Transformation

Sutter Funds Study of SacRT’s Free Ride Program for Youth

Posted on Oct 1, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images, Transformation, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) announced at in front of CK McClatchy High School that the public transit agency is waiving fares for youth in the SacRT service area beginning today. The program aims to decrease truancy and eliminate obstacles for young people to get to school, after-school activities, sports, clubs and jobs.

A research brief released in November 2018 that recounts the findings of a travel survey administered to students in three Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) schools found that about 1 in 4 students report missing at least one day of school in the six weeks prior to the survey because of transportation barriers.

“What we’re doing here is filling an important gap,” said Henry Li, SacRT General Manager/CEO. “We’re offering universal access all day, every day during regular service hours for all Sacramento area youth that live in or attend school in our service area. It is another way SacRT works to deliver clean, safe, and accessible transportation to all Sacramento residents.”

A grant from Sutter Health will fund a yearlong study to be conducted by an external evaluator, who will provide insight on the benefits of the fare-free transit initiative for youth.

“We know by conducting Community Health Needs Assessments that lack of access to basic services is among the top health indicators affecting disadvantaged communities,” said Keri Thomas, Vice President of External Affairs for Sutter Health. “Unfortunately for many that includes barriers getting to school and other life enriching activities for young people. This program can make a huge difference in changing that trajectory.”

Affordable student transit programs have been rolled out in numerous cities across the state and nation, including Tempe, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Portland and Stockton. If other communities are any indication, SacRT anticipates promising results with potential of providing nearly 1,000,000 new trips to area youth during the year.

“We’re providing an equitable investment in receiving an education,” said Jay Schenirer, District 5 City Councilmember and SacRT Board Director. “By eliminating transportation barriers, we’re increasing chances for more young people to succeed in school, career and life.”

RydeFreeRT waives youth fares on bus, light rail, and SmaRT Ride microtransit service across SacRT’s service area, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova and parts of Sacramento County. Approximately 220,000 students in grades TK through 12, home-schooled students, and foster and homeless youth are all eligible.

“Free RT is a game changer for many hardworking Sacramento area students and families. The exciting new program will make transportation to and from school, work, and activities, much more reliable and accessible for thousands of students in the region,” said SCUSD Board of Education President Jessie Ryan. “Sacramento City Unified School District is proud to partner to launch a free ride program that will help reduce absenteeism and improve student success in our high poverty district.”

Students enrolled in schools in SacRT’s service area have already been issued their 2019-2020 student ID card, which displays a special sticker for free SacRT ridership. Youth not enrolled in school can receive a RydeFreeRT card at a Sacramento library or at SacRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center located at 1225 R Street (adjacent to the 13th Street Station).

Partners and participating school districts include Sacramento Public Library, Center Unified School District, Elk Grove Unified School District, Folsom Cordova Unified School District, Natomas Unified School District, Robla School District, Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento County Office of Education, San Juan Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District, City of Citrus Heights, City of Folsom, and City of Rancho Cordova.

RydeFreeRT is set to run for one year with an extension planned depending on program success and is financially supported by the City of Sacramento, other cities and school districts within SacRT’s service boundaries, and a funding grant from Sutter Health for a ridership study. Parents and students interested in more information about SacRT’s fare-free youth program can visit www.RYDEFreeRT.com.

Girl Scout Fieldtrip Inspires Life Devoted to Caring for Seniors

Posted on Aug 30, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images, Transformation, Uncategorized

Dr. Wendy Zachary with 100 year old ACE patient Dorothy Bobbet

SAN FRANCISCO –Years ago, a Girl Scout Brownie troop visited patients in a nursing home in South Carolina. One of those little girls was especially impressed by the setting and enjoyed trying to engage with the patients, many whom likely suffered from dementia. Fast-forward to the present. The little girl who spent an afternoon visiting nursing home patients has dedicated her career to ensuring the special needs of older patients are carefully considered.

Wendy Zachary, M.D., is now a geriatrician and medical director of the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center, Mission Bernal Campus hospital in San Francisco. The need for specialized care for older patients is urgent and growing larger, according to Dr. Zachary. “One of our greatest needs in medicine today is having enough physicians and nurses to care for our aging population,” she says.

Figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services illustrate the size of the problem. In 2016, 49.2 million Americans (1 in 7) were 65 years and older. By 2020, there will be 56.4 million Americans over 65, with the fastest growing population being those aged 85 years and older.

Specialized Care for Older Patients Begins in the ER

The ACE unit at Mission Bernal, one of only six such units in California, was designed with the specific needs of older patients in mind. However, special care to address older patients’ needs actually begins at the point where the majority of ACE unit patients enter CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus hospital—the emergency department.

The team behind the Geriatric Accreditation. Sara Cohen, MS, RN, AGCNS-BC; Wendy Zachary, M.D., Geriatrician; Ritik Chandra, M.D., Emergency Medicine

Mission Bernal’s emergency department is the first in San Francisco to be geriatric accredited by the American College of Emergency Physicians. This accreditation is awarded to emergency departments that are set up to specifically care for older patients who may have cognitive deficits. Mission Bernal’s emergency department staff are trained to ensure that older patients are directed to the appropriate setting for their specific needs, whether they would benefit most from services provided in an outpatient setting or whether they would be best cared-for in the ACE unit.

Programs Enhance Patient Experience, Reduce Cost of Care

“You wouldn’t want your 8-year-old child to stay on a general medicine floor, you would want them to stay on a pediatrics floor,” said Dr. Zachary. “The same idea applies to older patients who have more chronic medical conditions, sensory deficits, cognitive impairment and may have need for special considerations in regards to medications. This individually-tailored care is what our physicians, staff and Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) volunteers provide to our ACE unit patients.”

