President’s Message

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in President's Message | 0 comments

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start. 


-Jody Policar, the Director of Philanthropy for ABSMC, came to MEC last month. He discussed the increasing importance of money from philanthropic donors as it is funding many aspects of ABSMC. In 2017,  they raised an impressive $56 million for Better Health East Bay. Better Health East Bay was recently deconstructed into local affiliate philanthropy organizations. In other words, local donors can now give money to directly benefit ABSMC. He is creating a board to guide the planning of galas, inform donors about what is happening at ABSMC, help donors learn about our programs, and help with outreach.

-Our numbers have improved for verbal orders! Great job everyone!! Keep up the awesome work and stay vigilant because…

-JCAHO is coming soon. They are out of their usual order and recently visited Eden Medical Center. In other words, they are in our neighborhood. We will have the blue books (JCAHO question and answer books) soon in the Medical Staff Office for distribution. Please drop by and grab a copy so you’ll be prepared if you get cornered by a JCAHO representative.

-In the same vein, remember to wash your hands or use foam between patients. “Foam in, foam out.”

-The new physician lounge (with an eating area and a small exercise room), cafeteria and new kitchen are slated to open at the end of March. The new space is impressive!

-The new MRI should be up and running in April.

-On January 1, 2019 SB 1152 became effective requiring acute care hospitals to have a written discharge plan for homeless patients. This includes assisting them with identifying a post discharge destination, offering them a meal, weather appropriate clothing, and transportation within a 30 mile radius. Beginning July 1, 2019, hospitals also must have a plan for coordinating services for homeless patients including behavioral health, health care, and social services, along with creating a discharge log of homeless patients including their discharge destination.

-On January 4, the new Alameda County Director of Public Health, Colleen Chowla, planned a visit to ABSMC. We met two of her associates instead as she had a last minute emergency. They wanted to learn more about ABSMC and also would like to partner more with us to coordinate care for the underserved, Medi-Cal population in Alameda County. A few interesting numbers I’ve learned this past month: 1 in 5 people in both Oakland and Berkeley live in poverty. Between the two campuses, we have taken care of about 6,000 individual homeless patients over the past year. These numbers were scrubbed; in other words, names were not double counted and readmissions were not included.

-Jain Thapa, Representative Barbara Lee’s Congressional Aide, visited ABSMC on January 14. A special thank you to Dr. Junaid Khan for organizing the visit, Dr. Rockson Liu for touting our robotics program and teaching Jain how to use the robot, Dr. Kadakia for discussing the TAVR program, Dr. Richardson and Dr. Adamczyk for discussing our neurointerventional program, and Dr. Berrol for leading a tour of our emergency department.


Jill Kacher Cobb, MD

President, Summit Medical Staff, ABSMC

Patient Blood Management Update

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments


Single unit RBC transfusion strategy:  Our continued improvement is impressive – kudos to everyone for embracing this strategy!  69% of transfuse orders are for 1 RBC unit, and a HGB is checked between units ~84% of the time.  The statistics exclude RBC transfusions for sickle cell disease, GI hemorrhage and post-partum hemorrhage.

Recommendation: Don’t transfuse more RBC units than absolutely necessary.  Give single unit RBC transfusions in stable, non-bleeding hospitalized patients; and reassess the patient and check a HGB level after the single-unit transfusion to decide if a second unit is needed.

Department/Group/Provider-specific data has been shared with your leaders.  Please contact Crystal Huber (510-570-6592 or if you are interested in seeing your provider-specific data.

Platelet Transfusions:  For a new diagnosis of thrombocytopenia of unknown etiology, we recommend checking a 1-hour post-transfusion platelet count to help determine the effectiveness of the platelet transfusion and the etiology of the thrombocytopenia.  The 1-hour post-transfusion platelet count must be drawn within 10-60 minutes after the transfusion is competed.  One (1) plateletpheresis unit is expected to increase the platelet count by 30-60K/uL.

  • If the 1-hr platelet count increment shows an appropriate increase, with subsequent drop, then consider consumption/sequestration (such as DIC, splenomegaly).
  • If the 1-hr platelet count increment is less than expected, then consider immune-mediated causes (such as ITP). Consider a Heme-Onc consultation in this situation.

Alta Bates Summit Surgeon Celebrates 500th Robotic Surgery Case

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

The robotic surgery program at Alta Bates Summit has truly taken root in the East Bay with 25 highly trained robotic surgeons performing general, bariatric, gynecology, gynecologic cancer, pelvic floor reconstruction, urological and thoracic surgery. In December 2015, Alta Bates Summit added the latest da Vinci Surgical System, the Xi, to our already robust surgical program, allowing physicians to better treat a wider range of diseases and in 2017 the robotics program celebrated 2,700 surgeries performed with the da Vinci system.

