Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Sutter Health Park Launches Health Events with ‘Light the Night’

Posted on Nov 4, 2019 in Affiliates, Community Benefit, People, Scroll Images, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – At the newly renamed Sutter Health Park, Sutter employees, clinicians and community members gathered to support a cause close to the heart of many: leukemia and lymphoma.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Greater Sacramento Area Chapter’s “Light the Night” event was the first Sutter-sponsored community event at Sutter Health Park, home of the Sacramento River Cats. As the presenting sponsor of “Light the Night,” Sutter Health was represented by members of its executive leadership team, cancer specialists and hundreds of employees, who were there to celebrate the occasion and help shine light on the fight against life-threatening blood diseases.

“We had an incredible turnout, not just from Sutter employees and their families, but the entire community,” said Michael Carroll, M.D., medical director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “This Light the Night event helped to bring further awareness to the hundreds of thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders. More importantly, the event raised funds to support patients and their families as well as laboratory and clinical research. Together, we can help find a cure for these diseases.”

When Sutter Health announced the naming rights to the home of Triple-A Baseball’s Sacramento River Cats, it announced a partnership with the River Cats and the greater community to bring more health-related awareness and services to the area. With this premier event, Sutter Health Park is now serving as a community gathering space that actively promotes health and wellness throughout the year. Other plans include health and wellness programming and local events from walks and runs, to health screenings, flu immunization clinics and more. During the season, attendees will see even more cause-related nights and nonprofit community partners featured and supported in their mission and activities.

“Thank you to everyone who joined in and supported Sacramento’s Light the Night,” said President and CEO of Sutter Health Sarah Krevans. “Sutter Health was proud to sponsor this very special event and walk alongside thousands of families, friends, colleagues, patients, caregivers and community members to support and remember all those touched by leukemia and lymphoma. The light, warmth and support everyone generated at the event together delivers hope, and the thoughtful donations of so many people will help advance life-saving research to benefit cancer patients and their families.”

For more information on the Sutter Health-River Cats collaboration, go to this story in the Newsroom.

Show executive leadership at event
Sutter Health Senior Vice President Jill Ragsdale and CEO Sarah Krevans helped to ”Light the Night” at the newly renamed Sutter Health Park Saturday evening.

Sacramentan Still Going Strong 25 Years After Heart Transplant

Posted on Nov 1, 2019 in Cardiac, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – When Mick Doughty, 68, was put on the heart transplant list in the 1990s, Sutter pioneering heart surgeon Paul Kelly, M.D., said a new heart would extend Mick’s life by 10 years … 20 years at the most.

“I told him, ‘Oh, I’ve got to beat that.’” Doughty says with a smile.

It’s now been 25 years since his transplant, and Doughty credits his longevity to the incredible care he’s received at Sutter Medical Center, close to his home in Sacramento.

To celebrate Doughty’s milestone, the Sutter Heart Transplant Program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, threw the native Irishman a party and presented him with a few gifts, including a new “Irish ticker” to replace the one that was taken out: a pocket watch from Ireland.

During the event, which also featured talks by Dr. Kelly – who began Sacramento’s only heart transplant program in 1989 – and the current medical and surgical directors of the program, John Chin, M.D., and Robert Kincade, M.D., Mick entertained the audience with funny stories in his Irish brogue. The physicians say that Mick has done everything he’s had to do to ensure a long life, and that includes his sense of humor.

“He does everything he is supposed to do” to keep himself healthy, says Dr. Kincade. “And he’s just a character, he’s the life of the party.”

The Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Heart Transplant Program, the only heart transplant center in the Central Valley, has consistently shown quality measures that are among the best in the nation, and Doughty’s longevity is living proof of that quality.

In the 30 years, the cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and care teams at Sutter Medical Center have transplanted 216 heart patients throughout Northern California to incredible success. Doughty is one of a handful of their patients who have reached the 25-year mark. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average life expectancy for a heart transplant is 9.16 years, and a relative few live past 20 years with a new heart. With his active lifestyle, Doughty believes he’ll outlive the current Guinness world record holder, who lived 34 years with his new heart.

“People ask me all the time how I’m feeling, and I say, ‘Never better,’” Doughty says.

“That’s what it’s all about, giving people back their lives, and giving people a quality of life,” says Dr. Chin. “It’s very, very gratifying. It’s why we do this.”

When asked what 25 more years of life have given him, Doughty started to list off a number of family and professional events, including his 25th wedding anniversary, his children’s graduations, his son’s wedding, being named “Sacramento’s Financial Planner of the Year.” Then he paused and said, “You know what, I think it’s the day to day, waking up every morning, living life – that is as important as all the milestones.” View a news story on Doughty’s party by clicking here.

