President’s Message

Message from the President-February 2018

Posted on Feb 6, 2018 in President's Message | 0 comments

Aloha! Our family spent this past week in Hawaii for some much needed rest and relaxation. While sitting on the beach, I reflected upon how hard each of us works to take the best possible care of our patients and how much time we all have dedicated, not only to our training to become a physician, but now, to our patients and our careers. Many of us live multifaceted lives not only as busy physicians, but also as small business owners, friends, spouses, mothers and fathers, and/or care takers for elderly parents. There are days when patients are actively trying to die. Someone is septic, on pressors with an acute abdomen needing to go to the OR. You induce with a whiff of etomidate and their blood pressure still plummets to a dangerously low level. A pregnant woman delivers her baby via caesarian section and begins to hemorrhage. You have given 50 plus units of blood products and are still counting, trying to save her life. In the meantime, you feel like you have shaved a couple of months off the end of your life. We all face these types of challenges in our own specialty’s special way. In the meantime, our lives outside of medicine march on with our own unique challenges. You or a family member may be ill. You may be challenged with a lawsuit despite your best effort to care for a patient. Someone may be going through a divorce. Financial woes. You may have a teenager in the house.

It can be quite challenging at times to balance both your career and outside life, and still feel like you are doing a top notch job at each one. Life is not always easy. Many of us face similar life challenges and we can draw from the collective strength of our physician community. As you may have heard, our medical staff is actively trying to strengthen our physician community. We hired Dr. Jo Shapiro from Brigham and Women’s Hospital to train a subset of physicians for Peer Support. Once our program is up and running, you will be able to contact this group if you would like to debrief about a tough case, or chat about challenges in your career or your life in general. It is completely confidential and up to you to reach out. This program will be available to all physicians. For now, we are looking for volunteers to train in peer support. Please nominate someone in your department who you feel would be a great confidant or nominate yourself. We will hold two training sessions lasting approximately four hours on Saturday, September 15 and Monday, September 17, location TBA. Please email ( if interested or if you have a nominee.

Life keeps changing like the ocean waves mold the sand on the beach. Let’s help each other through these changes and challenges.

Jill Kacher Cobb, M.D.
Medical Staff President, Summit Medical Staff

Message from the President, January 2018

Posted on Jan 10, 2018 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,

Happy New Year,

As you are aware, the census is high and in retrospect, the previously low census was the calm before the storm. There are many patients with high medical acuity and who are positive for Influenza. Thank you for all your hard work! Special thanks to the Emergency Department, Hospitalists, Surgeons and Intensivists.

Sutter Safety Care- This is the High Reliability project focusing on our processes to decrease patient harm. This a Sutter system initiative and we will be one of the early adopters. We can anticipate a roll out in the spring with Physician leadership training and then will be disseminated to the rest of the staff.

Drug shortages- For several reasons, we are facing challenging drug shortages. We need to make wise choices and consider alternative medications. It is vital to be aware of which drugs these are and to be abreast on the latest changes. There is an icon on the Sutter computer desktops which gives the weekly updates. (See screenshots below). I recommend being familiar with how to access the information and checking on a regular basis.

Currently physician representatives from ED, Hospitalists, Cardiologists, Critical Care, and Anesthesia are engaged with pharmacy and nursing administration on providing recommendations for alternative drugs.

Interpretation services- We are fortunate to care for a diverse patient community. This does make it more important to rely on interpretive services. From the Patient Safety Risk Committee, a theme is recognized in regards to patient falls and in practically every case, upon review, interpretive services were not used. This is not the main reason for the fall but likely contributed. It is recommended not to rely solely on family members. There are interpreters physically present at the hospital during the work week. There are telephone interpreters on every unit (ask the charge nurse for a phone if not present in the room). You are encouraged to ask for an interpreter off hour if you require one. Simply ask the house supervisor and they will work on obtaining one for you.

Dr Ursi Boynton has moved on to be the CME at Delta Medical Center. Congratulations Ursi! They are very fortunate and lucky to have you.  Thank you for all your physician support these past several years.