Dr. Ajay Upadhyay, who specializes in bariatric weight loss surgery recently completed his 500th robotic surgery case and Alta Bates Summit physicians and employees took time to celebrate this remarkable achievement.

“We are very proud of Dr. Upadhyay and all of our surgeons who have helped make our robotic surgery program so successful,” says Daniel Davis, Alta Bates Summit’s Robotics Program Manager. “We thank Dr. Upadhyay for his commitment to providing world class care and he’s been a major reason why our robotic surgery program continues to grow and evolve.”

In 2018, Alta Bates Summit was designated a Robotic Hernia Mentor/Case Observation site by Intuitive Surgical. Intuitive is now sending physicians from around the country to learn advanced techniques, and also how to run a safe, efficient and profitable robotics program.

“Becoming a case observation site is a great honor and confirms our high quality of medical excellence and the advancement of robotic surgery at Alta Bates Summit,” says Davis. “Dr. Upadhyay’s personal achievement is a symbol of how our robotic surgery program has established a new era in surgical care for patients.”

2019 Sutter Neuroscience Symposium

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

The Neuroscience Service Line in the Valley and Bay are collaborating to put together a symposium April 5-6, 2019 for physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals. There will be CEUs available.

Please join us at the 2019 Sutter Health Neuroscience Symposium. Neuroscience physicians, nurses and allied care professionals are invited for a weekend of networking and learning in beautiful Napa on April 5-6, 2019. This continuing education conference will cover the latest advances in care for stroke, migraine management, pain management, autism, neuro-rehabilitation, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. For the entire agenda of topics and registration link, please visit: or email

History and Physical – Update Requirements

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Joint Commission and CMS will have increased focus on the medical record review portion of the survey.   You can expect additional review in the area of History and Physicals among additional area’s outlines below:

You can expect additional review on the following topics:

  • Admitting diagnosis
  • H&P
  • Notes and reports necessary to monitor condition
  • Care plan
  • Patient Rights
  • Informed consent
  • Advanced directives
  • Notification of admission
  • Visitation rights
  • Medication administration
  • Medical record justification for care
  • Nutritional needs
  • DC planning
  • DC summary
  • List of home health agencies/SNFs given if referred
  • Information forwarded to next provider of care
  • Final diagnosis
  • Consultation reports
  • Complications
  • Pre/post anesthesia assessments and Intraop care
  • Suicide assessment
  • Complaint resolution
  • Restraints and seclusion
  • Deaths (including organ procurement policies followed)
  • Notification of infectious blood, if applicable

Doctor’s Day Celebration

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Care Everywhere

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

                                   Sutter Community Connect (SCC) is an Epic-powered electronic health record (EHR) and practice management                                                                         system designed for eligible independent physicians.

                                   SCC integrates with Sutter Health hospitals and medical foundations along with other institutions using Epic and can                                                                           share information as part of the Care Everywhere network.

                                     For a limited time, Sutter Health is providing a donation to qualified clinicians to reduce the cost of the SCC system,                                                                           its implementation, and ongoing support in accordance with the Stark Law Exception.

                                   Contact Larraine Ewing at (510) 905-1241 or to learn more today!


Alta Bates Summit Hosts Jain Thapa, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Chief of Staff

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Announcements | 0 comments

Alta Bates Summit Hosts Jain Thapa, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Chief of Staff

Jain Thapa, Congressional Aide of Congresswoman Barbara Lee toured the Alta Bates Summit campus in Oakland and met Alta Bates Summit CEO Dr. Jerry Kozai and physician leadership including Dr. Junaid Khan, Dr. Jill Kacher Cobb, Dr. Jeff Chen, Dr. Philip Roos, Dr. Steve Stanten, and Dr. Rockson Liu.

Welcome, New Physicians

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in New Physicians | 0 comments

Simon G. Abramson, MD
Radiology, Diagnostic
Bay Imaging Consultants Medical Group, Inc.
2125 Oak Grove Rd., Ste. 200
Walnut Creek, CA  94598
(855) 424-2723
Baharak Bagheri, MD
Radiology, Diagnostic
Direct Radiology, LLC
1839 N. Government Way, Ste. B
Coeur d Alene, ID  83814
(855) 687-7237
Gregory A. Barme, MD
Golden Gate Urology, Inc.
2999 Regent St., Ste 612
Berkeley, CA  94705-2121
(510) 848-1727
Barry E. Cole, MD
Virtual Medical Staff, LLC
2655 Northwinds Pkwy.
Alpharetta, GA  30009-2280
(877) 732-7089
Teppe Popovich, MD
Radiology, Diagnostic
Direct Radiology, LLC
1839 N. Government Way, Ste. B
Coeur d Alene, ID  83814
(855) 687-7237
Christian Spies, MD
Interventional Cardiology
1501 Trousdale Dr., Bldg. B, Fl. 2
Burlingame, CA  94010
(650) 652-8600


President’s Message

Posted on Jan 4, 2019 in President's Message | 0 comments

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday. Welcome back to those who were able to take time off, and thank you to everyone who helped care for our patients over the holidays!

