Sutter Surgery Centers Honored for Excellence in Ambulatory Surgery

Posted on Sep 13, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

(Sacramento, Calif.) The California Ambulatory Surgery Association (CASA) recently honored Sutter Alhambra Surgery Center, Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Surgery Center Palo Alto and PAMF Surgery Center San Carlos with three of four of its Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Excellence Awards. Each year, these awards go to member facilities that actively promote and advocate for ASC excellence.

Pictured, l-r: Terry Glubka, CEO SSCD; Melody States, Executive Director for Foundation ASCs, SSCD; Sandy Keating, Administrator, PAMF Surgery Center San Carlos; Johnny Russell, Director, PAMF Surgery Center Palo Alto; Andrew Kim, SSCD Administrator; Denise Meier, Marketing Specialist; Ernesto Brizuela, Administrator, Sutter Alhambra Surgery Center; Brad Heaton, Executive Director for Joint Venture ASCs, SSCD

“The staff and physicians at these centers provide their patients with quality, compassionate care, each and every day,” says Sutter Surgery Center Division CEO Terry Glubka. “Congratulations to these teams for this well-deserved honor.”

With membership totaling more than 350 ASCs, CASA is a proactive leader in the ambulatory surgery industry, and works to advance communication and education, appropriate legislative and regulatory actions and continue the enhancement of industry excellence to embrace the challenges of the 21st century.

Serving residents throughout California, not-for-profit Sutter Health’s ambulatory surgery centers focus on providing patients a caring, safe and efficient healthcare environment. Click here for more information about Sutter’s ambulatory surgery centers.

Sutter Medical Network Organizations Repeat Elite Honors

Posted on Sep 11, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

Six physician organizations affiliated with Sutter Health achieve five stars for sixth consecutive year

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–America’s Physician Groups™ (APG), a national trade association for physician organizations, awarded five stars—its prestigious Elite rating—in its 2019 Standards of Excellence® (SOE) member survey to:

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation, serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties
  • Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, serving Alameda and Contra Costa counties
  • Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, serving Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties
  • Sutter Medical Foundation, serving Amador, Placer, Nevada, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties
  • Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, serving San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Del Norte counties
  • Brown & Toland Physicians – a physician organization that contracts with Sutter Health affiliates to provide patient care – serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties

Since 2007, APG has administered the voluntary SOE survey to evaluate its member medical groups, health systems and independent practice associations, rating participants in care management practices, information technology, accountability and transparency, patient-centered care and group support of advanced primary care. This year, APG added new metrics to assess organizations’ performance on the social determinants of health, value-based incentives, financial standards and post-hospital discharge follow-up.

“As we strive to lead the transformation of healthcare to achieve the highest levels of accessible, safe, personal, and affordable care, we are proud to receive this recognition for our commitment to delivering the ultimate patient experience,” said Don Wreden, M.D., senior vice president, Patient Experience, for Sutter Health. “Our excellent performance in new survey categories, including value-based incentives and social determinants of health, demonstrates our focus on keeping patients healthy to enhance the well-being of the communities we serve. We are thrilled to honor these exceptional organizations for providing comprehensive, coordinated care to our patients throughout Sutter Health.”

The association posts member ratings on its website to help consumers evaluate the organizations’ technical quality, patient experience and affordability. This year 122 association member organizations nationwide took part in the survey.

America’s Physician Groups began as the Physician Groups Council in 1995 and later was renamed the California Association of Physician Groups, or CAPG. To reflect the growth of its national membership, the association was renamed America’s Physician Groups, or APG, in January.

Each Elite honoree in the 2019 Standards of Excellence member survey will receive a plaque at the APG Colloquium 2019 in Washington, D.C., in November.

For complete nationwide survey results and additional information, visit the APG website.

Thinking of Vaping? Think Again! Surgeon Warns of Vaping Health Dangers

Posted on Sep 7, 2019 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Community Benefit, Quality, Scroll Images

OAKLAND, Calif. — Alta Bates Summit Medical Center director of Cardiovascular Services, Junaid Khan, M.D., is featured in Business Insider, ABC7 and  KTVU Fox 2 stories about the terrible health risks physicians are seeing in patients, especially young people and older people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, who vape. Alta Bates Summit is part of the not-for-profit Sutter Health integrated network of care.

