Wellness

‘Rockin’ It: Art Helps Cancer Patient Find Healing and Purpose

Posted on Mar 17, 2020 in Affiliates, California Pacific Medical Center, People, Wellness

SAN FRANCISCO – “Life is tough, but so are you.”

This powerful message is hand painted onto a smooth, palm-sized stone that rests at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center’s Van Ness Campus kindness rock garden in San Francisco.

But it won’t be there for long.

Someone who needs it will pick it up and take it with them.

That’s the idea behind the hospital’s rock garden, located on the facility’s fifth floor terrace. Here, stones with inspiring messages and colorful scenes are on constant rotation as patients, staff and visitors are encouraged to “take one, share one, leave one.”

This simple yet meaningful concept struck a chord with Cameron Yee, a nursing student who found herself at CPMC, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network of care, when her cancer returned.

Cameron Yee visits CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital’s Rock Kindness Garden.

Yee was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in the body’s soft tissue, at 18. She went into remission in 2016 and began feeling the cancer’s symptoms again in October 2019.

Yee was admitted to CPMC in late 2019 due to a complication from her chemotherapy and radiation. Her oncologist suggested a visit by the medical center’s expressive arts therapist, Jane Siegel.

Siegel introduced Yee to painting rocks as a form of mindfulness, self-care and an outlet to distract her from pain. It was the perfect non-medicinal prescription for Yee’s creative mind.

A “You’ve Got This” kindness rock was the first she took from CPMC’s garden.

“This rock kept me grounded and hopeful. It was one of the things that gave me strength and motivation to keep on going. I am forever grateful for the person who painted this rock,” said Yee.

Yee has taken to painting rocks like Monet took to painting watercolors. She was hooked—and more importantly, uplifted.

Yee paints concentric hearts onto a heart-shaped stone.

“Cameron is our rock star of rock art,” laughs Jane Siegel. “Art therapy is an outlet that offers true health benefits and stress relief for patients and staff alike. It’s deeply rewarding as well as healing.”

Now, months later, Yee has started an effort called ‘Rock Kindness’ to help populate CPMC’s rock garden and grow the rock kindness community at large.

Each month, Yee drops off a new series of rocks. Some of her themes have included “You’ve got this” and “Nobody fights alone.”

She has also started an Instagram page, @rock.kindness, where followers can learn about journey and see her latest designs and motivational messages.

At 21, Yee’s in her final semester of nursing school at Dominican University of California and shadowing a nursing preceptor at CPMC.

“I hope to become a pediatric nurse or specialize in something where you can see more chronic patients,” she says.

Yee keeps her “You’ve Got This” rock on her nightstand, where it serves as a reminder of a moment when the exact message she needed, was delivered to her at the exact right time.

Yee knows that no matter what curve ball life throws her way, SHE’S GOT THIS!

Live Oak Health and Housing Campus Moves Closer to Reality

Posted on Mar 6, 2020 in Carousel, Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center, Santa Cruz, Uncategorized, Wellness

Courtesy of Santa Cruz Community Health and Dientes Community Dental Care.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH) and Dientes Community Dental Care (Dientes), today announced a $1 million dollar investment from Sutter Health to support the construction and operation of a 19,000-square-foot medical clinic to be run by SCCH and 11,000-square-foot dental clinic to be run by Dientes on the future site of a health and housing campus that will benefit the Live Oak community.

Rendering of the Santa Cruz Community Health medical clinic.

An Investment in Infrastructure

The future site of the health and housing campus is the ideal location for much-needed services. Supervisor John Leopold notes, “Five years ago there were no medical offices in Live Oak. A community of our size needs good access to medical and dental services and housing that is affordable to all families. This new development will help everyone in the community from small children to families to seniors.” The campus – the first of its kind in Santa Cruz County – will integrate the strengths and services of its three owners:

  • SCCH has been serving the medical and mental health needs of underserved Santa Cruz County residents since 1980, with a special focus on families.
  • Dientes has an over 25-year track record of providing affordable, high-quality and comprehensive dental care through three existing clinics and an outreach program.
  • MidPen Housing, already owns and manages 13 affordable housing communities in Santa Cruz County, providing residents with supportive services.

“Planning for this project started in 2017, and I’m so pleased we are starting to secure large contributions that will make construction possible,” said Dientes CEO Laura Marcus. “Sutter Health has a proven track record of improving the health in this region, so it was no surprise that the not-for-profit system that includes Palo Alto Medical Foundation stepped up to help. This is truly a remarkable demonstration of how we can collaborate for the overall good of our community.”

