21 Sutter Hospitals and Medical Foundations Earn Recognition as Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality

Posted on Sep 3, 2020 in Quality, Safety, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Twenty-one affiliates within Sutter Health’s integrated, not-for-profit network earned recognition as an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. The designation was awarded in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).

The HEI recognizes facilities that meet key criteria, including foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.

“We are dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality care that is free from discrimination and affirming of gender identity and sexual orientation. We are equally committed to sustaining a supportive work environment where our employees and clinicians can reach their full potential,” said Jill Ragsdale, Sutter Health senior vice president and chief people & culture officer. “This honor is meaningful for our teams because it shows how we are living our values each day. We are proud to care for patients in one of the most diverse regions in the U.S. It is our mission to respect and serve all.”

The 21 Sutter Health affiliates earning a spot on the 2020 HEI Index include:

The 21 Sutter Health network affiliates recognized join a select group of healthcare facilities nationwide named as Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. A record 765 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. In addition, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 1,000 non-participating hospitals.

“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the horrific incidents of racial violence targeting the Black community, the events of the past year have brought about so much pain and uncertainty. Yet, even during this moment of profound unrest, we are seeing more of our humanity and resilience come to life. For me, nowhere is that more true than through the tireless dedication of our health care providers and the intrepid support and administrative staff members by their sides that show up every day to ensure this life-saving work continues,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The health care facilities participating in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) are not only on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making it clear from their participation in the HEI that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. In addition, many have made strong statements on racial justice and equity and are engaging in efforts to address racial inequities in their institutions and their communities. We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

For more information about the HEI, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.

Can COVID-19 Spur Change in Mental Health?

Posted on Sep 2, 2020 in Mental Health, Scroll Images

Mystery still surrounds COVID-19. How will it impact the upcoming flu season? Will younger generations eventually experience more severe symptoms?

COVID-19 has also brought attention to matters important to the here and now, like the broader need for mental health support, especially in times of crisis. A recent report in Psychology Today notes that one-third of U.S adults have reported clinical anxiety and depression symptoms related to this public health crisis. Professionals are concerned that suicide rates will greatly increase over the next few months, and they’re calling for change in how we care for and talk about mental health.

John Boyd, PsyD.

“We need to create organizations, healthcare systems and communities where it’s ok for our young people and others to openly talk about needing additional mental health support,” said Sutter Health’s Mental Health & Addiction Care CEO, John Boyd, PsyD. “That means bringing human design back into mental health and addiction care. At Sutter Health, we believe mental health is human health, and we are studying new ways for youth to manage mental health in their everyday lives.”

Hear more from Dr. Boyd on this topic in the Healthcare Executive Podcast, a program by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

No Sprint, Lacing Up for Pandemic’s Mental Health Marathon

Posted on Sep 1, 2020 in Scroll Images, Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging our mental health in ways we could have never predicted, and some people may feel they’re beginning to run on empty as far as ways to cope with all the change and loss.

“Coping as a primary strategy no longer works. It’s time to try something new,” says Holly Anton, an integrative therapist with Sutter’s Institute for Health & Healing. “Adaption is now the long-term objective.”

Rather than grieving for the way of life you may have lost with the pandemic, Anton recommends finding ways to create a meaningful life in the here and now.

Where do you want to put your energy? What deserves your focus? How can you make the most out of today? You can choose how you relate to the circumstances.

Importance of Maintaining a Routine

Structuring your day with activities and goals makes it predictable and gives individuals a sense of being in control of their environment,” says Anton.

On a basic foundational level, Anton recommends people eat healthy foods and get exercise. “You want your body tired at the end of the day so it’s ready for sleep. Put devices away at least two hours before bed and give your mind a chance to wind down with your body.”

Read more of Anton’s advice on ways to mentally adapt in this San Francisco Chronicle article.

Beyond COVID-19: Making Telehealth More Accessible & Equitable

Posted on Sep 1, 2020 in Innovation, Scroll Images

COVID-19 has provided us with many important lessons, but among the most significant for Sutter Health is how valuable expanded telehealth has been in reaching traditionally underserved communities in new and meaningful ways.

Sutter serves one of the most demographically and geographically diverse regions in the nation. Through our not-for-profit mission we work to ensure every patient gets the care they need, when and where they need it, regardless of their circumstances or ability to pay. We are committed to finding innovative ways to provide all of our patients with high-quality, accessible and affordable healthcare.

