President’s Message

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in President's Message | 0 comments

This month I would like to try something different.

We are a big medical center with a lot of doctors, and some members of the medical staff I just don’t regularly encounter through my clinical practice as an emergency physician. I’m sure that some of you feel similarly in your daily practice, and as such, I am starting an interview series: “An evening with one of your Summit Medical Staff.”

I would like to start this series with a colleague that to this date I have only met through meetings, but who continually impresses me with the deftness of his comments and his appreciation of the intricacies of other specialties. Not to mention that he is the hippest dressed doctor at Summit!

Sebastian Sasu, MD, chair of Pathology.

Me: “Thanks for giving me some time this evening Sebastian. I know you have a busy schedule, so I appreciate you allowing me to intrude.

SS: Any time for you, Jeff.

Me: So I wanted to do this so that we can learn a little more about you. What made you choose to be a pathologist? We used to have a running joke in my med school that pathologists like dead people…

SS: So, this is going to sound really weird, but the reason I chose pathology is because I like to have the last say. (laughter ensues) We used to go to these multispecialty conferences, the internal medicine doctor would stand up and present the case, and they would tell us all about the patient and how he came in, and then they would say that they got all these radiology studies done, and then he would turn to the radiologist, who would stand up and say “oh, we did these studies and we found this really weird mass, and then we did a biopsy of it.” And then everybody would turn to the pathologist and ask, “what did this patient have?” There is definitely a satisfaction to figuring out what is going on.

Me: If you were not a doctor, what would you be?

SS: A journalist. I’ve always wanted to be a journalist. I’ve always wanted to travel to these fantastic places and cover amazing stories. That sense of get up and go and adventure has always been very enticing.

Me: I know you spent some time practicing in LA. Let’s get down to brass tax, are you an LA or NY guy, or has the Bay area stolen your heart?

SS: That’s a hard answer. I spent some time on the east coast, in Boston, and when I was there, I was a Boston guy, then when I moved to LA, I was still a Boston guy living in LA. But then I spent so much time in LA that I ended up being an LA guy. And then my wife pried me away from that, kicking and screaming, and moved us to the Bay Area. And you know, it was a process, people talk about the difference between Southern California and Northern California, and it’s there. The thing I liked about LA, and what I miss about it, is that there’s a lot more ritz, than there is in the Bay Area.

Me: What’s the rest of the pathology department like? Are they as cool as you? I envision you all sitting around drinking absinthe… or maybe that’s toxicology folks.

SS: Probably not, but about half of the department is as cool if not cooler than I am. You know I’ve been encouraging everybody to be more interactive and show their face more, but believe it or not, we have a lot of clinicians, different specialties come by the pathology department and interact with us. Medicine has changed a lot, in the last 5-10 years. It used to be that certain clinicians that we interact with quite a lot would be in our office everyday looking with us at slides, getting to understand the subtleties of when we make a diagnosis. Like what the gray zones are, what the comfort level was at making a diagnosis.

Me: Can anything gross you out, or are you immune to that sort of thing?

SS: Oh man, nothing can gross me out.

Me: What was your most recent ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – a sort of pleasant paresthesia that goes down the spine) moment?

SS: My what? I don’t know what that is. (explanation above ensues). Nope. (refuses to answer)

Me: Describe to me your perfect evening.

SS: Weekday or weekend? It’s different. Ok – weekday, come home, have a nice dinner with my family, have a nice glass of wine, read my book. Weekend – go out for a drink or dinner, catch a band, and have some good cocktails.

Me: What’s the last book you’ve read? Or what are you reading now?

SS: I am reading a fantasy book, believe it or not. It’s called the Black Song by Anthony Ryan, one of my favorite fantasy writers.

Me: You seem to enjoy the finer pleasures. Cosmopolitan, Martini, Manhattan, or none of the above?

SS: None of the above. I’m actually a custom cocktail kinda guy. I don’t do a lot of the traditional ones. The only traditional ones I do are margaritas and mai-tai’s. But I do a bunch of custom cocktails. My wife does gin and tonics, so I modify her gin and tonics quite a bit, an example would be a dark and stormy with muddled mint. It’s halfway between a dark and stormy and a mojito.

Me: How has the pandemic affected you? Not just at work, but personally?

SS: Both positive and negative. So positive, it’s brought me closer to my family. So we’re spending a lot more time together, and it’s been a lot of fun. Negatively, it’s been the lack of a routine exercise regimen.

Me: Second to you, who’s the coolest person in the medical center to sit down and have a drink with?

SS: There’s actually quite a few people that I would love to do that with. You’re trying to pin me down to one person. That’s a tough thing. Shlomo Leibowich.

Me: PC, Apple, or Linux?

SS: Apple anyday. Anyday and twice on Sunday.

Me: Thanks for giving me almost, gosh, 30 minutes of your time tonight. I hope this was fun for you. It was for me.

SS: And pretty honest answers that are not censored. For whatever that’s worth. I hope I’m not going to be in big trouble.

The above was edited for content and time.

A few reminders for this month.

