President’s Message

From the President, January 2017

Posted on Jan 3, 2017 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Colleagues,Dr Tigno MS President

It will be the beginning of a new year as you read this. I am happy that 2016 is coming to a close. The tumultuousness of the presidential campaign, the untimely deaths of iconic entertainers and artists and the senseless killings domestic and abroad have made 2016 a truly crappy year.

However, on the Summit Campus we can be proud of an array of achievements and successes.

We successfully passed several regulatory surveys:

  • Joint Commission Survey 6/2016,
  • CDPH (California Dept of Public Health) relicensing and MERP (Medication Error Reduction Plan) 9/2016,
  • CAPS (College of American Pathology Survey) accreditation
  • NSQIP meritorious award- National Surgery Quality Improvement Program. Meritorious award — third time in five years. This award reflects that we are in the top 10 percent of all participating hospitals nationally.
  • Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for seven consecutive years. Target stroke Elite Honor Roll Award.
  • UDS Medical Rehab top performer award for Outstanding Program Performance.
  • National Doctor’s Day, March 30 — Administration donated to Bay Area Community Services, which provides an array of behavioral health and housing services for teens, adults, older adults and their families.
  • Silver Award from Donor Network West for tissue and eye.
  • Successful CME (continuing medical education) four year reaccreditation.
  • Code Sepsis program with decrease in mortality.
  • ICU liberation project.
  • TAVR program completed 200th procedure this year, in addition Mitraclip and Watchman procedures have been added to complement the Structural Heart Program.

There continues to be ongoing attention to the sterility and quality of surgical trays and instruments. Focus continues to be on staffing and training in SPD (sterile processing department.) One of the major findings by the outside reviewer, ECRI, was that an underlying obstacle to change was the culture between the OR and SPD. I am really excited to announce that Victor Maiki was brought on to promote a positive cultural shift. So, thank you, Rose Calhan, COO, for bringing his expertise to the table.

Multiple tragic events recently have hit our community. In addition to the Ghost Ship fire, just around the corner from the med center, the Mosswood Park Community Center burned down. The Center hosted a preschool and after-school educational and sporting activities for the community. ABSMC leadership has made a donation towards the rebuilding efforts, but members of our medical staff have expressed interest in contributing, too.

Dr. Dave Anderson and Dr. Leif Hass have asked me to ask you for your support in the effort. You can donate directly at the link below or you can pass your donation along to Leif at his PayPal and he will make the donation from our medical staff. His PayPal address is

Donate to Mosswood Recreation Center | Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation

As we say goodbye to the defining events and the entertainers that passed in 2016, I look forward to new beginnings and the start of a New Year in 2017.

Until next time, be well and may the “force be with you,”

Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President, Summit Medical Staff
Co-Director of Critical Care at Summit

From the President, December 2016

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues-

Dr Tigno MS PresidentI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holidays and winter blues can create stress and especially now, post-election, feelings of uncertainty during this time of political transition.

The following are my personal thoughts, so bear with me as I climb on my soap box.

I am sensitive to the political environment outside of our medical center, which is occurring locally and nationally. I am not here to espouse a political agenda but more to encourage respect and tolerance of those with differing views. In day-to-day discussions with members of the medical staff, nursing and even patients, the topic of politics may arise. It is probably best to not engage in discussion especially if there is a lack of agreement. However, as medical professionals, we should continue to stand by certain principles. I am going to borrow statements from a memo that Dr. Kim Erlich, the chief of staff at Mills Peninsula, distributed to his medical staff. I feel that the statements encapsulate the spirit of what we should continue to model and promote.

We should continue to promote-

  • equal justice for all
  • social justice for all
  • rejection and non-tolerance of racism, bigotry, bullying, prejudice, misogyny, sexual harassment and sexual assault in all shapes and manifestations.
  • celebration of ethnic, racial, religious, cultural and sexual identity/preference diversity

As an immigrant, I am grateful for the opportunity to live in the Bay Area, which is rich in cultural diversity and social activism. Furthermore, it is a privilege to work at a hospital that has a strong sense of community, in which we encourage and support each other in times of transition and need.

  • Annual Closed Active Medical Staff business meeting – Thank you for those who attended the Nov. 10 meeting. In the future, we are considering a noon meeting since that may accommodate most people’s schedule better than an evening meeting.
  • Holiday Party on Dec. 7 (combined medical staffs from Alta Bates and Summit) at Scottish Rite- If you have not done so already please RSVP to the Medical Staff Office 510-869-6565. Parking at the Summit Garage with shuttle service to the event has been arranged.
  • Reminder that Admission orders if they need to be cosigned must be completed before discharge or else there is a hard stop in Sutter EHR. (Tipsheet for this below.)
  • Recognition of outstanding delivery of care– Much of the great work we do here goes under recognized. We can fix that. The Quality Department can send out letters of recognition to physicians who you feel have done an exceptional job. Please send via Sutter email to Terra or leave a message on her extension 3427. Include the patient MR#, the physician(s), reason why you believe the care was exceptional, and date of service.
  • Areas of construction- There are areas of the hospital that are undergoing construction and may impact other areas.
  • One example is the 4th floor ICU located in the Merritt Pavilion. Bathrooms are being created in the ICU and due to plumbing work, the 3rd floor OR areas will be impacted. Please review the schedule below. For any questions, please ask Lorrie Stone, Nurse Director of Perioperative Services. Office-(510) 869-6754.
  • ED admissions to floor and ICU– Kudos to physicians and staff on decreasing the ED length of stay, which helps in both quality of care and in patient experience. Prior to the ED Kaizen event, which looked at the admission flow process, the time for Admit Decision to Leave ED was 140 minutes and after the Kaizen event the time was 109 minutes at the end of October. As we look ahead to increased volume, this is a good sign.