I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to Dr. Gerard Jenkins, one of our Hospitalists, who took the lead planning the Holiday Party at Scott’s Seafood, along with the Medical Staff Office, in particular, Leanna, Heidi, Terri and Karen, who were invaluable making the event happen. The venue was great, the food tasty, and the company was, of course, awesome! Also, a special thank you to Administration for their contribution to the Holiday Party. We had a great showing from both the Alta Bates and Summit Campuses. I hope everyone had fun catching up with colleagues and celebrating the holidays.

We had a busy year in 2018. Here is the year in review:

 -The year began by discussing with the Sutter Executive Leadership how to grow business at ABSMC in the face of increasing pressure to provide high quality care at a low cost. We discussed updating websites, improving our internet presence including getting our programs to the top of google searches, and more *local* advertising. Since then, we’ve identified areas in our hospital ripe for growth.

-Over the year, we’ve continued to receive awards for our high quality of care including, but not limited to, the NSQIP Meritorious Award (six out of the past seven years), the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Award (eight consecutive years), the Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll Award for quick treatment of stroke patients with tPA, and we also received Summit’s Acute Rehabilitation Program CARF accreditation for our Comprehensive Inpatient Program.

-ABSMC ranked as one of the top hospitals in the Bay Area and is among the top 50 hospitals in California according to US News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals” guide. In particular, we are high performing in Colon Cancer Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure and Orthopedics.

-This year, we became the first hospital in Northern California to be designated as a Robotic Hernia Mentor/Case Observation site by Intuitive Surgical, with Dr. Rockson Liu blazing the trail.

-Our Robotics Program continues to expand.

-We remain a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery.

-EBAC and the Summit Emergency Department were recognized for their HIV and Hepatitis C screening program.

-We gained a new CEO, Dr. Jerry Kozai, and a new CMO, Dr. Fillip Roos.

-There is now a dedicated seat on MEC for our Hospitalists who are integral to hospital based patient care.

-Dr. Catherine Stapleton, an Anesthesiologist and Director of the Preop Clinic, launched the Prehab Program. Now, select patients, typically elderly frail patients with a planned inpatient stay, are receiving preoperative physical therapy with the goal of getting them stronger, leading to a faster recovery.

-The Neuro Interventional Radiology Program began this fall adding an important facet of care for patients suffering a large vessel ischemic stroke. Neurointerventional Radiologists perform an endovascular thrombectomy proven effective at restoring cerebral blood flow to ischemic brain parenchyma.

-Our Physician Wellbeing Program has become more robust. We now have a Physician Wellbeing website on the intranet. We recently launched the Peer Support Program.

-The Closed Active Medical Staff Meeting now has two awards which will be given annually, the President’s Award and the Quality Award. This year, we had two President’s Award recipients, the Wellness Branch of the Wellbeing Committee for their commitment to improve physician wellbeing with a focus on wellness, and the Ethic’s Committee for their tireless work offering assistance in addressing complex ethical issues that arise in patient care, facilitating sound decision making, and attending to some of the most complicated patients and issues our hospital encounters. Dr. Steven Stanten received the Quality Award for his work on NSQIP (National Surgical Quality Improvement Program) resulting in multiple years receiving the Meritorious Award which is given to select hospitals for exemplary outcomes in surgical patient care.

-Finally, our Medical Staff directed donations to several organizations. Administration directed a donation on behalf of the Medical Staff on Doctor’s Day to a local organization helping victims of human trafficking. MEC donated gift cards for holiday meals for needy families. The Medical Staff also adopted a family of four displaced by the Camp Fire.

-None of this could be accomplished without the help of you, our amazing Medical Staff. Thank you for the excellent care you provide and all that you do! It’s a team effort.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2019. The new Hybrid OR equipment with advanced imaging technology enabling minimally invasive surgery will open. The Emergency Department expansion and renovation will wrap up at the Summit Campus and welcome our patients. The new MRI will also be in service and the new physician lounge on the ground floor will open in early 2019. Our conversations with the Sutter Executive Leadership and ABSMC Administration regarding growth will continue. Also, we will continue to support each other on the wards, in the OR and in the ED, and provide Peer Support. We will continue to expand our Physician Wellbeing Program and look at system ways to mitigate burn out. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished, with all of your help, and, as always, there is more to do!

 Happy New Year!

 Here’s to new beginnings,

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