Sutter Medical Foundation

Breast Cancer Survivor’s Tale of ‘Consistent, Compassionate Care’ — Even During COVID-19

Posted on Jul 23, 2020 in People, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Women's Services

ELK GROVE, Calif. – Pamela Randall’s breast cancer journey began with her diagnosis in June 2018.

Pamela Randall

Her physician—Joyce Eaker, M.D., who recently retired from Sutter Medical Group—called her after the cancer removal surgery with the pathology report. That’s when Randall, a global workforce consultant who lives in Elk Grove, Calif., learned the road ahead would be difficult, including a double mastectomy, 10 rounds of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation.

“It was like she was talking to a family member,” Randall says. “What she told me was, ‘I didn’t want anyone else to call you with this news.’ I’d never heard of a doctor with that kind of commitment. She was someone to lean on, someone who was reassuring and kind.”

Mastectomy & Treatment

To help manage her appointments and clinician communications, Randall relied on My Health Online, Sutter’s online patient portal, and the medical staff who cared for her. Dr. Eaker performed her double mastectomy, while Lynne Hackert, M.D., performed the first step in her breast reconstruction, placing the tissue expanders at the time of her mastectomy.

At Sutter Cancer Center, Randall’s Sutter Medical Group oncologist, Nitin Rohatgi, M.D., “was reassuring, clear, comforting, direct and knowledgeable,” she says.

For Randall, the hardest part of the journey was undergoing daily radiation, five days a week for five weeks. But she says her Sutter Medical Foundation radiation oncologist, Carlin Hauck, M.D., understood the emotional strain and connected her with Sutter’s integrative health specialists, who taught her meditation and breathing techniques to use before every treatment.

Randall’s radiation treatments ended in May 2019. She had to wait a year before reconstructive surgery due to tissue damage caused by the radiation.

Reconstructive Surgery During COVID-19

Seeking medical treatment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic meant taking extra steps to continue her care.

She met by video visit with her California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) reconstructive surgeon, Gabriel Kind, M.D., who would perform her DIEP flap procedure. In a DIEP flap procedure, tissues and blood vessels are taken from the abdomen to repair areas of the breast tissue that have been severely damaged.

On instruction from her CPMC team, Randall, her son and her boyfriend received COVID tests and isolated themselves before her July 6 surgery. At CPMC’s Davies campus, where Randall’s nearly 10-hour surgery was performed, staff requested that she go to pre-op alone, without her boyfriend, to minimize any possibility of exposing patients to COVID.

“They weren’t taking any chances,” Randall says. “They were keeping COVID out of their facility. That gave me the confidence to give my boyfriend a kiss and go up alone.”

After the surgery, she spent five days in the hospital recovering. Now Randall feels like she’s getting better day by day.

During her time at CPMC, she says, several nurses confided in her that they’d had the same procedure done.

“They said, ‘I was where you are. You’re doing great. You’ve got this. You’re in good hands.’

“And I was, all the way through.”

No Need to Put Off Possible Life-Saving Mammogram Any Longer

Posted on May 19, 2020 in Carousel, Expanding Access, Quality, Safety, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Women's Services

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Laurie Deuschel of Rocklin received news during the COVID-19 crisis that breast cancer runs in her family, but during the first two months of the pandemic, mammograms were considered elective scans and weren’t being performed. The first week they became available again, Deuschel got an appointment.

“I’m here to have my first mammogram, and I’m a little bit scared,” she said, but she wasn’t scared about catching the novel coronavirus while at the Sutter Imaging center in Roseville Monday, May 18.

Why? “Sutter Imaging knows the cleaning procedures and how to keep me safe,” she said.

Sutter Health is going to great lengths to protect its patients and staff in the COVID-19 era. It has created a “new normal” for its imaging centers, focused on a “safety strategy” that is incorporating guidance from the national Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health and the American College of Radiology. Some of those measures include:

  • Temperature screening of all staff, doctors and patients at the door,
  • Universal masking,
  • Social distancing in waiting rooms (patients can wait in their cars if they prefer),
  • Screening patients at the time of scheduling and arrival for symptoms,
  • Deeper cleaning of equipment after every patient,
  • Regular sanitization of chairs and door handles,
  • Thorough wipe-downs of patient lockers and dressing rooms with a “Cleaned” sign placed for patients and staff to know those areas have been disinfected,
  • Regular audits or “double checks” with staff to ensure that the new procedures are being followed. 

Miyuki Murphy, M.D., the director of breast imaging for Sutter Medical Group, was interviewed for a story on the Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA, Channel 3. Dr. Murphy explains why not delaying your mammogram is important, and the story includes video of some of the safety measures being taken at Sutter Imaging. Click here for that story on their website.

Dr. Miyuki Murphy on KCRA about the safety of mammograms at Sutter Imaging.

