Message from the President – June 2018

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in President's Message | 0 comments

Medical Staff Leaders recently completed Sutter Safe Care Leadership training. A special thank you is extended to everyone who donated eight hours out of their busy schedule to participate. We learned during the training that Sutter Safe Care is about creating a safe environment for not only our patients, but also for everyone in hospital. Zero harm is our goal.

Sutter Safe Care is about having a preoccupation with failure and safety, and linking this to our decisions to help create a safe environment for all. It’s about addressing potential safety issues before they become problems and cause harm. It’s about speaking up about issues we encounter on a daily basis, and thanking individuals for bringing up their concerns. It’s about actively finding problems and fixing the proximate causes. Also, it’s about changing our culture by creating an environment of trust and cooperation.

A more technical aspect of Sutter Safe Care is changing some of the details of our reporting system to better categorize events that could lead to harm or have caused harm e.g. Intensive Analysis (IAs) and Root Cause Analysis (RCAs). This will help us as an organization better understand patterns of safety events and create solutions within our system to avoid these events from occurring in the future.

Furthermore, there is an emphasis on “Just Culture”, or in other words, having a fair and accountable culture, which is understanding that most events are unintentional. When a safety event occurs, rather than blaming the individual, we take a deep dive into our system and determine how we can prevent future incidents through improving our systems. Also, as physicians and care givers, we hold ourselves accountable to our patients and each other.

The dates, times, and location for the two hour Sutter Safe Care sessions will be emailed soon.

Remember, if you see a problem or potential problem, please report it to your unit manager or to your Medical Staff leader, either your Department Chair or Medical Director. Below is an outline of the Medical Staff leadership reporting structure.

Required two hour training sessions for physicians and staff will occur June through September. Many options will be available at varying times of the day. Specifically, there will be a few grand rounds dedicated to Sutter Safe Care training. Administration will sponsor dinner sessions at both the Summit and Alta Bates Campuses for physicians and allied health professionals. Also, you can join the hospital staff during any of their training sessions. It’s the same training. Please be sure to sign up and sign in to receive participation credit. CME credits are also available. Thank you in advance for participating in the quest toward zero harm!

A special thank you goes out to each and every physician and allied health professional caring for our patients during the unexpected downtime which began the night of May 14th. Around 10:30 p.m., activation of the fire suppression system in the Sacramento data center forced an immediate shut down of all of Sutter’s data systems. All Sutter computer services and systems were down. Our physicians, nurses and staff worked side by side quickly pulling together all available resources during this unfortunate event. While walking through every floor and visiting almost every department, I noticed a strong sense of camaraderie and team work. Adversity brought out the best in everyone despite the challenges we faced. Radiologic studies were read at the bedside. Lab results were both hand delivered and faxed. Physicians heard through the grapevine potential consultations and without being called, came to the patient’s bedside.

Two radiologists deserve recognition: Dr. Phillip Wong and Dr. Chris Lee. The night hawk service was unable to function without computer services, therefore, no teleradiology. Both radiologists came in to care for our patients the night of the outage despite not being on call so studies could be read in real time. Thank you Drs. Lee and Wong.

Sutter is doing a deep dive into the circumstances surrounding the unexpected downtime. They will report their findings to each affiliate and we will report the findings via the medical staff newsletter. Also, we are doing our own debriefing as there is a lot we can learn as this situation simulated a true disaster. Please escalate downtime concerns, or ideas to streamline downtime procedures to your unit manager, Medical Director, or Medical Staff Chair. We can learn from your experience.

Chain of Command

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Honorary Staff Tribute

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Announcements | 0 comments

Tolbert J. Small, MD was recently appointment to the Summit Honorary Medical Staff. Dr. Small graduated from Wayne State University with his Medical Degree and completed his Internship and Residency at Highland Hospital. He has numerous publications, memberships, and awards. In 2011 he was awarded with the Black Panther Party Appreciation Tribute. Dr. Small was also just presented with the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.









Below please see samplings of Dr. Small’s poetry:


Angel of Mercy,
Fly like a dove through the hospital
To bathe the ill,
Dress the wounded,
And feed the weak.

