Specially-Designed Pacifier Uses Music to Teach Premature Infants How to Feed

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Pediatric Care, Quality

Parents’ Voice Singing a Lullaby Rewards Baby for Sucking

Alissa and Charles O’Neill with baby Olive

SAN FRANCISCO—Premature babies often lack a developed sucking reflex, leaving them unable to feed orally. And the inability to feed is a common reason new born babies remain hospitalized after birth. To help develop the sucking reflex more quickly, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), part of Sutter Health’s not-for-profit network of care, is using a new device called a Pacifier-Activated Lullaby (PAL) in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

According to CPMC’s music therapist Elisha Madsen, MME, MT-BC, recent studies show that about 70 percent of the premature infants who receive PAL treatment respond positively to it. They increase their ability to ear on their own, gain weight, and go home from the NICU earlier.

Charles O’Neill and baby Olive at home

The PAL rewards and motivates babies to suck on a pacifier to help strengthen their sucking reflex. The special pacifier is attached to a sensor module that measures the strength of the baby’s sucking reflex. When the PAL detects that the baby has sucked on the pacifier to the predetermined strength, the baby earns a reward –a lullaby recorded by the baby’s own mom or dad.

Madsen explains that hearing their parent singing a lullaby motivates babies to continue sucking on the pacifier –which improves the sucking reflex. “Within two and a half minutes, she says, “most babies learn they will have to suck on the pacifier to receive their music reward.”

“It’s exciting for us at CPMC to be able to offer parents a direct role in their baby’s care where they are the reason the baby’s health is improving,” said Madsen. “Parents just light up when they see their baby responding to their singing voices and learn the skills they need to eat and go home. It is just precious to see this reaction.”

Dad’s Best Father’s Day Gift? Bonding with Baby!

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality

SAN FRANCISCO –On this Father’s Day we celebrate the bonding between dads and their newborn babies. While the focus of childbirth and postnatal care typically revolves around mother and baby, and with good reason, research shows that dads can also have an incredible impact on their babies in the days after birth.

Fathers who engage in skin-to-skin contact, often called kangaroo care, with their newborns can positively impact their child’s physical and emotional health immediately. Skin-to-skin contact helps create a bond between dad and baby and helps elevate a father’s natural parenting instincts. Practicing kangaroo care also helps dads become more sensitive and aware of their baby’s needs, and more confident about their parenting skills.

For the baby the benefits are many, says Terri Slagle, M.D., director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center’s Van Ness Campus hospital. “Frequent skin-to-skin contact increases brain development and decreases stress responses. By holding his baby to his chest, dad creates a sense of security which can lead to a reduction in irritability and improved sleep, and helps to foster a regular and stable heart rhythm and breathing pattern,” Dr. Slagle says.  “It can also lead to weight gain for the baby as he or she develops better absorption and digestion of nutrients following skin-to-skin contact.”

Simply put, skin-to-skin contact stimulates the baby’s immune system and promotes physical and emotional wellbeing for both dad and baby while developing a stronger bond for the long term.

Best Employers in Sacramento? Forbes Ranks Sutter No. 1

Posted on Jun 12, 2019 in Affiliates, Carousel, Expanding Access, People, Quality, Scroll Images, We're Awesome

Sutter Health, with hospitals, medical offices and other care facilities throughout Northern California, is the top-ranked Sacramento-based organization on the Forbes list of top employers.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Employees love working for Sutter Health, according to a new list by Forbes. In its first-ever ranking of America’s best employers by state, Sutter Health was listed as Sacramento’s top locally based employer. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the news, and their story is available here.

Using anonymous surveys, Forbes and market research company Statista pinpointed the organizations liked best by employees, according to the Forbes website.

Sutter Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization in Northern California with 55,000 employees, ranked 26th on California’s list, but took the top spot for employers headquartered in the Sacramento region. Several of the companies listed – including Costco, which is ranked No. 1 in California – are not based in the state. Excluding those employers headquartered out of state, Sutter ranks in the top 20 at No. 17, and is in the top 10 for employers based in Northern California, with such tech giants as H-P, Cisco and Apple.

