Health News from Sutter Health

The New Year is upon us, in all of its promising potential. A year of new beginnings, resolutions and possibilities.

There may be much we cannot change around us - the economy, our jobs, housing, insurance. But we all can focus on our most important foundation - our health - to help carry us successfully through the next year.

A theme of simplicity may help herald change this New Year and can be approached in many different holistic ways:

I will simplify my food. I will look at the ingredient labels of everything I eat and choose the foods with the fewest artificial ingredients, chemicals and additives.
I will pick whole grains and natural products in their most simple state possible (e.g. apple over apple sauce, milk over ice cream). I will take more time to shop for groceries and cook fresh produce, and eat out less.

I will simplify my finances. Instead of focusing on acquisitions this year, I will pick a debt to reduce. I will look at my monthly expenditures and find something to cut out - something I don't need or use. I will cut down on the frequency of shopping expeditions. I will carpool. I will eat out half as much as I used to. I will defer on a new wardrobe. I will explore second-hand shops. I will recycle.

I will simplify my living area. I will create serene and clean living surroundings. I will focus on what I don't need in my house and office, and give it away or recycle it (old furniture, books, clothes, toys). I will bring fresh plants into my living spaces. I will move into a smaller living area with smaller monthly expenditures. I will empty half of my clothes closet - anything I haven't worn in the past two years. 

I will simplify my health and my pill box. I will partner with my doctor in helping focus on prevention of one reversible illness I might have (pain, high cholesterol, obesity, depression, smoking). I will create an exercise regimen that I can do daily, with ease, which strengthens my body. By achieving better health, I will try to get rid of lifestyle meds - medications that I am on due to the lifestyle I had been choosing.

I will simplify my time commitments. I will say no to anything that is not a resounding yes. I will work less overtime. I will volunteer only for causes I am passionate about. I will simplify my social calendar. I will schedule time for exercise in my daily calendar, and watch less than one hour of TV daily. I will sleep seven hours a night.

We wish you a simple New Year, full of health, peace, and serenity.

Drs. Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden are medical directors of Sutter Downtown Integrative Medicine program. Have a question related to alternative medicine? Email adrenaline@sacbee.com.

November 14, 2011
Sutter's Special Start Program

This year Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento introduced a new program to provide pregnant women and their partners support for their baby with a condition that will require special care after delivery. It can be hard for families they learn their baby may have special needs. Our goal is to offer as much education and support to the family as possible and help them understand that they are not alone. Thumbnail image for Sutter_Special_Start.jpg


Called the Sutter Special Start Program, our coordinator offers education about the baby's health condition, coordinates a special team of health care professionals to be available for the baby's delivery and ongoing care and links the family with other parents who share in your same experience. Because Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento believes all families should have access to education and support, all these services are free of charge.


The following conditions are ones that the Special Support Program covers:

·         Cystic Fibrosis

·         Cleft Lip/Palate

·         Neural Tube Defects

·         Congenital Heart Defects

·         Abdominal Wall Defects


For more information, contact Jacqueline Masullo, program coordinator, at masullj@sutterhealth.org or call (916) 453-3468. Learn more about Sutter Women's Services for pregnancy and childbirth.

The 2011 Sutter Cancer Center Quilt Auction is going on now at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. More than 700 quilts are currently on display at Sutter's downtown medical complex, including Sutter Cancer Center, Sutter Capitol Pavilion and Sutter General Hospital. 

Silent Auction: Quilts are currently on display for the silent auction which ends November 5.

Online Auction: Visit https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?documentId=140235075

Live Auction: The Live Auction is the highlight of Auction Day. At 10 AM on November 5, 2011 the auctioneer will open the bidding on 50 exceptional quilts. The bidding is fast-paced and lots of fun. After the Live Auction there will be time to see if you are still the high bidder on your Silent Auction quilts or to bid on additional quilts. The Live Auction is held at Sutter Cancer Center, 2800 L Street, Sacramento.

