Posts made in December, 2010

PAMF Researchers Awarded AHRQ Grant to Study Trends in Obesity Among Complex Patients

Ming Tai-Seale, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, PAMF Research Institute

Researchers at the PAMF Research Institute (PAMFRI) have been awarded a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct a study of Trends in Obesity Progression Among Complex Patients. Obesity accounts for up to 15 percent of deaths in the United States. In 2007-2008, the prevalence of obesity among adults was 33.8 percent.

“Hypertension and depression are also leading causes of disability and often co-occur with obesity,” said Principal Investigator Ming Tai-Seale, Ph.D., MPH, Senior Investigator, Health Policy Research at PAMFRI.” Obesity threatens to reverse the net benefit of declining smoking rates on the U.S. population and it reduces quality of life and contributes to premature death – these frequently occur with depression and cardiovascular diseases – which translates to tremendous health and economic costs.” Read More

PAMF, Mills-Peninsula Medical Group Form New Physician Group in San Mateo County

A new multispecialty physician group, Peninsula Medical Clinic (PMC), has been formed in San Mateo County. PMC physicians will contract with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), a Sutter Health affiliate, to provide physician services to San Mateo County residents in conjunction with a network of more than 350 independent physicians who are currently members of Mills-Peninsula Medical Group (MPMG). The deal received final approval from MPMG shareholders in voting that ended December 9 and will become effective on April 1, 2010.

PAMF, PMC and MPMG will work together in a financially and clinically integrated network of physicians to help meet San Mateo County’s current and future health care needs. PMC, which will initially include a group of approximately 40 family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians and cardiologists, will also work closely with the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (PAFMG), which was formed by the merger of physicians of Camino Medical Group (CMG), Palo Alto Medical Clinic (PAMC) and Santa Cruz Medical Clinic (SCMC) on January 1, 2008. PAFMG consists of more than 900 physicians who serve patients through facilities in Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. In the fall of 2010, a number of PMC physician offices will be relocated to a new medical office building currently under construction adjacent to the new Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame.

“Our current business model is not sustainable. Our primary care physicians are aging just as the population is aging and it has been difficult to recruit new primary care physicians to the community,” said Brian Roach, M.D., current president of MPMG and future president of PAMF’s Mills-Peninsula Division. “We will draw upon the recruiting expertise, fiscal strength, business expertise and brand of PAMF to better recruit and retain physicians in San Mateo County, especially in adult primary care. Through a combination of new physician recruitment and transition of existing MPMG physicians, our plan is to grow the PMC practice to more than 200 physicians within the next decade.”

“MPMG and PAMF have continually been ranked among the best in the state for quality of care and patient satisfaction,” said David Druker, CEO of PAMF. “The historical success of both organizations provides a solid foundation for us to develop a sustainable multispecialty group practice that will benefit patients for many years to come.”

“We welcome this opportunity to provide our community with an integrated multispecialty medical group dedicated to excellent patient-centered care,” said Richard Morgan, M.D., president and board chair of PMC.

PAMF, MPMG and PMC are committed to building a patient-centered care delivery arrangement that will:

• Offer patients in San Mateo County access to care that is seamless, contemporary, and coordinated across a comprehensive and efficient network of ambulatory and acute care providers;
• Enhance the recruitment and retention of physicians in the region, especially in the adult primary care specialties;
• Facilitate the adoption of a uniform electronic health record to further enhance quality outcomes, continuity of care, and clinical integration; and
• Provide physicians and patients with access to better infrastructure, including state of the art ambulatory facilities and diagnostic capabilities

“We have been exploring a formal association with MPMG for several years. Throughout this process, physician leaders from MPMG worked closely with PAMF to create the new network and make PMC’s formation a reality,” said Cecilia Montalvo, regional vice president for Strategy and Business Development in Sutter Health’s Peninsula Coastal Region. “A number of factors, including the growing shortage of primary care, made this the right time to form PMC and the physician network with MPMG.”

PAMF First on the Peninsula to Offer New Treatment for Spider Veins



Dr. Corito Tolentino, Interventional Radiologist, PAMF Vascular Surgery Department

Nearly half of all women have spider veins (medically known as telangiectasias), small red and purple blood vessels on the thighs or lower legs, that can be unsightly and even cause some discomfort. Although laser and saline treatments to eliminate or reduce spider veins have been available for years, a new more effective treatment called Veinwave™ is now available at the Vascular Center of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. PAMF is one of only two providers in the San Francisco Bay Area to offer this new improved procedure.

Different from lasers, Veinwave, approved by the FDA in June 2009, is a relatively painless outpatient procedure with no risk of bruising or scarring. Veinwave uses a small heated wire to target each individual vein for treatment.

“Patients find the Veinwave procedure easy to tolerate and they are pleased to see their symptoms abate and legs look better after healing,” said Corito Tolentino, M.D., vascular expert at PAMF’s Mountain View Vascular Center.

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