Dr. Khan cites the alarming increase in the pace at which vaping-related illnesses and deaths are now being reported as he warns that vaping has become a public health crisis. He emphasizes that vaping can cause permanent, lifelong lung damage and that vaping is equally bad, if not worse, than smoking.

LGBT Center Announces Half-Million Dollar Investment from Sutter Health

Posted on Sep 6, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Courtesy of Sacramento LGBT Community Center

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento LGBT Community Center announced a $500,000 capacity building investment from Sutter Health as it opened its new location at 2012 K Street in Lavender Heights. The investment will support increased access for LGBTQ+ people to preventive sexual health and mental health support, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ youth support services, youth development activities, and cultural competency education over the next three years. Funding will increase the organization’s physical space, staff and development capacity.

“We are extremely grateful for Sutter’s investment in our community’s future. Both the scale of this contribution and engagement by Sutter employees in our programs are an acknowledgement of how severe the need is in our community and demonstrate their commitment as a partner in our work to create a region where LGBTQ people can focus on all aspects of their health and well-being,” said David Heitstuman, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

“As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health is proud to reinvest in the communities we serve,” said Keri Thomas, vice president of External Affairs for Sutter Health Valley Area. “Improving the health of our communities starts with innovative thinking, diverse voices and inclusive approaches. We’re glad to team up with others within the community to help the Center expand services, which can now reach even more LGBTQ+ youth and foster youth so they may feel supported, safe and empowered.”

The announcement came the same week that the Sacramento City Council approved a $750,000 grant to help the Center purchase a permanent home that will meet the LGBTQ community’s current and future needs. Its long-time headquarters on L Street and annex office at 25th and J had significant structural deficiencies and were drastically undersized to keep up with recent growth. Since 2016, the organization launched six new programs, including three housing programs, and added 24 staff positions.

Sutter Health’s transformational funding commitment, and grants from the Johnson Family Foundation and Golden 1 Credit Union announced earlier this year, has allow the Center to meet urgent space needs by relocating to a temporary site at 2012 K Street, while simultaneously executing its plan to purchase a permanent home for the Center. The 6,000-square foot temporary space will accommodate all current programs and provide a slightly larger Q-Spot youth center. It also offers more confidential and community meeting space, improved connectivity across the Center’s continuum of health services, full accessibility via an elevator and three gender neutral restrooms, and more adequate workspace for staff, which will deliver greater opportunities for collaboration and better client outcomes.

This expanded capacity is especially important for hundreds of LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness who will have access to food, clothing, survival supplies, showers, transportation, life skills development, mental health respite, crisis intervention, counseling, case management, emergency shelter and transitional housing on a pathway to self-reliance. Additional square footage creates opportunity for more on-site mental health services, community education workshops, social justice advocacy, and community and cultural enrichment activities for thousands of LGBTQ+ community members who visit the Center each year.

“More than 40 years after the organization’s founding, we are elated to have the confidence and support of Sutter Health and the City as catalysts in our campaign to establish a permanent home for the LGBTQ community in Lavender Heights,” said Center Board President Carlos Marquez.

The Sacramento LGBT Community Center works to create a region where LGBTQ people thrive. It supports the health and wellness of the most marginalized, advocates for equality and justice, and works to create a culturally rich LGBTQ community.

When Only the Best Will Do: Two Sutter Hospitals Earn Highest Quality Honor for Heart Bypass Surgery

Posted on Sep 5, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento are two of only four in state to earn three-star rating


OAKLAND, Calif. –Two members of the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) have earned the distinguished three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures—the most commonly performed open-heart surgery. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places Alta Bates Summit and SMCS among the elite programs for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada. Only four hospitals in California achieved a three star rating in CABG for 2018.

Junaid Khan, MD

Junaid Khan, MD, director of Cardiovascular Services for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

This is the second time in three years Alta Bates Summit has achieved the three star rating.