Please have safe and joyful holidays.

Until next time, be well,

Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President of Summit Medical Staff

From the President, November 2016

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues-

Dr Tigno MS President

  • Eden Transfers We anticipate a surge of patients this fall and winter. On occasion, some Sutter affiliates are even more challenged by capacity, such as Eden Medical Center. There is a commitment from both Administration and Medical Staff to help our sister hospital by accepting overflow from Eden ED. This is a coordinated effort with many moving parts. Please let Dr. Ursula Boynton know of any challenges to that end.
  • Length of stay is an area of focus and a continued work in progress. The ED process of admissions and flow was a focus in a recent Kaizen event. Thank you Hospitalists and Intensivists for your attention and partnership with the ED Physicians and staff. Goal is to improve the patient experience and improve safety by a timely admission. Once patients are admitted, the length of stay is also an area of focus. The goal is a timely appropriate discharge without compromising quality and safety. It must be done smartly. Understandably, it’s a balance – the “yin” to discharge is the “yang” of readmission.
  • For those of you that have been here long enough, our beloved 3North on the old Merritt Tower will be reborn as a med-surg unit. The anticipated start date is Nov. 10, 2016.
  • Parking Friendly reminder: There are areas dedicated to physician parking, so please make sure your car has the grey octagonal sticker. You can either drop by the parking office or the Med Staff Office, 2nd floor (located by C elevators), to pick up a sticker if you do not already have one.
  • Our Wellness Committee has a speaker series starting in January 2017 focusing on mindfulness, burnout and compassion. Dr. Leif Hass, co-chair of the committee, has lined up a series of talks to be held during Thursday Grand Rounds. Please contact him for further details.
  • Please fill out the online Physician Engagement Survey, which only takes a few minutes. The survey is out until Nov. 18, 2016. Last year’s survey indicated that satisfaction and engagement were not at the level that both Medical Staff and Administration would like them to be. Our Administration and the Sutter system are very interested in physician input. The only way that changes can occur is if they are aware of concerns and feedback. So the first step is completing the online survey. If you have not already done so, please take those few minutes of your time and many thanks in advance.

Holidays are coming around the corner and so warm thoughts to you and your family.

Until next time, be well,

Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President of Summit Medical Staff


From the President, October 2016

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues-                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dr Tigno MS President

Thanks to all who participated and/or donated to the American Heart Association Heart Walk in San Ramon on October 3. There was a great turnout and so far Sutter Health has raised $44,054.68.  People brought their friends, family and dogs. See photo below of  my kids and me promoting the importance of calling 911 for early signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.

I would also encourage donation and participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, an annual event held by American Cancer Society, on October 22 in San Francisco. Summit Radiation Oncology Dept has been actively involved annually for past 17 years. Click here to: make a donation or join the walk.

Combined Alta Bates and Summit Medical Staff Fall Social Event will be held at the Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt on October 19 at 6 p.m. Please RSVP to Dr. Arpita Doshi by October 14 at

Reporting Illegal Dumping, graffiti and other blight around Summit Medical Center:  Below is a website where you can register complaints, which will be acknowledged by the City of Oakland Public Works Department. For example, this has been effective in clearing out areas underneath the 27th overpass.

Compliance and Privacy If you have questions, please reach out to Nathan Perumal, our compliance officer, at work 510-204-1288 or mobile 916-500-3172. For questions regarding privacy, please contact Angela Alton, our privacy officer leader, at work 510-204-1289 or mobile 510-730-9258. I have asked them to submit educational pearls to future newsletters.

NSQIP (National Surgical Quality Improvement Program). For the third time in five years ABSMC has received the Meritorious Award in NSQIP, which is the nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care in the private sectors. The Meritorious Award means we are in the top 10 percent of all hospitals nationally. Congratulations to all!

Tigno10 16Have a great October!

Until next time, be well,

By Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President of Summit Medical Staff


From the President, September 2016

Posted on Sep 6, 2016 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dr Tigno MS PresidentDear Medical Staff Colleagues:

The summer is coming to a close. I hope you were able to take some time away for family, fun and vacation.

