Delicious Food at a Hospital? Yes! New Summit Cafe Delights Diners

Posted on Aug 8, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Scroll Images

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Oakland Campus also launches room service for patients

 

Dianna Bennett, who works at the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center, was thrilled to have a cookbook signed by celebrity chef Jet Tila.

(OAKLAND, Calif.) – The new Summit Café and kitchen at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Oakland campus, which opened this week, now offers visitors, staff and physicians food-court style serving stations with a variety of delicious foods and made to order dishes.

During opening week festivities for the Summit Café, celebrity chef and TV personality Jet Tila prepared spicy Korean short rib street tacos and Hawaiian fried rice for a hungry lunchtime crowd. He also signed cookbooks and took selfies with adoring fans. Special chef appearances will be a regular occurrence at the new café.

Room Service for Patients: What they want, when they want it!

The expanded kitchen has made it possible to offer room service to patients at the Oakland campus. Patients select what they want (within their medically-prescribed diet), when they want it from a new restaurant-style menu offering freshly-prepared meals that are delivered within 45 minutes of ordering between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The new room service menu is extensive and features vegan and vegetarian options like vegan shepherd’s pie, healthful and tempting dishes such as chili lime chicken and turkey Bolognese pasta, as well as comforting, nourishing classics like chicken noodle or tomato soup. A room service assistant guides patients through the ordering process and helps those with special needs like allergies make appropriate selections.

More fun facts about the new Summit Café:

  • Café accommodates 300 guests in an airy, sunlit-setting
  • More than 100 food options on the new room service menu for patients
  • More than 8,000 square feet of new kitchen space
  • Two steam kettles can make 120 gallons of soup
  • Four walk through refrigerators and one walk through freezer
  • Blast chiller cools a pan of piping hot soup in less than 30 minutes
  • Turbo Chef oven cooks a frozen fish filet in a minute and a half
  • Combi oven can steam and roast at the same time
  • New dishwasher has an air blow dryer like a car wash

 

Reducing Childhood Obesity One Family at a Time

Posted on Aug 7, 2019 in Innovation, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

New Program Aims to Help East Contra Costa County Kids Achieve and Maintain Healthy Weight

 

ANTIOCH, Calif. –Making sure kids eat a balanced diet and maintain a proper weight can be a difficult task. Especially if the child is overweight, obese or a picky eater.

In Contra Costa County the problem is especially acute. Kidsdata.org, a program at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, compiled data in 2018 by grade level and found that in the county 36.1 percent of fifth graders, 35.7 percent of seventh graders and 33.4 percent of ninth graders are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, overweight or obese children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.

Richard Singer, M.D., a pediatrician with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) based in Brentwood, had become increasingly concerned about the overweight children he sees in his practice and the lack of nutritional counseling services available in eastern Contra Costa County.

So after careful planning, Dr. Singer recently started a pediatric weight management program at outpatient pediatric offices in Antioch and Brentwood. As part of the program, a registered dietician on the staff at Sutter Delta Medical Center sees patients one day a week at an SEBMF care center.

“There is an epidemic of childhood obesity and all of the complications associated with obesity,” Dr. Singer said. “Our community needs resources to help intervene and improve the quality of life of these children. The pediatric dietician will help parents and their children make better food choices as well as providing ongoing support and helping to monitor their progress.”

In June, Elika Vargas, a registered dietitian at Sutter Delta Medical Center, began meeting with parents and their children on Mondays, either in the SEBMF primary care clinic in Antioch or Brentwood. Children from 2 to 18 years of age are referred to her by primary care physicians.

Vargas reviews the child’s medical history and assesses the child’s eating patterns. Her goal is not to put the child on a diet but to guide the child and the parents on how to eat healthy meals. She also asks the parents and child about physical activity, as lack of exercise contributes significantly to being overweight or obese. Follow-up care is important to assess adherence to nutrition recommendations and weight trends.

“The idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle and gradual weight loss, and to teach families about nutrition so they can make these decisions on their own,” Vargas said. “I let them know why they should be eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get the right nutrition.”