Angel of care,
Fly like a butterfly through the hospital
To massage the aching muscles,
Ease the suffering,
And decrease the pain.

Angel of love,
Fly like an eagle through the hospital
To cool the rising fevers,
Soothe the aching bones,
And raise the gloomy spirits

Truly, Nurses are angels,
And angels are nurses.


Once the spirit of the Nightingale
Rises within you
To heal the ill,
Ease the pain,
Cool the fever,
And kill the germs.

That spirit will never die,
Once, it has planted its seed.
It will always sprout forth
Again and again.

Even in death, the spirit of the Nightingale
Will cast forth its shadow to be born again.
Even in death, the spirit of the Nightingale
Will rise forth like a phoenix to be born again.

Old Physicians

Old physicians never die.
They don’t fade away.
They forever live in the hearts and minds of their patients.
They work as long as their brain and heart works.
We were healers.
We are healers.
We will always be healers.

Sutter Specialty Network Referral Services

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Announcements | 0 comments

Sutter Specialty Network Referral Services

The Sutter Specialty Network (SSN) provides comprehensive referral support to physicians and care center staff with clinically complex or difficult-to-place referrals. SSN is a specialized team with access to numerous high level and hard to find subspecialists that can help locate ambulatory experts in field and hospital-based specialty programs.

How to Initiate the Process

Sutter Health Medial Groups, Foundations and Hospitals:

Enter a referral to the Sutter Specialty Network
Crate a generic referral and complete the following:

  1. Class: Outgoing
  2. Place of service: Sutter Specialty Network
  3. Referral message to: P Sutter Specialty Network

Independent offices with access to Sutter EHR:

SutterLink Referral Entry:

  1. Class: External
  2. Place of Service: Sutter Specialty Network
  3. Notes: Indicate special instructions or desired specialist (diagnoses/procedure tab) in notes section
  4. Referral message to: P Sutter Specialty Network

Physicians with no access to the Sutter EHR:
888-834-1788     Phone
415-600-2955     Bay Area Fax

For questions about the SSN referral service, please call 1-888-834-1788

Beyond Our Doors – Caring for Our Community

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Beyond Our Doors – Caring for Our Community

Clayton Warren | May 3rd, 2018

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is working together with community clinics and agencies in the East Bay to reshape how people access healthcare. The goal of the Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership is to share and advance innovative strategies with hospital and community providers to help improve whole person and population health using collaborative approaches and data driven solutions.

In 2012, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center reached out to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), homeless, housing and mental health agencies and the Alameda County Health System to develop a partnership to help improve the flow of patients through the emergency department as well as to improve care transitions and ensure patients establish a medical home where they can receive routine care.

Video: Learn how Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center impacts the East Bay through the Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership.

Data Supports New Approach

Stephanie Brown, M.D., ER Physician at Alta Bates Summit

“One of the main goals for this partnership was to improve the flow of patients through the emergency department as well as to improve care transitions,” says Stephanie Brown, M.D. Emergency Room physician at Alta Bates Summit and Co-leader of the project. “For example, care transitions nurses can see exactly see how many patients were contacted by the nurse for follow-up care at a community health center, how many kept those appointments and how many appointments were missed. These numbers drive the program and enable our partners to target their resources more effectively.”

The Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership is data driven and allows clinicians to drill down exactly where resources are most needed. Since tracking patients in the care transitions program, Alta Bates Summit has seen a 25 percent reduction in their readmission rate.

Partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers

The Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership consists of federally qualified health centers, homeless, housing and mental health agencies and the Alameda County Health System

To ensure a smooth transition and continuing care once the patient is back in the community, Alta Bates Summit relies on long-established relationships with LifeLong Medical Care, La Clinica de la Raza, West Oakland Health Center, and Asian Health Services. These deeply rooted community organizations offer centrally located, affordable, comprehensive and effective primary and preventive care. They also provide language translation services and help identify and remove other barriers to care, such as mental health, substance use treatment, or lack of transportation or permanent housing.

“We collaboratively work with discharge planners and the social workers at Alta Bates Summit to identify and advocate for our patient’s needs,” says Barbara Goldstein, Psychosocial Services Director, LifeLong Medical Care. “This partnership allows our doctors and nurses to know that their patient has been in the hospital, what their follow-up needs are and what they should be paying attention to when the person does come in for their follow-up appointment.”

