representatives and local officials attending the event included Tito Ramos from Rep. Jerry McNerney’s office, Antioch Mayor Sean Wright, Tricia Piquero, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce co-president, and Richard Pagano, Antioch Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The building is a hub for SEBMF since it also has suites that house an Urgent Care, lab, radiology, OB/GYN, neurology, podiatry, urology, cardiology, gastroenterology and general surgery.

The primary care team, including family and internal medicine and pediatricians, is a large one: eight doctors, nine medical assistants, a coordinator, a licensed vocational nurse, a registered nurse and a clinical operations manager.

They are glad to be seeing the patients in larger exam rooms with new equipment and more desks and office space for clinicians. There are 18 exam rooms and a procedure room; the space is filled with light and art, as well as sofas and comfortable chairs.