President’s Message

President’s Message

Posted on Jun 3, 2019 in President's Message | 0 comments

Longer, warmer days
Rain’s falling, flowers blooming|
Summer’s almost here

Congratulations to our amazing TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) team! They have now completed over 500 procedures. This exemplary program began in 2014 and continues to grow and deliver outcomes rivaling top programs around the world.

Earlier in May, we had an unexpected Joint Commission Stroke survey and had ZERO findings. This is really quite impressive! The survey team was complimentary on the work everyone is doing to improve outcomes for patients who suffer from a stroke.

On Saturday June 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Medical Staff Physician Well Being Committee is supporting the third annual Physician Wellness Retreat at Green Gulch Farm, Muir Beach. Please email Dr. Lenny Husen at if you are interested in attending. There are only one or two spaces left. The retreat fee is $125.

The new opening date for the Cafeteria, MRI, and Doctor’s lounge is mid July.

ED construction continues. The ED back corridor will be closed. Also, please do not park in the ED parking lot. With the ongoing construction and busy ambulance bay, there is limited parking. Our on call physician colleagues are having a tough time finding parking in this lot, which should be reserved for on call physicians only, allowing them quick access to the ED.

The hybrid OR is slated to open in October. Due to construction, traffic on the 3rd floor will be rerouted.

There was a recent case of measles in the Berkeley community. You can check your titers, and if necessary, receive a MMR booster at Employee Health. This service is free to all Medical Staff Physicians and APCs.

If you unfortunately have an accidental needle stick and are a member of the Medical Staff, you can be evaluated for free in the Emergency Department. Please be sure to tell the person registering you that you are a member of the Medical Staff, need to be seen for a needle stick and evaluated for blood born pathogen exposure. This information will allow them to use the appropriate physician corporate account so you are not sent a bill. Thank you to the Hospital Administration and our Emergency Room Physicians for providing this free service!

And finally, thank you to our CME, Dr. Filip Roos, who’s last day will be June 21. We wish you success in your future endeavors!


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

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

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

President’s Message

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

Happy Doctor’s Day a bit early!
On Friday, March 29, in the Bay View Room on the 11th floor,
we will celebrate Doctor’s Day. A breakfast and lunch buffet will be served on behalf of the Hospital
Administration in appreciation and support of the Medical Staff.
Also, if you pre-ordered a zip-up sweat shirt, they will be available. Thank you to Administration for the gift!

It’s that time of the year: JCAHO. They have been making rounds throughout the Sutter system over the last few months and will be here soon.
Below are a few tips:

-Wear your hospital ID badge.
-Wash your hands or use foam upon entering and exiting a patient room.
-Sign your verbal/telephone orders ASAP.
-Carry with you the Blue Book, which can be found at the nursing stations or drop by the Medical Staff Office to secure yourself a copy.
-Or, download a digital copy to your phone with this link:


-You can use the book or web link at any time to look up an answer.
-Most importantly, if you don’t know the answer, tell them where you can find it (ask the manager, Medical Director, or Chair of your Department).
-Follow the Universal Protocol for surgical and non-surgical invasive procedures by performing a “time-out” to correctly identify the patient, procedure, site, and availability of appropriate equipment.

On another note, many of our Medical Staff Leaders attended a Sutter Physician Leadership Symposium at the end of January. Medical Executive Committee members from across the Sutter system were invited to attend and learn more about issues related to Medical Staff Leadership including credentialing and privileging, peer review, and regulatory compliance. Not only did we learn a lot about how to better serve you, but we also reconnected with the purpose of the Medical Staff Organization.

First, a hearty thank you to the many Medical Staff Leaders who are currently serving and have served before us for your leadership and time spent doing this important job.

For those who are closer to residency training and at the beginning of your career, you may be learning about the organized Medical Staff and wondering what it’s all about. A hospital’s Medical Staff is an independently functioning, self-governed organization (separate from hospital administration), of all licensed independent physicians and other practitioners who are permitted by law to provide patient care within that hospital or facility. We are accountable to the governing body, which is the Sutter Bay Board, for quality of care. We are composed of MDs and DOs, along with other practitioners including, but not limited to, PAs, NPs, Dentists, and Podiatrists.

The Medical Staff has a set of Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and policies we abide by. Our Bylaws provide a framework for self governance in order to permit the Medical Staff to discharge its responsibilities in matters involving the quality of medical care and to govern the orderly resolution of those purposes. The Rules and Regulations supplement the Bylaws and cover Medical Staff and hospital procedures in more detail than the Bylaws. Policies supplement the Rules and Regulations.

The Medical Staff has an important role providing physician leadership throughout many aspects of the hospital. We partner with administration, directors, managers, and the staff of many departments throughout the hospital to provide feedback and elicit change. Physician leadership is important now more than ever in our rapidly changing healthcare environment. The next newsletter will give more detail and describe how you can get involved.


Be well,

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




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

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