Many barriers to healthy eating exist. The availability of convenience and processed foods, larger portion sizes and lack of physical activity are some of the contributors to obesity. Families are busy and eating fast food may be easier than preparing a balanced meal.

It can be difficult to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents have to be willing to be role models by following their own healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and plenty of exercise.

Some of her advice to parents on how to help children adopt a healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Cut out sugary desserts and juices or try fruit-infused water.
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods. Cook meals at home so children are more likely to have enough vegetables and whole grains.
  • Encourage kids to get involved in preparing meals or in helping with grocery shopping.
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors, flavors and textures.

“With kids you have to offer healthy choices such as fruit and vegetables multiple times,” Vargas said. “It’s persistence and communication.”

 

 

 

 

 

Specially-Designed Hospital Unit Helps Prevent Mental and Physical Decline in Elderly Patients

Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Hospitalized elderly people are at risk of developing complications like delirium—which carries the same risk of mortality as a heart attack.

Now a specially-designed Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit, combined with a volunteer-powered Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Sutter’s CPMC Mission Bernal Campus hospital, is focused on decreasing incidents of delirium and other complications. ACE unit staff and volunteers are also working to improve these patients’ coordination and mobility, decrease length of hospital stays and reduce readmissions. In addition to better health outcomes, this innovative care helps control costs and fosters affordable, dependable healthcare.

The team behind the Geriatric Accreditation. Sara G Cohen, MS, RN, AGCNS-BC; Wendy Zachary, M.D., Geriatrician; Ritik Chandra, M.D., Emergency Medicine

The hospital, which part of the Sutter’s integrated network of care, recently earned a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) from the American College of Emergency Physicians. GEDA was developed by leaders in emergency medicine to ensure that our older patients receive well-coordinated, quality care at the appropriate level at every emergency department encounter. Mission Bernal Campus hospital is the first San Francisco hospital to earn the voluntary designation in 2019 –and it is one of only three Northern California hospitals to do so.

“This accreditation strengthens our goal of providing advanced care for older members of our community who are particularly medically vulnerable,” said Wendy Zachary M.D., a geriatrician and the medical director of the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit—an inpatient unit at Mission Bernal Campus hospital designed exclusively for people over 70. “Older patients often arrive at the emergency department presenting with multiple chronic conditions and symptoms.”

The decision to voluntarily pursue the emergency department accreditation demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to provide the best quality of emergency care to San Francisco’s older patients—a population that is expected to include 30 percent of residents in San Francisco by 2030 according to San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services.

Dr. Wendy Zachary with 100 year old ACE patient Dorothy Bobbet

“The Emergency Department is one of the most important access points for older patients seeking medical care,” said Dr. Ritik Chandra, medical director of the CPMC Mission Bernal Emergency Department. “At Sutter CPMC we work to ensure that healthcare is readily available to everyone and we tailor our services to best meet the needs of our diverse community, including the special needs of older patients.”

Mission Bernal Campus hospital’s emergency department features specially-designed exam rooms for older patients, including calming colors, non-slip floors, and measures to reduce falls. Up to 90 percent of the patients in the hospital’s ACE Unit are admitted directly from the hospital’s emergency department. Approximately thirty to thirty-four patients per day are cared for in the ACE unit. ACE unit physicians and staff members undergo training that is specific to the needs of older patients.

The ACE unit is a dedicated floor in the hospital, with 34 private rooms and a physical therapy/rehabilitation room. In addition, there is a large activity room where patients can share meal times and engage in music therapy, guided imagery, and other activities that encourage older patients to continue to socialize and move around during their hospital stay.

With the combination of the geriatric accreditation for the emergency department and the ACE unit, CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus hospital is focused on providing specialized care to address the needs of San Francisco’s older residents.

