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Robotic Germ Zapper Helps Bring Down Infectious Disease

Posted on Apr 18, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SAN FRANCISCO –A germ-zapping robot called LightStrike from Xenex is used at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) hospitals to help curb the spread of infectious diseases. This mobile robotic device is used in intensive care units, medical surgery units, operating rooms and in rooms where patients suffering from Clostridioides difficile (also known as C. diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other microorganisms, were discharged. CPMC, part of Sutter Health’s integrated network of care in Northern California, now employs this mobile robotic technology at all campus locations—with a total of seven in operation.

The LightStrike robot emits 67 bright pulses of (UV) light per second that bounce into walls, floors, ceilings and hard-to-clean places where manual cleaning might miss. The UV light is absorbed by and fuses the DNA of microorganisms, causing the cell to break apart and dissolve, deactivating pathogens. A patient room can be disinfected in less than 15 minutes using this system.

The LightStrike robot is not a replacement for manual disinfecting and cleaning by staff. It is another tool used in the hospitals to enhance staffs’ efforts to combat infectious diseases and to create a safer, cleaner environment for patients and their families.

Internal data shows a decline in infectious diseases at CPMC due to an overarching effort associated with training, improved hand hygiene, and diligence in disinfecting patient rooms after discharge — which includes the use of the Xenex technology.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Roseville Medical Center –CPMC’s sister hospitals in the Valley — also use the Xenex germ-zapping robots to assist in their efforts to disinfect rooms. They have also seen similar declines in rates of infectious diseases.

 

Sutter’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program First in Area to Receive National Accreditation

Posted on Apr 12, 2019 in Cardiac, Innovation, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Medical Foundation, Uncategorized

The Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Adult Congenital Heart Disease team includes ACHD Medical Director Pei-Hsiu Huang, M.D., right, and ACHD Clinic Coordinator Zilda Crist, left. They are shown with Chelsea Byrnes, who was born with a rare condition and was told she could never have children. She now has given birth twice at Sutter Medical Center, thanks to the advanced care of the ACHD team.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento earned accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a nationwide organization focused on connecting patients, family members and healthcare providers to form a community of support and a network of experts with knowledge of CHD.

Individuals with CHD, the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. There are 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with one of many different types of congenital heart defects, ranging among simple, moderate and complex.

“We find that patients born with a heart defect who have graduated from the care of a pediatric cardiologist frequently do not continue their care with a cardiologist with specific expertise in treating adults with congenital heart disease, and sometimes do not have a cardiologist at all,” said Pei-Hsiu Huang, M.D., medical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “As Sacramento’s first and only adult congenital heart disease program, we are excited to be recognized by the ACHA for providing ACHD patients, many of whom may not otherwise be seeing a cardiologist regularly, the best and most appropriate care.”

Pediatric Heart Surgeon Teimour Nasirov, M.D., left, is a member of the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento ACHD team. In 2018, Dr. Nasirov repaired RJ Laffins’ atrial septal defect, which went undetected for 55 years. Laffins, right, is now winning cycling races thanks to his increased energy after the surgery.

The ACHA accreditation program aims to improve the quality of care ACHD patients receive by introducing standards for the infrastructure and the type of care ACHD programs provide. The Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program received accreditation by meeting ACHA’s criteria, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and going through a rigorous accreditation process, both of which were developed over a number of years through a collaboration with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients.

“There are now more adults than children in the U.S. with CHD,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease. Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life.”

There are now 27 ACHA ACHD Accredited programs throughout the United States. The only other programs in California outside the greater Sacramento area that have been accredited are at UCLA and Stanford.

The Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento provides comprehensive cardiovascular care throughout a patient’s life. Specialized multisciplinary teams combine the resources and clinical expertise including high-risk obstetrics services and pediatric cardiovascular program, the comprehensive adult cardiovascular program including the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program. Pediatric and adult heart disease specialists include board certified cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, obstetricians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, nurses, registered dietitians, financial coordinators, pharmacists and genetic counselors.

About the Adult Congenital Heart Association

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than one million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community—working with them to address the unmet needs of the long-term survivors of congenital heart defects through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of ACHD research. For more information about ACHA, contact 888-921-ACHA or visit www.ACHAHeart.org.

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The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.

For more information about ACHA, or to schedule an interview with Mark Roeder, please contact Terri Schaefer at 215-849-1260 or tschaefer@achaheart.org.

Dr. Steve Lockhart Honored for Skill and Service

Posted on Apr 11, 2019 in People, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Sutter’s Chief Medical Officer Stephen H. Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from National Medical Fellowships (NMF). The award honors Dr. Lockhart for his commitment to improve healthcare and his passion for humanitarian work.

“Your leadership at Sutter Health, along with your wide-ranging experience as a healthcare administrator, academic achievements and remarkable philanthropic work, particularly your inspiring efforts in Haiti, make you a true role model and someone our young scholars should emulate as professionals,” wrote Esther R. Dyer, M.D., NMF president & CEO, in a letter to Dr. Lockhart.

NMF honors individuals who have made a lasting impact on healthcare and in the communities they serve. NMF is a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and support for underrepresented minority students pursuing a career in medicine or the health professions.

NMF is the only national association solely dedicated to providing scholarships and support to students across all minority groups underrepresented in healthcare. NMF scholars come from low-income, minority, immigrant, urban and rural communities and demonstrate financial need.

NMF improves access to quality healthcare in medically underserved communities by increasing diversity the healthcare workforce. Learn more at www.nmfonline.org.

