Integrated Network

A Message from Sarah Krevans on the Northern California Wildfires

Posted on Aug 19, 2020 in Integrated Network, Scroll Images

Wildfires are again burning in multiple Northern California counties. Sadly, it’s an all too familiar occurrence for many of the communities Sutter Health is privileged to serve.

Sarah Krevans, President & CEO,
Sutter Health

I want to thank the thousands of firefighters and additional emergency personnel who are responding to these blazes—especially the physicians, nurses and staff across Sutter’s integrated network. Our teams have been on the front lines caring for patients since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and now they are simultaneously helping support their communities during these fires.

We are closely monitoring the progress of the fires, as well as the resulting poor air quality, and their impact on our care sites. As always, the safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We will work to keep our communities informed during this evolving situation.

Sutter is also committed to supporting our staff who may have been evacuated or otherwise impacted by the wildfires. We are checking in with our team members and activating employee resources like emergency financial assistance.

As we have done throughout the ongoing pandemic and in past wildfires, we will use the breadth of our integrated network to move resources around our care sites to where they are needed most to help our communities and patients in Northern California.

How a Rural Hospital Treated a COVID-19 Patient 120 Miles Away

Posted on Jul 2, 2020 in Integrated Network, Scroll Images

When Sutter Health’s Memorial Hospital Los Banos had a critically ill patient test positive for COVID-19, there wasn’t an ICU room for her. The small community hospital’s four ICU beds are located in the same large room separated by curtains, and this patient needed to be isolated.

A private room was made available, but there was a problem: It was not equipped with the Sutter eICU telehealth system that allows 24/7 critical-care physician coverage from a central hub 120 miles north in Sacramento. But, as part of its preparations for a COVID-19 patient surge, Sutter Health had just deployed a new system that allowed its eICUs to more than double its capabilities. The patient in Los Banos was the first to be cared for using the new system.

Sutter, a national pioneer in electronic ICU (eICU), has for years ensured critically ill patients in both large cities and small towns have 24/7 access to an expert team of doctors specially trained in their care. From central hubs in Sacramento and San Francisco, these doctors monitor patients in ICUs many miles away using live interactive video and remote diagnostic tools to instantly assess critical changes in a patient’s condition and provide expert critical-care physician support and supervision for the hospitalists, specialists and nurses who provide the hands-on care.

Sutter Health has more than 300 ICU patient rooms at 18 hospitals, each one outfitted with interactive video cameras, but in a matter of a month, Sutter designed and deployed specialized units that enable the eICU’s critical-care physicians to care for upward of 1,000 coronavirus patients without having to travel from hospital to hospital and using in-demand PPE. As part of its COVID-19 surge planning, each hospital set aside other patient rooms that don’t have the eICU video technology installed, and Sutter’s eICU team created and deployed 82 iPad stands across its network to bring these specialized critical care teams to those patients, too. Including the patient in Los Banos.

“The challenge was to come up with a plan for our eICU to provide care for a surge in patients across Northern California,” said Dr. Tom Shaughnessy, medical director of Sutter Health Bay Area eICU. “We are now able to meet the need of a patient surge by giving the same comprehensive, quality care whether a patient is in one of our ICU beds or a converted room.”

With the assistance of the eICU team through the mobile units, the patient in Los Banos recovered from the novel coronavirus. Now rural hospitals throughout the Sutter network are prepared for patients who need to be isolated and still have 24/7 critical-care physician coverage, and Sutter’s larger hospitals are prepared for a future patient surge of any type that requires all-hours critical-care coverage.

“We have nurses and physicians providing some of the best bedside care in the country, and the eICU allows us to come in and provide advanced specialized support as they care for patients,” said Dr. Vanessa Walker, medical director of the Sutter Health Valley Area eICU. “This is critical in the care for those suffering from compromised lung function due to a virus such as COVID-19. Now with these additional mobile units, we are well prepared to meet a surge of patients from this current crisis or any other that may come in the future.”

Vanessa Walker, D.O., cares for a patient through the eICU system in Sacramento

PPE Donations: Like Mother, Like Daughter

Posted on Jun 17, 2020 in Integrated Network, Scroll Images

Jiaqi Yu

OAKLAND, Calif. –It’s not quite the family business, but 15 year old Jiaqi Yu has definitely learned how to make connections and obtain much-needed PPE like masks and shoe coverings by watching her mom, Minfen Ding, RN.

Minfen Ding, RN

In April, Yu’s mother facilitated donation of 13,000 masks and other PPE to Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland where she works as an oncology nurse. Now Yu has helped make connections and facilitate the delivery of 20,000 masks to the hospital.

“I am very proud of Jiaqi. She cares about the safety of our staff and is able to advocate for our hospital,” says Ding.

The College Preparatory School ninth grader says she was inspired to facilitate the donation of masks by watching her mom’s efforts to gather PPE to protect her colleagues.