I am completing my term as your Medical Staff President. It has been a humbling experience and an honor serving you all. I want to thank my fellow officers Dr Junaid Khan, Immediate Past President, Dr Charu Puri, Secretary/Treasurer and Dr Jill Kacher Cobb, Vice -President and Physician Leaders on the Medical Executive Committee for their council and much needed advice. The ladies in the Medical Staff Office Heidi Van Waveren, Terri Smith, Karen Souvandara, and Joanne Jellin who not only provide support for our medical staff meetings but create magic behind the scenes by keeping  the medical staff operations running smoothly. I would like to thank the Administration Chuck Prosper, Rose Calhan, Denise Navellier, Dr Ursi Boynton for their partnership in working toward our shared goals- the continued success of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and providing quality care to patients.

But most of all, thank you to the dedicated and hardworking medical staff physicians who are the heart of the medical community.

Message from the President, December 2017

Posted on Dec 5, 2017 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,

The hospital is facing tough financial challenges. As you know, the hospital needed to make difficult decisions by laying off several management positions. This has created a restructuring in administrative support for certain departments and services. We will be learning more about what the new structure is going to look like. My understanding is that the goal is not to have a disruption in the front line delivery of care. My recommendation is to continue to ask questions of the Administration. Our medical staff leadership and I will continue to have a dialogue, provide feedback and partner with Administration on shared goals.

Shortages in medications- Pharmacy is keeping us updated on the latest medication shortages. Apparently IV KCL is on the short list. This is a frequently used medication. With help from the nephrologists, a protocol is being developed and will be rolled out very soon.

Telemetry usage- we were doing really well, but more recently there has been a drop off on appropriate cardiac monitoring usage. This is just a gentle reminder to use the guidelines for usage and to take patients off monitoring once it is no longer needed.

Much appreciation and thanks to Dr. Ursi Boynton for her years of service as the Administrative Medical Director.  Delta Medical Center will be fortunate to have her as their new Chief Medical Executive.

The Summit Medical Staff has generously donated $1,000.00 for the Holiday Giving – Grocery Gift Cards for Families in Need.

Best wishes during this Holiday Season.

Stay safe and be well,


Donna D. Tigno, M.D.

President of Summit Medical Staff

Co-Director of Critical Care at Summit Medical Center.


Message from the President, November 2017

Posted on Nov 6, 2017 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,

I want to thank Dr. Ursi Boynton for stepping in as the acting Interim Chief Medical Executive.

In the Anesthesiology department, Dr. Ludwig Lin is the new Department Chair and Dr. Catherine Stapleton is the Preoperative Clinic Medical Director.

Bariatric Surgery Program is participating in ENERGY (Employing Enhanced Recovery Goals in Bariatric Surgery) which uses core principals of enhanced recovery protocols to enhance patient experience and reduce readmissions.

In coordination with EBAC, a screening protocol was created for HIV and HCV in the Emergency Department.

Save the Date Reminder- Combined Alta Bates and Summit Medical Staff Holiday Party will be held at Lake Chalet on December 5th, with Valet Parking available.

In the wake of the recent fires and lessons learned, a work group will be created under the Risk Committee which will comprise of representatives from hospitalists, surgeons, emergency department, etc. The purpose is to develop a strategy towards Disaster/Emergency Preparedness in which there will be “all hands on deck” so that we can act without hesitation when a natural disaster strikes or a mass casualty occurs.

As I write this November newsletter, my heart is heavy that another mass shooting has occurred. Last month, the worst mass shooting in history was in Las Vegas. This month a shooting occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Will there be another next month?  Thanksgiving is typically the time to give thanks for family, food, and health, but we as a nation mourn for yet another round of senseless killings. This is a national public health problem and I urge everyone with a voice and a vote to let your congress leaders know that gun violence needs to end.

Take care and be well,


Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President of Summit Medical Staff
Co-Director of Critical Care at Summit Medical Center.