The Breast Cancer Quilt Auction is a community service project to raise funds for Sutter Cancer Center's breast cancer research and patient treatment programs. In total, more than 1900 quilts and art quilt pieces were donated to the four prior auctions providing over $425,000 for the Cancer Center programs. Learn more at http://www.suttermedicalcenter.org/quiltauction/.

In the past year, Donna became more and more familiar with cancer. She started off the year modeling for the Cancer Resource Center and ended it with a champagne celebration for a good friend who had found out she did not have kidney cancer.  The day after the party, she discovered an unusual spotting of blood in her underwear.Donna_GYN_Cancer.JPG

"First I thought it was a urine infection," said Donna. "But the bleeding didn't stop."

Donna went into see her OB-GYN for an exam and ultrasound. The results showed that she had a thickening of the uterus. She was then given the news that she had an aggressive form of uterine cancer.

"My doctor told me that my best chance of survival would be if they sent me to Sutter Cancer Center," said Donna. "So they referred me to the Gynecological Cancer Clinic and gynecological oncologist Dr. Susannah Mourton."

Even with the looming thought of her cancer diagnosis on her mind, Donna continued with her life and tried to stay positive by going on a pre-planned girls snowshoe trip. When she returned she got the call from Dr. Mourton's office to come in for an appointment.

"I immediately fell in love with Dr. Mourton," said Donna. "We exchanged stories about our dogs and hobbies and she immediately put me at ease. She was honest and didn't guarantee me any results. She told me to take things one step at a time."

Donna had a few more tests and a PET scan. The results showed that her cancer was contained in her uterus and Dr. Mourton gave her the good news that she was a candidate for da Vinci Robotic surgery.

The night before surgery Donna was surrounded by her husband and best friends. "When I went into pre-op at Sutter Memorial Hospital the anesthesiologist Charles Collins, M.D., was so relaxed and had a great sense of humor," said Donna. "And when they rolled me into surgery Dr. Mourton showed me the da Vinci machine and how it worked. I was surprisingly at ease."

Donna woke up a few hours after surgery. Her nurses explained that they would help her sit-up and eventually walk around. But when they left, Donna decided to try it on her own - and thanks to her strong core muscles from her yoga practice - she was able to support herself.

"The morning after surgery Dr. Mourton came to see me and asked how I was doing," said Donna. "I told her I was fabulous. And after she examined me, I was discharged to go home - I wasn't even in my hospital bed for 24 hours."

Donna returned home to the care of her husband. Within a few days she was grocery shopping. Soon after she asked Dr. Mourton when she could re-start her yoga and weight lifting.

"Dr. Mourton told me I could do yoga, but that I should listen to my body," said Donna. "I did learn the more rest I had, the faster I healed. So I slowed down a bit."

Donna is on the track to remission with sessions of chemotherapy. She has rejoined her Singing and Dancing Jazz Choir and walking routine. And in the spirit of her hair loss, her good friend shaved off all his hair and they decorated their heads with spray paint.

"I believe in living my life to the fullest," said Donna. "I have some great wigs and still love to be social and go out to parties. I am so thankful for Dr. Mourton. She definitely had the right touch. And I couldn't imagine having this treatment and what my limitations would be if I didn't have the option for minimally invasive surgery."

Learn more about da Vinci surgery for GYN cancer.

Gary Grinberg, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento addresses the factors that are weighed when considering weight-loss surgery. grinberg.jpg

In order to talk about who is a good candidate we first must define certain medical terms. It was a common practice to say that an individual has a diagnosis of obesity if they are 100lbs over their ideal body weight. This definition however, did not account for the person's height and as such a more accurate measurement was created called body mass index or BMI. BMI accounts for both height and weight thus giving a more precise understanding of patient's overall health.  Obesity is defined as BMI >30, morbid obesity as BMI>40. Follow our link to calculate your body mass index.

