Community Benefit

To Mend a Broken Heart: Sutter Health Starts eCPR Protocol in San Mateo County

Posted on Mar 15, 2019 in Cardiac, Community Benefit, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

BURLINGAME, Calif. — If you’ve ever watched a televised medical drama, you’ve probably seen a doctor yell “clear” before delivering a jolt of electricity to re-start a patient’s heart. Unfortunately the shows make it seem like the defibrillator works every time. In reality, it doesn’t. Sometimes a faulty heart rhythm won’t return to normal even after multiple shocks, and if the problem is a blocked artery, no amount of shocks will help. In these cases, a patient’s only hope is to receive CPR while they are rushed to a hospital, and once there, receive advanced life support until doctors can repair their heart.

These two life-saving steps form the basis for a new emergency response protocol, called eCPR, which has the potential to decrease deaths from sudden cardiac arrest by 30 percent. Sutter Health affiliated Mills-Peninsula Medical Center is the first hospital on the West Coast to adopt this new protocol, which was proven effective in a 2016 study by Minneapolis-St. Paul area hospitals.

 

‘Hands Free’ Device Performs CPR During Transport

Until recently, it’s been next to impossible to perform effective CPR while in transit. “Our protocol has been to perform CPR at the scene and start transport only if we can stabilize the patient,” said John Kammeyer, Fire Chief, San Mateo Central Fire. Unfortunately many patients never stabilize – and 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before they even reach a hospital.

The widespread use of a mechanical CPR device is set to change that. The device, known as LUCAS (Lund University Cardiac Arrest System), continuously delivers the same 2-inch chest compressions that a human hand would during traditional CPR, but the machine makes the process “hands free.” This means that emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can start their drive to the hospital sooner. A LUCAS device is carried on every San Mateo Fire rig that serves the county and two of the LUCAS devices now in the field were donated by Mills-Peninsula Medical Center community benefit.

ECMO Buys Time for Treatment

Once a patient arrives at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center the second life-saving step – advanced life support – comes in. A special machine called ECMO or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, pumps oxygenated blood through the patient’s body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest while an emergency cardiac procedure is performed.

ECMO can support patients for days to weeks while doctors treat their underlying heart condition and give the heart time to heal. “Historically ECMO has only been used in support of a planned cardiac procedure,” said Joe Walsh, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Under this new protocol we’re using ECMO on an emergency basis, but time is still of the essence.”  This expanded use of ECMO can only be accomplished if the hospital has trained supportive personnel at the ready – which Mills-Peninsula Medical Center does.

Mills-Peninsula Medical Center launched its ECMO program in 2017 and has treated approximately 25 adults per year with the technology. Dr. Walsh is director of the ECMO Program and has seen first-hand that gallant CPR efforts and rapid use of ECMO can save lives.

Spotting the Signs: Sutter Health Athletic Trainers Address Student Concussions

Posted on Mar 12, 2019 in Affiliates, Community Benefit, Novato Community Hospital, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Novato, Calif — New research studies on concussions have shown that left untreated, they can cause serious long-term health problems—a frightening prospect for student athletes and their families. In 2014, Novato Community Hospital (NCH) and Novato Unified School District came together to help. They teamed up to improve concussion detection and injury prevention for the district’s more than 1,600 student athletes across 21 different sports. The result was the NCH Athletic Trainer Program.

Designed by the NCH Orthopedics Department and supervised by the department chief, the program takes a holistic approach to safeguard the health and safety of student athletes. Launched in 2015, it funds two full-time certified athletic trainers, one at San Marin High School and one at Novato High School, who work with students on a daily basis, attending all practice sessions and games where high-impact sports are played. “The certified athletic trainers are healthcare professionals that are educated on and experienced in the evaluation and management of athletic injuries, including concussions,” said Jennifer Lehr, director of orthopedic services at NCH.

 

The trainers identified concussion symptoms in 47 local student athletes in 2017, all of whom needed to see a doctor. “Without this intervention, they may have continued on the field, risking permanent injury,” said Steven Dehart, the certified athletic trainer at San Marin High School.

In addition to in-the-moment concussion assessment, the certified athletic trainers also conduct extremely detailed computer-based pre-injury concussion testing at the start of every school year to establish each student’s unique brain-health baseline. Later in the year, if a concussion occurs during practice or play, the severity of injury can be objectively measured to provide information vital to medical treatment.

Finally, the certified athletic trainers provide student athletes and school coaches with basic sports medicine training, including how to avoid common bone, joint and muscular-skeletal injuries. “We really focus on injury prevention,” Lehr said. “The ultimate goal is to enhance the student-athlete experience and establish good habits now for lifelong health and well-being.”