Sutter Health has committed $1 million dollars, over five years, to the construction and operation of both clinics on the campus. SCCH will receive $160,000 and Dientes will receive $40,000 each year through 2023.

“As a not-for-profit health network, Sutter focuses on improving the health of those inside and outside the walls of our hospitals and care centers,” said Stephen Gray, chief administrative officer for Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center of Santa Cruz and operations executive of Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz. “We know that when people have access to preventive screening and routine healthcare, their health improves. This investment builds on Sutter’s commitment to improve the health of the entire community we serve.”

Rendering of the Dientes Community Dental Care dental clinic.

Capital Campaign is Ongoing

“Projects like this one can transform communities. This initiative will bring affordable healthcare and housing to the heart of Live Oak – providing a lifeline to families, adults and seniors,” said SCCH CEO Leslie Conner. “We hope the early funding we’ve secured will be a catalyst for more donations in the coming weeks and months.”

The integrated, state-of-the-art health and housing campus will address a triple-goal of increasing access to healthcare, growing affordable housing, and creating economic opportunity. The project will provide health services to 10,000 patients annually and affordable housing for 57 households. In addition, it will create more than 60 new jobs.

Dientes and Santa Cruz Community Health will break ground on their clinic in 2020 and open in 2021. MidPen will break ground on the housing component in 2021 and open in 2022.

Renderings, photos and more information about the project is available here

Diabetes Getting You Down? Class Offers Answers Close to Home

Posted on Oct 22, 2019 in Affiliates, Expanding Access, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Wellness

ANTIOCH, Calif. — The farther outside of metropolitan areas people live, the harder it can be for them to access healthcare services, in large part due to the time and money it takes to travel outside of the community for care. Diabetes education is no exception.

Now, people with diabetes can access the most up-to-date and accurate diabetes education without leaving the area. Recently, Sutter Delta Medical Center’s Outpatient Diabetes Center achieved accreditation by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), joining other affiliated hospitals within the Sutter Health integrated network of care.

Shahla Cano, R.D., a registered dietician, certified diabetes educator and board certified advance diabetes manager says the accreditation is important because, “We want to make sure our patients don’t have to travel for diabetes education. Forty-five to 50 percent of patients here in Eastern Contra Costa County have diabetes—and those are only the ones who know about it. Unfortunately, there are not that many resources available to a population that is so critically impacted.”

Shahla Cano, R.D., CDE, BC-ADM

Sutter Delta’s accreditation by AADE means that the program operates based on evidence-based guidelines, offers approved educational materials, and the educators are accredited.

Cano says that all too often people don’t realize the dire consequences of unmanaged diabetes. More than that, people with Type 2 diabetes can easily fall into a “shame and blame” trap and end up feeling guilty, which impacts their motivation to seek care. She wants to see more people in the community get educated on what she calls the “basics of diabetes management.”

“It’s about the little things: taking the proper medications, taking care of your eyes and feet, and seeing your doctor,” she says.

Effective diabetes management is a team effort. It requires patient participation, effective education and communication with clinicians. Physicians don’t have the time to spend hours with individual patients, which is why Cano says resources like the Outpatient Diabetes Center are critical.

Sutter Delta’s accreditation is important for several reasons according to Cano. “The accreditation is recognized by the physicians. We have to follow certain standards. And it pushes us to follow evidence-based care. What we say to people carries a lot of weight, and if the information you give isn’t evidence-based, it could cause major harm. What I teach my patients is not something I am making up—it is based on years of research.”

Cano is proud of the accreditation because it helps Sutter Delta better serve the local community by providing easier access to diabetes education. “Diabetes education is a challenge, but we have to try because one person could make the difference. I want to give it everything I have because it could make a difference in one person’s life.”

Cano has a wealth of information she’s eager to share with members of the community living with diabetes, from diabetes management tips to information about glucose monitoring devices that may be covered by insurance.

The free Living Well with Diabetes Class is held once a month from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Sutter Delta Medical Center Education Center at 3901 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. The class covers:

  • Weight management
  • Stress reduction
  • Blood sugar control
  • Complication reduction

The class also includes a $5 lunch voucher for the hospital’s cafeteria.

Those who would like the schedule or are interested in registered can call the center at (925) 779-3605.

