Monday, December 5, 2016

Sutter Amador Hospital reduces Emergency Department wait times by 50 percent

JACKSON, CA – Wait times just got drastically shorter for patients in the Sutter Amador Hospital (SAH) Emergency Department thanks to the hospital’s internal improvement initiative and a patient-focused emergency department staff.
The emergency department implemented a triage process that was designed to expedite patients through the department with a focus on getting the patients to the doctor as soon as possible. While the emergency department team has been working on the process improvements for six months, the triage process was officially streamlined into effect on Sept. 12.
“We have seen a 50 percent reduction in our wait time since implementing the improvement initiative,” said SAH’s David Beffa, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department since March 2016. “Right now the team is averaging 15 minutes, but previously the wait times had been as long as 30 to 40 minutes. Our goal is for our patients to see a doctor in 12.”
As SAH’s Emergency Department is the sole community provider for Amador County, the focus on limiting wait times is the hospital’s main focus especially when the hospital reaches max capacity. The emergency department sees approximately 80 patients per day.
“Our staff have evaluated and invested in the process improvements to make our emergency department more efficient for our patients and community members,” said Anne Platt, Sutter Amador Hospital CEO. “We are committed to deliver the best quality care for our patients in our Emergency Department and reducing wait times is a large factor for us to be successful.”
“I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was seen,” said a recent unidentified emergency room patient. “The staff was great and took care of me in a very timely manner.”
About Sutter Amador Hospital
Sutter Amador Hospital is part of Sutter Health, a not-for-profit, community-based health network located throughout Northern California. The hospital’s rich history of Amador County dates back as far as 1876. The facility has 52 licensed beds and is the only hospital in Amador County serving a population of more than 40,000.

For more on the hospital, visit the website at

Monday, November 21, 2016

Free Flu Clinic at Sutter Amador - Sat Dec 3

Sutter Amador Hospital is hosting a FREE FLU CLINIC!
Located at the Sutter Amador Outpatient Services Center
between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on December 3.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

National Hospice Month: Know Your Healthcare Options Before a Crisis Strikes: Know Your Healthcare Options Before a Crisis Strikes

Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Stresses the Importance of Advance Care Planning and Talking with Loved Ones
(Jackson, CA) – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospices across the country are reaching out to help people understand the importance of planning for the care they would want if they were facing a serious or life-limiting illness.
“One of the things that hospice and palliative care professionals hear from families again and again is ‘why didn’t we learn about hospice care earlier’” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “The best time to learn about hospice or palliative care is before you are facing a medical crisis.”
Hospice and palliative care combines high-quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious or terminal illness. Palliative care offers comfort and support earlier in the course of a serious illness. Hospice brings patients and family caregivers high-quality, compassionate care and support when a cure is not possible. Together, palliative care and hospice can help people live each moment of life to the fullest.
Advance care planning involves talking about the care you would and would not want – and then completing an advance directive to document and share those wishes with others.
More information about hospice, palliative care, and advance care planning is available from Hospice of Amador & Calaveras, your local hospice, serving Amador & Calaveras counties for nearly 35 years.
NHPCO’s national campaign, Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice, offers an additional online resource, the "What Are My Options?" interactive tool designed to provide information that will help guide healthcare choices if a person or a loved one is facing a serious illness... especially if that illness is getting worse. In less than 60 seconds, website visitors will have important answers to help guide decisions. Learn what options might be right for you or a loved one at
For additional information on how to have these very important conversations with your loved ones please visit

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hospice of Amador: It’s never too late to say "thank you" to our nation’s Veterans, even at the end of life.

It’s never too late to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s Veterans, even at the end of life.

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military.

These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end. 

As our nation marks Veterans Day on November 11, Hospice of Amador & Calaveras wants to share its commitment to increase Veterans’ access to compassionate, high quality hospice and palliative care for those who are facing serious and life-limiting illness.  As part of this commitment, Hospice of Amador & Calaveras is a part of an innovative program, We Honor Veterans, developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through We Honor Veterans, we are ensuring that our organization is equipped to address the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans.

It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year – or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually.  A generation of World War II and Korean War Veterans are facing end-of-life care decisions now, and they are quickly being followed by younger Vietnam War Veterans, many of whom are confronting serious illnesses at an even earlier age.

The liberty that we, as US citizens, enjoy comes at a price paid by these valiant men and women. Let each of us make sure we do our part to recognize and support them throughout their lives.

If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice and palliative care brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about the services that hospice and palliative care can provide. Contact us at Hospice of Amador & Calaveras at (209) 223-5500 or (209) 736-9442 to learn more about the ways we support our nation’s heroes.

To all our nation’s Veterans, thank you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Receives $5,000 Grant from Sutter Health

(Jackson) – Hospice of Amador & Calaveras recently received another generous grant from The Sutter Health Valley Area.  The $5,000 grant supports Hospice of Amador & Calaveras’ Amador County Respite Program.  The program provides additional respite care services for caregivers in Amador County. 

Caring for a loved one can be very fulfilling and an incredibility loving experience, but it is also extremely exhausting. Respite services provide the much needed, temporary break from the often exhausting challenges the family caregiver faces. Respite has been shown to help sustain family caregiver health and well-being, and avoid or delay out-of-home placements. Without respite, not only can families suffer economically and emotionally, caregivers themselves may face serious health and social risks as a result of stress associated with continuous care giving.

Hospice of Amador & Calaveras’ Executive Director, Dan Riordan, said “We are very appreciative to Sutter Health for their on-going generosity, partnership and responsiveness. We see the benefits to our patients, and families each and every day.” Dan added, “Ongoing community support like this enables Hospice of Amador & Calaveras to meet its mission of providing quality end-of-life care to patients and families regardless of their ability to pay for those services.”

