Why and How Do We Age? New Study Launches at Sutter Health’s San Francisco Coordinating Center on Healthy Aging

Posted on Apr 9, 2019 in Affiliates, Innovation, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Until now, research on aging and how to preserve independence as we age has come almost entirely from mice, worms, and flies, or human studies of blood specimens. Researchers at Sutter Health’s San Francisco Coordinating Center (SFCC) are launching a breakthrough study—the Study of Muscle Mobility and Aging (SOMMA)—to understand the biology of human aging and how it influences people’s ability to remain independent. SOMMA is the first study of its kind in the U.S.

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CPMC Advanced Maternity Care with Nations Highest Maternity Age

Posted on Apr 4, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Carousel, Scroll Images, Women's Services

SAN FRANCISCO – Yuan-Da Fan, M.D., chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), a part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network, recently interviewed with Robert Honda of NBC Bay Area public affairs program, Asian Pacific America, to discuss the trend toward older motherhood.

While this is a national trend it is particularly noticeable in the Bay Area. At CPMC the average age of mother delivering babies is the highest in the nation at 34.4 years of age. The oldest mother to deliver a baby at CPMC was 58.

“Across the entire country the maternity age is getting older, especially in San Francisco where we have highly educated and professional women”, said Dr. Fan. “Many women pursuing higher educational degrees and advancement in their careers are delaying motherhood until they achieve these goals.”

While delayed motherhood is increasingly becoming more common, Dr. Fan cautions that it carries additional risk. “Advanced maternal age, mothers over age 35, is associated with higher risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, cesarean delivery, complications during labor, and fetal abnormalities” Dr. Fan added.

Women over age 35 are advised to consult with their OBGYN provider to determine their risks associated with having a baby. Providers look at family background, medical history and other determinants to assess if the risks are great or not.

“We intend to continue providing the safest care to our older and complicated patients while also extending our support for low intervention births,” Dr. Fan stated. “Our goal is to celebrate each and every birth with successful outcomes and happy memories for all of our patients.”

 

Changing the Face of Healthcare

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in Community Benefit, Scroll Images

Memorial Medical Center CEO Gino Patrizio, Executive Director of Philanthropy for Sutter Health Valley Area Lisa Hume and Director of External Affairs for Sutter Health Valley Area Holly Harper report out about how their collective efforts support the Stanislaus County community.

MODESTO, Calif.–People may think of healthcare in terms of exam rooms and lab coats, stethoscopes and tongue depressors. Today, healthcare’s modern look features kids fitness classes, donations of healthy food items through mobile food banks or linking the homeless to wrap-around services like housing support, mental health services or addiction counseling.

The image of healthcare is changing—thanks to the teamwork between Sutter and various organizations in our Northern California communities.

During a recent gathering in Modesto, Memorial Medical Center CEO Gino Patrizio and Holly Harper, Sutter Health’s Director of External Affairs in the Valley, talked about how the health of our patients hinges on the health and well-being of their community. They hit on some highlights of how efforts inside and outside hospital and clinic walls supported the greater Stanislaus County in 2018:

  • In partnership with Sutter Health, Golden Valley Health Center’s Street Medicine Program delivers care to those who need it most. Last year, the street medicine program.
    • Served 2,083 individuals experiencing homelessness
    • Conducted 582 nurse assessments
    • Scheduled 70 primary care appointments
  • With support from Sutter Health, Second Harvest’s Mobile Fresh for Kids program made a tremendous impact at Shackelford Elementary School in the first half of 2018:
    • Served 651 children and youth
    • Distributed 48,503 pounds of food and 5,859 nutrition education handouts
    • More than half of parents whose children participated reported increased nutritional knowledge and preparation of healthier meals

Overall, Sutter invested more than $56 million to the underserved through charity care, unreimbursed costs of Medi-Cal and other community benefit support in 2018. This included nearly $1.1 million toward community partnerships that improve the quality of life for those in Stanislaus County. Working with 15 community partners, the programs served more than 43,000 adults and youth in neighborhoods throughout Modesto and all of Stanislaus County. Additionally, it provided more than 104,000 services to the community, including primary care appointments, school wellness activities, transportation and more

“With our community partners, we are always looking for innovative ways to expand access to care, helping to link patients to critical health and social services,” said Harper.  “We couldn’t do this without the help of community partners and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with such innovative, creative and dedicated individuals, who are all working toward common goals.”

Many of the community investments stem from direct feedback from residents. Every three years, Sutter Health conducts Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) to determine the unique needs and challenges for each community Sutter supports and serves. Using both qualitative and quantitative data collection and focus groups, the CHNA report helps us identify this region’s communities of concern by zip code and the health needs of highest priority. The 2019 CHNA is now underway across Sutter Health.