Many of the following Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership Program are funded through Alta Bates Summit Community Benefit and Sutter Health Philanthropy:

  • Clinic care transition nurses
  • A new clinic for high-risk patients
  • Health equity project
  • Chronic disease resources
  • Closer collaboration with mental health substance use and housing agencies

Tracy Schrider, LCSW, Alta Bates Summit Community Health Social Service Program Manager

“Alta Bates Summit Emergency Department nurse care managers and social workers closely collaborate with FQHC (or community clinics) care transitions nurses,” says Tracy Schrider, LCSW, Alta Bates Summit Community Health Social Service Program Manager and Co-Leader of the project. “This warm hand-off allows patients to gain access to community providers who can offer a wide range of services including preventive care, disease management and social services.”

Improving Care for Frequent ED Patients

Since 2016, PreManage ED© has allowed emergency departments within the Sutter Health network and Alameda Health System to identify thousands of shared patients who visited an ED five or more times in the previous year. Before PreManage ED was implemented, neither health system could identify these frequent visitors as shared patients.

Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of the Alta Bates Summit Emergency Department (Photo: Eric Kayne)

“The PreManage ED system instantly alerts our staff when a patient has a case history of using the ED on at least three occasions in less than 30 days,” says Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of the Alta Bates Summit Emergency Department in Oakland. “This tool allows us to quickly view the patient’s recent treatment history and pinpoint the reasons why they are visiting the ED so often.”

Watch the Video to Learn More

Learn how Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center impacts the East Bay through the Community Integrated Healthcare Partnership.


Alta Bates Summit Stroke Center Receives Prestigious Achievement for Eighth Year in a Row

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Alta Bates Summit Stroke Center Receives Prestigious Achievement for Eighth Year in a Row

Clayton Warren | May 22nd, 2018


May is Stroke Awareness Month and for the eighth year in a row, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center was awarded the Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

A decade ago, Alta Bates Summit was the first hospital in Alameda County to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The hospital’s stroke center is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an expert rapid response stroke team and state-of-the-art equipment to immediately evaluate and diagnose stroke patients.

“What distinguishes our Stroke Center is our collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to stroke care,” says Debra Blanchard, R.N., Stroke Center Coordinator at Alta Bates Summit. “Our team includes a team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, case managers, social workers and other caring professionals who follow patients from the emergency room to discharge.”

To attain this recognition, Alta Bates Summit complied with sets of indicators set forth by the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) for at least two consecutive years. The hospital also met or exceeded at least five of eight additional stroke quality measures.

In 2017, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center provided care to more than 700 stroke patients with clinical outcomes exceeding regional and national benchmarks. According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, approximately 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Every second counts when it comes to stroke.

Since 2007, the Alta Bates Summit Stroke Center has met or exceeded the national benchmarks for the amount of time it takes to administer the powerful, clot-busting drug to patients, greatly increases their chance of surviving a stroke.

In 2017, the Alta Bates Summit administered intravenous t-PA within 45 minutes to at least 50 percent of patients and within an hour to at least 75 percent of patients. This distinction earned the medical center the Target Stroke Elite Plus Award from the AHA/ASA.

“We continue to improve our processes to ensure patients are diagnosed and arrive at the hospital as quickly as possible,” says Brian C. Richardson, M.D., Alta Bates Summit’s Stroke Program Medical Director. “Fast, expert action within the first hours is critically important. This results in improved outcomes for patients through the use of advanced treatment methods.”


New innovative center in Oakland offers same-day, convenient care for non-urgent issues

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Deborah Smith of Alta Bates Medical Center was the first patient on opening day of the Walk-In Clinic.

Sutter Health opened the newest Walk-In Care clinic in Oakland, a service of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, on Wednesday, April 17, 2018, at 5095 Telegraph Ave., Suite B.

Sutter’s Walk-In Care clinics offer a quick, convenient care option for everyday illnesses and health needs in a stand-alone storefront that is easily accessible. The Oakland clinic is Sutter Health’s seventh Bay Area location. Other clinics are located in Dublin, Petaluma, San Francisco, San Ramon, Walnut Creek and San Jose.

