President’s Message

Posted on May 1, 2019 in President's Message | 0 comments

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center recently received a five star rating (five out of five) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)! This high accolade is given to only 293 hospitals in the United States.  The overall hospital star ratings are based on 57 quality measures across seven categories including effectiveness of care, mortality, patient experience, readmissions, safety of care, and timeliness of care. Congratulations to all of our physicians and hospital staff! Our high quality care is now recognized nationally!

Also, congratulations on a very successful Joint Commission Survey. Everyone pulled together to show the JC our incredible programs and, quite frankly, what we do every day. Over the week, a series of positive comments were made by the surveyors including our strong physician engagement and physician leadership, team work, and our focus on patient safety. Specifically, one of the surveyors mentioned that successful hospitals typically have an engaged medical staff and also strong physician leadership throughout the organization. Many studies demonstrate that physician leadership in the hospital correlates with improved patient outcomes, better organizational performance, and improved effectiveness of a healthcare organization. It makes sense as our primary value is that the needs of the patient come first. Thank you all for being engaged! Also, thank you to all of the physician leaders in our hospital!

The Joint Commission also highlighted many of our programs stating they consider many as “best practice.” Specific programs highlighted include our Preoperative Clinic, TAVR program, Blood Management program, and our improving glycemic control initiative. It’s also incredible that the COO of the Joint Commission plans to highlight ABSMC on the national stage. They will interview our teams to find out what we are doing right and the secret to becoming a successful organization. We really do have our patients at the center of our care. Thank you for all that you do for our patients and our community. Each one of you is amazing.

On another note, the new physician lounge, cafeteria, and MRI openings have been delayed. The new opening date has been moved to mid-June. There is a possibility that the MRI may open sooner. Also, there will be ongoing construction in the Emergency Department. Please do not park in the ED parking lot during the construction~thank you!

Take care,

Jill Kacher Cobb, MD
President, Summit Medical Staff, ABSMC

Dr. Michael Minaie Receives ABSMC Caring for People Award

Posted on May 1, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Dr. Michael Minaie Receives ABSMC Caring for People Award

We are proud to share that Dr. Minaie is the first physician to receive the inaugural Caring for People Award at ABSMC. Dr. Minaie was nominated by his peers and an employee recognition committee was excited to recognize his great impact at our hospital.  The Hummingbird Award recognizes physicians who go beyond exceptional expectations and Dr. Minaie is a great example of a clinician who practices with compassion and a high standard of care. These are comments from Dr. Minaie’s nomination:

“Outstanding bedside manners, polite, professional and a Team Player. Goes extra mile to explain plan of care to patients and their family. Incredible teacher for patients and staff. Such a joy to work with wish we had more staff like him!” – Deborah Issac, RN, CCRN, ICU/CPU

Dr. Minaie is great team player. In every encounter he is professional, listens to the nurses & patients and shows respect to everyone. Dr. Minaie’s calm demeanor ensures a calm shift, he’s pleasant to work with, he teaches the floor nurses, never showing irritation and frustration about situations. Dr. Minaie also provided compassionate care to a young dying patient. The ICU had a very young critically ill patient, all the interventions maintaining her blood pressure where the patient maxed out and not responding. Dr. Minaie very compassionately and honestly spoke with the patient’s family providing them with options. The family decided on compassionate extubation and staying with the patient until she passed away. The family expressed gratitude to Dr. Minaie for being honest and empathetic. – Cynthia Stacy, Administrative Nursing Supervisor

Alta Bates Summit Caring for People Award

Posted on May 1, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Alta Bates Summit Caring for People Award
Please Join Us in Recognizing People That Make a Difference

Throughout Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, our nurses, physicians and ancillary staff make a difference for patients and their families by delivering compassionate care that puts patients at the center. With our not-for-profit mission, vision and values as a foundation, we continually seek ways to exceed expectations and bring remarkable, compassionate care to the people we treat.