For more information about Sutter’s investment into Northern California communities, visit Sutter Health’s Community Benefit page.

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.

Change of Heart: Sutter Health is Poised for New Era in Cardiology Care

Posted on Mar 29, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Carousel, Mills-Peninsula Health Services

BURLINGAME, Calif. — Change can be sudden or slow, in this case it’s both. Sutter Health has been at the forefront of a decade-long journey to offer more patients with aortic valve stenosis an alternative to open-heart surgery. With new research presented last week at one of the world’s top cardiology meetings that goal seems achievable almost overnight.

Aortic stenosis is a serious cardiac condition in which the aortic valve in the heart narrows, limiting blood flow to the body. Doctors can treat aortic stenosis by replacing the patient’s faulty valve either during open-heart surgery or through a minimally invasive procedure called TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement).

David Daniels, M.D.

It is estimated that 100,000 TAVR procedures have been performed over the past decade, yet open-heart surgery remained the standard of care. “This meant that I could only offer TAVR if open-heart surgery would put my patient at an unnecessarily high risk for complications,” said interventional cardiologist David Daniels, M.D., co-director of Sutter’s Structural Heart Program in the Bay Area and a Sutter Health clinician-investigator.

Recently a major clinical trial[1] showed that a reversal may be in order; going forward TAVR may be the routine treatment or ‘gold standard’ for aortic stenosis, and open-heart surgery may be the exception.

Sutter Health not only participated in the recently completed trial, but under a continued access protocol, three Sutter Health hospitals are able to continue offering TAVR to a broader group of patients—even while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration examines the trial’s data.

The three Bay Area hospitals participating in the continued access protocol are: Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (Burlingame), California Pacific Medical Center (San Francisco), and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Oakland).

“I want to stress that TAVR is not a new procedure. I’ve successfully treated over 950 patients with this technique,” remarked Dr. Daniels. “The new part of this is that we can now offer TAVR, which is done through a small incision in the groin, to even more patients than before—giving them an option that is often safer, and often has a faster recovery time, than open-heart surgery.”

A typical hospital stay for open-heart surgery is a week to 10 days. TAVR patients often go home within 24 hours and are back to their usual activities within a few days instead of six weeks or longer for open-heart surgery patients.

Remarkable Clinical Trial Results 

Sutter Health’s cardiovascular teams have been involved with TAVR since its inception and have continued to pioneer the procedure as the artificial valves themselves have evolved. Over the years, several Sutter Health hospitals have participated in studies that confirmed the safety and efficacy of TAVR in patients who have intermediate or high risk of complication from open-heart surgery.

However, the most recent trial, called the PARTNER 3 trial, specifically looked at patients for whom open-heart surgery carries a relatively low risk of complications.[2]

Sutter Health affiliated combined sites Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (MPMC) and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) were major contributors to the PARTNER 3 trial and the second largest enrollment site in the state (trailing Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles). MPMC achieved a zero percent complication rate (one year post procedure) among its low risk patients who received TAVR as part of the trial. Sutter Medical Center Sacramento and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center also participated in the PARTNER 3 trial.

“The PARTNER 3 results are remarkable. There was a statistically significant 60 percent reduction in risk of death and stroke in TAVR compared to surgery, and this was carried out to one year,” Dr. Daniels remarked.

The study looked at rehospitalization associated with death, stroke or heart failure, and found that these negative results were 50 percent lower (half as likely) when the patient had TAVR instead of open-heart surgery. Beyond these results, there were significantly lower rates of renal failure, life threatening hemorrhage and reduced length of hospital stay among the patients in the TAVR group compared to the open-heart surgery patients.

The Future is Here

“Presently we are in the gap between the end of the PARTNER 3 trial and a decision by the FDA that might officially extend approval of TAVR to the low risk patient group,” explained Dr. Daniels. Today, the artificial valves used in the TAVR procedure are FDA-approved only for patients who are considered too old or frail to have open-heart surgery.

“We are proud to continue to offer the TAVR procedure to low risk patients as part of our participation in the valve manufacturer’s continued access protocol.” Three Sutter Health hospitals: Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center — are the only facilities in Northern California currently participating in the continued access protocol.

“Common sense told us that even patients with a low risk of complications from open-heart surgery may benefit significantly from treatment with TAVR instead,” Dr. Daniels said. “Results from the PARTNER 3 trial indicate that, for many patients, this has proven to be true. We are pleased to be able to offer TAVR to all patient risk groups.”

These groundbreaking clinical results are an example of how Sutter Health is leading the transformation of healthcare. If you are suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis talk to your cardiologist to see if valve replacement with TAVR is right for you.