Carolin Delker and Emma Chavarria help open the Walk-In Care Clinic on the first day.

“Consumers expect on-demand service, and that includes quick and affordable solutions for their healthcare. Many people want high-quality care beyond the standard work week,” said Don Wreden, M.D., Sutter Health senior vice president of patient experience. “Our Walk-in Care clinic teams are putting out the welcome mat for this new kind of care experience: convenient, same-day care that’s custom-tailored to patients’ personal needs.”

Sutter Walk-In Care offers an innovative approach to healthcare:

  • Nurse practitioners or physician assistants provide treatment for common illnesses, health screenings, vaccinations and wellness services such as smoking-cessation support.
  • Each location is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, with reduced hours on most major holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only days when Sutter Walk-In Care clinics are closed.
  • Patients can call ahead or visit the Walk-In Care website to save their spot, or simply just walk in to the location.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care locations offer a comfortable lobby with outlets to charge laptops or phones, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi, fruit, coffee, tea and fruit-infused water.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care is available to adults and children 18 months and older – patients do not need to be an existing Sutter Health patient.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care accepts most major insurance plans, and patients would be responsible for their standard co-pay or co-insurance. For those who prefer to pay out of pocket or have not yet met their deductible, pricing is clear and simple, with a standard office visit at a flat rate of $129.

“These new locations offer easy access to treatment for problems like the flu or an ear infection, rashes, and wellness services like sports or pre-employment physicals,” said Carolin Delker, Sutter Walk-In Care nurse practitioner manager. “We hope that by providing more convenient access to care, patients won’t put off getting the care they need to stay healthy.”

Delker added: “Patients appreciate the range of services we provide, and our staff can help people when they most need it. People can come in before going to the office in the morning, or schedule a time on any day of the week that is convenient for them, including evenings.’’

Walk-In Care clinics have the potential to relieve pressure on overcrowded emergency rooms.

“We want to reserve emergency departments for complex and life-threatening illnesses, rather than having people with minor medical problems going there because they have no other option,” Delker said. “At the same time, allowing patients to receive non-urgent care and vaccinations quickly, near where they live or work, should help free up doctor-office visits for those with more serious issues.”

While Sutter Walk-In Care provides a wide variety of healthcare services, patients with serious problems or illnesses that require more immediate attention, such as severe cuts or broken bones, should visit an urgent care clinic, or their nearest hospital emergency department.

Additional Sutter Walk-In Care clinics located in the Bay Area:

  • Dublin: Fallon Gateway Shopping Center, 3918 Fallon Rd., Dublin, CA 94568
  • Petaluma: Deer Creek Village, 411 North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94954
  • San Francisco: 240 King St., Suite G2, San Francisco, CA 94107
  • San Jose: 685 Coleman Ave., Suite 20, San Jose, CA 95110
  • San Ramon: 460 Market Place, San Ramon, CA 94583
  • Walnut Creek: The Orchards, 2878 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, CA 94598To learn more about Sutter Walk-In Care, please visit or call 1-800-972-5547

Welcome New Providers

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in New Physicians | 0 comments

Amy S. Blake, DDS
Daniel Nam DDS & Associates
2976 Summit St. Ste. 201
Oakland, CA  94609-3405

(510) 451-8315

Brandon B. Kang, DDS
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
2961 Summit St., Ste. A
Oakland, CA  94609

(510) 227-8099

Edward D. Youn, DPM
Sun Helathcare and Surgery Group, Inc.
1815 Arnold Dr.
Martinez, CA  94553

(925) 528-1244

Message from the President-May 2018

Posted on May 2, 2018 in President's Message | 0 comments

Hello everyone! First, I would like to thank the Administration on behalf of the Summit Medical Staff for a lovely Doctor’s Day breakfast and lunch, along with the donation to New Day for Children, a non-profit organization supporting victims of sex trafficking. Also, thank you Chuck Prosper for your years of service as both COO and CEO at ABSMC. We wish you well in your future endeavors.

This month’s newsletter will focus on Summit campus highlights.