The Forbes’ list isn’t the only one to rank Sutter organizations as being top-notch employers. During the past 10 years, Modern Healthcare has named several Sutter hospitals and even the entire Sutter Health Valley Area as being Best Places to Work in Healthcare. This year, two hospitals were honored: Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Amador Hospital.

Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong, thanks to our integrated network of clinicians, employees and volunteers. Grounded in our not-for-profit mission, our team members partner to provide access to high quality, affordable care for more than 3 million Northern Californians through our network of hospitals, medical foundations, urgent and walk-in care centers, home health and hospice services.

The full Forbes listing can be accessed here.

Sutter Health Unites with The Kennedy Forum to Establish West Coast Presence, Improving Access to Mental Health and Addiction Care

Posted on Jun 11, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Sutter Health today announced that it has united with The Kennedy Forum to improve access to mental health and addiction care in California.

The collaboration will focus on advancing critical state parity legislation, educating California consumers on mental health parity and parity rights, and hosting thought leadership forums to engage California communities in advocating for mental health as part of elevating the total health of the community. The California-specific effort will serve as a model for future engagement with communities nationwide.

“The Kennedy Forum is proud to join forces with Sutter Health,” said former U.S. Representative and founder, Patrick J. Kennedy. “Sutter Health is an award-winning health system that is committed to treating the body and the mind equally through quality, integrated care.”

Sutter Health continues to work with community partners that share its vision to increase access to mental health resources, services and support, and expand philanthropic efforts to serve those individuals and families most in need in the communities it serves.

“We are delighted to welcome The Kennedy Forum to our community,” said John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA, CEO, Mental Health Services at Sutter Health. “By advocating for policies that support increased access to mental health and addiction care, we’re taking a critical step toward designing the care of the future. This collaboration will be a tangible example that addresses a very specific need in California.”

A designated Kennedy Forum Fellow, scheduled to join the Sutter Health team later this month, will guide the work from a newly formed Kennedy Forum office in Sacramento. The Kennedy Forum’s West Coast office will be located within the Sutter Health-Steinberg Institute space across from the capitol.

“The Kennedy Forum is a recognized champion of health equity that has effectively advocated across the country to get insurers and health plans to comply with laws that require equal coverage of brain disorders as for other physical conditions,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “We are honored to support their new collaboration with Sutter Health, and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts to advance evidence-based practices and policies for treatment of mental illness and addiction.”

Make or Break Weight

Posted on May 31, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

Bariatric surgery patient Lorena Horta stands near the daVinci Robotic Surgery System at Sutter’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

Modesto woman’s bariatric surgery unlocks potential to live healthier life

MODESTO, Calif.–It all came to a head during a girls’ trip to Reno. What could have been fun escape with friends and family ended up making Lorena Horta feel more like a prisoner of her own body. She was short of breath. She had a hard time keeping pace with the group—all because of her weight.

Horta knew something had to give and that her health was at stake. Her weight gain—which increased after her mother passed away—was starting to have more serious consequences. She was diabetic, she had sleep apnea and plantar fasciitis. The cumulative effect of these conditions—the pain, the fatigue, the anxiety—was debilitating at times. And yet, no diet or weight loss program seemed to work for Horta. So she turned to minimally invasive bariatric surgery.

Lorena Horta before her bariatric surgery.

“I finally decided, you know, enough was enough. I needed to do something for myself,” she said. “Being a wife and a mom, you are always providing for everybody else. I needed to be around for my daughter and for my family.”

Bariatric surgery, or simply weight loss surgery, is not new, but the potential positive health effects continue to surface. Recent studies indicate teenagers undergoing bariatric surgery are more likely to not have a reoccurrence of high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. Adults who have had bariatric surgery are also less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke. Women who undergo weight loss surgery may have a decreased chance of developing breast cancer.

Horta had her surgery at Sutter’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto under the skillful hands of Antonio Coirin, M.D., through the daVinci surgical robotic system. Using tiny cuts and robotic-assisted video technology, a surgeon’s finger movements at a computerized workstation direct the robotic surgical tools, improving precision and access to the surgical site.

“You know, at first I hadn’t heard much about the robot, but I had full faith in Dr. Coirin,” Horta said. “I said, ‘If you have faith in it, I have faith in you, so let’s go ahead.’”