Helping Mind the Gap on Cardiovascular Diseases

Posted on Feb 7, 2020 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Cardiac, Expanding Access, Innovation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Heart valve imaging
Heart valve imaging

Lifesavers appear in big sizes and small. For patient Adam Livingstone, rescue was a dime-sized clip that restored his heart’s normal rhythm and size. For months, Livingstone had been experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue. Diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, a minimally invasive procedure to repair the valve was performed at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento—one of Sutter’s sites where researchers evaluate new devices for treating damaged or diseased heart valves.

The Heart’s Finely Orchestrated Blood Flow

Heart valves
Heart valves

Like a musical conductor, the heart oversees rhythm and flow, circulating blood to each of its chambers in a coordinated, unidirectional symphony.

THE MITRAL VALVE

Mitral regurgitation, the most common type of heart valve disorder, occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve when the left ventricle closes.

Some patients undergo non-surgical heart valve repair with transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) with MitraClip®.2 During the procedure, doctors thread a catheter into a large leg vein reaching the heart. Then a dime-sized clip clamps the improperly working valve, allowing it to close more tightly with less backward blood flow.

“Some research participants recover faster and resume normal activities within a week of the procedure, and may not require lifelong anticoagulant medications, repeat surgeries, or re-hospitalization,” says David Roberts, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, medical director of cardiovascular services at Sutter in the Valley Area.

A new clinical trial at Sutter called PASCAL CLASP IID/IIF will test the safety and effectiveness of TMVR with the PASCAL Transcatheter Valve Repair System® compared with MitraClip® in patients with mitral regurgitation.3

For patients with severe mitral regurgitation, Sutter’s CPMC seeks to enroll patients in a clinical trial called SM3, which assesses the safety and efficacy of the SAPIEN M3 System™.4

“In this study, we are evaluating a new type of mitral valve that may provide a minimally invasive alternative to surgery for high-risk patients with severe mitral valve disease,” says David Daniels, M.D., co-director of Sutter’s Structural Heart Program in the Bay Area, and principal investigator of the SM3 clinical trial at Sutter.

Some patients develop mitral valve disease when calcium deposits accumulate on the fibrous ring attached to the mitral valve leaflets. For these patients with mitral annular calcification (MAC), Sutter will begin offering enrollment in the Summit clinical trial, which will test the safety and effectiveness of the Tendyne™ transcatheter mitral valve.5

“Previous approaches to treat patients with MAC have mainly involved the off-label use of transcatheter aortic valves,” says Dr. Roberts. “But this strategy may lead to residual mitral regurgitation and the need for open-heart surgery. Sutter’s participation in Summit may lead to novel ways to care for this hard-to-treat subset of patients.”

THE TRICUSPID AND AORTIC VALVES

Although a skilled conductor, sometimes the heart needs help to maintain proper blood flow for musical perfection. To the rescue: Sutter researchers test interventional devices designed to treat patients with diseased or damaged tricuspid and aortic valves.

In one new clinical trial, Sutter researchers will collect information about treatment for severe aortic regurgitation, a condition typically treated with aortic valve replacement surgery.

This study will examine the use of TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement), a minimally invasive procedure designed to replace the aortic valve inside the heart. In this study, TAVR will be performed using the JenaValve™ Pericardial TAVR System, designed to help treat patients with severe aortic regurgitation or severe aortic stenosis.6

“Until now, all commercially available TAVR valves have focused on aortic stenosis, or a restricted valve,” says Dr. Daniels, co-principal investigator of the TAVR with JenaValve™ clinical trial at Sutter. “The JenaValve™ may allow researchers to treat patients with a leaky valve in the absence of any calcium. Currently these patients are only candidates for open-heart surgery.”

Additionally, Sutter researchers at CPMC and Sutter Medical Center are seeking to enroll patients who have tricuspid regurgitation in a clinical trial called TRILUMINATE.

The TRILUMINATE study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Tricuspid Valve Repair System™ (TVRS) for treating moderate or severe tricuspid regurgitation in patients currently on medical management and who are deemed appropriate for percutaneous transcatheter intervention.7

  • Learn more about Sutter cardiovascular diseases research and clinical trials.
  • If you are suffering from mitral or tricuspid valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis or other heart valve disorder, talk to your cardiologist to see if research participation and/or valve replacement or repair is right for you.

References:

  1. American Heart Association.
  2. MitraClip™ is manufactured by Abbott Medical Devices.
  3. The PASCAL clinical trial is sponsored by Edwards Life Sciences, makers of the Transcatheter Valve Repair System®.
  4. The S3 clinical trial is sponsored by Edwards Life Sciences, makers of the SAPIEN M3 System™.
  5. The Summit clinical trial is sponsored by Abbott Medical Devices, makers of the Tendyne System™.
  6. The JenaValve™ clinical trial is sponsored by JenaValve Technology, Inc., makers of the Pericardial Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) System.
  7. The TRILUMINATE clinical trial is sponsored by Abbott Medical Devices, makers of the Tricuspid Valve Repair System™.