-This summer, we will launch our new Neuro Interventional Program. Initially, we will perform thrombectomies on patients who have had an acute thrombotic stroke. The program may expand later to include aneurysm coiling. Staff will go to Eden for training, as Eden has a well-established program.

-Dr. Rock Liu is leading our new Robotics Hernia Mentor/Case Observation program for robotic assisted hernia repair. Physicians will come from around the country to train and learn about our program. Details were published in the March newsletter.

-Construction for the new hybrid OR begins in April and will take approximately one year to finish. The hybrid OR will have all of the capabilities of a regular operating room plus built in advanced imaging technology.

-Our Preoperative Clinic, led by Dr. Catherine Stapleton, continues to ramp up its volume and is seeing a majority of patients who come through the operating room. A satellite clinic at Ashby is currently under consideration.

-MCMI is moving to a new location on Telegraph Avenue.

-The new in-house MRI will be operational at end of 2018.

-The construction for the new Doctor’s Lounge is scheduled to finish at the end of 2018. There will be a small exercise area, plenty of space to chart, a lounge and a dining area.

-Soon, construction will begin disassembling the West wing of the hospital. The disassembly will occur over five weekends, and construction will continue in this area of the hospital for 12-15 months.

-The Medical Staff has been engaging Sutter leadership about growth strategies for ABSMC. Suggestions or ideas? Please let myself, the Chair of your Department, or the Medical Staff Office know, as this is a collaborative effort.

-Sutter Safe Care Leadership training has begun. Dates and times for the two hour training for all physicians and staff will soon be released and will occur June through September. Administration will provide dinner for physician training on a few selected evening dates at both the Summit and Alta Bates campuses. Two hour training sessions will also be available during a few selected grand rounds on each campus. Physicians also may join in on the staff training sessions. The content is the same no matter which venue you choose. CME credits will be available.

Jill Kacher Cobb, MD
President, Summit Medical Staff

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Doubles Shelters for Oakland’s Homeless

Posted on May 2, 2018 in Committee Briefings | 0 comments

Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has doubled its financial commitment to provide temporary housing to help the City of Oakland move homeless people from encampments into temporary shelters.

Alta Bates Summit CEO Chuck Prosper committed initial funding in December to purchase and deliver 20 “Tuff Shed” portable structures to shelter 40 people at Oakland’s first temporary “Safe Haven” shelter site for homeless individuals.

Impressed by the effort – a collaborative effort between the medical center, City of Oakland and Oakland Chamber of Commerce – a generous community donor has now offered to partner with Alta Bates Summit to help fund a second temporary shelter site, with 20 more units.

“We would certainly prefer people have permanent, safe, affordable housing,” Prosper says. “Homelessness here is now a public health issue, yet we must respond with compassion and respect in a way that helps people get back on their feet and lead healthier lives again.”

The initial Safe Haven pilot site opened in December on land donated by PG&E in West Oakland and met with early success: in less than three months 44 people from a nearby encampment moved onto the site, eight then moved from the site and into transitional or permanent housing, and 15 more had job interviews.

“Under Chuck Prosper’s leadership, Sutter Health has strongly stepped forward to support Oakland’s temporary homeless navigation centers by funding short-term housing and support services for our most vulnerable residents while the City and community seek long-term housing solutions,” says Barbara Leslie, President and CEO of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. “The leadership shown by Chuck and Sutter, along with many members of Oakland’s business community, is a testament to their true commitment to the health and well-being of all Oaklanders.”

The second site – expected to open in late April – will be on property donated by the California Department of Transportation at 27th Street and Northgate Avenue, near one of the city’s largest homeless encampments. Both Safe Haven sites provide shelter to Oakland’s long-term homeless population with social services connecting clients to health services, public benefits and other resources.

The City of Oakland coordinates with volunteer, non-profit groups and private partners to staff and provide services at the designated navigation center locations. The locations are just one venue Oakland is trying to help slow the pace of homelessness. These venues are intended to be short term, emergency solution that helps residents establish stability and seek permanent affordable housing.

“We are making some progress, in small steps,” Prosper says, “and I commend Oakland’s leadership for trying any feasible idea that provides safe and secure shelter to people.”

Stacey Wells