People

Colorful Baby Keepsake Doubles as Medical Diary

Posted on Jan 8, 2020 in California Pacific Medical Center, Pediatric Care, People, Quality, Scroll Images

“Tiny Victories of Life” beads track critically ill and premature infants’ medical journeys

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – At Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital, Child Life Specialists help parents mark their critically ill or premature newborns’ milestones using colorful beads and charms with the “Tiny Victories of Life” program.

Just ask new mom Amanda Bates about her son Asher’s Tiny Victories strand of beads.

“Each bead that has a figure represents an achievement of that day,” says Bates, while holding a string with nearly 40 beads.

Critically ill and premature babies at CPMC spend their first weeks or months fighting to achieve crucial health markers. Child Life Specialists use the aptly-named “Tiny Victories of Life” program as visual storytelling to document and celebrate each baby’s remarkable journey.

Amanda Bates’ son Asher, who arrived six weeks early, is steadily hitting important milestones that babies in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are required to reach before discharge.

The program was started in 2016 by hospital Child Life director, Lori Denault, who modeled it after “Beads of Courage,” a similar national initiative that tracks patient progress using beads. (Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento participates in Beads of Courage.)

Blue beads represent individual days, while special charms represent significant or personally meaningful achievements such as a duck charm for baby’s first bath or a music note each time baby receives music therapy. Asher’s Tiny Victories strand includes a red bead to mark meeting Santa Claus because he spent his first Christmas in the hospital.

The Tiny Victories of Life program encourages parents to forge a strong bond with their newborns—which can be a challenge when a baby is very ill and must remain in the hospital for a long period of time after birth. Beads are added to the strands each week during one-on-one family sessions or at a NICU parent group meeting.

Bates Family
Kyle and Amanda Bates pose with baby Asher at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital.

CPMC Child Life Specialist Shannon Banahan says, “Tiny Victories is a way for parents to look forward to the progress their baby is making. Families can get overwhelmed in thinking about the long and seemingly never-ending days in the NICU. But once they look back on their beads and see how far their baby has come, it feels like there’s an end in sight and makes them hopeful and proud.”

On Asher’s discharge day, he received the final bead in his strand—the butterfly bead, which signifies he’s ready to spread his wings.

“Receiving the butterfly bead is always emotional for parents, both because they are leaving this community of nurses and new parent friends and also because they are finally being able to start this new chapter of life at home with baby,” says Banahan.

The Cancer Treatment Within You

Posted on Nov 20, 2019 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation

How blood, urine and gene mutations may unlock secrets to lung cancer treatment options.

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There’s Room at This Inn: Firefighters Battling Kincade Fire Find Respite in Rebuilt Home for Families of Hospitalized Babies

Posted on Nov 7, 2019 in NICU, People, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa

Newly-reopened facility was destroyed in 2017 Tubbs Fire

SANTA ROSA, Calif. –Sutter Health’s mission is to care for the health and well-being of its neighbors, especially in an emergency. So when Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital was ordered to evacuate patients on Oct. 26 for the second time in two years, the Elizabeth and Bill Shea House, normally used by families of hospitalized babies, was offered to firefighters as a place to rest.

The Elizabeth and Bill Shea House

About 100 firefighters representing Cal Fire, Pacifica, Napa, Clearlake, Pomona, Mill Valley, Walnut Creek and Santa Rosa, who were using the hospital’s parking lot as a staging area, accepted the offer to relax, catch up on much-needed sleep, rehydrate and have a snack at Shea House before returning to the frontlines of the fire.

“We were so pleased to be able to offer the first responders a comfortable place to take a break from fighting the Kincade Fire,” said Mike Purvis, CEO of Sutter Santa Rosa. “Sutter Santa Rosa has been a part of this community for many years and we were glad to support their efforts to save it.”

Ironically, finishing touches had just been completed on the newly-rebuilt Shea House –which was destroyed in the 2017 Tubbs Fire.

Now that the Kincade Fire is contained and Sutter Santa Rosa has reopened for patients, Shea House is again providing free lodging for low-income families of hospitalized babies who need a nearby place to stay while their newborns are cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

About the Elizabeth and Bill Shea House

Nothing is more stressful for a parent and family than having a hospitalized child. The feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming, especially when home is far from the hospital. Studies have long shown that parent presence at the bedside of a sick child is critical to bonding and long-term recovery. For low-income families that don’t live near the hospital, staying in the area can be a significant hardship.

Since it opened in 2004, more than 560 families from across Northern California, including far-flung communities like Ukiah, Gualala, Potter Valley, Sea Ranch, Middletown, Talmage and Willits, have benefited from the comfort of Shea House’s home-like environment. Families stay in one of four private suites anywhere from one to 60 days, with an average stay of about nine days. Shea House also offers guests a fully-equipped kitchen, laundry facilities and comfortable indoor and outdoor areas in which to relax. With the average cost of a nearby hotel room running $225 per night, it’s easy to see how a lengthy hospital stay could be a hardship on any family, let alone one with limited financial resources. To date, Shea House has provided more than $831,000 worth of accommodation to these families.