Like most U.S. health systems, the policy changes enacted to expand telehealth options to address COVID-19 made it possible for us to significantly expand our telehealth services. In our case, video visits increased by 32,000% – yes thousand – with patient satisfaction ratings right on par with in-person visits. As incredible as they are, what these numbers don’t tell you is how impactful these policy changes have been for vulnerable populations who otherwise may struggle to access the treatment they need.

Read this full article by Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans on the American Telemedicine blog.

Hungry People Fed through Food Waste Reduction Pilot

Posted on Sep 1, 2020 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, Innovation, Memorial Hospital, Los Banos, Memorial Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, People, Scroll Images, Sutter Amador Hospital, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Sutter Solano Medical Center, Sutter Tracy Hospital

35,000 meals donated in first seven months of project

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –In its first seven months, a pilot project involving 14 Sutter hospitals reduced food waste and fed the hungry by donating nearly 35,000 meals to 17 local nonprofits. The effort comes at a critical time as increasing numbers of people experience food insecurity due to the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

Last January, 10 hospitals in Sutter Health’s integrated network launched a collaboration with nonprofit Health Care Without Harm to implement the program, which is partially funded by a grant from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) through California Climate Investments. Over the summer, an additional four Sutter hospitals joined in Sutter’s efforts.

“From our earliest days, Sutter Health’s network has provided access to high-quality, affordable medical care in our facilities – but we’ve also been deeply invested in the health and wellbeing of our broader communities,” says Chief Medical Officer Stephen H. Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., executive sponsor of Sutter Health’s Environmental Stewardship program. “The teams behind this project with Copia and Health Care Without Harm are putting our values into action by leveraging innovation to not only reduce our environmental footprint, but also help feed community members in need.”

The work is powered by a technology platform designed by San Francisco-based Copia – a zero waste and hunger technology platform that allows food service employees to measure and prevent food waste while seamlessly donating all unsold or unserved edible excess food. Hospital food services workers measure daily food waste and submit their edible food donations in one streamlined process through Copia’s software application on mobile tablets. Copia’s mobile app then automatically dispatches drivers to pick up and deliver the food to local non-profits feeding food insecure populations.

And local really does mean local in this case – the average distance donated food traveled from the hospitals to someone who needed it was 3.4 miles.

In its first week in the program, Sutter Delta Medical Center recovered nearly 140 pounds of surplus food from the hospital—enough for 116 meals for Love a Child Missions, which serves homeless women and children in Contra Costa County, and Light Ministries Pentecostal Church of God, which serves meals to needy families in Antioch.

“This is an exciting partnership,” says Sutter Delta’s assistant administrator Tim Bouslog. “We’ve always had a vested interest in sustainability at our hospital, and the positive impact on the community during these difficult times makes this a great step forward.”

Another program benefit? The food donations efforts have helped Sutter reduce carbon emissions by 185,000 pounds and saved 15 million gallons of water!

Says Maria Lewis, director of Food and Nutrition Services at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center, “Eden’s first donation provided 45 meals to The Salvation Army in Hayward. This one donation not only consisted of 55 pounds of perfectly edible food, but also saved 241 pounds of CO2 emissions. We are humbled to be able to support our community, as well as help preserve our environment in the same process.”

“Over the first six months of this pilot project, we have gained valuable insight into how to contribute to community health, reduce waste and be good stewards of our own resources,” says Jack Breezee, regional food and nutrition services director for Sutter’s Valley Area. “I can only look forward to what we will learn over the pilot’s remaining year, and how we can build on these successes to serve our patients and communities.”

“Food waste among hospitals is a solvable problem,” says Komal Ahmad, founder of Copia. “If every hospital in the U.S. partnered with Copia, we could provide more than 250 million meals each year to people in need and save hundreds of millions of dollars in purchasing and production of food. Copia is thrilled to partner with Sutter Health to lead the healthcare industry in filling the food insecurity gap and building community resilience, especially during a time when insecurity has never been higher.”

Participating Sutter hospitals are Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, Memorial Hospital Los Banos, Memorial Medical Center, Sutter Amador Hospital, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Center for Psychiatry, Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Sutter Solano Medical Center and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

Sutter Delta Medical Center Welcomes New Chief Nurse Executive

Posted on Aug 31, 2020 in Affiliates, Sutter Delta Medical Center

ANTIOCH, Calif. –Sutter Delta Medical Center, part of the not-for-profit Sutter Health integrated network of care, recently welcomed a new chief nurse executive, Kevin Streeter, MBA, RN. Streeter joins the hospital during a time of unprecedented challenge in healthcare across the country.