The Athletic Trainer Program is made possible through the support of the community. The Novato Community Hospital Foundation funds a portion of the program and donors have supported the purchase and licensing of the computer-based pre-injury concussion testing software, as well as a portion of the salaries for the certified athletic trainers. In addition, donations covered the cost of advanced software the radiologists at NCH needed to conduct susceptibility weighted imaging during an MRI, which can more precisely diagnose brain injuries. Novato Community Hospital covers the remainder of program costs through community benefit investments. The Novato Unified School District provides oversight, infrastructure and acts as the first point of contact with parents.

Sutter Health Valley Area Renews Commitment to Placer County Homeless

Posted on Jan 8, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Whole Person Care program receives additional $1 million for housing

From a County of Placer Press Release

AUBURN, Calif. — The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a $1 million contribution from Sutter Health Valley Area today to benefit the county’s Whole Person Care program in 2019. This is the second such investment made by Sutter Health to purchase permanent housing units and rental subsidies for participants in the Whole Person Care program who are experiencing homelessness and often grappling with complex medical and social challenges.

“Sutter’s support has been crucial to our success in housing more than 85 people so far, and their continued collaboration will help Whole Person Care make an even deeper impact,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Placing homeless individuals can be challenging in our housing market, but we’ve been able to meet these challenges with creativity and collaborative relationships.”

Sutter Health has supported the Whole Person Care program since Placer County was selected by the California Department of Health Care Services in 2016 to participate in the pilot, which includes a match in federal dollars of up to $10 million over five years. The program is designed to bring multiple agencies together, including hospitals, federally qualified health centers, government and nonprofit service providers to coordinate and deliver services to meet the needs of high-risk, high-needs individuals, with a specific focus on persons who are experiencing homelessness.

“As a not-for-profit health system in Placer County, we are committed to improving access to care for the underserved, including not only our patients but all residents in the area,” said Brian Alexander, CEO of Sutter Roseville Medical Center. “Whole Person Care has facilitated unmatched partnership among government, hospitals and nonprofits in this region and we’ve been able to accomplish much more working together.”

Using Sutter Health’s initial $1 million contribution in 2016, Placer County was able to purchase two properties with a total of 14 bedrooms and provide permanent housing for 14 people at a time during the first year. This second investment will allow Placer County to obtain additional housing units to complement the mental health, substance abuse and supportive services provided through the Whole Person Care program.

To learn more about Whole Person Care, explore this in-depth podcast series following the journeys of members and their case workers – including clients who have moved into the properties purchased with Sutter grant funding.

The grant from Sutter Health is part of the health system’s Getting to Zero strategy, a regional effort to end chronic homelessness in Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties by encouraging public and private sector collaboration on innovative housing projects. This year marks the final phase of the three-year campaign, during which Sutter Health has invested more than $5 million in four local jurisdictions to provide housing for over 1,000 individuals.

“We strive to improve lives beyond the walls of our hospitals and care centers by addressing the whole health of each individual,” said Mitch Hanna, CEO of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. “We know that access to housing is a necessary component to improve an individual’s overall health, and our partnership with Placer County will help meet the community’s pressing need for more housing.”

The Spirit of Giving and Gifting

Posted on Dec 20, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Risks & Insurance Operations Team in Santa’s Workshop

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lots of people dread wrapping up holiday gifts, but that wasn’t the case in Sacramento this week.

Several employees from not-for-profit Sutter Health volunteered to wrap Christmas presents for children in need.

The sounds of scissors cutting and paper ripping filled an empty office building as it was transformed into Santa’s workshop on Wednesday.

The Sacramento Children’s Home is dedicated to caring for some of our community’s most vulnerable children and families.

This gift-wrapping event is part of the organization’s Holiday Giving Program.

Basketballs are the most requested item from the children

“We have more than 1,200 gifts to wrap,” said Nick Houser, director of communications at the Sacramento Children’s Home.

“This is just one small way we can give back to kids in our community,” said Mark Field, director of  Risk & Insurance Operations Team at Sutter Health.

Field worked with Team Giving to organize volunteers to play elf for the day.

The event even got the attention of  KXTL-Channel 40 in Sacramento.

“You get to wrap presents, and what’s not fun about that?” said Trudy Harris with Team Giving. “You can remember when you were a kid and got to open Christmas presents.”

More than 1,000 children will be surprised with the presents at a Santa’s breakfast event on Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“We have a lot to be grateful for, and during this season of giving, teams within our organization are eager to help those in need and sprinkle some holiday joy,” says Field.

At this time of year, that gratitude and joy is wrapped in festive paper.

 

 

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