Teamwork Makes a Lasting Impression

Posted on May 10, 2017

When a hospice patient wanted to see her dog one last time, Joan Van Brunt (left) and Cara Conley, RN, worked together to make this special request happen for a very appreciative patient and her sister.

“I wanted to thank Joan Van Brunt and Cara Conley, RN for the kindest act of all. My sister was on hospice care at Alta Bates, and I called Administration to ask if I could bring her dog in to see her before she transitioned on. Joan was very gracious to me with her kindness and she called me right back with the greatest news. She let me know everything was arranged for me to bring my sister’s dog to visit her for one last time. Joan and Cara worked together to make this happen and my sister received her own room. I will always appreciate you both for this for a long time to come. Read More

Former Alta Bates Summit Nurse Reflects On Seeing Things Through New Eyes

Posted on May 5, 2017

Bob and Pat Gardner

Pat Gardner thought she knew what it felt like to be a patient, lying in a hospital bed with a serious or even life-threatening illness.  In her 50 years as a nurse, she had provided compassionate care to thousands of patients, and attentive support to their families. She was proud of her work and always gave it her best.

But it wasn’t until her husband was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, and endured months of chemotherapy, numerous trips to the emergency department and five hospitalizations, that she realized just how crucial the medical and other staff were to her husband’s care and to her ability to support him during this ordeal. Read More

Oakland A’s Visit “Opening Day” Babies at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Posted on Apr 18, 2017

Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien visited Alta Bates Summit’s Labor and Delivery unit on Tuesday, April 4 as part of the A’s “Opening Day” babies promotion with Sutter Health. Semien met and took photos with the new babies, moms and family members. All babies born on Opening Day (April 3) received an A’s-themed newborn gift set (onesie, pacifier and bib) and tickets to the A’s 2018 Opening Day.

Semien took time to also meet with some of the nurses who cared for his wife Tarah when she gave birth to their son Isaiah at Alta Bates seven months ago.

“It’s a blessing to have my first child born in the East Bay and play for the Oakland A’s.” said Semien.

Semien is also a Northern California pioneer. He was born at CPMC in San Francisco, grew up in the East Bay and attended college at UC Berkeley.

In the coming months, Sutter Health is going to partner with the Oakland A’s and offer in-stadium nursing suites for moms for the first time this season. The Sutter Health nursing suites will offer a clean, comfortable and private place for mothers to breast feed or pump.

East Bay Partnership Improves Care for Frequent ED Patients

Posted on Mar 21, 2017

A new community collaboration led by Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is improving health care for patients who frequently visit emergency departments at six hospital locations in the East Bay. Called PreManage ED, the new program uses technology to securely share data between emergency physicians and their teams to improve and coordinate patient care in real time.

Since coming online last spring, PreManage ED has allowed emergency departments within the Sutter Health network and Alameda Health System to identify more than 1,700 shared patients who visited an ED five or more times in the previous year. Before PreManage ED was implemented, neither health system could identify these frequent visitors as shared patients.

“The PreManage ED system instantly alerts our staff when a patient has a case history of using the ED on at least three occasions in less than 30 days,” says Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of the Alta Bates Summit Emergency Department in Oakland. “This tool allows us to quickly view the patient’s recent treatment history and pinpoint the reasons why they are visiting the ED so often.”

Erika O’Bannon, Alta Bates Summit ED social worker and Ronn Berrol, M.D., medical director of the Alta Bates Summit Emergency Department in Oakland are using a new tool to better coordinate care for ED patients in the East Bay.


Case Management Collaboration
The most frequent ED patients typically suffer from chronic illnesses, mental health issues and substance abuse problems. They may also be homeless. Since many of these patients don’t have access to a primary care physician and have little or no social support to help them navigate the healthcare system, they rely on the ED as their point of entry for their medical, social and emotional needs. With this new collaborative care model, these patients can receive better-coordinated, earlier medical intervention to help prevent inpatient stays and improve health outcomes overall.

PreManage ED improves patient care by allowing ED staff to make more informed clinical decisions and better direct a patient’s follow-up care. The system allows ED case managers at all six hospitals to collaborate when a patient isn’t able to effectively articulate what specific treatment they received at another hospital.

“It’s phenomenal to be able to quickly assess how patients are utilizing ED care and to ask patients important questions that can help reduce their risk of future ED visits,” says Erika O’Bannon, an Alta Bates Summit ED social worker. “For instance, if I notice that a patient with diabetes has also been over-utilizing Highland Hospital’s ED, I can call the case manager at Highland and help coordinate follow-up care with a diabetes educator.”

Participating hospitals include Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, Sutter’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, and Alameda Health System’s Highland Hospital in Oakland and San Leandro Hospital in San Leandro.

“Thanks to philanthropic investment from Sutter Health’s nonprofit foundation, Better Health East Bay, and support from Alta Bates Summit’s leadership team, our ED staff has access to a very valuable tool,” adds Berrol. “I would love to see more hospitals in the Bay Area adopt the same system so that we can continue to improve health outcomes in our community by reducing the risk of ED visits for high-risk patients with complex needs.”

Learn More
To learn more about how Alta Bates Summit partners to help  and underinsured residents in the East Bay, visit: newsroom.altabatessummit.org. To learn more about Better Health East Bay visit https://betterhealtheastbay.org/

Alta Bates Summit Receives National Recognition for Surgical Care

Posted on Nov 1, 2016

female-surgeon-smilingFor the third time in five years, Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has received the Meritorious Award from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®). More than 600 hospitals in the country were evaluated and Alta Bates Summit is one of only 61 hospitals to achieve meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care. Read More

Cancer Treatment Cares for the Whole Person

Posted on Sep 19, 2016

Figmind body soulhting cancer with advanced treatments and technologies is only part of caring for the whole person. Integrative medicine includes therapies to boost a patient’s immune system, reduce side effects and maintain their well-being.

For more than a decade, the Center for Integrative Medicine at Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has offered acupuncture, nutritional support, Qigong, yoga, meditation and music therapy to foster wellness and healing for those battling cancer. Read More

Sutter Health and Alameda Health System Partner to Improve Care for Frequent ER Patients

Posted on Jun 22, 2016

emergency (1)For the first time, six East Bay hospitals, including Sutter Health’s East Bay region, are partnering to improve healthcare for frequent Emergency Room patients. The participating hospitals include Alta Bates Summit in Oakland and Berkeley, Sutter Delta, Eden Medical Center, Highland Hospital in Oakland and San Leandro Hospital in San Leandro. Read More