The Elizabeth and Bill Shea House was rebuilt through the generosity of community donors and its namesakes, Elizabeth and Bill Shea. Shea House’s operational costs are entirely supported by the Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital Foundation.

About Sutter Santa Rosa’s Care for Sonoma County’s NICU Patients and Their Families

For nearly 50 years, Sutter Santa Rosa’s NICU has provided the highest level of intensive care for newborns in the community. An average of 300 newborns are admitted to its NICU each year. These babies and their families would otherwise have to travel to San Francisco to receive life-saving treatment. With 12 NICU beds, three full-time neonatologists and 39 specially trained nurses, the NICU offers pediatric subspecialties including neurology and leading-edge technology to ensure the best possible outcomes for its tiny patients and provides their families with support services to address the many challenges they face in caring for their newborns.

Sutter Health Park Launches Health Events with ‘Light the Night’

Posted on Nov 4, 2019 in Affiliates, Community Benefit, People, Scroll Images, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – At the newly renamed Sutter Health Park, Sutter employees, clinicians and community members gathered to support a cause close to the heart of many: leukemia and lymphoma.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Greater Sacramento Area Chapter’s “Light the Night” event was the first Sutter-sponsored community event at Sutter Health Park, home of the Sacramento River Cats. As the presenting sponsor of “Light the Night,” Sutter Health was represented by members of its executive leadership team, cancer specialists and hundreds of employees, who were there to celebrate the occasion and help shine light on the fight against life-threatening blood diseases.

“We had an incredible turnout, not just from Sutter employees and their families, but the entire community,” said Michael Carroll, M.D., medical director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “This Light the Night event helped to bring further awareness to the hundreds of thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders. More importantly, the event raised funds to support patients and their families as well as laboratory and clinical research. Together, we can help find a cure for these diseases.”

When Sutter Health announced the naming rights to the home of Triple-A Baseball’s Sacramento River Cats, it announced a partnership with the River Cats and the greater community to bring more health-related awareness and services to the area. With this premier event, Sutter Health Park is now serving as a community gathering space that actively promotes health and wellness throughout the year. Other plans include health and wellness programming and local events from walks and runs, to health screenings, flu immunization clinics and more. During the season, attendees will see even more cause-related nights and nonprofit community partners featured and supported in their mission and activities.

“Thank you to everyone who joined in and supported Sacramento’s Light the Night,” said President and CEO of Sutter Health Sarah Krevans. “Sutter Health was proud to sponsor this very special event and walk alongside thousands of families, friends, colleagues, patients, caregivers and community members to support and remember all those touched by leukemia and lymphoma. The light, warmth and support everyone generated at the event together delivers hope, and the thoughtful donations of so many people will help advance life-saving research to benefit cancer patients and their families.”

For more information on the Sutter Health-River Cats collaboration, go to this story in the Newsroom.

Show executive leadership at event
Sutter Health Senior Vice President Jill Ragsdale and CEO Sarah Krevans helped to ”Light the Night” at the newly renamed Sutter Health Park Saturday evening.

Sutter’s Eden Medical Center Welcomes New CEO

Posted on Oct 25, 2019 in Eden Medical Center, People, Scroll Images

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif.Patricia Ryan recently began her new role as chief executive officer of Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Eden Medical Center CEO Patricia Ryan

Ryan comes to Eden, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care, from O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, California where she was chief operating officer. At O’Connor, she also served as interim CEO for one year, and most recently was the hospital executive. Ryan has extensive leadership experience in acute care hospital operations, physician partnerships, joint venture management and the continuum of care, including skilled nursing, home health, acute rehab and behavioral health.

“I’m so pleased to have a leader as capable and enthusiastic as Pat to lead Eden Medical Center. Her outstanding healthcare leadership experience will ensure we evolve along with our community,” said Julie Petrini, president and CEO of Sutter Bay Hospitals.

Prior to O’Connor Hospital, Ryan held vice president positions for Sutter’s Mills‐Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, California. At Mills-Peninsula, she provided strategic and operational leadership as Vice President of service lines and as Vice President of ambulatory services.

Previously, Ryan held leadership positions for Princeton Healthcare System in New Jersey, Main Line Health System in Pennsylvania, Manor Healthcare Corporation in Maryland and Continental Medical System in Pennsylvania.

Ryan earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Juniata College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in health administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

Outgoing CEO Stephen Gray will transition to his new role as chief Administrator of Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Santa Cruz.

Expectant Mom Suffers Massive Stroke: How a Health Network Saved Her and Her Baby

Posted on Oct 25, 2019 in Affiliates, Carousel, Expanding Access, Innovation, Neuroscience, Pediatric Care, People, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Women's Services

Just two days from delivering her third child, Vivian Dos Santos suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage – a life-threatening stroke. Watch her amazing story, with details on how an integrated health network saves and blesses lives, by viewing the following video. You may want some tissues handy just in case …

For more on her story, and to view an infographic on Sutter’s integrated system, go to www.sutterhealth.org/newsroom/can-expect-integrated-network.