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top_of_pageApril 2014
In This Issue
ccLink Upgrade Happening in May
Denti-Cal Again Covers Routine Care for Adults
Dr. Jeremy Fish Honored by Family Physicians Organization
Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Named
Vote to Name the Gift Shop
Red Cross Blood Drive on May 7
Donated Quilt on Display at Cancer Center
Service Excellence Winners
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Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CCRMC & Health Center

Opening Our New Wellness Center 

We have much to celebrate this spring. The first open enrollment period for Covered California ended with nearly 1.4 million Californians getting insurance through the state's new health care exchange. Another 1.9 million enrolled though Medi-Cal expansion, and enrollment continues year-round, which means more people will have access to care thanks to health reform.


Equally exciting is the work underway to transform the way care is delivered so that we provide the best care possible to our patients and improve the health of our communities at the lowest possible cost. Some ways we are doing this is through increasing access to care and the integration of behavioral health and primary care.


An example of how health reform is taking shape here in Contra Costa County is our new health center that opens May 6 in Martinez on the campus of our Regional Medical Center. Last week our county Board of Supervisors signed a resolution  to dedicate the new center in honor of Congressman George Miller and his wife, Cynthia Miller, for their decades of service and dedication to improving the health of the community.

The George and Cynthia Wellness Center opens to patients on May 6. There will be an opening celebration the following week on May 12. Click the image to see a larger version of the invitation.


Congressman Miller, who is retiring this year after 40 years in office, has been a champion of national health reform and is one of original authors of the Affordable Care Act. Cynthia Miller has been a longtime supporter of children's mental health programs and has served on the Mental Health Commission of Contra Costa County, and our Regional Medical Center's Ethics Committee. The George and Cynthia Miller Wellness Center will provide important  access to care at an especially critical time, and it does this in a way that integrates both primary care and behavioral health care under one roof.


The George and Cynthia Wellness Center, located across the street from the Emergency Department, will offer primary care, short-notice/ same-day appointments and outpatient behavioral health services, including mental health. 


The mental health portion of the facility will include a community-based assessment center for children and youth that will encourage the participation of family members in the assessment process. The clinic also will offer pediatrics, family medicine, adult primary care medicine, group medical visits and seamless access for referrals from the CCRMC Emergency Department.


This innovative facility is a fitting tribute to health care trailblazers like George and Cynthia Miller. Please join your fellow coworkers from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on May 12 to commemorate the opening of the George and Cynthia Miller Wellness Center and to honor the Millers, who join us to celebrate the occasion.


We have much to celebrate as well as much work to do. We all know transformation is no easy task, and it is important to pause and reflect on how far we have come. Thank you for everything you do. 





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ccLink Upgrade Coming in May
ccLink logo We will be upgrading ccLink on Saturday, May 10 to a newer version of Epic's software.


The conversion will start at midnight and is expected to take less than a day.  Clinicians should experience minimal disruptions.


During the conversion, medical staff will be able to view patient information, but won't be able to document in the system. Documentation will be done on paper during the downtime. Representatives from Epic and our Information Technology (IT) unit will be onsite during the process.


The upgraded software will prepare us for the arrival of ICD-10, which will go into effect next year, as well as provide an enhanced user experience.


The user interface will remain very similar to the earlier version of ccLink for most staff. Staff can get more information about the upgraded system and its features on the ccLink training page on iSITE. For technical questions after the upgrade, please call the IT Help Desk at 957-7272.

Pet Project Brings Smiles to Patients and Staff pets

Chloe, a 9-year-old Australian Shepherd, is the star our new "therapy pets" program. 

If you've been on the fourth floor of the hospital on a recent Tuesday, you may have bumped into a new member of our team providing therapeutic services to patients. She's not a doctor or a nurse. Her name is Chloe and she's hairy, has four legs and a wet nose. Yes, Chloe is a dog.


Chloe, a 9-year-old Australian Shepherd, is the star of our new "therapy pets" program. Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon, Linda Valenziano of Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) escorts Chloe to see patients in the Medical-Surgical Unit. During each visit, Chloe indulges patients and even some staff who want to pet her and give her a little affection.