Recognizing the power of teamwork is one of Sutter Health’s core values and we are pleased to announce the inception of a new employee recognition program that will recognize full and part-time nurses, physicians and employees for their performance, dedication and diligence in carrying out their duties and in advancing the goals and mission of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Starting in April, Alta Bates Summit leadership will recognize and highlight the recipients of the Caring for People Award. Three separate awards for nurses (DAISY), physicians (Hummingbird) and ancillary staff (Butterfly) will be given to our staff members every month who are nominated by their peers and colleagues for going above and beyond their job duties to deliver exceptional service and patient care. The goal of this campaign is to highlight and recognize all of our staff members who live, breathe and express our Sutter Health values.

DAISY Award: Nurses Honored by the DAISY Foundation for Extraordinary, Compassionate and Skillful Care

Hummingbird Award: Recognizing Physicians Who Go Beyond Exceptional Expectations

Butterfly Award: Recognizing All Caregivers (non-nursing) Performing Exceptional Tasks and Affirming Lives

All three of these awards recognize nurses, physicians and employees who demonstrate compassion and kindness in their everyday work, practice at the highest level of clinical excellence, foster teamwork and uphold a high standard of care.

How Do I Nominate Someone for These Awards?
The nomination criteria starts with describing a story that demonstrates how a co-worker showed empathy, selflessness and took immediate action to improve the experience of our patients. Selection criteria is based on more than an employee doing the essential function of their job; it is going above and beyond the call of duty and being exemplary in their performance.

Employee Recognition Committee
A cross section of Alta Bates Summit managers and directors make up the employee recognition committee and they will evaluate nomination submissions and make award selections. Our team is very excited to recognize all the people who make a great impact at Alta Bates Summit and we encourage everyone to nominate colleagues who are deserving of these awards.

We know the overall success of Alta Bates Summit and our award winning care of our patients, rests in the hands of each of our employees. Thank you for everything you do.

Online Nomination Form: or download the form.


Sutter Community Connect

Posted on May 1, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

New Providers Memo

Posted on May 1, 2019 in New Physicians | 0 comments

Saba Lahsaei, MD
Cardiovascular Disease
OakCare Medical Group
490 Grand Ave., Ste. 120
Oakland, CA  94610
(510) 685-1164
Vikash K. Singh, MD
Radiology, Diagnostic
Bay Imaging Consultants
2125 Oak Grove Rd., Ste. 200
Walnut Creek, CA  94598
(855) 424-2723
Elizabeth A. Yu, MD
Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine
East Bay Regional Crit. Care & Pulmonary
411  30th St., Ste 314
Oakland, CA  94609
(510) 841-0689


President’s Message

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in President's Message | 0 comments

Happy Spring everyone!

The definition of spring includes to originate or arise from, leap, burst forth, rise up. We, as physicians, need to “spring” into leadership positions across our health care system. As we all are well aware, we are facing a health care crisis. Physicians deeply understand issues within the health care system, and we are poised to enable change, as we understand the symptoms that need treatment. Our Medical Staff organization is the way we can use our voice to begin to make necessary changes. If we relegate ourselves to only showing up to work, seeing patients, and going home, we are missing a large part of how we can effect change and help our patients on a broader level.

In the past, physicians lead hospitals. As more demands were placed on physicians, physicians began to step out of leadership roles and non-clinicians stepped in to fill the gap. This trend continues. Residency programs do not teach newly-minted physicians how to lead or engage with the hospital system, further exacerbating this problem. This has led many physicians to feel disengaged and powerless to elicit change. I am here to tell you that not only can we effect change, but we can lead change.

