Health News from Sutter Health

This is the season know for family gatherings. Unfortunately, families and friends share more than presents and pie - many spread their germs! Sure, you can protect yourseitriage.jpglf by washing your hands and keeping a good distance from others; but when Aunt Bertha with the cough or your nephew with the runny nose smacks a big kiss on your cheek, it's good to know where to find the closest Sutter Urgent Care or Express Care clinic.

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Though the nation is experiencing its first ever two-year decline in elective prematureprofessionals_medicalresources.jpg births, three Northern California, Sutter Health affiliated hospitals have partnered with the March of Dimes to participate in their pilot toolkit to inform expectant mothers the dangers of electing to deliver their baby prematurely in an effort to alleviate the rate in California.


Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame are among nine hospitals statewide helping March of Dimes pilot this new hospital toolkit to ensure that all deliveries are done at the right time.


The toolkit, Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age, provides patients educational materials focused on the adverse consequences of early elective delivery as well as tools for health care providers and hospital staff to develop efficient and successful quality improvement program.


Traditionally, pregnancy has been thought of as a nine-month process. Today, through advances in science, it is now seen that pregnancy should be measured in weeks as 40 weeks is the accepted benchmark for full term pregnancy. The ultimate goal with this program is to eliminate all elective early births prior to 39 weeks, and the toolkit shows the development of the brain at 40 weeks, opposed to the brain at 36 weeks, or nine months, another viable way to help dissuade expectant mothers.


"The last six weeks of pregnancy, the babies brain nearly doubles," said Leslie Kowalewski, associate state director for the March of Dimes in California. "The baby's brain connections for balance and coordination are still developing in that time."


A lot of times these elective early births occur is because mother's grow tired of being pregnant are do not want to deal with the stress of pregnancy any longer.


"If you ask any women why they want to deliver early and they'll tell you that the last few weeks are rough," said Dr. Connie Mitchell of the California Department of Public Health's Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division. "If she can wait, the mother and the baby will be much better off."


The success of the implementation of this program could not only change birth outcomes, but this could ultimately be a benchmark moment for early delivery rates nation wide.


Please visit for more information on this tool kit developed in partnership with March of Dimes, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), and the California Department of Health, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Division.


Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is the foundation of Sutter Health, Northern California's largest health network with 29 acute care hospitals, more than 5,000 primary care physicians and specialists, home health, occupational health, psychiatric care and more. The downtown Sacramento medical center is made up of several facilities that include Sutter General Hospital, Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sutter Oaks Midtown, and Sutter Center for Psychiatry. Visit the website at www.sutterhealth.org.

Sutter Roseville Medical Center

SRMC is an acute care medical facility and is a level II American College of Surgeons verified Trauma Center serving a seven-county region that includes Placer, Yolo, Nevada, Sutter and Yuba counties, and portions of Sacramento and El Dorado counties. Visit the hospital at www.sutterroseville.org.

Mills-Penninsula Health Services

Mills Health Center in San Mateo provides a wide range of outpatient services, including surgery, rehabilitation and diagnostics. It also is home to Mills-Peninsula's inpatient rehabilitation program. For more information visit www.mills-penninsula.org.







PJ Petersen is a student at California State University, Sacramento and an intern with Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region

When Rosie Carollo was hospitalized at the Sutter Children's Center, Sacramento due to a rare form of epilepsy at juholidaytoydrive.jpgst 6 months old, she was cheered up by the toys, movies and activities in the hospital's Child Life Program.

After her passing in 2004, just shy of her second birthday, her parents, Nicole and George Carollo, were set on keeping Rosie's memory alive by giving back to the Sutter Children's Center located at Sutter Memorial Hospital after they provided such great care for their young daughter.

"When Rosie passed away, we wanted to do something in her memory to repay the wonderful care we got and to help out other children like Rosie in the Child Life Program," said Nicole Carollo.

While walking trough their neighborhood admiring holiday decorations and looking to get a few ideas for their own house, the Carollos noticed bins in front of houses for people to donate food as they too strolled down the street admiring the decorations. It was at this moment that the Carollos had the idea to have a toy drive in Rosie's honor.

After seeing how much joy that toys brought Rosie while she was in the hospital, the family decided the best way to honor Rosie and give back to the hospital was by donating toys to the unit in hopes of creating joy for other children during their time in the program.

The Carollos began their charitable toy drive in 2007 when they were inspired to give back to the Sutter Children's Center after experiencing first-hand the heartache of having a child hospitalized there, but at the same time were overjoyed with the care that the facility gave their young daughter.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Rosie Carollo Christmas Lights Toy Drive, which will be held from 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, and is part of the Carollos' elaborate Christmas display at their home at 3961 Fair Oaks Blvd. in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento. New, unwrapped toy donations, as well as any cash or check donations, will be collected to give to the brave children at the Children's Center.

