Posts made in December, 2012

Advanced Illness Management Care Program Added in San Mateo County

Reduced Hospitalizations and Health Care Costs a Key Goal

Sutter Health’s innovative Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® program is now available to San Mateo County patients with late-stage chronic illness, marking a major expansion of these services in Northern California. The expansion extends access to eligible patients of Palo Alto Medical Foundation in San Mateo County, as well as, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Mills-Peninsula Medical Group and Sutter Care at Home.

Sutter Health’s Dr. Brad Stuart (right) participating in a successful aging seminar hosted by the PAMF David Druker Center for Health Care Innovation.

“AIM uses a nurse-led interdisciplinary team to bridge the gaps between the hospital, the community physician’s office, and home for our sickest patients,” said Brad Stuart, M.D., Senior Medical Director for Sutter Care at Home, an affiliate of Sutter Health. “Quality, affordable care for all of our patients is a priority and the expansion of AIM systemwide complements our mission and values. AIM supports giving the right care, at the right time, at the right level of care for the patient’s goals.”

The AIM program provides nurse-led care management, palliative care, and advance care planning for patients with late-stage chronic illness. With a pilot in Sutter Health’s Sacramento Sierra Region showing positive outcomes, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded Sutter Health a three-year, $13-million Health Care Innovation Award to support the expansion of AIM throughout Northern California.

The Sacramento Sierra Region pilot showed reduced hospitalizations and improved care transitions, contributing to an improved quality of life for patients enrolled in AIM.

Together, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Mills-Peninsula Health Services comprise Sutter Health’s Peninsula Coastal Region.


Margie O’Clair, 650.934.6970;

Diabetes Prevention Interventions Reduce Obesity, Health Risks for Primary Care Patients

An original investigation by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Research Institute has found that two lifestyle interventions for overweight and obese patients at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease lead to significant, sustainable weight loss and improved cardiometabolic risk factors.

A report on the research was published online on December 10, 2012, in JAMA Internal Medicine (formerly Archive of Internal Medicine).

“Physicians and health systems have long been looking for effective weight loss treatments that can be used in primary care practices to help reduce obesity and its associated health risks. This study provides two empirically supported programs that can be readily adopted into routine practice,” said Jun Ma, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Health Services Research of the PAMF Research Institute. Dr. Ma was the principal investigator and lead author of the study.

Standard Body Mass Index chart

Nearly 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This large population is a critical target group for intervention. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention targeting modest weight loss and increased physical activity has been shown to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes among high-risk adults by nearly 60 percent. Lifestyle interventions work but need to be implemented in the primary care setting, a goal that has not yet been achieved.

About the Study

In 2009, Dr. Ma and colleagues launched a three-year, randomized, controlled clinical trial named E-LITE, short for Evaluation of Lifestyle Interventions to Treat Elevated Cardiometabolic Risk in Primary Care. The study recruited 241 Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) adult patients with an average body mass index (BMI) of 32 (healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9) who also had pre-diabetes and/or additional cardiovascular risk factors such as a large waist, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All of the participants continued to receive standard medical care from their primary providers, who were not involved in the conduct of the study.

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PAMF Oncologist Peter Yu, M.D., Elected ASCO President

Peter Yu, M.D.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) is pleased to announce that Peter P. Yu, M.D., director of Cancer Research at PAMF, has been elected president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for a one-year term beginning in June 2014. In announcing his new appointment, ASCO said, “Dr. Yu is a renowned medical oncologist and hematologist, and a pioneer in advancing health information technology to improve quality of care.” Dr. Yu will take office as president-elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June 2013. Additionally, three new members were elected to the ASCO Board of Directors and three new members to the ASCO Nominating Committee. Dr. Yu is nationally known for his knowledge and understanding of how health information technology can advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer care.

“I am both honored and privileged by the opportunity to lead ASCO,” said Dr. Yu. “I have been fortunate to serve the Society for many years in a volunteer capacity, and in doing so, have developed a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience on issues that are important for the advancement of cancer science and care. As president of the Society, I look forward to working collaboratively with the membership, staff and Board of Directors to further advance the ASCO mission and vision.

“Fifty years ago, when the American Society of Clinical Oncology was founded, cancer was thought of as an untreatable disease. The stigma of the disease was such that the diagnosis was often kept a secret, sometimes even from the patient, and there was little infrastructure for cancer research, treatment and patient support. The Society has played a key role in changing that and fostering remarkable progress in cancer prevention and treatment. Along the way, ASCO has become the central forum where government agencies such as the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, patient advocacy organizations, health care providers, researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and others engaged in the cancer space come to work together and learn from each other.

“Ultimately, the benefits of this massive effort to fight cancer must be brought to the individual cancer patient and their families, ensuring that there is no gap between the discovery of new knowledge and the resulting improvements in cancer care. To accomplish that, we will need health care delivery systems that are actively engaged in the cancer ecosystem and that keep in focus the mission to improve cancer care and patient outcomes. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Health are at the forefront of this and my election as ASCO president is recognition of the role we are playing today in advancing innovative care of the patient.”

“The entire slate of candidates for this year’s election has a history of extraordinary volunteer service, dedication and commitment to ASCO,” said Allen S. Lichter, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of ASCO. “We are fortunate as a Society to have so many talented volunteers interested in serving in a leadership capacity. Their efforts not only benefit ASCO, but also the specialty of oncology, and, most importantly, the patients for whom they serve.”

Since joining ASCO in 1986, Dr. Yu has proven his dedication to the Society through his active service and leadership. He has served on the Quality of Care, Cancer Research, and Clinical Practice Committees, the Health Information Technology Workgroup (current Chair), Integrated Media and Technology Committee, and Board of Directors, among others. He was also previously the ASCO State Affiliate Society President of the Association of Northern California Oncologists and is currently an active blogger.

Additionally, Dr. Yu is a member of two cooperative groups, the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), and he also serves as the co-chair of the Commission for the Certification of Health Information Technology (CCHIT) Oncology Workgroup and a member of the CCHIT Research Workgroup.

View ASCO Newsroom Announcement: ASCO Announces Newly Elected Leaders

About ASCO

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer.  For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at

About the Palo Alto Medical Foundation

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) for Health Care, Research and Education is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization that is a pioneer in the multispecialty group practice of medicine and patient-centered health innovation. Founded in 1930, PAMF is an affiliate of the Sutter Health network of care. PAMF’s 1,000 affiliated physicians and 4,900 employees serve nearly 800,000 patients at its medical centers and clinics in Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. For more information about the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, visit the PAMF website, newsroom, blog, and Facebook and Twitter.


Danielle Blake

Erin Macartney
Palo Alto Medical Foundation