As mentioned in the previous Medical Staff Newsletter, our Medical Staff plays an important role providing physicians both a voice and a seat at the table in the hospital. We lead many hospital committees and serve as committee members. These committees include Quality (Medical Staff Performance Improvement), Risk and Patient Safety, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Medical Records, Ethics, Physician Well Being including the Well Being of Practitioners and the Wellness Branch, Infection Control, Operating Room Executive Committee, Continuing Medical Education, Utilization Management, Interdisciplinary Practice, Credentials, Leadership/Administration, Officer’s, and the Medical Executive Committee. We also hold Departmental meetings including Surgery, Medicine, Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, Oncology, Critical Care, CT Surgery, Orthopedics, Gynecology, Psychiatry and Peer Review. Each of these meetings serves an important role in the functioning of this hospital. These meetings allow us an opportunity not only to learn what is happening at the medical center, but also, importantly, to effect change.

Furthermore, at the end of every year at the beginning of November, we host the Closed Active Medical Staff Meeting where we summarize what has been happening in the hospital and in each department over the past year. At the next meeting, we will nominate the Medical Executive Committee Officers who will serve for the next two years. Please look out for the invite this fall. Dinner and wine will be served. We hope to see you there!

We need our physicians to be involved. Many committees meet once a month, every other month or quarterly. That’s not much time to dedicate compared to the amount of time we dedicate to caring for our patients. Getting involved is how we can begin to effect change that will benefit our patients and improve patient care. Please, pull up a seat to the table. We want your voice to be heard! Join a committee. Go to your department meeting. Get involved.

You can reach out to Terri in the Medical Staff Office: 510-869-6565 or to join a committee. We would love to see you!

Take care,

Jill Kacher Cobb, MD
President, Summit Medical Staff, ABSMC

Verbal and Telephone Order Compliance

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Verbal and Telephone Order Compliance:

Your continued support is needed.   We have dropped below our 90% benchmark in both Jan and Feb 2019. A renewed focus is needed to help ensure all VO/TO orders are signed within 48 hours.   Departmental or Individual compliance can be obtained through your Department Chair or HIM Manager-Alisa Stinn.

Sutter Community Connect

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Reducing Low-Risk, First-Birth C-Sections

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

One of the advantages of practicing medicine within a large integrated healthcare delivery network like Sutter is that we benefit from studying the experience and practice patterns of our fellow clinicians. A great example of this is the work happening around supporting vaginal delivery by reducing the rate of cesarean sections for low-risk, first-time births (nulliparous term singleton vertex, commonly referred to as NTSV).

Sutter’s integrated network enables sharing of best practices and real-time data for continual process and quality improvement, which allows Sutter to outperform state and national averages in many quality measures and improve outcomes for the communities it serves. Sutter hospitals have been leaders in the state in lowering C-section rates—notably NTSV C-section rates.

A recent news story on C-section rates highlights the excellent work led by The Sutter Health Women’s Affiliated Group (SHWAG) and demonstrates what is possible when 18 Sutter-affiliated OB groups work together toward a common goal.

The Sutter Health network is a member of the California Maternity Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), a multi-stakeholder organization committed to ending preventable morbidity, mortality and racial health disparities in California. Partnering with CMQCC and the California Health Care Foundation, Sutter Health is leading a labor culture campaign to proactively educate first-time mothers about C-sections and encourage them to engage with their care teams to support vaginal birth and avoid C-sections for low-risk pregnancies.

Sutter Health’s NTSV C-section rate is among the lowest in California, with nine hospitals receiving recognition in 2017. Sutter’s average rate (21.2 percent) is lower than the state’s Healthy People 2020 target (23.9 percent) and the 2016 CMQCC P75 target (22.2 percent).
Studies show that a strong predictor of a woman’s chance of having a C-section is the hospital where she delivers, including the practice pattern of the physician/midwife and clinical team. As of January 2019, there is still considerable variation in affiliate performance across Sutter Health, ranging from 12.3 percent to 28.1 percent. In an effort to reduce this variation, we partnered with CMQCC to analyze our 2017 labor culture survey findings and identify qualities of hospitals with lower C-section rates versus those with higher rates. Our OB leaders are developing tools to provide insight into the foundational beliefs of physicians and staff relative to C-sections and how those beliefs impact vaginal birth rates.

