We continually create, seek out and adopt new ways of providing value to our customers, rapidly moving from idea to execution.


Her podcast educates primary care physicians about mental health

“Seeing all these patients isn’t realistic given the number of referrals. There is an opportunity to help primary care doctors treat mild to moderate mental illness in their clinics and save the psychiatry referrals for more complex issues like refractory depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.”

Read more on NewsPlus. 

Whitney E. Landa, M.D.

Psychiatrist, PAMF


Enhancing the patient and clinician experience with digital health tools

“The pandemic has not only shined a light on the great work our clinicians and care teams do every day. It’s also shined a light on the importance of digital solutions to improve access and deliver high-quality care to our patients from the comfort of their home.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Guy Tennyson

Director, Digital Health, Sutter Health


Bringing the newest chest medicine advances to Sutter

“In my new role with the American College of Chest Physicians, I hope to spearhead efforts to improve education about bronchiectasis among community-based pulmonary providers, as well as primary care providers, to better improve the early detection and appropriate care for patients.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Shyam Subramanian, M.D.

Pulmonologist, Gould Medical Group


Innovating on the cusp of the silver tsunami

“Research on aging will lead to the development of preventative measures that will help keep people healthier for longer and may even add years to people’s lives.”

Read more on Vitals.

Steven Cummings, M.D.

Research scientist, CPMC Research Institute


New study may lead to earlier detection of cancers

“Insights from the PATHFINDER 2 study may improve how we screen for cancers and expand the types of cancer for which we can screen. Sutter’s participation in this study could help pioneer breakthroughs in early detection that may help save lives around the world.”

Read more on Vitals.

Charles McDonnell, M.D.

Radiologist, Sutter Medical Group, and lead principal investigator for PATHFINDER 2 study at Sutter


Collaborating for early detection of pediatric sepsis

“We convened the task force to address an unmet, critical need: to implement a system across Sutter’s integrated network that empowers and educates medical staff to recognize the early signs of sepsis.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Patti Taylor, R.N., MSN

Nurse director, PICU, and Pediatric Sepsis Task Force co-lead, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento


Delivering innovative, top quality cancer care to children

“At Sutter, we are working hard to enroll eligible patients to our pediatric cancer clinical trials to help bring new discoveries from ‘bench to bedside’ to inform the care of our tiniest patients.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Saunders Hsu, M.D.

Pediatric oncologist, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento


Guiding new research into treatment for advanced cancers

“The Cancer Avatar Project has the potential to significantly accelerate individualized cancer care and provide evidence-based treatment recommendations for patients with highly malignant, advanced cancers.”

Read more on Vitals.

Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, M.D.

Medical director, CPMC Cancer Center


Expanding Sutter’s clinical trials in the Sacramento Valley

“Sutter research is critical to helping improve the lives and well-being of our patients and communities.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Kirsten Babski

Manager, clinical research, Sutter Institute for Medical Research


Research that brings discoveries to life

“These patients have symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life and which are unresponsive to currently available therapies. Through research, I believe new discoveries can help address the significant, unmet needs in the management of these illnesses.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Kidist K. Yimam, M.D.

Medical director, autoimmune liver disease program, CPMC


Enhanced imaging provides ‘sightless navigation’ to fight prostate cancer

“We have seen a tremendous improvement already as we perform these procedures with precise placement of the radioactive seeds. We were also able to acquire two ultrasound probes which will ultimately allow us to schedule procedures closer together without waiting for the probe to be reprocessed.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Ori Melamud, M.D.

Urologist, MPMC


Personalized clinical trials offer hope for cancer care

“Participation in clinical trials allows us to offer our patients, right where they live, otherwise unavailable advances in treatment options and evaluate the latest insights from medical science.”

Read more on Vitals.