Research at Sutter Health Brings New Hope to People with Cardiovascular Diseases

Posted on Sep 3, 2019 in Affiliates, Carousel, Innovation, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter North Medical Group, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – New discoveries in cardiovascular diseases can arise in a heartbeat, and few researchers across Sutter Health know this better than David Roberts, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Medical Director of Cardiovascular Services (Valley Region) at Sutter Health. Dr. Roberts’ 25-year career at Sutter parallels the leading-edge advances in cardiovascular diseases care and research aimed at treating patients with illnesses such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart valve diseases, heart failure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and coronary artery disease.

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Solar Power to Provide More Than Half of Yuba City Campus’ Electricity

Posted on Aug 16, 2019 in Innovation, People, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter North Medical Group

Large Project Is Part of Sutter Health’s Commitment to the Environment and Public Health

Sutter, Engie and community leaders flipped the switch on the solar powered project at the Sutter Medical Foundation Plumas Avenue campus that includes Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley.

YUBA CITY, Calif. – Sutter Medical Foundation’s Yuba City campus “flipped the switch” today on an on-site solar power-generating system that will provide more than half of the electrical power needs for the medical campus. The solar panel installation is part of Sutter Health’s ongoing efforts to provide a cleaner energy source at its hospitals and medical office buildings, demonstrating the Northern California healthcare network’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Sutter partnered with ENGIE Services U.S. to install solar panels on carports and a ground mount array on adjacent vacant land at SMF Yuba City. The solar powered system will reduce the campus’ carbon footprint while positively impacting Sutter’s core mission to provide excellence in patient care.

As a result of the new solar power installations, SMF Yuba City and Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,880 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 400 cars from the road. The 2.7 million kWh of clean energy produced is the equivalent of powering 225 homes for a year. In total, the solar power installations will provide 56 percent of the campus’ electrical power.

“Sutter Health and Sutter Yuba City have been looking for ways to continue our mission of superior health services to the community while at the same time contributing to a healthier environment,” said Stephen H. Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer and Executive Sponsor of Sutter Health’s environmental stewardship program. “The main reason for bringing this renewable energy source her and to other locations is to reduce our carbon footprint in the communities that we serve.”

The Yuba City renewable energy project is one of six Sutter Health locations throughout Northern California that are part of a pilot program in the network’s ongoing efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels for power generation.

The solar paneling also provides shade for vehicles and visitors, keeping folks cooler on sunny, hot Yuba City days.

“We’re proud to be generating more than half our electricity needs by using this renewable, clean energy source,” said Sandra Adams, Service Area Director, Sutter Medical Foundation. “With our new solar power program, we will use energy generated by the sun—a renewable source—while at the same time reducing harmful emissions. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The energy savings created from the solar panel installations will be redirected to resources that directly impact patient care and other mission-critical needs on the Yuba City campus, Dr. Lockhart says. Sutter Health has also locked in a favorable rate for 20 years, hedging against the risk of fluctuating energy prices in the future, assisting in Sutter’s mission to provide quality healthcare at affordable prices.

In addition, the new solar carports systems that provide clean energy to Sutter Health’s vital healthcare operations will also provide shaded parking for hospital vehicles, staff vehicles and the general public. This will save in maintenance costs for facility transportation and reduce the use of automobile air conditioning.

Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley offers award-winning personalized surgical care in the Yuba-Sutter community. It is owned by Sutter Medical Foundation and offers the following surgical specialties: orthopedics, podiatry, general surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, gynecology, spine surgery, pain management and urology. SMF is part of Sutter Health, a family of not-for-profit hospitals, physician organizations and other medical services that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. Visit the Sutter Surgical Hospital-North Valley website at www.sshnv.org.

ENGIE Services U.S., a division of ENGIE, the #1 energy services provider in the world, is a national energy infrastructure and building services company that helps education, government, commercial and industrial customers become more efficient, productive and sustainable.

Robot Now Assisting Yuba City Surgeons

Posted on Jul 1, 2019 in Innovation, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter North Medical Group

Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley Offers Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Joint Surgeries

 

Harinder Dhanota, D.O., and his fellow surgeons at Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley are now using a Mako robot to help them in total joint replacements.

YUBA CITY, Calif. — Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley surgeons now have access to an advanced treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis — a disease that affects more than 30 million adults in the United States.

In 2017, the Mako System became the first and only robotic technology that can be used across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements. Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley is the only hospital in the Yuba-Sutter region — and one of a small number of hospitals in Northern California — to offer this technology.

“We’re proud to be among the first hospitals in Northern California to offer this highly advanced robotic technology,” said Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley Chief Administrative Officer Dennis Sindelar. “This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to providing the community with outstanding healthcare.”

Using a virtual 3-D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to create a patient’s personalized surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan.

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Sutter Medical Foundation orthopedic surgeon Dr. Harinder Dhanota. “It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements.”

Five orthopedic surgeons who practice at Sutter Surgical Hospital have been trained to use the Mako System. The first procedure, a total knee replacement, was performed by Dr. Dhanota on June 25.

For more information, call (530) 749-5746 or email Mako@sutterhealth.org.