Weight loss surgery is a very effective and safe method of significant weight loss for patient's who have a clinical diagnosis of obesity. We now know that obesity increases individuals chances of diabetes almost four fold, cardiovascular disease by 300% and increases risk of death up to 50-100% compared to a person of normal weight. Obesity also significantly increases the risk of developing certain cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer.

At this time, the surgery is indicated for any person who's BMI is greater than 40 kg/m2. However, if a patient is afflicted with illnesses related to obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or lipids, sleep apnea and others, the surgery is indicated for BMI 30 or greater. Thats because many of these illnesses can be improved or even cured after surgery. If you meet the above criteria, your weight loss physician will be able to further determine if you are a good candidate for surgery.

Learn more about bariatric surgery at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. 

Thumbnail image for rosellini da Vinci.jpgThese days there are not many topics that are "off the table" when it comes to talking with your girlfriends. Still, some women don't feel comfortable talking about the gynecological issues they face.   Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine bleeding - the list goes on - are common and treatable.

The gynecological experts at Sutter Health treat a wide variety of gynecologic conditions. Our philosophy is to identify the least invasive and most effective approach depending on the woman's unique diagnosis. There are a number of minimally invasive surgical techniques available today, which can often be performed in place of traditional surgeries requiring long incisions and lengthy recoveries. Many of these techniques can now be performed in an office setting and under light sedation rather than general anesthesia.

Minimally Invasive Treatment Options
·         da Vinci®: Computer-Assisted Surgery

Learn more about gynecological conditions treated with minimally invasive surgery at Sutter. 

February 1, 2011
Expecting Multiples?

Are you expecting twins, triplets or more in 2011? Sutter Moms of Multiples (MOMs) Center provides comprehensive supportive care to mothers expecting twins, triplets or more, to make their pregnancy a positive and exciting experience. The program assists your Sutter obstetrician by providing a network of support to follow mothers through their entire pregnancy and beyond.

Because multiple gestation pregnancies are often consider high-risk, this program will provide valuable assistance to you, your spouse, and your physician beyond the medical aspects of your pregnancy.  Sutter Moms of Multiples Clinic is designed to improve perinatal outcomes and enhance the pregnancy and birthing experience for mothers.

Sutter works with referring physicians and provides prompt and ongoing reports about the support services their patient is receiving in the program.

The program is now offered free of charge! Learn more at http://www.checksutterfirst.org/women/services/momsofmultiples.cfm

January 14, 2011
Tour our Birthing Centers

More babies are born at Sutter Health facilities in the Sacramento Region than any other health care system. Our high risk pregnancy experts, neonatal intensive care units, personalized birthing experience and alternative labor options are among the reasons families choose Sutter.

Watch a video about our Family Birthing Centers at Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Sutter Davis Hospital and Sutter Solano Medical Center.

Learn more about our prenatal care and birthing options at www.sutterwomens.org.

Health care. Anytime. Anywhere.mychart_logo_app.jpg

Want to access your medical records on the go? Now, when you sign up for Sutter Health's My Health Online (available as the MyChart app on iTunes), you get secure, on-the-go access via the iPhone®, iPad© or iPod touch®!

  • Send secure emails to your doctor
  • View most lab results and upcoming appointments
  • Receive preventive care reminders
  • View your medications, allergies, immunizations and more

You must be a patient of Sutter Medical Foundation and enrolled in MyHealthOnline (formerly MySutterOnline). Learn how to enroll.

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.

Download our latest free application, iTriage, to your smart phone and you will always know where to go, where ever you are in Sacramento, Northern California, and beyond!

Watch a video

Download iTriage

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.







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.
November 12, 2010
Start Eating Healthy

genthumb.jpg With the holidays right around the corner, it might be beneficial to begin eating healthy today.

In honor of "Start Eating Healthy Day," Reetu Sharma, M.D., cardiologist with the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, shares information about tasty, healthy food alternatives to holiday temptations.

View the story as reported by New10.

Mary Pare, Breast Cancer Navigator at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, was interviewed live on KCRA's morning show on the importance of self-exams in order to detect breast cancer.Watch the show.

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