Message from the President, October 2017

Posted on Oct 10, 2017 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,

Another month has passed since the last newsletter and yet, more natural disasters have arrived. The hurricane in Puerto Rico caused great devastation and now closer to home, fires have engulfed our neighboring communities in the Napa and Sonoma counties. The political climate continues to be just as tumultuous. Individually, we each have our own personal stressors (family, health, financial, etc..) which we are managing as best as we can. As health care providers, we continue to perform our jobs while exhibiting the fine balance between professionalism and empathy. Our capacity for emotional resilience is pushed during these times. It can be exhausting.

I don’t have the answers but I have found solace in the community of doctors and staff who I encounter on a regular basis. Knowing that we are all in the trenches, working as a team, providing quality care, makes it worthwhile. People genuinely care about each other and bolster one another up. I have been here for 14 years and many of you have become more than colleagues. I consider many here my friends.

Shortage of certain medications and surgical mesh and sutures- the hurricanes affected medical manufacturing plants. There will be a team that will look at the existing supply and provide recommendations for ordering, which will help mitigate worsening shortages.

Dr Steve O’Brien has left his CME position and I wish to thank him for his contributions to the medical staff and hospital community.

The American Heart Association fundraising walk was this past weekend. Thanks to all who participated and/or donated.

The outside consulting company Huron Group, continues to gather information as part of the Operations Excellence strategy.

Safety huddles are occurring daily. This is an opportunity for nursing staff to identify problem issues close to real time and work on rapid process improvement. Staff that are performing exceptionally well are given kudos. If you wish to spotlight a staff member please let the charge nurse/manager know.

Wellness Retreat- The Physician Well Being Committee is arranging for a Wellness retreat on April 29, 2018 at Green Gulch. Please save the date, more information to come.

Annual Closed Active Medical Staff Business Meeting will be held on November 1, 2017. We will be hearing highlights from our CEO, Chuck Prosper and yours truly. We will be selecting the nominations committee members who will be selecting candidates for  upcoming officers on the Medical Executive Committee.

Until next time,

stay safe and be well


Donna D. Tigno, M.D.

President of Summit Medical Staff

Co-Director of Critical Care at Summit Medical Center.

Message from the President, September 2017

Posted on Sep 12, 2017 in President's Message | 0 comments

Dear Medical Staff Colleagues,

Greetings. With the fires on the west coast and tumultuous storms wreaking havoc in Texas and Florida, these are unsettling times. I hope that your friends and family remain safe.

On the local front, these are highlights to look forward to this September:

– On September, 21, 2017 we will have a combined Fall Social event with Alta Bates Medical Staff. It will be held at the Lake Chalet in Oakland. I encourage you to attend since it is a low key social gathering and an opportunity to meet old friends and create new ones.

– The Fall Social serves a dual purpose; it is also the preview for the upcoming Combined Holiday Party on December 5th. The Annual Holiday Party will be the same location at the Lake Chalet but on a more grand magnitude. More information to come as we approach the event but, please save the date.

– Semi- annual Meet and Greet of new Medical Staff members of both Alta Bates and Summit Campuses will be on September 18th Noon , 11th floor Bayview Room. This is an opportunity for new medical staff to meet and ask questions of both administration and medical staff leadership.

Joint Commission is coming to our campus for a scheduled regulatory visit next week to assess our Orthopedic Total Joint Program.

Summit Medical Center has been a community leader in both our cardiovascular service line and our neurology stroke program. To that end, we have had a strong presence in the Annual American Heart Association Walk which raises funds to promote education, research and emergency care in the areas of stroke and cardiovascular conditions. Here is the link

The upcoming walk is in the San Ramon location, Bishop Ranch 8 on Sunday, October 8th. You can either donate, volunteer, or participate in the walk. For more information contact Leo Dominguez, Administrative Director of Professional/ CV and Neuro Svcs (510) 869-8364 or

There are team leaders representing many departments from the hospital. So please participate at any level you can.

Below please see the monthly report on our verbal order compliance rate, also the monthly note from the Wellness Committee by Dr John Mouratoff.

Stay safe and be well,


Donna D. Tigno, M.D.
President of Summit Medical Staff
Co-Director of Critical Care at Summit Medical Center