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: To learn more about Better Health East Bay visit

Nurse’s Inspiration Leads to a Permanent Health Clinic in Uganda

Posted on Apr 4, 2016

Emily Rymland with patient

Emily Rymland, R.N., and patient

Em’s Health Clinic — the first permanent health clinic in remote western Uganda — is open every day all year round caring for close to 300 patients per month.

When Emily Rymland first traveled to East Africa in 1985 she was exposed to the devastation caused by “Slims Disease,” now known as AIDS. Shortly after returning home from that trip, one of her best friends in San Francisco was diagnosed with AIDS. At that moment, Rymland committed to fighting the deadly disease and improving the well being of those in need.

In the early 1990s she attended nursing school at Samuel Merritt University focusing on HIV care and while earning her master’s degree specializing in outpatient HIV care she also became a family nurse practitioner. Throughout her professional career Rymland has dedicated herself to helping people with HIV and AIDS. Read More

Grateful Parents Talk About Their Leap Day Twins

Posted on Mar 4, 2016

Leap Baby Couple 2

Ryan and Summer Erickson, of Oakland, are the proud parents of twin boys with one born on Leap Day.

Ryan and Summer Erickson, of Oakland, are proud parents of premature twins Miles, born Feb. 28; and Walter, born Leap Day, Feb. 29; at Alta Bates Summit.

“We are so very grateful to the entire care team that has taken such great care of us,” Summer says. “As scary and overwhelming as the whole experience has been, we’ve had a lot of calming moments because we know Walter and Miles are in the best of hands.” Read More

The Right Care in the Right Place: Partnership Reduces Hospital Readmission for Most Vulnerable Patients

Posted on Dec 16, 2015

Cover Image Web versionDelivering high-quality, patient-centered care doesn’t end when patients leave the hospital. Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center collaborates with skilled nursing facilities in Oakland and Berkeley to help patients continue healing and return home.

Repeated hospitalizations are stressful — physically and emotionally — for patients and their families. Nationally, about one in five Medicare patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are readmitted to a hospital within 30 days. SNFs provide round the clock nursing care and rehabilitation services. Read More

East Bay’s First Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Rehab Patients

Posted on Dec 3, 2015

Ekso picThe acute rehabilitation program at Alta Bates Summit now offers robotic exoskeleton therapy to help survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other forms of lower extremity weakness to walk again.

Patented by Ekso Bionics – based in Richmond – the Ekso GT body suit adjusts continuously to support a patient’s every step. It offers new hope for greater independence and a better quality of life for a broad range of people with limited mobility due to injuries or illnesses. Read More