Mick Doughty, center, thanks Drs. Paul Kelly and John Chin for the heart transplant that has extended his life for 25 years … and counting.

Quelling the Storms of Seizures in People with Epilepsy

Posted on Nov 1, 2019 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Neuroscience, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation, Uncategorized

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – An electrical “storm” in the brain causes seizures in people with epilepsy, producing symptoms that may include lapses in consciousness, twitching or jerking movements, weakened or limp muscles, spasms, blurred vision, experiencing unusual smells or tastes, and changes in sensation or emotions.

Epilepsy—a neurological disorder caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain—impacts almost 3.4 million nationwide.1 Despite advances in epilepsy treatment, approximately one-third of adults with the illness experience recurrent seizures.2

Epileptic seizures are generally categorized into three main groups: generalized (affecting both sides of the brain), focal (seizures that start in one area of the brain), and those that could start anywhere.

The stormy weather of seizures can clear with medications called anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). AEDs can to stop seizures from occurring, but they do not always lead to a remission or cure epilepsy. With the right AEDs, up to 70% of people with the illness may remain seizure-free, and sometimes may “outgrow” seizures or go into remission. For other people whose seizures are uncontrolled with conventional AEDs, other treatments including surgery may be an option. Surgery may involve removing part of the brain that causes the seizures.

Michael Chez, MD

“Knowing where seizures start in the brain provides us clues into what occurs during a seizure, what other conditions or symptoms may be seen, how they may affect someone and, most importantly, what treatment may be best for that seizure type,” says Michael Chez, M.D., a pediatric neurologist and epileptologist, and Sacramento regional director of pediatric epilepsy and research at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute.

“Life without seizures and improved quality of life is what specialists aim to provide epilepsy patients, through a treatment plan personalized to their particular type of epilepsy and seizures,” says Dr. Chez.

Two Sutter hospitals, California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento are renowned for providing patients specialized Level 4 epilepsy care— a designation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers—guided by leading-edge research. Sutter researchers are uncovering new clues about how epilepsy develops and how it can be treated more effectively.

Sutter examining new ways to ‘map’ and monitor brain activity

Epilepsy is usually diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG) testing. Those techniques are also used to regularly monitor brain activity in people with the illness. Sutter researchers are studying the use of novel neuroimaging techniques to visualize and track the brain’s electrical activity in people with epilepsy.

For patients with refractory epilepsy (in whom medications are not adequately controlling seizures), a new “high-density” EEG machine is being tested to locate precisely where a patient’s seizures originate in the brain.

“Use of these high-density or high-array EEG machines can help dramatically accelerate research and patient care by identifying the focal point of a seizure,” says Kenneth Laxer, M.D. a researcher in the Sutter Pacific Epilepsy Program at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).

With more than 40 years’ experience in epilepsy research, Dr. Laxer is renowned for studying neuroimaging techniques including magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the evaluation and management of the illness. With high-density EEGs, the patient wears a net over their head, and the brain’s electrical activity is recorded from 250-plus electrodes. The recordings are combined with the patient’s own high-resolution MRI scan to help localize the seizure focus. Surgeons use these precise images to remove the section of the brain that’s causing the seizures.

“If we pinpoint that abnormal area, we can remove a smaller portion of the abnormal brain tissue and therefore decrease the risk of serious complications from the surgery,” says Dr. Laxer. He notes that 50-70% of patients who undergo a focal resection may become seizure free. “Most of these patients remain on seizure medications, frequently at reduced dosages; however, the goal of surgery is to bring the epilepsy under control—not to stop epilepsy medication use. Patients who undergo such surgeries typically experience improved quality of life.” Stay tuned later this month for Part 2 of this series on Sutter epilepsy research, which will include information on neuromodulation and anti-epileptic medications.

Stay tuned later this month for Part 2 of this series describing epilepsy research at Sutter.

References: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/about/fast-facts.htm 2. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/refractory-seizures SAN .

Sutter Research: Advancing Care for Patients with Breast Cancer

Posted on Oct 21, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, Innovation, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation, Women's Services

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Breast cancer research has the potential to improve cancer care for the 3.8 million American women living with the illness. Recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re highlighting the bold science and game-changing breast cancer research at Sutter. This work can help advance knowledge of how to detect and treat the illness.

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What You Can Expect from an Integrated Network

Posted on Sep 30, 2019 in Scroll Images, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vivian Dos Santos lost consciousness at her home in Davis, Calif., just days away from delivering her third child, Stella. She woke up at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento – more than 15 miles away – with bandages on her head and no longer pregnant. She was unaware that care teams at two Sutter network facilities had come together to save her life and care for her baby after she suffered a sudden and severe stroke. Ultimately, Vivian’s care would include three Sutter network facilities coordinating an emergency caesarean section, lifesaving neurosurgery and extensive rehabilitation.

