Racing Against Time, Mobile Stroke Unit Treats First Stroke Patient

Posted on Feb 11, 2019 in Expanding Access, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Scroll Images, Women's Services

The Sutter Health Mobile Stroke Unit team got the call they had been preparing for and raced into action.

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Providing new treatment options to patients with advanced cancers: Sutter participates in innovative TAPUR™ study

Posted on Feb 11, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, Innovation, Memorial Hospital, Los Banos, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center, Santa Cruz, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO – Sutter Health is enrolling patients to the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization (TAPUR™) study, a national, prospective, non-randomized clinical trial determining the safety and efficacy of approved, targeted anticancer drugs.





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Shaking things up: first-in-the-nation earthquake technology at new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital

Posted on Jan 28, 2019 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Scroll Images

Viscous wall damper technology, used in dozens of construction projects in Japan, proven to substantially decrease building movement during earthquakes

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 28, 2019) – Sutter Health’s new California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital includes first-in-the-nation seismic technology, which is designed to allow it to withstand a major earthquake. The 11-story structure incorporates 119 innovative viscous wall dampers which absorb very strong movement and reduce overall stress on the building. This technology has been used in dozens of construction projects in Japan – including many high-rise buildings – over the past 25 years. These are the first ever viscous wall dampers incorporated into a building in North America.

The new, 1 million square-foot California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital, located at 1101 Van Ness Ave. at the intersection of Geary Blvd. in San Francisco.

Check out KPIX-TV 5’s story about our new hospital, its first-in-the-nation seismic technology and its focus on patient safety and comfort.

“Geologists say there’s a 72 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake along the Hayward Fault and other Bay Area fault lines within the next 30 years,” said Jay Love, senior principle engineer at Degenkolb Engineers and the engineer of record for the project. “With the latest seismic technology in place, the new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital is prepared to continue to deliver healthcare services when the next ‘Big One’ strikes.”
Based on stringent testing and analysis, viscous wall dampers absorb approximately 90 percent of the energy from an earthquake. When minor or even violent shaking begins, the dampers go into effect. This substantially decreases building movement, especially in the upper floors where seismic accelerations are typically the greatest. In the event of a major disaster, Sutter’s CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital is built to sustain itself for at least four days off the city utility system, with the support of three emergency generators, food, water and the ability to safely store sewage.

Installation of the dampers has reduced the structure’s reliance on steel alone to strengthen the building. Without it, the hospital would have required up to 60 percent more steel and more bracing frames on the column lines of the building. Factoring in the cost of the dampers with structural steel, Sutter Health saved 25 percent on the total cost of the building’s structural steel, money that was able to be used in other areas of the project.

Viscous Wall Dampers, like this one, will allow the new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital to withstand a very strong earthquake.

In addition, the dampers are strategically located between windows on the exterior of the building’s façade, allowing for unobstructed views and access to exterior light in every patient room.

By employing viscous wall damper technology, we’ve created one of the most earthquake-resistant buildings in all of San Francisco,” said Larry Kollerer, Sutter Health’s executive director for facility and property services. “In the event of a major disaster, the new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital is designed to not only remain standing, but to be operational to serve the needs of the community in a time of extreme crisis.”

Viscus wall dampers are made of two pieces. The first is a simple steel box that fits into the width of the exterior wall space and connects to the floor girder below. The second is a vertical steel plate that inserts into the steel box and is connected to the floor girder above. The plate is free to move horizontally through a polymer viscous fluid in the box. The fluid, polyisobutylene, is a synthetic elastomer that absorbs the earthquake’s energy when the plate pushes its way through the fluid as floors move horizontally from one another.

The Office of Statewide Health and Planning Development (OSHPD) required vigorous testing and analysis to demonstrate that the new hospital would perform as well – if not better – than a conventional California hospital during a major earthquake. Full-scale testing of the technology took place at the University of California San Diego’s Caltrans Seismic Testing Facility, where six full-scale dampers were put through more than 20 tests. After reviewing the results, OSHPD agreed that the system met the requirements needed for hospital construction in California.

