Sutter Health Statement on Antitrust Litigation

Posted on Jun 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

Sutter Health is vigorously defending itself against what we believe are baseless allegations brought by self-interested plaintiffs whose lawsuit is supported by insurance companies.  It is insurance companies who will benefit from the remedies sought through this litigation, not Northern California patients who would be left with reduced access to quality and affordable healthcare.

The Affordable Care Act explicitly encourages integrated models of care like Sutter Health to foster better quality and value in healthcare. Yet the plaintiffs suing us want to dismantle Sutter’s integrated network in order to expand insurance companies’ market share and give them more power to create contracts that move Northern California patients into a narrow band of doctors and providers, making it easier for insurers to limit patient choice, reduce patient reimbursements and deny patient claims.

Put simply, the plaintiffs in this matter are attempting to usurp government authority and use the Court to achieve the insurance industry’s public policy objectives, making an end-run around the State’s legislators and regulators. Regulating Sutter Health is the responsibility of the California Department of Public Health, which acts in the best interest of the State’s citizens, not out-of-state insurance companies.


Davis Community Meals and Housing Announces Funding and Support for Paul’s Place, a First-of-its-Kind Vertical Tiny Home Village to Serve Unsheltered in our Community

Posted on Jun 5, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Sutter Health Valley Area Board Member Helen Thomson, Sutter Health COO James Conforti, Sutter Health Valley Area Vice President of External Affairs Keri Thomas and Sutter Davis Hospital CEO Rachael McKinney celebrate another milestone achieved for Paul’s Place by the Davis community.

Innovative Multi-Use Building Designed by Local Architect and Supported by Davis Opportunity Village

Local Business and Community Leaders Raise Nearly $2 Million to Meet $2.5 Million Matching Investment from Sutter Health

Courtesy of Davis Community Meals and Housing

DAVIS, Calif.–In a celebration acknowledging years of planning, design, review and outreach, the nonprofit Davis Community Meals and Housing (DCMH) today announced the greater Davis community has raised more than $4 million of the estimated $5 million cost to replace its dilapidated building at 1111 H Street with Paul’s Place, a new innovative, multi-functional facility, designed by a local architect. Paul’s Place will provide day services, critical health and human resources, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing to people living homeless in Davis.

DCMH, in partnership with the nonprofit Davis Opportunity Village (DOVe) and local business leaders and campaign co-chairs Reed and Susan Youmans, sought contributions from members of the community, securing a $750,000 grant from Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC), to leverage a matching investment from Sutter Health of up to $2.5 million.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work by so many in our community who want to improve both the lives of those that need it most and the quality of life for all,” said Bill Pride, executive director of Davis Community Meals and Housing. “Our project is a creative community-based solution to a national problem – a solution that can be replicated by others as we in Davis show this approach can work.”

Like many regions statewide, the City of Davis is faced with a challenge in how to address issues related to homelessness. According to a 2017 point-in-time count for Yolo County, there were 146 homeless individuals living in Davis. The 2019 count conducted on a single day in January, however, found 190 people living homeless in Davis, a more than 20 percent increase in two years. Considering the number of people experiencing homelessness in the course of an entire year, it is no wonder that DCMH serves 900 people annually at its current H Street Resource Center, affirming the need for a new collaborative, multi-functional facility.

“Partnership HealthPlan of California is excited to support Davis Community Meals and Housing to expand its services for Davis’ vulnerable population,” said Liz Gibboney, CEO of Partnership HealthPlan of California. “Projects like these can be transformative to a community – and that’s what it is ultimately going to take to address homelessness – community.”

Inspired by a matching grant opportunity from Sutter Health to “think big” about innovative approaches to addressing homelessness, Davis city staff brought together a wide coalition of community members including the faith community, housing advocates, law enforcement, local business and homeless service providers to collaborate on a project that could gain the community and financial support needed to secure a Sutter Health funding match. After months of meetings, several efforts were folded into what ultimately became Paul’s Place, a first-of-its kind vertical housing village that will provide services to hundreds.

“Sutter Health’s support for Paul’s Place is particularly meaningful to me, both because of what it says about our organization and because I am in this community every day and see what happens when private, public and philanthropic partners come together. Sutter Health is thrilled that the match offered through our Getting to Zero campaign encouraged such meaningful collaboration. It is what we had hoped for when we announced the Getting to Zero campaign three years ago,” said Rachael McKinney, CEO at Sutter Davis Hospital. “This investment shows what’s possible in a true culture of caring when the continuum of care extends beyond the care patients receive inside our hospital doors and truly helps improve lives throughout the region.”

