Posts made in July, 2012

PAMF Adds Palliative Care Services in Palo Alto

Sharon Tapper, M.D., Medical Director, Palliative Care Program, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Expanding on the successful Palliative Care services program launched at Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Santa Cruz in 2011, PAMF has added Palliative Care services to its Palo Alto Center as of June 2012.

The PAMF Palliative Care team now includes a six-person group in Santa Cruz and five team members in Palo Alto.  Services will be offered in the Mountain View area later this year, and the goal is to expand Palliative Care services to include San Mateo and Alameda counties in 2013.

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from pain, symptoms and stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis. Palliative Care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. This specialized medical service is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.

Sharon Tapper, M.D., is Medical Director of PAMF’s Palliative Care program. Board certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine, she serves as an Innovation Advisor for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Innovation Advisors Program. She is also Chief of Staff of Dominican Hospital Palliative Care in Santa Cruz, and Medical Director of Dominical Hospital Palliative Care and Support Services.

“Our goal is to improve quality of life for both patients and their families,” said Dr. Tapper. “We offer a comprehensive palliative care and support services program that is both compassionate and coordinated to help manage each patient optimally. Read More

Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Cigna Collaborate to Create Cigna’s First Accountable Care Program in California

Cigna (NYSE:CI) and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), a not-for-profit health care organization that is a pioneer in the multispecialty group practice of medicine, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna’s approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.

PAMF is part of the Sutter Health family of not-for-profit hospitals and physician organizations that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality. A pioneer in outpatient medicine, PAMF operates more than 40 individual medical clinics that together serve over 750,000 patients in communities covering Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

This patient-centered collaboration is Cigna’s first accountable care initiative in California. It links doctors, hospitals and a single health plan together with the goal of reducing health care costs by improving patients’ health. Read More

Bay Area Students “Walk to the Olympics” – PAMF Donates Pedometers

Students of the Peninsula Bridge summer school program in Palo Alto are celebrating the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London in a unique and healthy way – they are walking 5,731 miles (the distance from the Bay Area to London) from June 25 to July 27, the day the Olympics start. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) donated pedometers to the participating students and their teachers to help them track their progress and reach their goal.

Peninsula Bridge helps motivated middle-school students from under-resourced local communities achieve academic and personal success through a variety of programs. Their five-week, tuition-free summer program held on several Bay Area private school campuses also encourages students to develop healthy habits. This year’s “Walk to the Olympics” event is motivating students to work as a team to achieve their own Olympic goal together.

To kick off the walk in true Olympic style, the Peninsula Bridge summer school program team held an opening ceremony on June 25 at the stadium of Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton for the 500 participating students. The event included an Olympic torch relay and speeches by three former Olympians and medalists: Anne Warner Cribbs (swimming), Chris Dorst (water polo) and Patrick Burrows (field hockey). Read More

PAMF Joins National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities

The Organizational Cultural Competency Committee (OCC) of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), co-chaired by Drs. Barry Eisenberg, M.D., and Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., is pleased to announce its recent pledge to join the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). The NPA was established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in the United States.

As the country and PAMF patients continue to become more diverse, it is important to acknowledge and address health inequities and differences in order to provide the highest quality of care and meet the unique needs of each patient. By pledging to join the NPA’s efforts, PAMF reaffirms its commitment and mission to enhance the well-being of the people in our communities through compassion, excellence and innovation in health care, research and education. Joining the NPA is one step the OCC has taken this year to work towards increasing awareness and address health disparities. The OCC has led multiple initiatives geared toward educating and raising awareness about specific patient populations. “At PAMF, we are developing innovative programs to address the needs of each of our unique populations,” said Dr. Eisenberg. Read More

Avenidas Village & PAMF to Co-Host “Successful Aging Celebration”

Community invited to free event celebrating older adults, July 28

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and Avenidas Village are partnering for better health for older adults and invite the community to the first-ever “Successful Aging Celebration” – an uplifting and educational day open to seniors. The free event will be held at PAMF’s Palo Alto Center campus at 795 El Camino Real on Saturday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a movie screening at 2:30 p.m.

“With the right support systems in place, people today can choose to age well in their own homes,” said Avenidas Village Director Vickie Epstein. “In our partnership with PAMF, we want to provide a continuum of care from medical care to support services to seniors in our community.”

“Successful aging does not happen spontaneously,” said Peter H. Cheng, M.D., chief of PAMF Palo Alto Center’s Geriatric Medicine Department and co-organizer of the event. “Rather than leaving things to chance, seniors need to know where they stand and what to do on their aging journey. The Successful Aging Celebration will honor seniors – and bring together community resources and organizations aiming to help seniors successfully ‘age in place.’  We hope the community will spread the word about this special event and join us in what will be a day to remember!” Read More