Lea Ann Bernick

Director, Sutter Cancer Research Consortium


Breathing easier with a new life-saving pulmonary device called endobronchial valves 

“The valves are a minimally invasive option that reduces lung hyperinflation, which allows patients to breathe easier, without all the risks of surgery. The valves allow the trapped air to escape from the diseased areas of your lungs, which reduces hyperinflation, takes pressure off the diaphragm and allows the healthier parts of the lung to function better.”

Read more on Vitals.

Jey Chung, M.D.

Interventional pulmonologist, CPMC


Working to curb the pandemic through a Phase 3 clinical trial of an investigational vaccine

“To our honorable Sutter patients who joined this clinical trial, we are inspired by your selflessness in our fight against this worldwide crisis. I’m so proud to be part of an accomplishment that stems from a focus on our patients and communities, scientific innovation, limitless collaboration and leadership support.”

Read more on NewsPlus. 

Myesha Kirk

Clinical research manager, ABSMC


They implement COVID-19 data reporting into the EHR, aiding federal data collection efforts

“Sutter is leading the charge for this implementation at the state and national levels. It’s very helpful to our providers that they are not having to compile this data manually anymore.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Douglas Angove

Director, Enterprise Data Integration Services, SHIS


All-in-one tests for COVID-19 to be offered first for Sutter patients

“With the introduction of entirely at-home test kits, like the Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit, the role of the healthcare provider will become more important, not less. Providers within the Sutter Health network will evaluate patients to determine if they meet FDA guidelines for a test, prescribe the test, review the results with patients, arrange for any follow-up care.”

Read more on the Sutter Health newsroom.

John Chou, M.D.

Medical director for anesthesiology, diagnostics and pharmacy, Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group


For the COVID-19 parking garage clinic, they MacGyver’d the WiFi

“Providing patient care in a parking structure is new. We are experiencing constant change in this industry–daily and weekly. It’s common to want to change things regularly, and our team has to be nimble.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

David Langhart

Desktop services manager, PAMF


She advocates for clinical research–and participates in clinical studies

“As a nurse, I knew that research can help advance new knowledge of health and disease. And that research studies depend on the participation of people curious and willing enough to explore its potential to uncover clues about how and why illnesses may occur. Participating in the Nurses’ Health Study has been easy and interesting: every two years, I complete a questionnaire sent by study coordinators who assess parameters around my diet, physical activity, tobacco smoking habits (I’m a lifelong non-smoker), use of oral contraceptives and potential cancer diagnoses.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Lori Edwards, R.N.

Quality monitor, Sutter Cancer Research Consortium


The pandemic increased virtual visits, and she appreciates what that brings to patient care

“I hope video visits are here to stay, because they provide greater access for our patients to us as well as access into what their life is at home. I feel like I would miss a piece of that interaction with patients if we went back. Video visits have changed the dynamic of the relationship with our patients, but only for the better!”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Amanda Wheeler, M.D.

Breast cancer surgeon, Mills-Peninsula Health Services


Welcoming Sally the salad-making robot during the pandemic

“Due to COVID-19, we had to close our salad bars amidst hygienic concerns and new food safety criteria. Sally–a salad-making robot–provides much-needed access to fresh food with the ability to customize meals for dietary preferences. The equipment provides a safe, sanitary method to distribute fresh ingredients.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Josh Iufer

Manager, Food & Nutrition Services, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center


Finding new ways to prevent nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia

“I see Sutter Health as a catalyst for awareness and change. Back in 2010, we didn’t know what caused NV-HAP or how to prevent it—and we’ve gone from that to knowing and then to doing.

“These are our patients, and we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for them in the care we provide. That’s the ethical thing to do. And it’s an expression of Sutter’s mission and values.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Barbara Quinn, MSN, R.N.

Director of Professional Practice and Nursing Excellence , Office of Patient Experience.

A new approach to helping patients face what’s ahead

“With the Grove by Sutter clinic, we can influence older adults’ care upstream. In the river of life, you don’t know where the rapids are, but if you prepare upstream, you have a better chance. We’re upstream, teaching our patients and helping them navigate what may be ahead of them. And we’re here for the long haul.”