Don’t Let a Fall Trip You Up

Posted on Aug 20, 2019 in Eden Medical Center, Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Wellness

September is Fall Prevention Month

 

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. — According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults in the U.S. Locally, more than 1,300 people were treated in 2018 for injuries sustained in falls by the trauma department at Eden Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network of care. And that total does not include less severe fall injuries treated in Eden’s emergency department or at other local hospitals, nor does it include people who fell without injury and did not seek care from a medical provider. Falls are clearly a big problem. How can you or someone you care about avoid injury from a fall?

How to Prevent Falls
Go for a checkup. While falls can happen at any age, 41 percent of the fall injuries treated last year in Eden’s trauma department were suffered by people over 55  years old. As people age, they may experience changes in vision, hearing and blood pressure that can put them at risk for a fall. But contrary to popular belief, falling is not a normal part of aging and should not be accepted as inevitable. All adults, but especially older adults, should have regular checkups with a care providers to monitor changes in their health and review medications.

Make a few minor changes to your daily routine, health and home. Add a little bit of exercise every day to increase muscular strength, flexibility and balance—all proven ways to prevent falls. Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and eat a healthier diet to improve your health and help prevent falls. Install a grab bar in the bathroom and a nightlight in a dark hallway. If you use a ladder or step-ladder, be sure to follow all the safety precautions and have someone readily available to assist you.

Take a Free Class Designed to Help Reduce Falls
Educating people about falls and fall prevention and helping them make healthy choices to improve their quality of life is the focus of Fall Prevention Month at Eden. The medical center is sponsoring two programs beginning in September, “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention” and “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls.” Both programs are offered to the community free of charge and are designed specifically to reduce falls by improving confidence, strength, flexibility and balance.

  • “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention” begins Monday, Sept. 16 from 8 a.m.-9 a.m., meeting every Monday and Wednesday through Nov. 20. Tai Chi is an ancient practice originating in China using graceful, slow movements that are low impact and suitable for those who are older or might not otherwise exercise.  The movements learned in this 10-week class increase balance and strength and have been shown to reduce the risk of a fall by up to 70 percent.
  • “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls” begins Friday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m.-noon, continuing each week through Nov. 15. This eight-week workshop combines discussion and exercise to reduce fear of falling and provide practical solutions to preventing falls.

These classes approach fall prevention in different ways but have the same goal of reducing falls. Classes are free, commitment to the full series is required and space is limited. For more information, discuss which class might be right for you, or to register, call Eden Medical Center Trauma Injury Prevention at 510-727-8485.

 

 

Do Adults Need a Measles Shot?

Posted on Mar 18, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized, Wellness

SAN FRANCISCO – Measles, which authorities thought was eliminated as a public health threat in the United States in 2000, has re-emerged in increasing numbers this winter. Through March 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 268 individual U.S. cases—73 of them in Washington state, in a community where only 78 percent of the school-aged population is vaccinated.

By comparison, the CDC reported a total of 372 cases of measles during 2018.

In California, this year’s CDC figures include five Bay Area residents (three adult, two pediatric) in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties who have contracted measles. Two of these cases were contracted from another person on an airplane flight.

In the past, many thousands of Americans developed measles each year. Many would die, and many more would develop complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

“We have fewer deaths now because of the vaccine—and only because of the vaccine,” says Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., Sutter Health’s medical director of Pharmacy and Infection Control.

Measles is a ferociously contagious disease: The number of cases one case generates on average over the course of its infectious period is 10 to 18, compared with two or 3 for influenza.

“The only treatment for measles is prevention,” says Dr. Silvers. “Vaccination keeps you from developing the disease but also from spreading the virus. When immunization lags, outbreaks can occur. After all, many people move to America from countries without immunization programs, and global travel in general increases the chance of measles spreading to vulnerable populations.

“The vaccine works well. Two doses are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles. One dose is about 93 percent effective.”

So do you need the vaccine now if you received it as a child?

Two doses of the vaccine are required for people embarking on international travel, says Dr. Silvers—and for healthcare workers as well as people who received the inactive vaccine used from 1963 to 1967.

“Everybody else only needs one dose,” he says. “If you have been properly vaccinated, you don’t need to get it again.

“But if you received the vaccine as a child during the early to mid-1960s, you should discuss with your physician the possibility of receiving it again.”

Flu: Are You In the Clear this Year?

Posted on Feb 6, 2019 in Scroll Images, Wellness

Even in a mild flu year experts urge you to take the virus seriously. Read More