“Kevin is an experienced nurse executive with a track record of improving patient care quality and service and maintaining strong relationships with staff and physicians at all levels,” said Sherie Hickman, Chief Executive Officer of Sutter Delta Medical Center.

Kevin Streeter, MBA, RN

Streeter brings with him a wide breadth of experience. Most recently, he served as chief nursing and clinical executive at Emanate Health’s Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, Calif. where he oversaw all nursing and ancillary departments. Prior to that, he served as the director of Perioperative Services for Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles; corporate director of Perioperative Services at Emanate Health for a three-hospital system in Southern California; as well as director of Ambulatory Surgery Center, interim director of Perioperative Services, and interim director of the Center for Sports Science for Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

Among his many accomplishments, Streeter has led initiatives leading to improvement of patient experience, reduction in patient harm, recruitment of experienced nursing professionals and favorable management of operational budgets. Having earned a bachelor of science degree in management and an MBA (Leadership & Managing Organizational Change) from Pepperdine University, Streeter also holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. In January 2022, he will earn a master’s degree in Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.

Stay on Top of Your Heart Health During COVID-19, Part II

Posted on Aug 27, 2020 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images, Uncategorized, Wellness

In another post, we provided information on how to read your blood pressure and what medical conditions may result from having prolonged high blood pressure. In this article, we offer tips from Michael X. Pham, M.D., M.P.H., chief of cardiology with Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco on how to reduce—or maintain—your blood pressure.

Better Diet, Better Heart Health

To lower one’s risk of high blood pressure, Dr. Pham encourages people to limit their sodium and eat a heart-healthy diet. Canned foods, condiments, deli meats, salad dressings and sauces are some of the biggest sodium culprits. Instead, make meals using garlic, lemon juice, herbs, spices or seasonings with no salt added. Do not add salt to prepackaged or frozen meals, as they are already loaded with sodium.

What goes on our plates at mealtime also offers insight into how healthfully we’re eating. “Mentally divide your plate into four quadrants. Two quarters (or half) should be fruits and veggies. One quarter should be proteins (lean fish, chicken or beans), and the remaining quarter should be a whole grain or starchy vegetable (brown rice, sweet potato),” says Dr. Pham.

Dr. Pham says that staying hydrated with water is good. People should avoid sugary drinks and alcohol as much as possible.

Get Those Steps In

Exercise is also key in maintaining a healthy heart. For this reason, it’s important to walk outside every day—but check air quality levels first.

Dr. Pham recommends a goal of 7,000-10,000 steps daily. “If you can’t get in a big walk all at once, break it into shorter walks throughout the day.” With increased community spread of COVID-19, he recommends walking early in the morning or early in the evening when there are fewer people out, and, if possible, be conscious of physical distancing and wear a mask. For those who cannot go outside, take frequent standing breaks and do laps around your house or yard.”

Your Heart & COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with moderate to severe hypertension may be at increased risk of COVID-19 complications.

“Hypertension makes it harder to fight off infections. Regular check-ups allow your provider to help manage your condition and provide a proactive plan if your blood pressure gets worse,” says Dr. Pham.

Know your numbers. An at-home blood pressure monitor, available at your local drugstore or online, can track your blood pressure readings in between checkups. Dr. Pham suggests bringing your at-home monitor to your next in-person appointment to help ensure its readings are accurate and reliable.

Award-Winning Cardiac Care

In August 2020, ten hospitals across Sutter’s not-for-profit integrated network of care received recognition by the American Stroke Association for providing a high level of stroke care as part of the 2019 Get With The Guidelines® awards.

Additionally, 20 hospitals in the Sutter system received recognition from the American Heart Association for consistently applying the American College of Cardiology guidelines when treating patients with heart failure. Read more about these recognitions here.

Options For Care

The heart is one of your body’s most essential organs. Don’t take it—or caring for it—for granted.

Sutter Health is committed to your health and safety. If you need care or to make an appointment today, Sutter’s care teams are ready to serve you in person or by video visit.

For more on Sutter’s heart disease prevention programs, visit here.