There are several key drivers that have been instrumental to achieve real progress in decreasing C-section rates among Sutter Health affiliates.
• The first and most important driver is effective communication and teamwork—a joint commitment by the clinical team (nurses, midwife and physician) to create a great supportive environment for our patients.
• The second driver is alignment on best practices for labor support, including collaborative labor management and education. We adopted a labor dystocia checklist in labor and delivery that establishes parameters clinicians need to complete before deciding on a C-section. The teams work collaboratively using the checklist to ensure that all best practices for supporting a vaginal birth have been implemented. We have implemented the labor dystocia checklist at 13 sites, with a planned roll out to the remaining five OB sites in 2019. Additionally, we have developed labor support education for nurses, midwives and physicians. The next step, which we are now working on, is to include the patient as part of the team as we work through the checklist.
• The third driver is maternal agency—we have created a birth preference sheet to educate new mothers about choices they make that may increase their likelihood of a vaginal delivery and give them the opportunity to talk with their physician or midwife about these choices before birth.
• Finally, a large component of lowering NTSV C-Section rates is the open sharing of physician-level rates among our peers. This transparency creates the opportunity for dialogue and shared learning among clinicians. Each group is encouraged to discuss these rates internally and come up with a plan to address any issues uncovered by the data.

Our goal is that every patient receives the same high quality OB care regardless of which Sutter Health affiliated hospital she delivers at.
We will introduce a suite of resources over the coming months to support this initiative, including a labor and delivery web page, a series of videos and resources for patients and clinicians.

For more information, please reach out to the women’s medical director or OB/GYN chair at your affiliate.

Third Annual Mindfulness Retreat for Physicians – All Clinicians Welcome

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Third Annual Mindfulness Retreat for Physicians
All Clinicians Welcome!
Saturday June 8, 2019
Full Day 9:30am – 4:30pm
Green Gulch Farm, Muir Beach, CA
Meditation and Stress Reduction Practices
Build Resilience and Learn Tools to use during Busy Work Day
Increase Physician/Clinician Well-Being

       Mindfulness is defined as “the non-Judgmental awareness of the present moment.” It is the art of paying attention in a compassionate way, a strategy that brings both relaxation and energy leading to a greater sense of control, agency, meaning, and Well-Being.

        The retreat will provide teaching of the forms of meditation shown by meta-analytic research efforts to have the most benefits. Attendees will be able to teach Mindfulness techniques to others such as partners, colleagues and patients. Attendees will directly experience the benefits of Meditation during the retreat and be able to employ them daily at work.

     The purpose of the retreat is to introduce mindfulness to physicians who are facing burnout, who want to learn this approach for their own health, and for greater balance in their relationships with colleagues, patients, and families. The retreat will be held at Green Gulch Farm, a gorgeous retreat center in Marin County adjacent to Muir Beach.

Retreat Highlights

  • Proven techniques based in Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Meditation
  • Practice of sitting and walking meditation, mindful yoga, and body scan
  • Group discussion on ways to incorporate mindfulness in the Clinic or Hospital setting
  • Vegan lunch, and built-in hour for hiking at Muir Beach (or a nap under a tree if you prefer!)


Scott Roberts, MA, PhD Candidate, Psychology Professor, researcher in the neuroscience of meditation and natural environments, NLP, RYT; Lenny Husen, MD Internal Medicine, Chair of the Alta Bates Summit Wellness Committee and Peer Support programs; John Mouratoff, MD, East Bay Nephrology, coordinator of Physicians Mindfulness Meditation Group.

Stillwater Hall, Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center
1601 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach, CA 94965

Retreat fee is $125 including coffee/tea, snacks throughout day, and vegan lunch

How to Register

Please email Lenny at your name and where you work
Payment required to reserve a spot (there is space for about 25 people)
Snail mail: Send Check payable to Lenny Husen, 1080 Brown Avenue, Lafayette, CA 94549
Pay via PayPal: to Lenny Husen Physician Wellness