Alta Bates Summit and the Oakland Athletics Partner to Support Stand Up To Cancer

Posted on Sep 14, 2018

Alta Bates Summit physician Dr. Christine Chung with one of her pediatric cancer patients.

On September 1, the Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer and the Oakland Athletics partnered to support Stand Up To Cancer, a Major League Baseball initiative to commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. All Major League players, coaches, and umpires wore gold-ribbon decals and wristbands to further promote awareness for childhood cancer, which is the leading cause of death by disease in children aged 15 and under in the United States.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to be the only provider of advanced radiation treatment for kids in the East Bay and the Oakland A’s went above and beyond to treat our patients and their families to a special pre-game experience. More than a dozen children were escorted onto the baseball field for batting practice and then lined up with A’s and Seattle Mariners players for the national anthem. Alta Bates Summit radiation oncologists Dr. Sravana Chennupati and Dr. Christine Chung also took part in the pre-game event and Dr. Chung threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Dr. Christine Chung and Dr. Sravana Chennupati took part in the pre-game festivities.

“It takes a collaborative effort to provide academic level care in a community hospital setting and we’re proud to be able to offer high quality care to young patients close to their homes,” says Dr. Chennupati. “Our entire team of nurses, therapists and staff members take really great care of these families and it was very special to see so many smiles at the game.”

All of the patients that attended the game also received a free replica Oakland Athletics jersey, gift bag and all the families sat in the same section of the stadium with the Comprehensive Cancer Center employees and physicians. Arrangements are also being made to ensure that patients that were unable to come to the game will also get an A’s jersey.

“The families were extremely touched when they were invited to the game,” says Donna Russell, RN, nurse manger, Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer Services. “A few of our parents cried and remarked that they never had a chance to do special things like this and our team was building a memory for the entire family. This truly is magical on so many levels.”

Thank you to the Oakland A’s and our Comprehensive Cancer Center employees and physicians for their love and support of our pediatric cancer patients!

Alta Bates Summit NICU Receives $10,000 Huggies Grant for Infant Cuddler Program

Posted on Jan 9, 2018

Joan Webster, an Infant Cuddler Program volunteer for the last 8 years trains Youth Bridge student Robert Portilla on the proper way to hold an infant.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) today received a $10,000 grant for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from the Huggies Hospital Hugger Grant program, as part of the No Baby Unhugged initiative. The Alta Bates Summit infant cuddler program has been in existence since 1987. Babies in the NICU and a robust and engaged group of volunteer huggers will benefit from the grant, which will fund new rocking chairs and enhanced volunteer training with an infant massage specialist.

“This wonderful grant will allow us to serve all of our smallest patients, as research continues to show touch improves physical outcomes, enhances feelings of security and improves sleep for these sick babies,” says Alison Brooks, RNC, MS, and Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Alta Bates Summit NICU. “We are also seeing an increase in the number of babies born to mothers addicted to opioids and other substances who greatly benefit from touch for healthy neurological development.” Read More

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