A Lifetime Supply of Care: 98-Year-Old Reflects Back on Nearly a Century of Support

Posted on Aug 5, 2019 in Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Patient serves as living history of medical foundation’s commitment to access, high-quality care

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Sutter Hospitals Honored By U.S. News & World Report

Posted on Jul 30, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Five hospital campuses within Sutter’s not-for-profit network achieved recognition today as among the best hospitals in California for 2019-2020 from U.S. News & World Report. The annual rankings rate top hospitals in the state and in major metropolitan regions, according to their performance across 25 adult specialties, procedures and conditions.

Sutter hospital campuses ranked among the top 50 in the state include:

California Pacific Medical Center was also among the top 50 hospital in the U.S. in the Gastroenterology & GI Surgery specialty ranking. Only 165 out of 4,500 U.S. hospitals evaluated received a national ranking in a least one of the 16 specialty areas.

And Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento was one of 57 hospitals across the nation (out of 4,500 surveyed) to earn high ratings for their handling of nine specific surgical procedures and chronic conditions.

Four Sutter hospitals are among the top 10 hospitals in the San Francisco metro area, including Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Summit and Alta Bates Campuses), California Pacific Medical Center (Pacific Campus) and Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. Additionally, two Sutter hospitals are among the top 10 hospitals in the Sacramento metro area, including Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Eight additional Sutter hospital campuses earned recognition today as “high performers” in at least one adult specialty, condition or procedure, including:

“Recognitions like these honor our network’s doctors, nurses, clinicians and employees who dedicate themselves daily to delivering high-quality, compassionate care across Northern California,” said Bill Isenberg, M.D., vice president of Patient Safety for Sutter Health. “This work validates our ongoing commitment to improving quality and safety for our patients.”

Sutter Health’s not-for-profit network set out to build a truly integrated system—one that offers comprehensive patient services and quality health programs tailored to the diverse communities we serve. Today, Sutter Health cares for more than 3 million patients throughout its Northern California network of physicians, hospitals, home health providers and other services. Its coordination and focus on standardizing best practices reduce complications in care, lower hospital readmission rates and bring down the total cost of care.

“For 30 years, U.S. News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “By providing the most comprehensive data available on nearly every hospital across the United States, we give patients, families and physicians information to support their search for the best care across a range of procedures, conditions and specialties.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey ranked hospitals according to risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care, physician surveys and other care-related indicators.

For more information and complete rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report.

A PAL for Preemies: Musical Pacifier Helps Babies Learn to Eat

Posted on Jul 24, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, NICU, Pediatric Care, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Born a month and a half early at just 34 weeks, tiny baby Olive O’Neill was so premature that she was unable to feed orally. But by sucking on a pacifier that plays a lullaby sung by her parents, baby Olive quickly learned how to feed and has successfully gone home to her family.

Baby Olive using the PAL

The innovative device is called a PAL, short for Pacifier-Activated Lullaby. The PAL works by motivating babies to suck on a specially designed pacifier to help strengthen their sucking reflex.

At birth, premature infants often lack a developed sucking reflex. The inability to feed on their own is a common reason they remain hospitalized after birth. To help these newborns develop the sucking reflex more quickly so they can go home sooner, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital in San Francisco, part of Sutter Health’s integrated not-for-profit network of care, is now using the PAL in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Research backs the PAL

According to music therapist Elisha Madsen, MME, MT-BC, who works with parents in CPMC’s NICU to train their infants with the special pacifier, studies show that premature infants who receive PAL therapy develop an increased ability to eat on their own more quickly, gain weight and have a reduced length of NICU hospitalization.

Studies have determined that average NICU hospital stays were 20 percent shorter (nine days on average) for babies who received PAL treatment versus babies who did not. Studies also have shown that babies increased their sucking rates up to 2.5 times more than infants who did not receive PAL. Increased sucking translates to improved oral feeding skills, which can directly affect a baby’s ability to go home from the NICU sooner.

How PAL works

The PAL is attached to a sensor that measures the strength of the baby’s sucking. When the PAL detects that the baby has sucked on the pacifier to a predetermined strength, the baby earns a reward – a lullaby recorded by the baby’s mom or dad. Music therapist Madsen explains that hearing their parent singing a lullaby motivates babies to continue sucking on the pacifier, which in turn improves the sucking reflex.