Touted for its minimally invasive approach, Dr. Coirin explained patients who underwent robotic surgeries have experienced faster recovery times, shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and blood loss, and smaller scars.

Memorial Medical Center recently earned a Center of Excellence designation from Surgical Review Corporation for robotic surgery and is the first hospital in the Central Valley to do so. The program was developed to recognize surgeons and facilities worldwide performing robotic procedures and achieving defined standards for patient safety and care quality.

“Every member of our robotic surgery team, from our master surgeons to our coordinators of robotic surgery to our surgical nurses to our surgical techs have the highest training in robotic surgery,” said Gino Patrizio, CEO of Memorial Medical Center. “The accreditation recognizes that we have the operational rigor so that every single patient receives that.”

Since her surgery, Horta feels like she has truly honored the promise she made to herself two years ago. Her health has dramatically improved. Her diabetes is gone, she has more restful sleep and her mobility has improved. She also is channeling her inner child again—riding roller coasters at amusement parks with her daughters. She says she finally feels free.

“Until the weight is gone, that’s when you truly realize what it does to you. I literally became a hermit. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I went from work to home, work to home. I wasn’t comfortable with myself, I wasn’t comfortable in my own body until I lost the weight. I used to walk always with my head down low feeling embarrassed, and I don’t do that anymore. It’s life-changing to see what the weight does to you and the difference now that it is finally gone, you feel like a totally new person.”

Teaching South Placer Schoolchildren How to ‘Stop the Bleed’

Posted on May 29, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Rocklin Elementary students learn how to “stop the bleed,” an easy skill to learn that could save someone’s life.

SOUTH PLACER COUNTY, Calif. – On Jan. 15, 2019, a gunman went on a shooting spree in Placer County. Multiple rounds were fired and many targets were hit. Two people were struck, one was a tragic fatality and one survived. One of the keys that saved his life was his 8-year-old daughter, who held direct pressure on the bleeding wound.

Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic injuries can affect anyone regardless of their age, race or economic status. In the first half of life, more Americans die from injuries and violence, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls or homicides, than from any other cause of death, including cancer, HIV or the flu. This makes injury the leading cause of death among persons from the ages of 1-44.

In many cases of traumatic injuries, bleeding is a preventable cause of death. The ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding and the ability to intervene effectively can save a person’s life. Whether a bleeding traumatic injury is the result of a home accident or shooting, one person – who is on the scene, at the right time and who has the right training – can save a life.

Sutter Roseville Emergency Department Medical Director Jon Perlstein, M.D., teaches a student how to stop the bleed.

To help save lives, the national Stop the Bleed program was developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in 2015. The goal of the program is to turn the average person into “immediate responders,” the first person at the scene of an injury. This person is rarely a trained medical care provider professional emergency responder. No matter how fast the arrival of emergency services, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from severe blood loss within minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the bleeding. Those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.

Team members from Sutter Roseville Medical Center Trauma Services, Emergency Preparedness, Critical Care and the Emergency Department along with American Medical Response, Roseville Fire Department, Auburn Fire Department and Rocklin Fire Department have provided Stop the Bleed training to more than 3,000 students in South Placer County and surrounding areas. These courses can be taught to school-aged children from kindergarten to high school and adult learners. Sutter Roseville has also donated more than 80 Stop the Bleed kits to schools in the Rocklin, Newcastle and Roseville school districts.

Additionally, all staff members at the medical center also receive the training.

“Unexpected injuries, whether accidental or intentional, can occur at their place of work, schools or other public areas,” says Erik Angle, Sutter Roseville Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and registered nurse. “Bystanders are the initial help until help arrives. Being trained, prepared and ready can save lives.”

Kate Carleton, Sutter Roseville Trauma Quality Clinical Education Coordinator, states, “The number one cause of early death from trauma is uncontrolled hemorrhage.  Early direct control of bleeding has been clearly shown to save lives.”

This training can and has saved lives across the country and almost anyone of age can easily learn these lifesaving skills. For more information on the Stop the Bleed Program and possible training, please contact Kate Carleton at carletk@sutterhealth.org.

May 2019 is the first ever National Stop the Bleed Month. This nationwide campaign highlights the importance of Stop the Bleed training and provides the public with information and education through local fire, EMS, and health-care professionals.