The therapy pets program was initially conceived and developed by the Art of Health and Healing, a group of medical staff that promotes activities and programs designed to foster creativity and improve patient satisfaction. Nursing, Infection Control, Risk Management and Volunteer Services helped refine and implement the pilot program, which began in March. The project team is currently assessing the results of the pilot and talking about expanding the program. 


Other hospitals including John Muir Medical Center and Kaiser Walnut Creek also  use therapy pets to cheer up their patients and staff. Research shows that animal-assisted therapy produces significant mental, emotional and physical health benefits. One patient told Volunteer Coordinator Rhonda Smith, "This is the best therapy ever. I haven't felt this well all day."


For more information about the therapy pets program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Rhonda Smith at Rhonda.smith@hsd.cccounty.us


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Denti-Cal Again Covers Routine Care for Adults
Denti-Cal is once again covering teeth cleaning, fillings and other routine services for adults. 

Our dental clinics are once again offering routine care for adults under Medi-Cal.  


Routine, non-emergency "Denti-Cal" coverage for adults-which had been cut by the state Legislature in 2009- was scheduled to be restored in May, but a February court ruling accelerated the change.


The reinstated Denti-Cal coverage does not provide as much coverage as it did prior to the 2009 budget cuts. Denti-Cal provides preventive dentistry including dental examination, X-rays, teeth cleaning, emergency care, dental cavity fillings and full dentures.


Details of the newly restored benefits are available at the Denti-Cal website(Although the link states the benefits are not restored until May 1, 2014, they are already in effect because of the court ruling.)


Our dental clinics are limited to providing the specific services denoted by the Denti-Cal program. In preparation for this expanded scope of services, evening dental clinics were added at Pittsburg and Martinez on Wednesday evenings starting last October.                


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Dr. Jeremy Fish Honored by Family Physicians Organization
Dr. Jeremy Fish

Our own Dr. Jeremy Fish received the 2014 Hero of Family Medicine Award from the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) last month.

CAFP lauded Dr. Fish, the former head of our Family Medicine Residency Program, for having played a key role in helping expand the family medicine workforce in California over the past 20 years. The organization also noted that Dr. Fish founded the Medical Education Network, the first network of its kind in California, which brings together more than 50 family medicine residency programs from across the state.

Dr. Fish has testified numerous times in front of several legislative committees on topics including Graduate Medical Education, scope of practice, the Patient Centered Medical Home, nutritional and public health and more, according to CAFP.


"Dr. Fish exemplifies the commitment to and excellence in practice, teaching and advocacy that are hallmarks of family medicine leaders," CAFP President Mark Dressner, MD, said in a statement.


Dr. Fish was also selected from among CAFP's 8,700 members as statewide Member of the Month in March.


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Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Named
Jen Gossett

Jen Gossett has been appointed to the newly established role of Chief Nursing Informatics Officer for CCRMC and Health Centers.


Jen has worked as an RN for Health Services since 1994 in various roles in the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging Department, Contra Costa Health Plan, Martinez Ambulatory Care and, most recently, as part of the Clinical Informatics team working with Drs. Rajiv Pramanik, Troy Kaji and Kim Haglund. She is certified in EpicCare Ambulatory and Beacon Oncology applications, and was on the Ambulatory team for the ccLink implementation. She is currently helping implement myccLink, our patient portal.


Jen has a BSN from CSU Hayward, and an MS in Healthcare Informatics from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is certified in Informatics Nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and was named to their Content Expert Panel in 2011. She is also a Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist from the American Health Information Management Association.


Her role on the Clinical Informatics team is to help provide clinical multidisciplinary leadership of all Health Information Technology (HIT) projects ensuring alignment with patient care and strategic goals, facilitating communication, and promoting effective usability of HIT systems for all staff.


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Cast Your Vote to Name the Gift Shop

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest to rename the hospital gift shop. There were more than 300 submissions. The 10 finalists are listed below. 