Charles and Alissa O’Neill, who recorded the traditional lullaby “London Bridge is Falling Down” for their daughter Olive, credit the PAL with helping her develop the ability to feed.

“Having the PAL is great because you could see instantly that she had a really good response to both her mom’s voice and my voice – which helped her develop her sucking,” says Olive’s dad, Charles.

“The last couple of weeks of our stay at CPMC were focused around feeding and helping Olive [learn to] feed on her own,” adds mom Alissa. “After we used the PAL, we also sang to Olive to help encourage her to feed.”

Madsen says that, within a couple of minutes, most babies learn they will have to suck on the pacifier to receive their music reward. “Parents light up when they see their baby is responding to their singing voices and is learning the skills needed to eat and go home,” Madsen says. “It is just precious to see this reaction.”

CPMC’s Level III NICU: Life-saving Technologies and Compassionate Support

CPMC’s Van Ness Campus hospital NICU is a designated level III NICU capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies that may need continuous life support and comprehensive care. Level III NICUs also offer a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists capable of providing critical medical and surgical care and to address problems that premature and critically ill newborns may have.

Studies have shown better outcomes for very low birth weight infants and premature infants who are born at level III centers, leading to recommendations that women at risk be transported to these centers to give birth. Through Sutter Health’s integrated network of care, women with high-risk pregnancies, and babies born prematurely or with complications, can be transported to a higher level of NICU with seamless coordination of medical care and support. This seamless care can reduce complication, reduce hospital readmissions and reduce the overall cost of care.

 

 

Federal Grant to Expand Physician Residency Program to Rural County

Posted on Jul 23, 2019 in Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Amador Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Transformation

HRSA Rural Residency Program Addresses Growing Shortage of Family Medicine Physicians in Gold Country Communities

Sutter Amador Hospital

JACKSON, Calif.Sutter Health was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand its Sacramento-based physician residency program to Amador County as part of the federal agency’s efforts to provide better access to quality medical care in rural areas.

The HRSA Rural Residency Planning and Development grant will help not-for-profit Sutter Health expand its successful Family Medicine Residency Program located in Sacramento and Davis to the Sutter Amador Hospital campus.

“The health challenges in rural America are clear: Rural communities face a greater risk of poor health outcomes than their urban counterparts,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “Programs like the Rural Residency Planning and Development grants take aim at one of the most persistent disparities: access to high-quality healthcare providers. HRSA is committed to increasing the number of providers serving rural communities and improving health in rural America.”

This grant is part of a larger $20 million multi-year initiative by HRSA to expand the physician workforce in rural areas by developing new, sustainable residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry.

The goal of the Sutter Health project is to develop a sustainable, accredited rural training track in the Mother Lode and to ultimately expand the area’s rural primary care workforce. In Amador County, there is an evident high need for primary-care physicians (PCPs)in the area as the ratio of the population to one PCP is 1,760-to-1; the ratio throughout the state of California is 1,280 residents to one PCP, according to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps website.

“Because of the strength of its integrated network, Sutter has created multiple residency and fellowship programs in primary care and specialty areas over the last two decades,” said Ash Gokli, M.D., chief medical officer for the Sutter Health Valley Area. “By expanding our residency program into Amador County, we can help address the shortage of family medicine providers that is being felt disproportionately in rural areas. We are working to strengthen the physician pipeline throughout our integrated network so our patients receive the same high-quality care no matter what community they live in.”

The Sutter Health Family Medicine Residency Program is based at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. It is a community-based program where residents in family medicine complete core inpatient training in Sacramento during the first year, with their next two years in Sacramento or Davis. Currently there are 21 residents in the program, and the Amador County program will expand the program to 27 residents. Since its inception in 1995, the Sutter Family Medicine Residency Program has graduated 139 physicians, all of whom passed their Board Certification assessments on the first effort. For more on the program, go to www.suttermd.com/education/residency/family-medicine.

HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery. For more on HRSA, go to www.hrsa.gov.