Community Benefit

Gift of Surgery Program Gives Patients Life-Changing Moments

Posted on Dec 12, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Blanca Calderon and Michael W. Leathers, M.D., consult before her carpal tunnel surgery at Sutter Alhambra Surgery Center on Nov. 2, 2018.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Blanca Calderon has always worked with her hands.

For the last several years, she’s used them at a Sacramento bakery, mixing and measuring ingredients, and kneading, cutting and shaping dough.

The repetitive work took its toll, causing numbness, tingling and swelling in her hands and wrists. It was incredibly painful—especially at night—and made it hard for her to work, do household chores, or even sleep.

Calderon’s children helped when they could—with errands, laundry and dishes—but she missed being able to do normal, everyday things. Most of all, she missed being able to carry her grandchildren.

Like many people who don’t have health insurance, Calderon could not afford medical treatment. She suffered through the pain for 15 years.

This fall, Sutter Health and the Sacramento Physicians’ Initiative to Reach out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT) partnered to find Blanca a surgeon to alleviate her pain.

Orthopedic surgeon Michael Leathers, M.D.,  performed carpel tunnel surgery on both of Calderon’s hands at Sacramento’s Sutter Alhambra Surgery Center on Nov. 2. John McCall, M.D., a Central Anesthesia Service Exchange (CASE) Medical Group doctor, administered anesthesiology during the procedure.

“Surgery can be life changing,” Dr. Leathers says. “It’s incredibly meaningful to be able to help people who would might otherwise continue to live in pain.”

At her follow-up appointment, Calderon came into the office with a huge smile, minimal pain from the surgical sites, and normal feeling in her fingers.

About Sutter Health’s Gift of Surgery Program

Each year, Sutter Health works with community organizations like SPIRIT, as well as Operation Access in the Bay Area, to provide surgeries to patients without health insurance. The organizations identify patients based on their medical condition, health status and financial need, and work with the physicians and care teams at Sutter Health’s outpatient surgery centers to schedule procedures.

Teams from 18 Sutter ambulatory surgery centers volunteered their time and expertise to perform 60 life-changing procedures during the 2018 Gift of Surgery program. Surgeries included hernia repair, cataract repair and gallbladder removal; procedures were all completed in the outpatient setting and did not require overnight hospitalization.

As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health believes in giving back. Sutter Health’s total community benefit investment was $612 million in 2017. These funds supported traditional charity care, unreimbursed Medi-Cal costs, health education and community clinics.

Two Hundred-Fifty Reasons to Be Thankful this Holiday Season

Posted on Dec 4, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Gifts purchased by Sutter Health employees for families in need are loaded into moving van as part of the annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family program

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Watercolor paints and paper. Snuggly jammies. Train sets. Modeling clay. Rain boots and jacket.

These items may be found on any child’s holiday wish list, but these gifts have extra special meaning. Presents like these, as well as a host of others, came from lists of more than 250 families throughout the greater Sacramento area and Central Valley who benefit from Sutter’s Holiday Adopt-a-Family program.

Cindy Coffey, a 17-year employee who works as a part of the administrative team for the Sutter Health Valley Area, says her department has been participating in the event for years.

“I think giving back is just the epitome of Christmas and the giving spirit,” Coffey said. “In light of the recent fires and the devastation those communities have suffered and endured, I think this year the opportunity to give means so much more than it ever has. It’s special to have the opportunity to give to those who expect so little, yet need it the most.” Read More

Caring Hearts Have No Boundaries: Sutter Health Teams Across Northern California Support Camp Fire Victims

Posted on Nov 15, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Gurmail Brar, M.D., Tawnya Hoffman, P.A., Bill Hoffman M.D., and Jessica Williams M.A., have donated time at the evacuation site at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In its first week of existence, the Camp Fire in Butte County has already surpassed other California fires as the most destructive, deadly fire in California history.

“We in Northern California seem to be constantly confronted with natural disasters — wildfires, floods, and more— that test our mettle and ability to bounce back,” said John Rose, M.D., president and CEO of Sutter North Medical Group. “But there is something that is even more constant than the occurrence of a natural disaster. Time and again, we can count on our Sutter Health teams to provide compassion, kindness and assistance to those affected.”

Within days, Sutter Health announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross California Wildfires Fund. And in parts of the organization across Northern California, Sutter team members are stepping in to help in other ways. Read More

Sutter Health Donates $50,000 to Help Camp Fire Relief Efforts

Posted on Nov 12, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

KCRA 3’s Lisa Gonzales, Sutter Health’s Sue Haddad and John Rose, M.D., and Red Cross Gold Country Region’s Gary Strong at KCRA 3’s /American Red Cross’ telethon raising money to support victims of the Camp Fire.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Sutter Health made a $50,000 donation today to help those impacted by the Camp Fire, which continues to rage in Butte County.

Sutter Health’s donation will go to the American Red Cross California Wildfires Fund. The fund will help bring food, water and emergency shelter to the families affected by the devastation left in the fire’s wake.

“Our Butte County neighbors have suffered such tremendous losses from this devastating fire. We are so grateful for the heroism of the first responders, as well as those from Adventist Health’s Feather River Hospital who safely evacuated patients,” said Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “Through an outpouring of community support, we can help provide shelter and supplies to those most in need.” Read More

Rising through the Ranks: One Veteran’s Story

Posted on Nov 9, 2018 in Community Benefit

Military experience helps shape the career of Sutter Health Nurse

 

Stephanie Johnson in 1992 at the beginning of her career with the United States Air Force.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— In 1992, Stephanie Johnson was just starting her military career as a medical services specialist in the Air Force. Just 22 years old, married and with a young daughter back home in California, Johnson didn’t know what the next four years would hold for her—but her military experience would prove invaluable to her and her career at Sutter Health, which has spanned nearly 20 years.

Johnson’s first year in training for the Air Force was split between California and Texas, before she settled in North Dakota at Grand Forks Air Force Base. While she did not see combat, she cared for soldiers at a family medicine clinic on the base. She fondly recalls a certain colonel, who initially intimidated her but later became a mentor. He encouraged her to consider various angles to different situations, which helped inspire her to redesign a clinic workflow that would keep soldiers from having to travel off base to see a podiatrist. Instead, she switched around schedules so a podiatrist would be more readily available on certain days at her clinic. This saved time, energy and resources all around.

That sense of empowerment and teamwork left a strong impression on Johnson and is something she’s carried with her.

“The military gives you structure and respect for different roles. Nothing is done alone,” she said. Read More

Innovative Street Nurse Program Awarded

Posted on Nov 2, 2018 in Community Benefit

Dedicated Nurses Meet People Where They Are

Eight companies were honored with awards Thursday at the third annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards put on by the Sacramento Business Journal.

WellSpace Chief Operating Officer, Brenda Shipp, and Sutter Health Valley Area Community Health Manager, Kelly Brenk, accept the award.

Sutter Health and WellSpace Health were picked from more than 100 applicants in eight categories.

All of the applicants had one common thread: new technology or developments that seek to solve problems.

The honorees were judged by a panel of dozens of entrepreneurs, technologists, technology executives and financiers. Under the Government & Civic category, the top pick was Sutter Health and WellSpace Health for its collaborative street nurse program for the homeless.

Amanda Buccinna, R.N., is part of the Street Nurse Program.

The R.N.’s mobile office travels with compassion meeting people in Sacramento where they are.

Read More