In the three previous years, this event has made quite a splash in donations. During the inaugural event in 2007, the Carollos collected 741 items and $236 in cash. In the three years of its existence this special event has collected nearly 2,500 items and approximately $3,676.

This year, the Carollos and the Child Life Program are requesting: non-fabric infant rattles and toys, board games, toy doctor kits, crib-side soothers - such as Fisher Price's aquarium or rain forest - arts and crafts kits, and comfortable slippers for school-aged and teen patients.

"The first year we did it, we had no idea it would become this big," said Nicole. "We just thought it would be a little toy drive."

Four years later, the Carollos look forward to the company of hundreds of Sacramento residents who gather in celebration of little Rosie's life and the life of every child cared for at the Sutter Children's Center.

"This is easily the happiest day of the year for me," said Nicole.

Guests and their families enjoy the elaborate Christmas lights display along with cookies, hot chocolate and even a special visit from Santa Claus. In addition, Sacramento firefighters will be there giving out official fire department stickers and coloring books.

The Carollo family - which now also includes 5-year-old Claire, 2-year-old Grace and 1-year-old Lily - has made it their lifelong goal to spread little Rosie's story and increase the awareness of infantile spasms. In the future they hope to set up a foundation in Rosie's name to raise funds for infantile spasm research.

If you would like to be a part of this event but cannot make it out on Dec. 12, the family is gladly accepting donations for the entire month of December at their doorstep located at 3961 Fair Oaks Blvd, at the corner of San Ramon Way and Fair Oaks Boulevard. For further information on how you can help, e-mail Nicole Carollo at N_Carollo@yahoo.com.

The Child Life Program is an important part of each child's hospital experience at the Sutter Children's Center. Child Life specialists work with the child, parents and hospital staff to make life as normal as possible and to minimize the emotional trauma to the infant, child or adolescent and his or her family. As a member of the health care team in both outpatient and inpatient settings, Child Life specialists provide essential life experiences for gaining a sense of mastery, for play, for learning, for self-expression, for family involvement and for peer interaction. The program also "employs" three full-time canine therapists as part of its Pet Therapy Program.
The Sutter Children's Center is a comprehensive children's "hospital-within-a-hospital" that offers on-site 24-hour pediatric and neonatal care physicians. It provides a patient- and family-oriented approach of more than 50 board-certified subspecialists and a full medical transport team. The Sutter Children's Center is nationally recognized as a center for excellence by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions for its outstanding care for children. Additionally, the Sutter Children's Center is approved by California Children's Services and is the only non-university facility in Northern California granted associate membership with the California Children's Hospital Association. For more information, visit http://checksutterfirst.org/children/.


By Maxine Barish-Wreden, M.D. and Kay Judge, M.D. with Sutter Center for Integrative Health

The holidays are here - a time of frenetic shopping, eating, traveling and socializing. A time of gaining that holiday 10 pounds and of getting the holiday blues. While you are busy with the added chores and stress of the season, we would like to encourage you to spend some time to focus on your mind, body and spirit health.

Since we know it may be hard to do in this chaotic season, here are some quick reminders that will leave you hale and hearty to ring in the new year.


1. Move into wellness. Find a way to commit to exercise 30 minutes a day, daily. This will provide balance to the excesses of the season.

2. Say no to the sweet tooth. Processed carbs (bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, pies, etc.) can wreak havoc on your health during this holiday season. Pre-plan how you will limit your intake of these things and still enjoy the season. Limit desserts to two a week, for example. Say no to egg nog or eat only your favorite carb in the buffet line.

3. Give where it counts. Take a step back from a focus on "affluenza" - shopping, gifts and material acquisitions. Volunteer your time or resources instead to a favorite cause, shelter, pet adoption agency, nursing home, community activity or school.

4. Focus on spirit. Find activities or places that give you a sense of peace and fulfillment (nature, prayer, reading, yoga, hobbies/sports). Carve time out for these this holiday season.

5. Watch the bubbly. Alcohol-related accidents and deaths rise during the holidays. So avoid drinking and driving.

Alcohol, stress and depression can all be interrelated during the holidays. See a counselor or your doctor if you get the holiday blues, and avoid seeking solace from the bottle.

6. Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for this holiday season? Reflect on three things you are happy for each morning, and you will find your day starting in peace.

7. Let go of the need to be perfect. Your house need not be immaculate, the cards need not be done on time, and all the holiday parties need not be attended. Do the best you can; everything else will fall into place. Surrender to the flow of life.

8. Shave down your to-do list. Write down a list of things you must do this holiday season. Now cut off one-third of the activities that are not absolutely essential. Your mind and body will be more peaceful this season because of it.

We hope you have a great holiday season - holistically!

Learn more about Sutter Center for Integrative Health.

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