The physician engagement survey is live and running for the next 3 weeks. A raffle for Apple Airpods goes to one winner from each campus each week. Please fill out the survey (was sent to your email last week) and give honest feedback to the medical center!

Open notes is now live, which means that notes and results for your patients are viewable by the patient in My Health Online in real time. Please be aware of how you are documenting!

The rest of the country is experiencing a significant surge in coronavirus cases but we are currently holding steady in ABSMC and the bay area. We are expecting a fall surge to be imminent. Please continue to practice appropriate social distancing, wear masks, and avoid large social gatherings, especially as the holidays approach.

Stay safe and be well!

Jeff Chen MD, MPH, FACEP
Chief of Staff, ABSMC Summit Campus

Kristina Kury, M.D., Pulmonology Receives Caring for People Hummingbird Award

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in Announcements | 0 comments

Dr. Kury is the epitome of a good physician; she is kind, caring, calm and professional. Dr. Kury is respected by everyone who works with her. She treats everyone around her with respect and takes time to listen to what they have to say. She also shares critical feedback with poise and without judgement.

As a member of the healthcare team, I am proud to be working side by side with her. Her practice is based on kindness, intellectual understanding of best practices and logical reasoning. She is well respected because she knows how to command respect whether it’s during a critical care meeting discussion or during rounds or at the bedside, talking to patients. Dr. Kury talks to her patients with compassion and explains the disease processes and therapies in a way they can understand. She is inclusive in care planning and soliciting best practices from other members of the healthcare team. She openly engages and patiently educates staff about clinical practice to improve patient care.

Dr. Kury encourages active participation of the health care team. She actively listens to them and makes them feel comfortable to voice out their ideas and opinions. Dr. Kury always makes us an equally important part of the team; a true hummingbird, the symbolism of healers and bringers of love, good luck and joy. It’s always a pleasure to work with you.

Submitted by: Michael Chui, RRT Respiratory Care Services, Clinical Educator/Coordinator of RCS

Health Information Professionals Week Oct 11-17th

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in Health Information Management | 0 comments

Alta Bates Summit Celebrates National Pharmacy Week (Oct. 18 -24) Thank You to Our Summit Inpatient Pharmacy Team!

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in Announcements | 0 comments


Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in EHR Updates, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A new ordering question was added to all imaging procedures, “Is this patient discharging today?”

A response of “Discharging” will help the Radiology Techs to prioritize these exams. 

IMPORTANT: If you have an imaging order in your Preference List, please update the order. 

Below is a picture of the new question, as well as instructions to update your preference list (delete the existing order and add the new order)


Delete the old version:

  1. Select the EPIC button in the upper left corner of the screen
  2. Select Tools and then Preference List Composer
  3. In the lower right corner, click the Edit button
  4. Select the list to be updated, i.e., Orders Preference IP
  5. Once you see your imaging orders, write down (or screenshot) the ID number(s)
  6. Single click on the order(s) to be deleted and press Remove Item from the menu

Add the new version:

  1. Add the new order by selecting New Item,
    Enter the ID number (or order name) and customize the order
    Press Accept

If you need any assistance, please give us call.

Thank you!
Patty 510-325-9618
Shala 510-495-5254

Sutter Community Connect

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

New Physicians Memo

Posted on Nov 3, 2020 in New Physicians | 0 comments

The following new physicians have been granted privileges. To review privilege list please go to the Intranet: Department/Medical Staff/ Summit/ Physician Privileges. Please contact the Medical Staff office if you have any question.

Jean J. Bao, MD
General Surgery
5800 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA 94608      
(510) 901-3552

Rafael Blank, MD
Hospitalist, Medical
Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
350 Hawthorne Ave., Ste 2308
Oakland, CA 94609      
(510) 869-6883

Courtnay W. Bloomer, MD
Radiology, Diagnostic
Bay Imaging Consultants
2125 Oak Grove Rd., Ste 200
Walnut Creek, CA 94598-2520  
(855) 424-2723

Hetal K. Brahmbhatt, MD
Virtual MedStaff
2655 Northwinds Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA  30009-2280  
(877) 732-7089
Ellen Chuang, MD
University Medical Partners Stanford Medicine
5800 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA 94608-2016  
(510) 901-3552

Pedro A. Duran, Jr., MD
Bay Psychiatric Associates
2001 Dwight Way, Ste 4190
Berkeley, CA 94704-2608  
(510) 204-4635

Mayank Sardana, MD
Berkeley Cardiovascular Medical Group
3300 Webster St., Ste. 702
Oakland, CA 94609-3122  
(510) 549-4220

Anjali T. Sibley, MD
5800 Hollis Ave.
Emeryville, CA  94608      
(510) 806-2100

Andrea M. Thach, MD
Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine
Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
3100 Summit St., Ste. G580
Oakland, CA 94609-3412  
(510) 204-3410

President’s Message

Posted on Oct 1, 2020 in President's Message | 0 comments

The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “the notorious RBG” made me reflect and explore further the efforts that she made on behalf of gender equality.  She graduated at the top of her class at Columbia, but found it difficult to obtain clerkships and positions in law firms after graduation, largely due to pervasive gender discrimination in the 1950’s. When she finally secured a professorship at Rutgers, she realized that she was not working in a level playing field, and was, along with the rest of the female faculty, grossly underpaid compared to her male peers; through collective action she was able to subsequently achieve pay parity. She co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU and argued many landmark cases before the Supreme Court, with the position of defending the gender rights of both men and women. As a Supreme Court Justice, she wrote the majority opinion in United States vs Virginia Military Institute in 1996, in which it was the decision of the court that a state supported university could not exclude women on the basis of sex.