To learn more about how Hospice of Amador & Calaveras might help you or your loved one please call 209-223-5500. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sutter Imaging in Amador Offers Free Mammograms to Underinsured Women

JACKSON, Calif. – In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sutter Imaging in Amador County is offering free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women on Saturday, Oct. 8.

It is one of eight Sutter Imaging sites in the greater Sacramento region that have set aside one Saturday this month to perform the free digital screening mammograms for uninsured and under-insured women who otherwise may not have access to these potentially life-saving screenings.
“Early detection can lead to a longer, healthier life,” said Sutter Amador Hospital Radiologist Phil Granchi, M.D. “Unfortunately, some women view mammograms as ‘optional,’ especially those without insurance or who have high copayments and deductibles. We want to help create better access for them and put them on a path toward wellness.”

The Sutter Imaging in Amador County is located at 100 Mission Blvd. in Jackson. To sign up for a mammogram, call the office at (209) 223-7560. An appointment is required and space is limited; however, there was still access for the Sutter Amador location as of Wednesday, Oct. 5.

When the free mammogram program discovers abnormal results, it connects the women with community agencies or their insurance options to provide follow-up care. The first free mammography day this year was held Oct. 1 in Elk Grove, and 23 women participated. At least one patient had a positive result for an abnormality and will be receiving follow-up care; this wouldn’t have been caught if not for the free mammography event in Elk Grove.

Thanks to community philanthropy efforts, women throughout the Gold Country now have access to the latest 3D mammography technology that is capable of discovering previously hidden tumors and decreasing the chances of what are termed “false positives.” A new, top-of-the-line Hologic Tomosynthesis 3D Mammography unit debuted earlier this year at Sutter Amador Hospital, offering mammograms with images that are much clearer and more comprehensive. It is the first 3D mammography unit in the greater area, giving Sutter Amador mammography technology that’s on par with major hospitals and radiological centers in the nation.

Here are the dates and locations of the free mammogram sessions that still have access for appointments. To sign up, contact the Sutter Imaging location you want to attend directly at the number provided.

Oct. 8: Sutter Imaging Roseville II, 2 Medical Plaza, Suite 105, Roseville, (916) 865-1432.
Oct. 8: Sutter Imaging Amador, 100 Mission Blvd., Jackson, (209) 223-7560.
Oct. 8: Sutter Imaging Fairfield, 2700 Low Court, Fairfield, (707) 432-2500.
Oct. 15: Sutter Imaging Sacramento, 3161 L St., Sacramento, (916) 262-9534.
Oct. 15: Sutter Imaging Davis, 2020 Sutter Place, Suite 102, Davis, (530) 747-5030.
Oct. 22: Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, 11815 Education St., Auburn, (530) 886-6562.

Comprehensive, fully integrated imaging services are part of the Sutter Health all-inclusive approach to patient care. With top-notch technology and compassionate staff, Sutter Imaging’s goal is to make every experience as easy and as comfortable as possible. For more information about Sutter Imaging centers, call 1-877-515-0053 or visit

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sutter Medical Foundation Amador Pediatrics Office Recognized with Challenge Award for Fluoride Program

JACKSON, Calif. – Sutter Medical Foundation Amador Pediatrics Office, in partnership with First 5 Amador and Amador County Public Health, was recognized with the 2016 California State Association of Counties Challenge Award.

Challenge Awards recognize the innovation and best practices in county government as they find effective, cost-saving ways to provide program and services to their citizens.

The program, Improving Oral Health for Amador’s Children, provided funding for approximately 10 years for oral health education, screenings and fluoride varnish treatment for children in preschools, playgroups and childcare centers. In an effort to reach more children, free screenings and fluoride varnish treatments were provided by volunteer dental hygienists to approximately 100 children at annual children’s fairs as well as in a medical setting such as the Amador Pediatrics office, which launched a pilot in December 2014.

Mindy Epperson, R.N., Sutter Amador Pediatrics, championed the medical segment of the program. She worked alongside Nina Machado from First 5 Amador, Connie Vaccarezza from Public Health and Pediatrician David Stone, M.D., Sutter Medical Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Dr. Stone. “When you look at the other organizations who won Challenge Awards this year and the initiatives that they developed, we are so proud to be in their company.”

The response for the program from both parents and the community has been outstanding.
“Through this program we have been able to provide education and a wonderful service to families throughout our area,” said Dr. Stone. “We are proud to partner with First 5 and Amador County and are grateful that we can improve the lives of the pediatric patients in our community.”

Amador’s Oral Health Task Force members received multiple inquiries from other counties to learn more about the comprehensive system and how it can be replicated in their areas. The office received a grant to assist with start-up costs and the system is now in place and sustainable at the site that serves the majority of Amador County’s children as well as many from the neighboring Calaveras County.

During the first eight months of the pilot, Sutter Amador Pediatrics more than tripled the number of fluoride varnish treatments offered in previous years. The goal is now to expand this practice to all medical offices in Amador that provide care for young children.

In addition to Dr. Stone, Sutter Amador Pediatrics office features physicians Aye Moe, M.D., and Amy Appleton, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner Denise Lack, Ph.D. – who are excited to care for your children. The office, located at 100 Mission Blvd., is now accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call 209-257-1722.

PHOTO: Angel Bloom applies a fluoride varnish to Amiyah Smith’s teeth at the Sutter Medical Foundation Amador Pediatrics Office during the toddler’s recent well-check visit.