President’s Message

President’s Message

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

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. 

We’ve had some great weather and hopefully you’ve been able to get out and take a break from work and enjoy life.

Remember to take care of yourself!

Welcome back Ursi! Ursula Boynton began July 15 as our new Chief Medical Officer. We look forward to working (again!) with you!

The new opening date for the cafeteria and physician lounge is Monday, August 5, and the planned opening for the new MRI is now at the end of August.

There will be a Wellness bookshelf in the physician lounge. The committee has slowly been collecting books, thanks to Dr. Lenny Husen. Feel free to check out books, and please remember to return them as soon as you are finished so another colleague can enjoy.

We are currently working on expanding our Well-being program. More to come in the future on this topic.

Christopher Mack from the Sutter Specialty Network is continuing to work with physicians to learn more about their practice and ensuring they are on their list of specialists accepting referrals. The network helps physicians within our system, and in One Medical Group, find specialty referrals. Christopher’s email address is

Our Medical Staff is working with Tyler Bennett, Sutter Bay Strategy, and our Administration, to help develop a local strategy plan for ABSMC.

ABSMC started a recognition program to highlight physicians, nurses, and staff who have gone above and beyond caring for our patients. Congratulations to Bryan Wong, M.D. and Arash Minaie, D.O. for receiving the Hummingbird Award. Congratulation to Esau Zavala-Hernandez, R.N., Brittney Faumina, R.N., Mercediata Trinidad, B.S.N, R.N., Carolyn Wong, R.N., and Gina, B.S.N., R.N., for receiving the Daisy Award and congratulations to Michael Simpson, R.T., for receiving the Butterfly Award.


Take care,

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


President’s Message

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

First, a hearty welcome to Ursula (Ursi) Boynton, M.D., our new Chief Medical Officer.
As many of you know, Ursi was our administrative Medical Director under Steve O’Brien, M.D., our past CMO. She practiced as a hospitalist at ABSMC for many years. Welcome back Ursi!

This month, we also welcome back Jerry Kozai, our CEO. We look forward to continuing to work with you, further defining the strategic vision and growth of ABSMC.

In addition, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to David Clark, our interim CEO. You jumped in feet first with a great attitude and energy. We wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Please add to your calendar the Joint Summit and Alta Bates Medical Staff Holiday party. It will take place at Trader Vic’s on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

Starting August 5, we will have a new Bioethicist, Robert Fulbright. He will work closely with our Ethics Committee, bringing his expertise to our hospital, which will greatly benefit our patients experiencing challenging circumstances.

A special thank you goes out to our Wellbeing Committee for hosting another successful Physician Mindfulness retreat.

The Peer Support program continues to receive referrals and is actively reaching out to our colleagues. We hope those of you who have been contacted have felt comforted and supported! If you would like to speak with a Peer Supporter or if there is someone who you think would benefit from Peer Support, please email This program is only for members of the Summit and/or Alta Bates Medical Staff.

We will continue to build up our community and support one another. The Wellbeing Committee is moving on to the next phase, mapping out what we can do to further benefit our medical staff community. We will also partner with administration to help ease some of the barriers of practicing medicine at the hospital. More to come…


Jill Kacher Cobb, MD

President, Summit Medical Staff, ABSMC


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