So how is this relevant to us today and as a medical staff?

Medicine historically has been a male dominated profession, but the last twenty years have seen a rise in the number of female medical school graduates in the US, with 2017-2018 finally seeing more women than men become physicians.  At the Summit Campus, our current breakdown shows that 80% of our allied health professionals are women, but for physicians, only 32.4% of the medical staff are women.

We have been fortunate to have strong female leadership for the hospital and in our medical staff. Our two prior medical staff presidents and our current vice president are women. Our current Chief Medical Executive is a woman and our regional and organization CEOs are both women. Despite this, I have heard from physician colleagues and witnessed on my own, the bias that exists in treatment of female physicians. This has been supported by several studies[1][2][3] within training programs, and implicit gender bias has wide ranging effects in diminishing the morale of providers and impeding effective patient care.

What is implicit bias? It is subconscious and a product of our cultural norms that cause us to assign certain values and behaviors to certain people; a cognitive shortcut if you will. It is not sexism or racism, but it can lead to pervasive mistreatment of a group of people. Being aware of implicit biases and calling them out when you see them, or recognizing them internally, is a good start to treating others fairly and with compassion and empathy.

Our recent COVID 19 pulse survey showed that as a medical staff, more than 40% of female respondents reported feeling burned out, as opposed to roughly 20% of males. While we are still in the process of trying to discern the reasons for this, the clear difference in perceptions of burnout between the two is quite alarming and will need to be addressed.

 As medical staff president, I want you to know that I strongly support education on implicit bias and will work with administration to help change the climate that continues to favor men over women.

Jeff Chen MD, MPH, FACEP
Chief of Staff, ABSMC Summit Campus

[1] Brucker K, Whitaker N, Morgan ZS, Pettit K, Thinnes E, Banta AM, Palmer MM. Exploring Gender Bias in Nursing Evaluations of Emergency Medicine Residents. Acad Emerg Med. 2019 Nov;26(11):1266-1272. doi: 10.1111/acem.13843. Epub 2019 Sep 23. PMID: 31373086.

[2] Galvin SL, Parlier AB, Martino E, Scott KR, Buys E. Gender Bias in Nurse Evaluations of Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Oct;126 Suppl 4:7S-12S. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001044. PMID: 26375558.

[3] Klein R, Julian KA, Snyder ED, Koch J, Ufere NN, Volerman A, Vandenberg AE, Schaeffer S, Palamara K; From the Gender Equity in Medicine (GEM) workgroup. Gender Bias in Resident Assessment in Graduate Medical Education: Review of the Literature. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 May;34(5):712-719. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-04884-0. PMID: 30993611; PMCID: PMC6502889.

To Our Patient Experience and Our Experience

Posted on Oct 1, 2020 in Wellness Committee | 0 comments

To Our Patient Experience and Our Experience  

You may have seen the signs and the posters in the doctor’s cafeteria that went up a few weeks ago. There are couple.  One is a in the form of a “thank you letter from a patient”, another that says, “Relationships are Central.”  While the idea for these posters was generated by the Patient Experience Team, the Wellbeing Team fully embraces the effort.

We are living in a world with so much uncertainty.  I had been busy, perhaps thoughtlessly so, living my life these past years under the assumption that things were going to keep moving along as they had been, but it is hard to make any safe assumptions about the future these days.  It is not clear how and when the corona virus pandemic will resolve; the divisiveness and inequality in the country is disturbing; meanwhile, the health of the planet appears to be deteriorating faster than we thought possible.

The one thing that is certain is the present moment and the one thing we control is our actions in that moment. It is easy to lose sight of this with so much to preoccupy our minds. Here is how we do it.  We need to slow down, keep present and see how the person in front of us is feeling. Then we thoughtfully engage.  This goes for conversation with colleagues, staff and importantly our patients. As we acknowledge the struggles of our patients, our compassion naturally flows and in a virtuous cycle, we are energized and eager to continue to serve. This is how we strengthen friendships, build institutional culture and give our patients the best kind of care. Care that not only mends the body, but touches the soul.

As we need food, water and shelter, relationships are essential to human beings.  Heartfelt genuine connection is our fuel and our path forward in these uncertain times. “Relationships are Central;” let’s stay present to make the most of this one thing we can control.

Lief Hass, MD
Summit – Wellness Chair

Guidance on Beta-Lactam Allergy in Prescribing Antibiotics

Posted on Oct 1, 2020 in Announcements | 0 comments