The new multi-functional structure was designed by award-winning local architect Maria Ogrydziak to have:

  • Beautiful outdoor space to enrich the neighborhood.
  • A first floor Resource Center with enhanced program space to connect participants with public benefits, housing and employment opportunities, and health and human services — as well as basic needs for food, clothing, showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. It also will feature, four new emergency shelter beds for law enforcement and other service providers to help people in crisis get off of the streets.
  • The second floor features transitional housing that will provide 10 single residence bedrooms, a communal kitchen, family room, bathrooms and laundry.
  • The third and fourth floors will have a total of 18 300-square-foot private micro-unit apartments of permanent supportive housing, two of which will be accessible for those with physical disabilities, and where all residents will have access to wraparound services to help ensure stability and independence.

“We would not have challenged ourselves to dream this big if not for the matching grant from Sutter Health,” said former Davis Mayor and Paul’s Place Committee Co-Chair Robb Davis. “Paul’s Place is an innovative vertical tiny home village that will provide not only shelter but customized wraparound supportive services to meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness – whether for mental health support, addiction recovery, the medically fragile, and/or other social service needs.”

Former long-time Davis Joint Unified School District Trustee and UC Davis Law Professor Emeritus, Marty West, rounds out the leadership team as co-chair with Robb Davis of the committee charged with raising the needed funds during this early stage of the campaign.

Securing the $5 million in construction funding is the first and most crucial phase of the effort to address homelessness in Davis through Paul’s Place. The community team supporting Paul’s Place is continuing to raise the final funds needed to build the project, fund the relocation of crucial programs during construction, to create a fund and endowment to maintain the building once constructed, and provide ongoing operational support for long-term sustainability.

“This is a defining moment in Davis and our mutual efforts to enhance the quality of life for all of our neighbors,” said Campaign Chair Reed Youmans. “As a business owner and long-time resident, I believe Paul’s Place is the right project at the right time. Together, we can help change the lives of those experiencing homelessness, help more people transition to stability, and improve the community for all.”

Plans for Paul’s Place must be reviewed and voted on by the Davis Planning Commission and the Davis City Council. DCMH hopes to gain the needed approvals by fall 2019.

New digital health tool aims to help patients keep better tabs on diabetes

Posted on Jun 5, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO (Calif.) Type 2 diabetes is not curable, but it is controllable—but as any patient or doctor will tell you, managing diabetes comes with its own set of challenges.

Given the disease’s complexity, patients and doctors need to maximize their time together. To help improve the care of people with cardiometabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, investigators in Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR) and collaborators at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals developed and piloted an online tool called CM-SHARE (cardiometabolic Sutter Health Advanced Reengineered Encounter) to help primary care providers better manage patients with diabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions during their office visits.

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Make or Break Weight

Posted on May 31, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

Bariatric surgery patient Lorena Horta stands near the daVinci Robotic Surgery System at Sutter’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

Modesto woman’s bariatric surgery unlocks potential to live healthier life

MODESTO, Calif.–It all came to a head during a girls’ trip to Reno. What could have been fun escape with friends and family ended up making Lorena Horta feel more like a prisoner of her own body. She was short of breath. She had a hard time keeping pace with the group—all because of her weight.

Horta knew something had to give and that her health was at stake. Her weight gain—which increased after her mother passed away—was starting to have more serious consequences. She was diabetic, she had sleep apnea and plantar fasciitis. The cumulative effect of these conditions—the pain, the fatigue, the anxiety—was debilitating at times. And yet, no diet or weight loss program seemed to work for Horta. So she turned to minimally invasive bariatric surgery.

Lorena Horta before her bariatric surgery.

“I finally decided, you know, enough was enough. I needed to do something for myself,” she said. “Being a wife and a mom, you are always providing for everybody else. I needed to be around for my daughter and for my family.”

Bariatric surgery, or simply weight loss surgery, is not new, but the potential positive health effects continue to surface. Recent studies indicate teenagers undergoing bariatric surgery are more likely to not have a reoccurrence of high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. Adults who have had bariatric surgery are also less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke. Women who undergo weight loss surgery may have a decreased chance of developing breast cancer.

Horta had her surgery at Sutter’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto under the skillful hands of Antonio Coirin, M.D., through the daVinci surgical robotic system. Using tiny cuts and robotic-assisted video technology, a surgeon’s finger movements at a computerized workstation direct the robotic surgical tools, improving precision and access to the surgical site.

“You know, at first I hadn’t heard much about the robot, but I had full faith in Dr. Coirin,” Horta said. “I said, ‘If you have faith in it, I have faith in you, so let’s go ahead.’”

Touted for its minimally invasive approach, Dr. Coirin explained patients who underwent robotic surgeries have experienced faster recovery times, shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and blood loss, and smaller scars.