In response to urgency created by the events of California’s Northridge earthquake in 1994, and because of the total collapse of two hospitals during the Sylmar earthquake of 1971, the California State Legislature introduced a Seismic Safety Bill—Senate Bill 1953—which was signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson in 1994. The new law required nearly half of California’s hospitals to be retrofitted, reconstructed or closed by 2030 if they were unable to meet the new seismic safety requirements.

Special Hospital Unit Prevents Mental and Physical Decline in Elderly Patients

Posted on Nov 29, 2018 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SAN FRANCISCO“Mom just isn’t the same since she came home from the hospital.”

Wendy Zachary, M.D., a geriatrician with Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, used to hear this complaint often. But since launching the volunteer-powered Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), her patients are safely going home sooner, are readmitted less frequently and suffer fewer falls.


Dr. Zachary and her team opened an Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit at the new CPMC Mission Bernal Campus hospital in August, building upon the success of the HELP program at CPMC’s Davies and Pacific campuses. Mission Bernal’s ACE unit is the first one of its kind for Sutter Health and one of only about 200 nationwide.

Nationally, ACE units have a proven, two-decade success record of helping decrease incidents of hospital complications like delirium, bring down costs, decrease length of hospital stays, improve coordination and mobility and reduce readmissions. This is critical because elderly hospitalized patients are prone to suffering delirium –which, according to Dr. Zachary, has the same risk of mortality as a heart attack.

“We know when geriatric patients are located in the same area of the hospital, such as in an ACE unit, they get better care,” says Dr. Zachary. “This is because the care providers see similar issues over and over, and the more cases you see, the more comfortable you become treating these patients.”

Mission Bernal’s ACE unit offers 19 patient beds, an activity room and a specialized physical therapy room—and staff and volunteers that are specially trained to care for older patients through the HELP program. Read More

Angel Eye Allows NICU Families to Bond with Their Baby While Away from the Hospital

Posted on Nov 20, 2018 in Innovation, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Uncategorized

Candace Wilson speaks about the gift of NICU cameras on Tuesday with her husband, Rich (left).

SACRAMENTO — Exactly three years ago, Nov. 20, 2015, a little girl was born to Candace and Rich Wilson of Grass Valley, Calif. She spent a couple of weeks in neonatal intensive care units before succumbing to her health issues. During her short life, Candace and Rich were able to spend most of their time with her and the specialists. But they saw many families who didn’t have the time off work or the financial wherewithal to be there with their sick babies. They founded a nonprofit in Norah’s memory to help those families, called the Norah Foundation.

One of the cameras is already in use at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.

The Norah Foundation has already helped many local NICU families with gas and food cards, hotel vouchers and other support, but the Wilsons felt what was really needed is a way for these families to be with their sick babies even when they couldn’t be in the NICU in person. They started a campaign called Always Together to raise money to install NICU cameras at the bedside of babies in Northern California’s largest NICU at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. The first two were unveiled Tuesday, Nov. 20, Norah’s third birthday. Read More

ER on Wheels: Groundbreaking Approach to Stroke Care

Posted on Sep 24, 2018 in Innovation, Scroll Images

BURLINGAME, Calif. –Experts estimate that every minute treatment for stroke is delayed can mean life or death for 2 million brain cells. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and the top contributor to long-term disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the Bay Area, not-for-profit Sutter Health’s Mills-Peninsula Medical Center is partnering to pilot a specially-equipped and -staffed ambulance, called a mobile stroke unit (MSU). The goal is to test whether bringing stroke diagnosis and treatment to patients—rather than waiting for them to arrive at the emergency department—improves outcomes.

Mills-Peninsula’s new mobile stroke unit will bring care to patients on scene.

Mills-Peninsula is the first hospital in Northern California to pilot a mobile stroke unit, joining medical centers in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Denver and Los Angeles. Read More