To vote for your favorite name, cast a ballot from April 28 through May 2 at the gift shop or email Volunteer Coordinator Rhonda Smith at rhonda.smith@hsd.cccounty.us.
  • Wishing Well Gift Shop
  • Heartfelt Presents Gift Shop           
  • Healing Treasures Gift Shop
  • Sweets and Treats Gift Shop
  • Helping Hands Gift Shop
  • Caring Heart Sundries
  • Contra Costa Treasure Chest
  • Open Arms Gift Shop
  • The Giving Heart Gift Shop
  • Serenity Gift Shop
A winner will be announced in May. The winner will get a $50 gift certificate to use at the gift shop. 
Red Cross Blood Drive on May 7

Donated Quilt on Display at Cancer Center

Christine Vanderheid knows the courage and determination required to battle cancer. She has lost some friends and family to cancer, while seeing others survive the fight. She hopes a quilt she designed now hanging in our Cancer Center will provide some inspiration to those in the midst of their struggle to survive.


Titled "Women of Substance," the wall-hanging depicts strong and bold-dressed female characters from Loralie Designs' "On the Mend" series, which is often used to support breast cancer awareness.  "Hopefully, it will bring a smile to the faces of those who see it," said Vanderheid, a longtime Antioch resident who has been doing crafts for more than 10 years.


The donation of the quilt was coordinated by Dr. Bette Felton, a board member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where Vanderheid is an office assistant. Dr. Felton also sits on the board of the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports Contra Costa Health Services.

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Service Excellence Winners

Anna Williams

Senior Medical Records Technician

For her dedication to departmental changes and for her willingness to help others.

- Nominated by Vivienne Dang


Joanne Minadeo

Clerical Supervisor

For her professionalism and graceful managerial skills and for keeping Health Information Management in East County a pleasurable place to work.

- Nominated by Vivienne Dang


Sylvia Arita

Loretta Calloway

Joanne Magdaleno

Pam McCoy

Didi Mendoza-Smith

Danira Oseguera

Sally Rowe

Rose Tripp

Carmen Valdivia

Maribel Zarate

Healthy Start Pittsburg Health Center 

 For giving their best with a compassionate heart and caring attitude to the many high risk pregnant women they serve.

- Nominated by Esther Gutierrez


Joanne Bump, RN

For her assistance with the implementation of the Wright Institute and for always being helpful and going the extra mile.

- Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Donna Ramirez

Senior Radiologic Technologist

For her kindness and professionalism and for communicating well with patients.

- Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Michael Puell, MD

For going out of his way to provide excellent care to his patients.

- Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Maisha Selmon

Clerk - Senior Level

For her professionalism and outstanding work ethic and for being kind and caring to co-workers and patients.

- Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Marcos Aguilar

Sead Alispahic

Omar Carranza

Dave Duet

Jill Honeyman

Rich Mentze

Willie Perez

Ricardo Ramos

Swandi Singh

Alice Valdez

Facilities Management 

For their assistance in making our Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community press conference a success and for taking care of important logistics that made the event go smoothly for participants while keeping the lobby accessible to other hospital visitors.

 - Nominated by Denice Dennis


Amy Buoncristiani, MD

For her relentless pursuit of improvement in emergency department flow and in strengthening the triage process and for her unwavering commitment to better serve our patients.


 - Nominated by David Goldstein


Marvin McGregor, RN

For providing excellent care to his patients and for being a kind, courteous team player.

 - Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Elizabeth Maaske, LVN

Mary Vesey, RN

 For their quick response and action that saved the life of a team member in cardiac and respiratory arrest at the Juvenile Hall facility in Martinez.

 - Nominated by Samuel Rosales


Alma McRae

Leo Millado

Clerks - Senior Level

For being pleasant, efficient, giving 100% effort and for being a pleasure to work with.

 - Nominated by Melinda Young

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Send Us Your Story Ideas contact
Let us know about upcoming events and important happenings going on at the Regional Medical Center or the health centers. 

Click here to contact us or contact Kate Fowlie at: 
(925) 313-6636 

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