“I believe that every medical worker on the frontlines deserves the best equipment,” says Yu. “They are all working hard to protect us, but they need protection too, and I wanted to do what I can to help them.”

Yu facilitated donation of the masks, which she secured from the Fountain Project Foundation, an East Bay non-profit working to help people with no health insurance obtain medical care.

Clean Machines: How Disinfecting Robots are Helping the Frontlines

Posted on Jun 8, 2020 in Integrated Network, Scroll Images

It’s not a scene from science fiction. But the battle is real against germs inside hospitals and care centers. And standing alongside healthcare professionals and cleaning crews on the frontlines? Disinfecting robots.

High-tech “clean machines” are more widely used than ever in healthcare—and have been an especially welcome in the arsenal against COVID-19. Integrated health networks like Sutter Health have had them in practice for several years, setting the stage for safety for patients and staff alike.

“Our UV robots help combat against C. diff, MRSA and multi-drug resistant organisms in the hospital,” said Brett Laurence, M.D., Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento’s chief of infection control. “The UV light rays disinfect high-touch surfaces and procedural areas to improve and ensure patient safety.”

Disinfecting robots are featured at California Pacific Medical Center, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital. They have even been used inside the Rural Health Clinic in Los Banos.

Sutter Health has taken other steps to make patients feel welcome and safe upon returning to network care centers, as well. In addition to increased frequency of cleanings, Sutter has adopted universal masking for staff and patients, set up temperature check stations and moved or marked furniture to promote physical distancing in waiting rooms.

“The health and well-being of our patients, employees and clinicians is a top priority,” said Sean R. Townsend, M.D., vice president of quality and safety at California Pacific Medical Center. “We are combining the power of science with sensible approaches all in the name of safety.”

CPMC’s Hamila Kownacki Recognized as One of San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business

Posted on Jun 4, 2020 in Integrated Network

SAN FRANCISCO – Hamila Kownacki, RN, MSHA, and chief operating officer at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of 2020’s Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business. The publication’s annual list celebrates women business leaders in finance, health care, law, real estate, technology and more. Honorees are both passionate leaders in their organizations, as well as their communities.

Hamila Kownacki is the Chief Operating Officer at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco.

As COO of CPMC, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care, Kownacki oversees all operational direction and outpatient services for the medical center’s three campuses in San Francisco: Van Ness, Mission Bernal and Davies.

Most recently, Kownacki led the opening of two modern hospitals where high quality, technology, safety, efficiency, and personal touches are the norm. CPMC’s Van Ness facility, which opened in March 2019, offers advanced patient technology, cancer care, cardiac care, orthopedics and women’s and children’s services. CPMC’s Mission Bernal location, which opened in August 2018, is a neighborhood-based medical center that focuses on emergency, elder care, maternity and orthopedics services.

Kownacki was also chosen for the prestigious Carol Emmott Fellowship, class of 2020. As one of 21 fellows selected nationwide, she is granted the opportunity to build on her leadership capacities in order to help accelerate the advancement of women in executive roles in health care, where currently they are significantly underrepresented.

Kownacki is a board member for San Francisco’s Meals on Wheels and she serves as chairperson of the Donor Network West, an organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation in Northern California and Nevada. She earned her bachelor’s degree at CSU Northridge, and her master’s degree in health services administration at St. Mary’s in Moraga.

Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Welcomes New CEO

Posted on May 18, 2020 in Integrated Network

OAKLAND, Calif. – David D. Clark, FACHE, begins a new role as chief executive officer of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care, on May 18. Clark served as interim CEO at Alta Bates Summit for the past year.

David D. Clark

“David Clark is an engaged and tireless leader who quickly immersed himself into all levels of the medical center’s operations when he assumed the interim CEO role at Alta Bates Summit a year ago. Since joining Sutter, David has built a diverse, cohesive, and values-driven team focused on strategy development and deployment, community relations, and operations improvement with a focus on patient-centered care,” said Julie Petrini, president and CEO of Sutter Bay Hospitals.

Clark is an accomplished healthcare executive with more than 25 years of leadership, including 15 years as CEO in various hospitals and health systems spanning rural, urban, academic medical centers, and integrated health systems.

Prior to joining Sutter, Clark served in executive roles at three different integrated health systems: Intermountain Healthcare as regional vice president and CEO in Provo, Utah; Trinity Health as regional president and CEO in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and CHRISTUS Health as senior vice president/chief administrative officer in Corpus Christi, Texas. Clark has provided interim healthcare leadership, executive coaching and consulting for hospitals, health systems, physician groups, and other organizations. Before his interim CEO position at Alta Bates Summit, Clark was interim chief operating officer for El Camino Health in Mountain View.

Clark grew up in Chico, California. He earned an MBA in Health Organization Management from Texas Tech University and a B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University.