[1] Mack MJ, Leon MB, Thourani VH, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement with a balloon-expandable valve in low-risk patients. N Engl J Med. 2019 Mar 17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1814052. [Epub ahead of print]

[2] The PARTNER 3 trial was sponsored by the makers of the Sapien artificial valve, Edwards Lifesciences of Irvine, Calif. Dr. Daniels is a consultant for Edwards Lifesciences.

CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital: Real Estate Deal of the Year

Posted on Mar 29, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO –The San Francisco Business Times honored Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center Van Ness Campus Hospital with a Real Estate Deal of the Year recognition in their Superlative category. The Superlative recognition is for projects and deals that stood out for their size, significance and complexity. CPMC was one of six in this category. Overall 33 deals, projects and people were recognized this year by the San Francisco Business Times.

The new $2.1 billion, 11-story CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital opened in March and has 274 acute-care beds that bring together inpatient services from two of its other hospitals. Now, eyes are on how its debut might transform the Van Ness corridor, which, CPMC CEO Dr. Warren Browner pointed out, used to be lined with car dealerships.

“Even though by any measure it is one of the grand avenues of San Francisco, it has never had much of an identity other than City Hall…at one end of it,” Browner said. “What will be really interesting to me as a San Franciscan is to see how this changes the neighborhood — whether it becomes more of a focus for healthcare.”

Writes the San Francisco Business Times in a March 27 article about the deal: “The main impetus for the CPMC campus was new state seismic safety standards that require hospitals to stay standing and functional after an earthquake. To tackle this, the hospital was the first project in the U.S. to open with viscous wall damper technology. The dampers use steel and a thick fluid to act as shock absorbers during an earthquake. Using them allowed the project to ultimately cut costs after testing showed the building wouldn’t need some of the usual seismic systems in addition to the dampers, said Kent Hetherwick, SmithGroup project manager for the CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital.

The zero-lot-line site required all kinds of other innovation on the part of SmithGroup and others working on the project. They used techniques such as 3-D modeling, preassembly and prefabrication to improve their coordination in advance of their actual time on site.

The end result? It’s an ‘incredibly beautiful and functional’ space that came in well under budget and delivered everything that was hoped for it, Browner said.”

Sutter Health, Suki Introduce Digital Voice Assistant to Support Patient Care

Posted on Mar 26, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images, Transformation

AI-powered, voice-enabled tool integrates vital information into patients’ electronic health records to maximize clinician time with patients

 

SACRAMENTO and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The not-for-profit Sutter Health network announced today that it is teaming up with Suki to pilot an artificial intelligence-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant with doctors in Northern California. Suki uses a combination of voice commands from a physician and context in which they are operating, to create a clinically accurate note that is then pushed to an electronic health record (EHR) system—enhancing the quality of care and creating greater efficiencies.

“Maximizing the amount of time clinicians spend with patients while reducing the documentation burden on our clinicians is a strategic and tactical priority,” said Howard Landa, M.D., vice president of clinical informatics and EHR for Sutter Health. “Personalized care paired with digital assistant tools will enhance care delivery and have a positive impact on health outcomes for our consumers, which is what really matters.”

Sutter will initially introduce Suki into three clinical practice areas—primary care, dermatology and orthopedics. Over time with use, Suki can distill a doctor’s conversation with a patient into an actionable plan, based on the doctor’s known preferences and clinical practice guidelines.

A doctor can tell Suki, “I did my typical diabetes counseling” for a patient, and Suki knows how to create relevant content for the note—and the resulting note is tuned not only to the doctor’s medical specialty, but also to their own vocabulary and style. This type of support can lend to streamlined documentation inside the patient’s EHR, which can help create the most appropriate care plans for patients. The overall care experience also can improve as more time is freed up from administrative tasks—giving patients and providers more one-on-one time during visits.

While Suki launched in May 2018, results from one-year pilots across multiple specialties show up to a 70 percent reduction in the amount of time physicians spend on medical notes. (In comparison, for every hour of direct clinical facetime with a patient, physicians spend nearly two additional hours on medical paperwork). Today, Suki is used five days per week across the country, working with three different EHR systems and seven medical specialties, and accounting for more than 1,000 patient interactions every week.

“We are excited to work with Sutter network doctors to help ease the burden of administrative work like medical charting and to give doctors time back in their day. Through this collaboration, we will expand our footprint into new specialties, allowing Suki to master new skills from one of the most tech-savvy health systems in the country,” said Punit Soni, Suki’s CEO and co-founder.

With this new collaboration, Suki will continue building on the amount of time it saves physicians by capturing high-quality medical notes for patient encounters, and work with the Sutter Health network to build a data layer on top of these notes that will not only reduce the documentation burden but also attack other interesting use cases like clinical decision support.