Memorial Medical Center recently earned a Center of Excellence designation from Surgical Review Corporation for robotic surgery and is the first hospital in the Central Valley to do so. The program was developed to recognize surgeons and facilities worldwide performing robotic procedures and achieving defined standards for patient safety and care quality.

“Every member of our robotic surgery team, from our master surgeons to our coordinators of robotic surgery to our surgical nurses to our surgical techs have the highest training in robotic surgery,” said Gino Patrizio, CEO of Memorial Medical Center. “The accreditation recognizes that we have the operational rigor so that every single patient receives that.”

Since her surgery, Horta feels like she has truly honored the promise she made to herself two years ago. Her health has dramatically improved. Her diabetes is gone, she has more restful sleep and her mobility has improved. She also is channeling her inner child again—riding roller coasters at amusement parks with her daughters. She says she finally feels free.

“Until the weight is gone, that’s when you truly realize what it does to you. I literally became a hermit. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I went from work to home, work to home. I wasn’t comfortable with myself, I wasn’t comfortable in my own body until I lost the weight. I used to walk always with my head down low feeling embarrassed, and I don’t do that anymore. It’s life-changing to see what the weight does to you and the difference now that it is finally gone, you feel like a totally new person.”

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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A New Lens to Study the Origin of 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, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – A new research collaboration will allow Sutter to collect and analyze ‘big data’ in hopes of identifying new disease markers for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is a difficult disease to treat because its cause is unknown. 

“MS is challenging to manage because there are no biomarkers or blood tests to diagnose or understand the individual patient’s prognosis and his or her likely response to medications,” says Joanna Cooper, M.D., a Sutter neurologist and MS clinician-investigator. “We know that disease course and presentation of symptoms vary by gender, age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. But we don’t know which treatment would be optimal for which patients, and why.” Read More

Teaching South Placer Schoolchildren How to ‘Stop the Bleed’

Posted on May 29, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Rocklin Elementary students learn how to “stop the bleed,” an easy skill to learn that could save someone’s life.

SOUTH PLACER COUNTY, Calif. – On Jan. 15, 2019, a gunman went on a shooting spree in Placer County. Multiple rounds were fired and many targets were hit. Two people were struck, one was a tragic fatality and one survived. One of the keys that saved his life was his 8-year-old daughter, who held direct pressure on the bleeding wound.

Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic injuries can affect anyone regardless of their age, race or economic status. In the first half of life, more Americans die from injuries and violence, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls or homicides, than from any other cause of death, including cancer, HIV or the flu. This makes injury the leading cause of death among persons from the ages of 1-44.

In many cases of traumatic injuries, bleeding is a preventable cause of death. The ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding and the ability to intervene effectively can save a person’s life. Whether a bleeding traumatic injury is the result of a home accident or shooting, one person – who is on the scene, at the right time and who has the right training – can save a life.

Sutter Roseville Emergency Department Medical Director Jon Perlstein, M.D., teaches a student how to stop the bleed.

To help save lives, the national Stop the Bleed program was developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in 2015. The goal of the program is to turn the average person into “immediate responders,” the first person at the scene of an injury. This person is rarely a trained medical care provider professional emergency responder. No matter how fast the arrival of emergency services, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from severe blood loss within minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the bleeding. Those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.

Team members from Sutter Roseville Medical Center Trauma Services, Emergency Preparedness, Critical Care and the Emergency Department along with American Medical Response, Roseville Fire Department, Auburn Fire Department and Rocklin Fire Department have provided Stop the Bleed training to more than 3,000 students in South Placer County and surrounding areas. These courses can be taught to school-aged children from kindergarten to high school and adult learners. Sutter Roseville has also donated more than 80 Stop the Bleed kits to schools in the Rocklin, Newcastle and Roseville school districts.

Additionally, all staff members at the medical center also receive the training.

“Unexpected injuries, whether accidental or intentional, can occur at their place of work, schools or other public areas,” says Erik Angle, Sutter Roseville Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and registered nurse. “Bystanders are the initial help until help arrives. Being trained, prepared and ready can save lives.”

Kate Carleton, Sutter Roseville Trauma Quality Clinical Education Coordinator, states, “The number one cause of early death from trauma is uncontrolled hemorrhage.  Early direct control of bleeding has been clearly shown to save lives.”

This training can and has saved lives across the country and almost anyone of age can easily learn these lifesaving skills. For more information on the Stop the Bleed Program and possible training, please contact Kate Carleton at

May 2019 is the first ever National Stop the Bleed Month. This nationwide campaign highlights the importance of Stop the Bleed training and provides the public with information and education through local fire, EMS, and health-care professionals.