  • Combined Alta Bates and Summit Medical Staff Welcome Luncheon for New Physicians will be held at the 11th floor Bay Room at noon September 7.
  • Reminder to please donate or participate in the American Heart Association walk October 2. 
  • I would also encourage donation and participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, an annual event held by American Cancer Society, October 22 in San Francisco. Summit Radiation Oncology Department has been actively involved annually for 17 years. To make a donation or join the walk click on the following link:
  • The ambulance transport service (AMR) launched last month. Unfortunately, the initial roll-out under scoped the amount of resources needed to meet the demand. Areas needing improvement have been identified. I appreciate Administration’s commitment to improve this process, as well as AMR’s commitment and desire for a successful long term relationship. Please inform Dr. Steve O’Brien of challenges you may be experiencing with patient transfers.
  • For Psychiatry Inpatient Consults, call the Psychiatry Intake number 510-204-4405.  The expectation is a consult will be done within 24 hours.
  • John Ramirez is the new Administrative Director of Support Services and Facilities overseeing engineering, environmental services, food services, patient transportation, communications, parking and security.  Please contact him for concerns in any of these services.  He is eager to hear any feedback: 510-869-8383 or (Please see article from John below, “Identifying and Managing Aggressive Behavior.”)
  • Culture of Safety Survey is rolling out this month. I encourage you to fill out the survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete. The survey is distributed from the Sutter System to all affiliates. This year there will be new questions focusing on professional burnout, sleep and nutrition. As you may know, there is an increased spotlight on physician wellness and burnout because of the impact not only on the health care team but also on patient quality and safety.
  • The new Physician Lounge and Dining Area: The blue print configuration has been drawn up. If you are interested in seeing the schematic, please ask for a copy at the Medical Staff Office.
  • Lung Nodule Program is a multi-disciplinary program involving Thoracic surgery, Pulmonary, Radiology and Oncology. The goal is early detection and management of lung nodules for better outcomes in lung cancer. Patient cases are referred by providers or detected on low-dose radiation chest CT screens. An outreach program is being rolled out to community primary care providers to streamline the process for ordering low-dose radiation chest CT scans. For more information, please contact Sam Monsale, N.P., lung nodule nurse navigator, or 510-204-2664. (See article below)
  • This is a gentle reminder to please not park in the ED parking lot unless you are on call and need to access the ED (i.e. cardiologist, neurologist, surgical hospitalist or any other on-call physician). The parking lot becomes very congested because of ambulance traffic and in addition this month, the lot needs to undergo necessary work. There are parking lots in the Merritt and South Pavilion/Hawthorne.

Until next month, be well,

By Donna Tigno, M.D.
Medical Staff President


From the President, August 2016

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,Dr Tigno MS President


I want to take a moment and acknowledge that current events have created a tough stressful month. There is news coverage of violence stemming from race relations and law enforcement, violence due to terrorist activities within our nation and abroad, and depending on your political affiliation, stress brought on by reality TV programming — the election campaign.

It becomes that much more important to focus on wellness and emotional health among ourselves and colleagues.  We will benefit and ultimately our patients will benefit. I want to share an article: In Challenging Times Practice More Compassion.   (Thank you for sharing, Dr. Mouratoff.)

We did meet for the first gathering of the Wellness Branch of the Well Being of Practitioners Committee and we came up with some great ideas. The overarching chair of the Well Being Committee is Dr. Donnis Hobson. Dr. Douglas Patton will remain the chair of the traditional Well Being of Practitioners Subcommittee.

We continue to have a high patient census and with high acuity of illness. Thank you to both the hospitalists and intensivists for your strong work and for managing the volume and complexity of these patients.

  • Intensivist program: Starting Aug. 1, the Intensivist program is simplifying the way to reach them for consults and ED admissions. The one number is 510-301-3871 . Flyers will be posted as a reminder.
  • Verbal orders: A friendly reminder — please sign verbal orders within 48 hours. I would strongly encourage that physicians sign the outstanding verbal orders for themselves and for members of their own group. I will go one step further and ask that you sign the verbal orders by all the physicians caring for your patient. Tip sheets were sent out on the various ways this can be done. Patty Fitzgibbons, our Sutter EHR physician liaison, can walk you through these steps. In the old days (pre-EHR), the pink sticky tabs were easily visible and we could reach our goal. Nowadays, it is not as easily visible. So please take extra steps to accomplish this. (See article below on signing verbal orders.)
  • The newly elected Chair of Ob-Gyn Department is Dr. Elisabeth Schleuning.
  • Tele beds: Reminder to please evaluate on a daily basis whether your patient who is on a tele bed still needs tele monitoring. We continue to have a shortage of tele beds and this impacts patient flow throughout the hospital. Here are the indications for tele monitoring.  (Double click to enlarge.)
  •  American Heart Association Heart Walk: This will be the 12th year ABSMC participates in the American Heart Association Heart Walk to be held Oct. 2, 2016, 8:30-11 a.m. at Bishop Ranch 8 in San Ramon. You may have seen the announcements. Please register to join the Heart Walk and/or donate to the cause.  If you donate at least $10 for each day, you can wear jeans as a sign of support August 26 and/or September 23rd.

Be well,

By, Donna Tigno, M.D.