Christi Silano, N.P.

Grove by Sutter Health clinic

Working to standardize the EHR

“The goal of this project is to simplify the EHR backend build, reduce variation and waste without causing any impact or interruptions to our end users. We hope to eliminate many of the backend legacy builds that have significant customization, leaving only the order transmittal rules that apply to common orders across the Sutter system.” Read more on NewsPlus.

Bill Brockfield

Applications analyst, SHIS, who with his team is working on reducing variation and improving efficiency in the Sutter electronic health record

Caring for NICU babies with the latest technology

“The neonatal cooling blanket system is an example of how our neonatal intensive care unit team at Alta Bates Summit is committed to using the latest technology and providing specialized care for babies with conditions like hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy, an injury to the brain that occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen or blood flow for a period of time.” Read more on NewsPlus.

Alex M. Espinoza, M.D.

Neonatologist and medical director of the Alta Bates Summit NICU

Bringing snacks to waiting rooms

“Our team has launched a snack cart that goes out every day to our waiting rooms on each floor. This enables people to eat while they’re awaiting information about their loved ones, without ever having to leave the area. A team member in the office assists me in training the staff for the cart.

“Patients, as well as their families and friends, are thankful that we are there for them to make life a little easier during a possibly rough time.”

Nissa Zbiczak

Program coordinator, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center auxiliary

They share best practices behind the scenes

“We have formed the Administrative Professional Network, a group of executive assistants, administrative assistants and project coordinators across Sutter Health, to share information and help improve teamwork across the system. Most of us work many miles apart—but being part of this team and meeting up quarterly has helped improve teamwork in our own departments, which in turn provides better service to our patients.

“Sometimes, our process seem simple—like sharing a standard of adding Skype information in the location line for employees required to participate in meetings while working remotely or traveling—but the outcome is a safer, more secure work environment. What we learn from each other helps us, but it also impacts Sutter as a whole.”

Charlotte Clements-Freeman

Project coordinator, Sutter Health University


Dedicating innovative efforts and research to maternal health equity

“By accelerating the cycle of innovation and research to advance maternal health equity solutions, we can help ensure access to care and optimal maternal and infant outcomes for all.”

Read more on Vitals.

Kristen M.J. Azar

Scientific director, Institute for Advancing Health Equity, Sutter Health


Novel therapy uses radioactive seeds to treat woman’s brain tumor

“We are deeply proud and excited to offer this novel approach to patients who urgently need treatment for brain cancers, particularly those with fast-growing tumors.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Lewis Z. Leng, M.D.

Neurosurgeon, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and director of Sutter’s Neuro-Oncology Program of Oncology Distinction


Advancing a new vision of research at Sutter

“Our goal is to establish Sutter Health as a competitively positioned and preferred destination for translational science and cutting-edge clinical trials for our patients. Patients are our true north, and their care is informed and enhanced by insights from research and clinical trials across our organization where the quality of our research can help improve the quality of patients’ lives.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Christopher Woods, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief medical director for clinical trials, Sutter Health


Developing apps to help with complex healthcare needs

“Call it science aiming for greater simplicity. That is the mindset toward our research examining these digital health tools. We’ve learned that enhancing the patient experience can also aid in healing and improved healthcare outcomes.”

Read more on Vitals.

J.B. Jones, Ph.D., MBA

Director of healthcare solutions, Sutter Health


Rising to the occasion during COVID, creating new processes for patient safety

“It has been a rough year and a half, but COVID-19 has allowed us to be creative and allowed us to see what nursing can do.  We had to get creative with what we had.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Kim Watson, R.N., MSN

Medical director, SMCS ICU


Sutter launches new, improved method to test for heart attack

“This approach to testing is more precise than traditional troponin testing methods, and may potentially shorten the time to rule out patients suspected of a myocardial infarction.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Christine Flaherty

Senior director, Sutter Laboratory & Pathology Services


Bringing positive change with Sutter’s new digital tools

“Sutter is positively changing the ways in which every patient can have access to immediate, personalized care and feel empowered to manage their own health through these digital solutions. One of our new first points of entry is our symptom checker that helps patients find the appropriate level of care.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Guy Tennyson

Director, Digital Patient Experience, Sutter Health


Innovative treatment pathways find the best care for cancer patients

“Caring for cancer patients with the right treatment at the right time helps improve the odds for cure. Clinical Pathways helps Sutter oncologists design treatment plans that provide optimal, evidence-based, tolerable and cost-effective treatment to every patient.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Deepti Behl, M.D.

Medical oncologist and medical director of the Sutter Institute for Medical Research, Sacramento


Refining heart valve repair technologies to save lives

“Research is helping significantly refine these heart valve repair technologies through studies of newer devices that may improve upon earlier approaches to prevent backward blood flow in the heart, and which can prevent the need for lifelong anticoagulant medications or repeat surgeries.”

Read more on Vitals.

David Daniels, M.D.

Cardiologist and co-director, Bay Area Structural Heart Program, CPMC


They studied impact of smoking, other factors on COVID-19 severity

“For COVID-19 confirmed cases, we wanted to determine whether smoking, comorbidities as well as and race and ethnicity impacted the severity of outcomes from infection.

“We found that younger patients were less likely to be lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive, while males, Hispanic or Latino patients and individuals with moderate comorbidities were more likely to be lab-confirmed positive.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Jiang Li, Ph.D., MPH

Researcher, Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research


On the road to better stroke care

“Our team is helping pioneer the future of acute stroke care.”

Read more in Vitals.

Ilana Spokoyny, M.D.

Neurologist, Sutter West Bay Medical Group and Sutter Health Mobile Stroke Unit clinical and research director


Germ-zapping robots increase patient safety

“CPMC has invested in UV-C technology to disinfect surfaces. Ultraviolet light gets into the DNA of germs and destroys the germs themselves, so they can’t reproduce.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Sean Townsend, M.D.

Vice president of Quality, CPMC


Embracing the pandemic’s silver lining: expanded telehealth services

“If there’s a silver lining to glean from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s that necessity fueled rapid adoption of providing and receiving virtual care. While telehealth is not a substitute for in-person care, it has become an essential part of the overall care experience. With this shift, we now have the opportunity to accelerate innovation and think beyond our preconceived boundaries. We can personalize care even more, which can support better outcomes for our patients and their families.”

Read more.

Albert Chan, M.D., M.S.

Senior vice president and chief of Digital Patient Experience, Sutter Health


Electronic ICU connects hospitals across network for COVID-19 care

“The challenge was to come up with a plan for our eICU to provide care for a surge in patients across Northern California. We are now able to meet the need of a patient surge at our rural hospitals and large medical centers by giving the same comprehensive, quality care whether a patient is in one of our ICU beds or a converted room.”

Read more on Vitals.

Tom Shaughnessy, M.D.

Medical director, Sutter Bay Area eICU


Her research could help you deal with consuming too many pandemic calories

“Life during the pandemic can feel out of control–but what we do have control about is what we eat. Let’s just focus on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“If we can reduce abdominal fat, it just improves the risk factors for disease.”

Read more here.

Jamey Schmidt

Director, clinical research, CPMCRI


His military background has prepared him for COVID-19–and everything else

“My experience in the military and in healthcare has taught me about being ready for the unexpected.”

Read more on NewsPlus

Nana Awuah-Antwi, MLS (ASCP), CLS

Director of laboratory services, Eden Medical Center


A novel approach to innovative cancer care

“Traditional approaches to cancer care may significantly benefit from the addition of complementary strategies, including lifestyle modification and the safe and appropriate use of evidence-based supplements, My new practice is designed to complement patients’ traditional oncology care, and to support patients through and beyond chemotherapy.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Stacy D'Andre, M.D.

Medical director, Sutter Cancer Center, Sacramento


She’s part of Sutter’s innovative, nurse-led COVID-19 triage line

“We developed protocols that were responsive to new information as the situation evolved. It was a living thing that was constantly changing.

“Suddenly a patient might say, ‘I have purple toes,’ and we learned that there actually are COVID toes. We were learning about the virus at the same time we were triaging it.”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Grace Chow, R.N.

Specialized nurse, Palo Alto Medical Foundation


Data detectives track the pandemic

“Understanding the surge of infection rate and spread is an important part of preparedness. Epidemiological studies of emerging COVID-19 infections can help determine the burden of disease, develop better estimates of morbidity and mortality and guide return-to-work and personal-safety decisions based on exposure history,”

Read more on NewsPlus.

Gregory Tranah, Ph.D.

Scientific director of California Pacific Medical Center and director of Sutter’s Center for Precision Medicine Research


Creating an art display to help the helpers during COVID-19

“Art comforts and connects us. When a doctor, nurse or housekeeper views these images, I hope they see an entire community of artists who are supporting them and helping them process emotions that are hard to put into words.”

 Read more on NewsPlus.

Tawnya Gilbert, R.N., CCRN

Nurse II, Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center of Santa Cruz


Approaching patient care the ACEs way

“My colleague, Dr. Mike Flaningam, and I have been transformed by the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). In the past year, we have screened hundreds of our patients and have seen how their lives and health have improved. We have made it our passion to educate our staff and fellow colleagues, giving departmental presentations both in primary and specialty care. In addition, I have met with city and state leaders, as well as those within the California Medical Association, to drum up support for education, legislation and social change.

“We know that if we treat the underlying cause of many of our patients’ medical issues, we can improve not only their health but also cost of care and accessibility.”

Drew Factor, M.D., MPH

Internal medicine doctor, Sutter Medical Group

Using ultrasound to make the poke less painful

“This job is such a blessing. I am comfortable using ultrasound to find a vein, but not every nurse is. And that’s OK. Our team is amazing. We’re here to help.

“Moms have requested that I come do the IV for their child and then given me a big hug afterwards.”

Raul DeAnda, R.N.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento vascular access team member

Proposing a course that helps hospitals statewide 

“Ihave been a radiologic technologist for 27 years, and since 2003, I’ve also taught in the radiologic technology program at Santa Rosa Junior College. One of the courses I teach is a mammography course, which prepares students to take their state mammography licensing exam after they pass their state radiologic technology licensing exam.

“At the beginning of this year, I proposed an online mammography course to be offered to all radiologic technology students in the state of California. That proposal was just accepted. I hope this helps with the need for mammographers for our hospital—and hospitals around the state. I am very proud of the work we do here.”

Bonnie Patterson

CT scan technologist, Novato Community Hospital

Peace of mind from advance care plans

“We’re trying to build a culture that facilitates meaningful advance care planning for all patients over the age of 18. Our goal is to ensure that we honor patient’s wishes when they cannot speak for themselves.

“We help prepare patients for conversations with their providers by giving them information to help them identify their goals, values and preferences. Doing this far in advance of when care decisions are needed—and updating these plans as the patient’s circumstances and goals change—is key to a ensuring a patient’s piece of mind.”

Kathy Blanton, R.N.

Clinical integration director for the Office of Patient Experience.

1,000 ways we’re touching lives

“Within Total Health Productivity Management, I’m part of a culture committee that’s implemented what we call “The Heart of THPM”—a page that highlights the various areas in THPM, the people involved in those areas and how they’re touching lives throughout Sutter Health. Our latest focus is “A Thousand Things, Big and Small.” We’re asking employees to post notes on our wall about how we touch lives, with hopes of hitting 1,000 notes during the year.

“We serve all of Sutter Health—and through our work, we offer care and understanding and help employees through challenging times in their lives. Our work is very rewarding.” 

Karen Clarke-O'Neill

Department secretary, THPM