 

 

Bike ‘Rodeo’ Promotes Safety, Boosts Kids’ Confidence

Posted on Apr 11, 2019 in Eden Medical Center, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. – Forty-five buckaroos from Stanton Elementary School in Castro Valley are riding a little taller—and more safely—in the saddle thanks to staff from Sutter’s Eden Medical Center who devoted a recent Saturday afternoon to teaching kids bike safety at a special Bike Rodeo.

“The highlight of the day was seeing the children who started out a little nervous and hesitant to ride gain the confidence to zip around like they’ve been riding forever—and knowing they had learned the skills to feel safe to ride,” said trauma injury prevention specialist Pam Stoker, who coordinated the event for Eden.

The Bike Rodeo began with experts from Bike East Bay teaching kids and parents how to check their bikes for functional safety, such as testing brakes and checking tire pressure. Then the children passed through several stations where they learned how to fit and wear their bicycle helmets appropriately, practiced riding drills that taught them how to ride their bikes safely in various ways (single file vs. side by side, turning, riding with one hand on their hip—all based on each child’s individual skill and comfort level) and learned hand signals and traffic rules, including how to handle intersections and crosswalks.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission’s BikeMobile provided no-cost repairs for the families who attended. In total, 36 bikes with problems varying from minor to more substantial received needed repairs. The Bike Rodeo is the start of a new partnership between Eden, Stanton Elementary PTA, BikeMobile and Bike East Bay collaborating to reduce bicycle-related injuries to kids.

Said parent Rebecca Stanek, “It was wonderful to see Stanton Elementary School students and other community members gain newfound skills and confidence on their bikes. And thanks to the BikeMobile, many families’ bicycles are in better shape than they were at this time last week. Many thanks to Eden Medical Center for hosting such a wonderful event for the school community!”

Inspirational Rock Inspires Police Officer to Give Back for Cancer Care

Posted on Mar 29, 2019 in People, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Medical Foundation, Uncategorized

Sutter radiation oncologist Sharon Dutton, M.D., holds one of the Auburn Police Department Pink Patches and Lt. Michael Garlock shows off his cherished polished rock that says “Faith.”

AUBURN, Calif. – Lt. Michael Garlock of the Auburn Police Department cherishes the inspirational polished rock he chose when he completed his cancer treatment at the Sutter ROC – or Radiation Oncology Center – in Auburn. To show his gratitude, he established a Pink Patch campaign with the proceeds going to purchase more rocks and provide other services for Auburn-area cancer patients.

Lt. Garlock was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2018. While receiving his radiation treatments at the Sutter Medical Foundation Radiation Oncology Center on Bell Road in Auburn, he noticed those that completed their treatments got to choose a polished rock with an inspirational word on it.

“I remember thinking, I can’t wait until I get my rock,” he said. “It gave me hope that I can do this, that I can beat this.”

After 15 treatments, he chose the right rock for him, one that said “Faith.” Now in remission, Lt. Garlock assisted in getting the Auburn Police Department to participate in the Pink Patch Project. The Auburn Police Department officers union donated the funds to purchase patches that have a pink outline, and members of the community purchased them for $5 apiece during the month of October.

The donations were to go toward cancer patients, and Lt. Garlock decided the best use of the funds was to go to the Sutter Auburn ROC because he was struck by the compassion of the staff and the personal care  provided at a time when he was feeling most vulnerable.

Lt. Garlock received his radiation care in the Sutter Auburn ROC’s Linear Accelerator Room, where he poses with the ROC staff.

“The staff here has a genuine sincerity and a genuine caring for everyone to heal,” Lt. Garlock said. “I can’t say enough about this place.”

On Thursday, March 28, Lt. Garlock donated all the proceeds of the monthlong campaign — $365 — to the Sutter ROC in Auburn to purchase more rocks for patients and for other patient needs.

“Seeing these rocks gave me hope,” Lt. Garlock said. “If that’s what gives other patients hope, then I hope this donation buys a lot of rocks.”

The donation was made by Lt. Garlock to radiation oncologist Sharon Dutton, M.D., radiation therapist Carlos DelPozo, Regional Area Director Nancy Mathai, and the rest of the staff at the Sutter Auburn ROC.

“Our patients come from all over this upper I-80 corridor, many of whom don’t have a lot of services to help them get to treatment, so donations like this are really a blessing in their lives,” said Dr. Dutton. “To have a graduate of our oncology program doing so well and giving back, I think that gives people a lot of hope when they come into our center that they’re also going to get through it.”

These rocks gave Lt. Garlock hope as he went through a monthlong radiation regimen.

Lt. Garlock made the donation just days before heading out on a 10-week FBI training in Virginia. After making the donation, he told the staff that he cherishes his Faith rock and that he’ll keep it forever.

“In fact,” he said, “I think I’ll take it with me to Virginia.”

For those who would like to purchase a patch, the Auburn Police Department hopes to make the Pink Patch campaign an annual one, with patch sales starting again in October.

Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross Reach Multiyear Agreement that Protects Patient Choice

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross today announced that they have reached an agreement that continues to provide consumers access to the integrated Sutter Health network through Dec. 31, 2022.

This agreement applies to Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal, HMO and PPO products and provides continued in-network access to Sutter Health affiliated providers and facilities.

“Sutter Health is pleased that we have reached a multiyear agreement with Anthem Blue Cross that provides patients with access to Sutter Health’s high quality integrated network while keeping care affordable,” said Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans.  “We value the relationship we have with our patients and the ability to continue to serve them.”

Impacted patients with questions can call the number on the back of their Anthem ID card or visit  www.sutterhealth.org/anthem.

Sutter Health’s integrated network includes 24 hospitals, five medical foundation and 36 outpatient surgery centers that provide care to more than 3 million patients.