Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

PAMF Research Institute Shares Findings on Open Communication Study

Open Communication Model Increases Patient Engagement & Satisfaction

A recent Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) study looked at ways to improve patient-physician communication through a cluster randomized controlled trial of four primary care clinics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). Funding for the study was provided by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI),

Researchers tested two approaches:

The first approach, called “Open Communication,” was co-developed by the PAMF Research Institute team with patients, physicians and clinic staff. It contained three components:

  1. A Visit Companion booklet for patients write down the issues or questions that matter to them most, and bring to their doctor visit
  2. A short animated video that encourages patients and physicians to communicate openly
  3. Physician communication coaching from a standardized patient coach on how to use the booklet with their patients

The second approach was based on the AskShareKnow of the ASK Patient-Clinician Communication Model which prompts patients to ask their doctor three questions about their options and risks.

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Longtime Physician CEO Richard Slavin, M.D., to Retire

Richard Slavin, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Richard Slavin, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Led Camino Medical Group, Palo Alto Medical Foundation for 40 years

Richard Slavin, M.D., CEO of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), part of the Sutter Health network, has announced plans to retire on January 4, 2016. Dr. Slavin has had a long and impressive career in medicine that has shaped the way medical care is delivered in the Silicon Valley and beyond. He was a principal architect of the 2000 merger of Camino Medical Group and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Dr. Slavin served as president of the Camino Division of PAMF until 2010, when he became PAMF’s CEO.

“Dr. Slavin has been a driving force behind the clinical and operational excellence, strong financial performance and exceptional growth at PAMF for more than 15 years. After more than four decades as a physician and physician leader, he wishes to pursue other facets in his life,” said Jeff Gerard, president of Sutter Health’s Bay Area Region.

His successor will be announced soon.

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Bay Area Parent Surveys Name PAMF Pediatricians “Best in Bay Area”

bestofparentspressPalo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) pediatrics received top honors – Gold ratings – in the 2015 surveys of Bay Area Parent and Parents’ Press readers. Bay Area Parent named PAMF Best Pediatricians on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley. Parents’ Press named PAMF Best Pediatricians in San Mateo County and in Santa Clara County.

More than 130 PAMF pediatricians provide patient care at PAMF medical centers located throughout the Bay Area in Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Its pediatricians are frequent contributors to the “Kids Health” resource center of the PAMF website and blog, and are frequent lecturers at PAMF’s monthly health education lecture series, which is free and open to the community.

“We hire the very best and brightest pediatricians who excel at medicine and empathy,” said PAMF Regional Medical Director and Pediatric Service Line Leader David Quincy, M.D. “Our pediatricians make it a priority to build trust with each child. They genuinely care about each child’s well-being.”

Other Sutter Health affiliates also received awards in the reader survey. Mills-Peninsula received the Gold Award for best hospital and best birth center on the Peninsula. California Pacific Medical Center received the Gold award for best birth center in San Francisco/Marin and the Silver award for best hospital. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center received the Bronze award for best birth center in the East Bay.

About the Palo Alto Medical Foundation

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) for Health Care, Research and Education, is part of the Sutter Health network. Founded in 1930, PAMF is a not-for-profit health care organization that is a pioneer in the multispecialty group practice of medicine, health innovation and patient-centered care. PAMF’s more than 1,200 affiliated physicians and 5,400 employees serve nearly 1 million patients at its medical centers and clinics in Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. For more information, visit: PAMF website I blog Twitter I Facebook I Google+. To learn about PAMF’s Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation, visit the PAMF Innovation Center website.

PAMF’s Dr. Meg Durbin Receives Excellence in Healthcare Award

Silicon Valley Business Journal Honors Six Health Care Professionals

Durbin.Podium2The Silicon Valley Business Journal hosted its Excellence in Health Care 2015 award ceremony at its annual Business of Healthcare event on August 7, 2015. Meg Durbin, M.D., a family medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), was one of six health care professionals to receive this year’s award.

Dr. Durbin was honored for her work to improve mental health care for teens. She co-created and co-leads the Adolescent Behavioral Health (ABH) project at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. The project brings together a multidisciplinary team of primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and researchers to address the gaps in care that teens experience when seeking care for emotional and mental health issues.

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PAMF Center for Cosmetic Surgery Opens


The new Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Center for Cosmetic Surgery opened for patient care on Monday, July 13, 2015.

The new center, located at 715 Altos Oaks Drive in Los Altos, provides the latest advances in surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments, offering patients a full range of cosmetic surgery and aesthetic services, including facial and body contouring and skin rejuvenation services. The center includes eight exam rooms, two treatment rooms, two operating suites, separate entrances and exits for added privacy and ample parking behind the building. Read More

PAMF Quality, Data & Analytics Team Wins Best Business Dashboard Award

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s (PAMF) Quality and Patient Safety Data and Analytics team received the 2015 Best Business Dashboard Award at the annual Infosol International Business Intelligence Conference in Carlsbad in June 2015 for their online dashboard solution that tracks patient satisfaction ratings. This is the third consecutive year the group earned this dashboard design award.


Pictured (l to r): Data & Analytics team members Michelle Zhuang, Frank Tsang, Melody Ochoa and John Whight, with Paul Grill, founder and CEO of Infosol.

The latest dashboard provides departments with monthly updates on their patient satisfaction scores. From the one dashboard, department leaders can get an overview of the department’s patient satisfaction efforts and also drill down to answers for individual survey questions for each physician.

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PAMF Receives Highest Rating for Patient Care

CAPG-New-Logo-300x83Six physician organizations in the Sutter Medical Network, including all five medical foundations, received “Elite” status in the 2015 CAPG Standards of Excellence Survey™—the highest possible honor awarded by the CAPG professional organization. The annual survey measures medical group infrastructure against multiple criteria such as patient experience, population health and affordability. Read More