Vivian Dos Santos and her family say thanks to some of her caregivers at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.

The coordinated care that Sutter provided to the Dos Santos family is a testament to our integrated healthcare network and the coordination that occurs between multiple medical facilities, practitioners, and services to ensure that patients receive timely, high quality care when they need it most. (To view an infographic on Sutter’s integrated network and Vivian’s journey, click here.)

Vivian’s first sign of trouble came on Dec. 31, 2018. As she prepared to ring in the New Year with her husband and their two young sons, she began experiencing an excruciating headache. Shortly after she suddenly lost consciousness, an ambulance rushed Vivian to Sutter Davis Hospital’s Emergency Department.

There, doctors determined that Vivian was suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage – a life-threatening brain bleed. Vivian’s obstetrician and physician at Sutter Davis consulted with a neurosurgeon at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) and ultimately decided an immediate emergency C-section was the safest treatment approach for Vivian and her baby. The Sutter Davis care team stabilized Vivian while delivering baby Stella, and then airlifted Vivian to SMCS for immediate neurosurgery.

During surgery, stroke experts at SMCS successfully stopped the bleeding. After Vivian recovered from surgery, she was transferred to the Sutter Rehabilitation Institution in Roseville where she received advanced rehabilitation care. Meanwhile, Sutter Davis’ labor and delivery team helped Vivian’s husband care for the couple’s healthy newborn daughter, Stella.

Our team’s ability to develop and implement a treatment plan spanning multiple facilities — which remained in constant communication and included comprehensive access to Vivian’s medical records — proved critical to saving Vivian and Stella’s lives.

“When you have a single network, it really improves the communication,” said Dr. Rudolph Schrot, Vivian’s neurosurgeon. “You have a very rapid transfer from one facility to another, from Sutter Davis to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, to the Sutter Rehab Institute. There’s a constant thread that goes through this patient’s experience, where there’s immediate access to medical records, communication between providers, and also a very rapid response.”

Sutter’s integrated system helps provide patients like Vivian and Stella with qualified, highly-trained medical staff throughout a life-threatening medical emergency. The system allows for smoother transitions between inpatient and outpatient services, multi-specialty teams that can address patient care holistically while reducing complications and, in turn, lower hospital readmission rates and total cost of care for patients. The coordinated care model also allows teams to share ideas, improve communication and spread best practices across locations – ultimately contributing to improved care, a more user-friendly experience, and better patient outcomes.

“Coordinating our efforts across facilities, doctors, teams and locations is crucial to providing patient-centered care throughout a patient’s journey,” said Steve Lockhart, M.D., Sutter Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “Our integrated network enables us to be attuned to a patient’s needs and provide personalized care from inpatient to outpatient, preventive to rehabilitative, hospice to home healthcare.”

Lockhart continues, “At Sutter, we believe ready access to multiple types of patient-centered care from well-informed and highly coordinated providers sets integrated care networks apart. This connectivity allows Sutter to provide innovative, quality care to more than 3 million Californians. Our integrated system ultimately helps improve patient outcomes, resulting in happier, healthier families and communities.”

When Only the Best Will Do: Two Sutter Hospitals Earn Highest Quality Honor for Heart Bypass Surgery

Posted on Sep 5, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento are two of only four in state to earn three-star rating

 

OAKLAND, Calif. –Two members of the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) have earned the distinguished three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures—the most commonly performed open-heart surgery. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places Alta Bates Summit and SMCS among the elite programs for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada. Only four hospitals in California achieved a three star rating in CABG for 2018.

Junaid Khan, MD

Junaid Khan, MD, director of Cardiovascular Services for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

This is the second time in three years Alta Bates Summit has achieved the three star rating.

“The three star rating is a testament to the expertise of our surgeons and the commitment of our physicians and staff to provide the highest quality and excellence to our patients,” says Junaid Khan, MD, director of Cardiovascular Services for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

Historically, about 6–10 percent of participants receive the three-star rating for isolated CABG surgery. The latest analysis of data for CABG surgery covers a 1-year period, from January 2018 to December 2018.

“Participation in the Database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and helps provide patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care,” said David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the STS Task Force on Quality Measurement.

CABG is a surgical procedure in which one or more blocked coronary arteries are bypassed by a blood vessel graft to restore normal blood flow to the heart in people with coronary artery disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries due to fatty deposits) or angina (pain or discomfort in the chest due to narrowed arteries.) CABG reduces chest pain and risk of death from heart attack. Isolated CABG means that only a CABG surgery is performed on the patient without any other procedure.