“The three star rating is a testament to the expertise of our surgeons and the commitment of our physicians and staff to provide the highest quality and excellence to our patients,” says Junaid Khan, MD, director of Cardiovascular Services for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

Historically, about 6–10 percent of participants receive the three-star rating for isolated CABG surgery. The latest analysis of data for CABG surgery covers a 1-year period, from January 2018 to December 2018.

“Participation in the Database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and helps provide patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care,” said David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the STS Task Force on Quality Measurement.

CABG is a surgical procedure in which one or more blocked coronary arteries are bypassed by a blood vessel graft to restore normal blood flow to the heart in people with coronary artery disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries due to fatty deposits) or angina (pain or discomfort in the chest due to narrowed arteries.) CABG reduces chest pain and risk of death from heart attack. Isolated CABG means that only a CABG surgery is performed on the patient without any other procedure.

Innovations in Digital Healthcare…and Beyond

Posted on Sep 4, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

It’s not just millennials who want digital-first healthcare. Surprisingly, most age groups are moving toward digital health – including baby boomers and beyond.

A national survey by the Pew Research Center found that 71 percent of individuals ages 50-64 seek healthcare information online. A different study by Accenture Research found that more than half of seniors say it is somewhat important or very important to be able to email with providers.

Reflecting these trends, Sutter Health is investing in innovative technologies and approaches to respond to patient needs, propelling advancements in virtual symptom checkers, video visits, provider-patient text messaging, smart tablets for parents to monitor their babies in the NICU and mobile health services.

One of Sutter’s most recent advancements, Tera Practice, weaves together the benefits of an integrated health network system with innovative technologies to better provide big-picture health results for patients.

The virtual-first model offers a dedicated overall care team including a primary care provider, a nurse and a health coach, with use of video, phone, email messages and in-person visits when needed. The idea behind it? Providing healthcare that encompasses total patient care and fits into a patient’s life, not the other way around.

“I believe that one of the most important aspects of excellent clinical care is listening to the patient,” said Yumi DiAngi Taylor, M.D., founder of Tera Practice. “Our Tera clinic creates an environment to do that. We see health as a journey and we offer support along the way.”

Breakthroughs are occurring across Sutter’s integrated network of physicians, hospitals and clinics, which coordinate care through innovative programs, research and technologies.

  • Sutter was one of the first in California to pilot a Mobile Stroke Unit, which administers care more quickly, often the difference between life and death for stroke victims.
  • Sutter invested $54 million in research last year to address a wide range of critical health concerns including stroke, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia, cardiovascular diseases, liver and kidney transplants.
  • Sutter’s specially designed Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) hospital unit is helping prevent mental and physical decline in elderly patients, decreasing complications and hospital stays and improving mobility.

Integrated networks use the power of innovation and advancements systemwide. Patients benefit from breakthrough technologies, research and programs that are shared across the network.

“Sutter Health aims to revolutionize healthcare by making it simpler, engaging and more human,” said Chris Waugh, chief innovation officer at Sutter Health. “We care about people deeply, and we are here to help them heal. We are always listening, observing and are perpetually curious about people. That empathy fuels our not-for-profit work.”

Integrated health networks, through collaboration and research efforts, are uncovering best practices that prioritize patient experience and outcomes, while driving quality and cost savings. Health systems invested in innovation can continue to uncover better health outcomes for patients today and work toward cures for future generations.

Research at Sutter Health Brings New Hope to People with Cardiovascular Diseases

Posted on Sep 3, 2019 in Affiliates, Carousel, Innovation, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter North Medical Group, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – New discoveries in cardiovascular diseases can arise in a heartbeat, and few researchers across Sutter Health know this better than David Roberts, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Medical Director of Cardiovascular Services (Valley Region) at Sutter Health. Dr. Roberts’ 25-year career at Sutter parallels the leading-edge advances in cardiovascular diseases care and research aimed at treating patients with illnesses such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart valve diseases, heart failure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and coronary artery disease.

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