At CPMC’s Mission Bernal hospital, ACE unit patients receive tailored support through the HELP program, a comprehensive patient-centered program aimed at decreasing delirium in older hospitalized adults, thereby preserving mental and physical function. Decreasing delirium is important because it carries the same risk of mortality as a heart attack. Mission Bernal’s ACE unit is the only one in California to fully address all six key risk factors for delirium:  hearing impairment, visual impairment, cognitive impairment, functional impairment, having difficulty sleeping and kidney failure due to dehydration.

The cornerstone of the HELP program is deprescribing, which is the planned and supervised process of dose reduction or stopping of medication that might be causing harm, or no longer be of benefit. This starts with normalizing sleep/wake cycles to reduce the risk of delirium in patients. To address sleep/wake cycles, the ACE unit enlists specially trained volunteers to help staff gain insights to motivations that will help mobilize a patient to keep them awake and engaged during the day so that they sleep better at night.  With a better night’s sleep physicians can reduce or eliminate sleep aids and other medications, a step that is shown to lead to fewer complications, fewer falls and a reduced length of stay.

Combined, CPMC Mission Bernal’s HELP program and ACE unit have achieved notable success in the year since the hospital opened in August 2018. So far, length of stay for ACE patients our length of stay is 1.3 days less and our readmission rate is 3% less than standard of care for the older population on non ACE units. With lower length of stay and readmissions, CPMC is safely cutting the cost of care for these fragile patients by over $1 million per year.

By the Numbers

  • The average age of a patient in the ACE unit is 86.
  • Patients age 70 and older can be admitted to the unit for care.
  • The oldest patient to be at the ACE unit was 112 and on the day of discharge this patient walked out of the hospital on their own.
  • More than five percent of patient who are cared for at the ACE unit are 95 year of age or older.

Sutter Health Featured in Article on Key Leadership Qualities

Posted on Aug 9, 2019 in Innovation, Scroll Images, Transformation

Chris Waugh, Chief Innovation Officer for Sutter Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –OpenIDEO has published a feature article on its blog focused on the “The Three Qualities Leaders Need in an Uncertain Future.” The article showcases Sutter Health’s integrated network, and efforts coordinated by Chief Innovation Officer Chris Waugh to use creative problem-solving to better serve patients and their families.

Federal Grant to Expand Physician Residency Program to Rural County

Posted on Jul 23, 2019 in Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Amador Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation

HRSA Rural Residency Program Addresses Growing Shortage of Family Medicine Physicians in Gold Country Communities

Sutter Amador Hospital

JACKSON, Calif.Sutter Health was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand its Sacramento-based physician residency program to Amador County as part of the federal agency’s efforts to provide better access to quality medical care in rural areas.

The HRSA Rural Residency Planning and Development grant will help not-for-profit Sutter Health expand its successful Family Medicine Residency Program located in Sacramento and Davis to the Sutter Amador Hospital campus.

“The health challenges in rural America are clear: Rural communities face a greater risk of poor health outcomes than their urban counterparts,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “Programs like the Rural Residency Planning and Development grants take aim at one of the most persistent disparities: access to high-quality healthcare providers. HRSA is committed to increasing the number of providers serving rural communities and improving health in rural America.”

This grant is part of a larger $20 million multi-year initiative by HRSA to expand the physician workforce in rural areas by developing new, sustainable residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry.

The goal of the Sutter Health project is to develop a sustainable, accredited rural training track in the Mother Lode and to ultimately expand the area’s rural primary care workforce. In Amador County, there is an evident high need for primary-care physicians (PCPs)in the area as the ratio of the population to one PCP is 1,760-to-1; the ratio throughout the state of California is 1,280 residents to one PCP, according to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps website.

“Because of the strength of its integrated network, Sutter has created multiple residency and fellowship programs in primary care and specialty areas over the last two decades,” said Ash Gokli, M.D., chief medical officer for the Sutter Health Valley Area. “By expanding our residency program into Amador County, we can help address the shortage of family medicine providers that is being felt disproportionately in rural areas. We are working to strengthen the physician pipeline throughout our integrated network so our patients receive the same high-quality care no matter what community they live in.”

The Sutter Health Family Medicine Residency Program is based at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. It is a community-based program where residents in family medicine complete core inpatient training in Sacramento during the first year, with their next two years in Sacramento or Davis. Currently there are 21 residents in the program, and the Amador County program will expand the program to 27 residents. Since its inception in 1995, the Sutter Family Medicine Residency Program has graduated 139 physicians, all of whom passed their Board Certification assessments on the first effort. For more on the program, go to www.suttermd.com/education/residency/family-medicine.

HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery. For more on HRSA, go to www.hrsa.gov.

New research by Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research focused on fostering physician wellness

Posted on Jul 2, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO – How do you take care of those whose life’s work is to take care of others? “Physician, heal thyself” is an increasingly challenging objective to achieve for the more than 50% of American clinicians who report symptoms of burnout. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, depression and feelings of helplessness burden the care providers staffing primary and specialty clinics nationwide.

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Shining Light on Multiple Sclerosis

Posted on May 30, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Sutter researchers launch new digital health tool to improve care for people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS)—a potentially disabling immunologic disease of the central nervous system— affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide, including almost 1 million Americans. Despite new research and over a dozen treatments for MS, the specific cause remains unknown and the disease has no cure.

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