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Bringing Needed Medical Care to Remote Areas of Haiti

Posted on Nov 30, 2018 in People, Uncategorized, We're Awesome

Urgent care doctor at Sutter Health PAMF works with medical volunteers to treat diseases linked to poverty, malnutrition and lack of water

For the last several years, David Sofen, M.D., Sutter Health PAMF Santa Cruz, has traveled to Haiti and other developing countries where he and a team of medical professionals have worked as volunteers treating countless numbers of people who have little or no access to health care.

Dr. Sofen, an urgent care doctor and medical director of patient experience for PAMF, recently returned from his sixth trip to rural southeast Haiti, a trip he made with The Flying Doctors/Los Medicos Voladores, a nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of geographically diverse people.

This year, the team consisted of Dr. Sofen, a Haitian physician and nurse, dentists from Haiti and the U.S., and interpreters.

Everyone on the team pays their own way, and money that is donated goes to medical care and paying the Haitian team members. The volunteers traveling from the U.S. bring several suitcases full of medical and dental supplies.

“It’s an exhausting trip, but we do good work,” Dr. Sofen said. “I return acutely cognizant of all the wonderful things we take for granted here at home and am always so grateful to have been born in this country.”

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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

Clearing the Air: As Air Quality Improves, Wildfire Smoke’s Health Effects to Linger

Posted on Nov 21, 2018 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Uncategorized

OAKLAND, Calif. -The impact of lingering smoke from the Butte County Camp fire may continue to be felt by Northern Californians for some time.

“Given our experience over the past year with multiple ‘super’ fires in the region—even with the rain clearing the air—we expect to see an increasing number of patients in the emergency department over the next few weeks with complaints related to persistent wildfire smoke exposure,” said Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Summit campus, emergency services.

According to Dr. Berrol, historic levels of air pollution caused by the wildfire, which persisted over much of the northern half of the state for two weeks, has begun an inflammatory process that may worsen pre-existing conditions such as chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure or asthma for some people.

When air pollution is bad, it can irritate eyes, nose and throat, cause shortness of breath, aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions.

William Isenberg, M.D., vice president for patient safety at Sutter Health’s Office of the Patient Experience, offers the following precautions during this time of smoky or poor air:

  • Stay indoors, if possible.
    • Use air conditioning, if available—malls are great places for people without their own air conditioning at home.
    • Keep hydrated— drinking 8-10, 8 ounces glasses of water per day is recommended.
    • Use your maintenance puffers/inhalers if you have asthma, emphysema, or other respiratory diseases
    • Carry your rescue puffer/inhaler with you if you leave your home

 

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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Sutter Health Unveils New Sacramento Senior Health Center

Posted on Oct 30, 2018 in Carousel, Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation, Uncategorized

New PACE Facility to Triple Capacity, Expand Services for Sacramento County’s Growing Elderly Population

Cutting the ribbon for the new PACE Center are, from left, Sutter Health VP of Strategy & Business Development Phil Chuang; Sutter Valley Area Chief Medical Officer John Mesic, M.D.; City Councilman Jeff Harris; Sutter President of System Enterprises Rishi Sikka, M.D.; U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui; state Sen. Richard Pan, M.D.; and Sutter VP of External Affairs Keri Thomas.

With much fanfare, Sutter Health on Tuesday unveiled its new Sutter SeniorCare PACE Center, a 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical and day center complex that will replace two older facilities and effectively triple the capacity for Sacramento County elderly residents.

The new complex, which is located off Richards Boulevard and opens in mid-December, will offer:

  • Dedicated space for the care of seniors with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues.
  • Eight medical exam rooms, a dedicated procedure room and a dentistry suite.
  • Arts and crafts space where seniors can express their creativity.
  • Large, secure outdoor recreation areas for exercise and gardening.
  • Indoor and outdoor physical and occupational therapy areas.
  • A beauty salon.
  • A library with computer and printer access.
  • And many other services that help area seniors stay active and remain in their own homes.

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