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It’s time again for the NRC Physician Engagement Survey!

Posted on Sep 2, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s time again for the NRC Physician Engagement Survey! 

This year it will run for the entire month of September. We will be raffling AfterShoks headphones on a weekly basis for the duration of the survey window. Winning names will be randomly selected by NRC, so you must participate to be eligible to win. The sooner you complete the survey, the more chances you have to win!


Look for an email invitation from NRC Health <WorkforceSurveyInfo@nrchealth.com> with the subject line “Please Respond! 2021 Physician Engagement Survey for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center”. It only takes 10 minutes to complete! All responses will remain confidential, so you can feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and input anonymously. As a reminder, if a question asks your opinion of a service or specialty that is not a part of your usual practice, please skip the question rather than answering neutrally. If you receive more than one survey request, please complete one for each facility.

Thank you in advance for participating!

Ursula Boynton, MD
Chief Medical Executive
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Office: 510-869-6785│Cell: 510-703-7334
Administrative Assistant: Maria Freeman
Office: 510-869-8766│E-mail: freemamd@sutterhealth.org

Spotlight on Affordability: Alta Bates Summit Outpatient Pharmacy Achieves Zero Out-of-Pocket Costs for Patient Receiving Brand New Medication

Posted on Sep 2, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Joy of Work at ABSMC

Posted on Aug 5, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Joy of Work At ABSMC

It’s stressful around here! Again! We could all use a little love – especially the nurses.

On the 5th floor the other day, an amazingly kind and smart nurse stood up and said, “That’s it! I’ve had it!’ and stormed away from the nurses’ station.  She nearly lost it trying to get a family access to see a patient. That same day another nurse got yelled at by family for offering the Covid vaccine and was nearly in tears.  Life on the nursing units is really hard these days. 

And different than last time around.  More anger than fear, but flashes of that uncertainty from last year rears its head, too.  “It feels like PTSD. I probably shouldn’t be scared, because I am vaccinated and have the PPE, but man it is really challenging at moments!” said another nurse.

There is a serious staffing shortage, too.  Often the nurses are without a charge or relief nurse and they are always being asked to work a “double”.  This is worsening their frustration.

I am at a loss looking for a word to describe how it feels on the units, so I will just have to say it feels crazy.  Maybe it is the right word to describe how it feels.  Wild swings of emotions – anger, fear, frustration, sadness – all happening as the work itself is harder due to some workflows that are changing every day! 

As physicians, we are feeling it too, but it seems we are mostly handling it better.  What can we do to sooth ourselves and help steady the place?  We should all be giving the nurses a little love!

I joined PCU 6’s 11 o’clock huddle just to thank them for their dedication and it was the most rewarding 10 minutes I have spent in months. They were so happy to have a doc validate their concerns and value their work. 

It is a win- win.  Our teammates are suffering. We too are frustrated and fed-up.  We can offer them some gratitude and a compassionated ear.  It can bring us together, lift us all up and help us reaffirm our sense of purpose as we struggle through another crazy twist in this wild unpredictable Covid drama!

So, take a moment.  Open your ears.  Open your heart and thank a nurse today!

Leif Hass, MD
Summit Wellness, Chair

Patient Thanks Dr. Rita Kwan-Feinberg for Her Thoroughness That May Have Saved Her Life

Posted on Jun 17, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“I am an ABSMC patient writing to tell you a story about an amazing doctor who quite possibly saved my life – she for sure left me with an inspiring breast cancer story to tell, rather than a harrowing one.

Rita Kwan-Feinberg, M.D.

I was first referred to Dr. Rita Kwan-Feinberg by my general practitioner, Dr. Mary Miller when I inquired about an umbilical hernia I had been dealing with since my twins were born eight-years-ago. Upon exam, Dr. Kwan-Feinberg figured out that I also had an inguinal hernia, laying out my options ranging from laparoscopic surgery to no action. Hernia diagnosis aside, she noticed the prevalence of late onset breast cancer in my family – both my mom and my maternal aunt got breast cancer at around age 60.

In response to a question from the doctor about my cancer risk, I must have said – maybe somewhat flippantly – that for me, it was less about whether I’d get breast cancer and more about when. Once we were done talking about a possible hernia surgery, she re-visited my breast cancer risk and asked if I’d be willing to make a separate (virtual) appointment to do an assessment of my breast cancer risk. It turned out, weighing my entire health history, that my chance of getting breast cancer was about 34 percent.

From there, Dr. Kwan-Feinberg went over things I could do to reduce that chance, but she also recommended I start doing a breast MRI once a year, along with a mammogram once a year too. The two diagnostics were to be spread out every six months.

I went ahead and underwent the hernia surgery. Two weeks later I was due for the breast MRI. In my mind, I was just kicking off a new, more intense detection regimen. It turned out to be the kick-off of a breast cancer diagnosis!

They found a lump in my right breast and a biopsy confirmed it was Stage 1, Grade 1 Lobular Breast Cancer, something that didn’t show up on the mammogram I had six months prior.

I really am one of the luckiest woman around and all thanks to Dr. Kwan-Feinberg and her amazing intellect, intuition, bedside manner, knowledge, thoroughness and passion for a holistic, preventive based approach to medicine. That sneaky lump would have never shown up in a mammogram and it would have likely grown for years before I knew it was there – were it not for Dr. Kwan-Feinberg and that MRI…and she was just my hernia surgeon (initially anyway)!

I can’t say enough about what a superwoman she is – an incredible doctor and person. In addition to helping to relay the message of early diagnostic testing for those women with a higher risk of breast cancer, I also feel compelled to relay my kudos to one of the finest medical professionals I’ve ever met!”

Chhavi Bajaj, M.D. Receives Caring for People Award

Posted on Jun 1, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chhavi Bajaj, M.D. Receives Caring for People Award
Dr. Chhavi Bajaj has been recognized for her invaluable contributions to our patients, specifically her guidance and assistance with our Case Management team. Dr. Bajaj spent a significant amount of time speaking with a patient and family members to review all options for a safe discharge plan. The family was very appreciative of Dr. Bajaj’s assistance and we truly appreciate Dr. Bajaj’s efforts to ensure the patient was safely discharged.

Sutter Community Connect

Posted on Jun 1, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments