Cheers for Sutter Health Volunteers

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Cheers for Sutter Health Volunteers“The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.”Terri Guillemets

April 12 marks the beginning of National Volunteer Week—a special time to recognize all those who give back to the community by generously contributing their skills and experience to make a positive difference.

Throughout our Sutter Health care centers, about 5,000 volunteers donate their time to help us create an environment where patients feel respected, valued and understood. From greeting visitors and answering their questions to helping families in Emergency Rooms, our volunteers share our commitment to giving patients an exceptional, personalized care experience, every time.

In honor of National Volunteer Week, “I want to personally thank our volunteers for their daily partnership with us, our patients and their families, ” says Pat Fry, Sutter Health President and CEO. “They’ve chosen to volunteer within Sutter Health because they believe in us and the work we do.”


Eden’s Tree of Life Honors Organ Donation Heroes

Posted on Mar 27, 2015

Eden Medical Center's Tree of Life wall sculpture

The Tree of Life wall scupture honors organ donation heroes. The 150-pound sculpture by artist Mendy Greenbaum is cast in bronze and installed in the Intensive Care Unit at Eden Medical Center.

Family members and staff gathered at Eden Medical Center on Mar. 14 to pay tribute to 13 heroes who gave the ultimate gift of life. Newly engraved leaves were revealed on the Tree of Life—a bronze sculpture that hangs on the wall of the Intensive Care Unit waiting room. The 150-pound sculpture stands 7 ft. by 7 ft., has 375 leaves. Each leaf will be engraved with the name of a patient who donated their organs to save another’s life.

This year, we honored 13 individuals who donated organs in 2014. Their families were invited to a ceremony to honor this gift.

In addition to the personalized leaves, a plaque next to the “Tree of Life” reads:

“Eden Medical Center Foundation dedicates this Tree of Life to honor organ and tissue donors. Their selfless gifts created miracles for others and embodied the spirit of generosity. In their final hour, each person gave a lifetime to someone else.” Read More

March of Dimes: Working and Walking Together for Healthier Babies

Posted on Mar 26, 2015

baby for wordpressSutter Health’s East Bay affiliates support the 2015 March for Babies Campaign – including the March for Babies, Saturday, April 25, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Since 1998, Sutter Health has collaborated with March of Dimes. All contributions fund lifesaving research into preventing premature births, plus programs giving hope and help to families.

“Every day, more than 1,400 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely and these babies face an increased risk of serious medical conditions,” says Chuck Prosper, Bay Area March of Dimes board member and Alta Bates Summit CEO.

Join Sutter Health Cancer Experts on Twitter for Live Chat

Posted on Mar 26, 2015

KQED Cancer2Sutter Health is sponsoring the premier airing of a new Ken Burns production on local public television station KQED.  The documentary is based on the best-selling book: Cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, and airs March 30, 31 and April 1.
On March 31, Rajesh Behl, M.D., Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation and Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer Center oncologist, will join Sutter colleagues in a live Twitter chat with viewers from 9-10 p.m. during the broadcast on @SutterHealth using #CancerFilmQA.
Join the conversation and learn more about the disease that touches nearly everyone in some way.

Sutter Health Live Twitter Chat:

Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, 9 to 10 p.m.

Ask an Expert About Heartburn and GERD

Posted on Mar 26, 2015

Wilson S. Tsai, M.D.

Wilson S. Tsai, M.D.

Wilson S. Tsai, M.D.

Medical director of esophageal and thoracic surgery

Sutter Health’s Eden Medical Center

Q: I take medication for my heartburn, but lately it isn’t as effective. Why do I keep getting heartburn and what else can I do to relieve the symptoms?

A: Imagine a room in your house is on fire and the alarm goes off, but instead of calling 911, you remove the batteries from the annoying alarm.

Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who take medication to ease heartburn are essentially shutting down their bodies’ alarm system.

Drugs work great for symptom control, to decrease acidity in the stomach. But in many patients, they mask the real problem.

Serious complications can develop, from osteoporosis as a side-effect of long-term medication use to esophageal cancer, which is a growing epidemic in the United States.

GERD is a disease of anatomy. It’s important to have a full work-up from an esophageal specialist. That includes endoscopy, biopsy, measurement of the volume of reflux and an internal pressure test.

Depending on the results, surgery may be an option. Implantation of a LINX® magnetic ring is a minimally invasive surgery I often perform. The ring is designed to augment the weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to help prevent acid and bile reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.

How LINX® works

  • A small, flexible band of magnets is enclosed in titanium beads. Titanium wires connect the beads.
  • The magnetic attraction between the beads is designed to help keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux.
  • The movement of swallowing temporarily breaks the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach.
  • Magnetic attraction closes the LES after swallowing to reinforce the body’s natural barrier to reflux.

Signs of GERD


You may be suffering from GERD if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble swallowing starchy foods, which stick in the esophagus, turning into sticky goo that traps other food.
  • Painful esophageal spasms that can mimic a heart attack.
  • Abdominal pain while exercising; workouts can put pressure on the abdomen, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Occasional difficulty breathing. Reflux can be breathed into the lungs.


Click here to learn more about GERD and LINX®.




Sutter’s East Bay Urgent Care Clinics Serve 1000 Patients Each Month

Posted on Feb 2, 2015

Three Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation Urgent Care clinics are up and running and expanding services.

The Urgent Care at 2500 Milvia Street in Berkeley joins clinics in Antioch and Castro Valley to serve patients of all ages. Together the clinics care for more than 1000 patients each month.

“Our patients are so happy we’re open,” says Jeff Leinen, M.D., SEBMF urgent care medical director. “They are grateful to have a place where they can get episodic urgent care. If not for urgent care, they have to go to the Emergency Department.”

Leinen adds that while the ED is “fabulous” for life-threatening illnesses, it’s very expensive for urgent care. “Patients say, ‘You just saved me $500 and three hours of my life,’” he adds.

Urinary tract infections are the most common illness treated. Generally, cold weather brings upper respiratory ailments and warm weather brings sprains, strains and broken limbs.

The Blue Rock clinic in Antioch is open every day, eight hours weekdays and five hours weekends and holidays. In March the Castro Valley clinic will expand its hours to match that. The Berkeley clinic is open 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. weekends and holidays. Those hours will extend as needed, Leinen says.

Joy Vaughns, supervisor for Castro Valley Urgent Care, has coordinated the opening of all three East Bay clinics. She says each has opened “with gusto,” including 10-20 patients waiting when the doors first opened in Antioch and Castro Valley. The Berkeley clinic cared for 48 patients in its first five days.

Many patients are referred by SEBMF primary care physicians.

“We see a lot of patients who are really feeling bad, but their doctors are not available for days or weeks,” Vaughns says. “Then they find out they can come and see us and we’re able to help them.”

“We are here for our patients and community. Every patient could potentially have been in the ED,” she says. “This is a great service we’re offering.”

Eden Updates Radiation Oncology Center

Posted on Jan 12, 2015

patient receiving radiation therapyEden Medical Center’s renovated Radiation Oncology Center  has been providing radiation oncology services to the community for more than 30 years.

Radiation oncology treatment, also known as radiation therapy, radiotherapy or therapeutic radiology, is the use of precisely delivered radiation to treat malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) disease.

The Radiation Oncology Center offers a full spectrum of services, providing customized treatment for each and every patient.

Located in a newly renovated facility, our Center offers a comfortable, patient-centered environment.

By using advanced technology to “map” tumors, our radiation oncologists can design treatments with millimeter accuracy, ensuring that tumors get the most effective dose and healthy tissues and organs are spared. Through the Sutter Health network of services, you have access to a wide range of treatments and procedures.

Services will include: treatment planning, conformal therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, image guided radiation therapy, brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic ablative body radiation.

To learn more about Eden Medical Center’s Radiation Oncology Center, or any of our cancer care services, please call (510) 581-0556 or visit