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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

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

Sutter Health Donates $265,000 to Support Community Food Banks

Posted on Nov 16, 2018 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Food insecurity impacts the health and well-being of local communities

 

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sutter Health today announced more than quarter-million-dollar donation to 28 food banks across Northern California, and in Oregon and Hawaii. The donation by the not-for-profit health network enables local food banks to provide healthy meals or bags of food to those in need.

“While the issue of hunger typically comes into sharper focus during this season, it is a year-round problem that far too many people in our communities face every day,” said Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “I’m proud that Sutter Health has long been a part of a greater effort to help those who need it most.”

Sutter Health’s donations to community food banks over the past 10 years total more than $2 million—which has fed countless individuals and families.

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Caring Hearts Have No Boundaries: Sutter Health Teams Across Northern California Support Camp Fire Victims

Posted on Nov 15, 2018 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Gurmail Brar, M.D., Tawnya Hoffman, P.A., Bill Hoffman M.D., and Jessica Williams M.A., have donated time at the evacuation site at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In its first week of existence, the Camp Fire in Butte County has already surpassed other California fires as the most destructive, deadly fire in California history.

“We in Northern California seem to be constantly confronted with natural disasters — wildfires, floods, and more— that test our mettle and ability to bounce back,” said John Rose, M.D., president and CEO of Sutter North Medical Group. “But there is something that is even more constant than the occurrence of a natural disaster. Time and again, we can count on our Sutter Health teams to provide compassion, kindness and assistance to those affected.”

Within days, Sutter Health announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross California Wildfires Fund. And in parts of the organization across Northern California, Sutter team members are stepping in to help in other ways. Read More