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August 2014
In This Issue
Health Leads Program at WCHC
Panel about Concussions Features CCRMC Doctor
Ruth Pease Award Winners Named
Graduating Residents Staying on at CCRMC and Health Centers
'Dream Day' Event Features Dialogue About Mental Health Issues
How to Get More 'Ask Me' Cards
Health Providers Will Get Creative at 9th Annual Art Event
Get Free Tote Bag at CCRMC Farmers' Market
Service Excellence Winners
Send Us Story Ideas
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Message from the CEOback_to_top
Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CCRMC & Health Centers

Our Role in a Disaster

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake last weekend serves as a reminder to all of us about how critically important emergency preparedness is. Though Contra Costa County escaped major damage, our neighbors in Napa and Solano counties were significantly impacted and our thoughts are with them as they start the recovery process. 


We know we live in earthquake territory and that our community could experience something similar, making it critical that we are prepared. September is National Preparedness Month, and it's a good time to review both our roles as county employees and our own family disaster plans.  


All of us here at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers play an important role in disasters and emergencies. As public employees, we are designated Disaster Service Workers (DSW). This means that after we have made sure our own families and homes are safe, we will be asked to serve our community. For more details, you can watch the DSW video on our website. Your DSW badge also outlines what to do and where to get more information in a disaster (if you don't have one, ask your supervisor or contact CCHS Personnel at 925-957-5240).


Staying informed in an emergency is critical and the CCHS Employee Emergency Information wallet card can help. The card lists important contact info like the CCHS Employee Emergency Hotline. This number provides recorded information and instructions for staff during emergencies. (You can also contact personnel for a card.)


An important part of being a good DSW is also being prepared at home. The earthquake provided an opportunity for my family to review our disaster plan and talk through what we would need to do to make sure our children were taken care of (as well as our pets) if both my spouse and I were called into work.  It gives me peace of mind that we have a plan. Having a family emergency plan and kit will help you and your family cope with a disaster. There are helpful resources on our website about how to make a plan and kit, including links to our county Office of Emergency Services, the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency. 


You can read more about CCHS emergency preparedness planning, upcoming trainings and ways to get information in an emergency in the upcoming edition of our CCHS department-wide newsletter, the Directors Report.  


Serving our community in a disaster is part of our mission. It is important to be familiar with our role as DSWs and be prepared at home so that we are able to come to work if needed. I am proud of the commitment and compassion all of you demonstrate on a daily basis and know we all stand ready to serve, however and whenever we are needed.





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Health Leads Program Offers a Different Kind of Medicine 

The Health Leads desk at West County Health Center has been up and running since June. 
Providers at West County Health Center (WCHC) are now able to connect patients with needed services and resources thanks to a new partnership with Health Leads, a nonprofit organization devoted to addressing underlying socioeconomic issues that affect health.


Advocates from Health Leads have been onsite at WCHC since June. The partnership allows providers to "prescribe" services to address issues such as hunger, lack of adequate housing and unemployment. In the program's first two-and-a-half months at WCHC, Health Leads served nearly 220 unique clients and made more than 80 successful resource connections.  


The Health Leads program at WCHC is supported by a grant from the Kaiser Community Benefit Fund.


For more information about Health Leads, visit healthleadsusa.org or contact  Program Manager Andrea LeBeouf at [email protected].


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Alhambra High Hosts Panel about Concussions Featuring CCRMC Doctor 

CCRMC Dr. Jose Yasul has treated many youth sports injuries during his career with the county.

CCRMC family physician Dr. Jose Yasul joined a panel discussion about concussions on August 18 at Alhambra High School in Martinez to help student athletes and their parents learn how to recognize them and understand the health risks they pose.


Recent studies have solidified links between concussions and degenerative conditions later in life, such as Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, leading to changes in safety protocols and rules in many sports, from youth athletics to professional leagues.


Panelists discussed concussion symptoms, risks associated with repeated concussions and proper treatment. Former National Football League player Onome Ojo, now a Richmond police officer, joined the medical experts to discuss his own experiences with head injuries. The event was hosted by Congressman Mike Thompson.


Dr. Yasul has treated many youth sports injuries during his career with the county, and has volunteered on the sideline at local high school football games to ensure that players with potential concussions are properly screened and treated.

Read a Healthy Outlook column Dr. Yasul wrote about concussions. 


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This year's Ruth Pease Award Winners Named
Miles Kotchevar

Miles Kotchevar, a process improvement specialist, and Athena Sanchez, a resident care coordinator at the Martinez Health Center, have been named this year's Ruth Pease Award winners.


Miles, who has a background as a frontline registered nurse, now helps lead Contra Costa Regional Medical Center & Health Centers' improvement efforts. The doctor who nominated Miles said he "has done more for

Athena Sanchez

improving the ambulatory care system in 

sustainable ways than anyone I know."


Athena was praised for being a true team player committed to providing excellent patient care. "She anticipates problems and seeks out solutions before most others have considered the possibilities," her nominators wrote. "Our patients, physicians, and staff all immensely benefit from Athena's presence in Martinez."


The award is given by the medical staff to a non-physician who exemplifies the dedication of  Ruth Pease, a longtime CCHS nurse. Miles and Athena will be honored at the annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance on Sept. 26 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center.


For more information about the Ruth Pease Award or about the annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance, contact Sue Pfister at [email protected]


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More than Half of 2014 Graduating Residents Staying on at CCRMC and Health Centers
Congratulations to the latest crop of graduates from our nationally-recognized  Family Medicine Residency Program. The program attracts more than 700 applicants every year, yet only 14 are accepted.  We're pleased to report that eight of the 14 members of class of 2014 will be staying with us. See below to find out which doctors are staying and where they'll be working in our system.  

Emergency Department
From left to right: Drs. Jason Reinking, Joseph Mega, and Jessica Hamilton

Ambulatory Care
From left to right: Drs. Jim Walls, Leah Schweid Romito, and Rohan Radhakrishna 

Medical-Surgical Unit at CCRMC
Drs. Jeana Radosevich and Geena Jester

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"Dream Day" Event Features Dialogue About Issues Facing Mental Health Service Providers and Consumers

Stakeholders from across Contra Costa County's mental health system came together for a day of conversation and perspective-sharing about how to improve delivery of emergency care for consumers at the "Dream Day" symposium on August 21 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center.


Leadership from Health Services' two main providers of mental health services - the Behavioral Health Division and CCRMC & Health Centers - used the event to draw upon the experience and expertise of attending public safety partners, consumers and advocates to identify systemic gaps and consider solutions.


Dr. Neal Kohatsu (foreground), medical director of the state Department of Health Care Services, joined CCHS staff, law enforcement and other stakeholders in the day-long conversation about mental health issues. 

Topics that came up frequently included the need to improve the ability to share patient information between providers in different parts of the healthcare system, including patient families; streamlining the prescription process for consumers released from emergency psychiatric care; and integrating mental health professionals with frontline public safety workers who respond to people in crises.


CCRMC & Health Centers' CEO Anna Roth; CCRMC Security Chief Lt. Jeff Moule with the Sheriff's Office; family member partner Teresa Pasquini of the CCRMC Behavioral Health Partnership; Behavioral Health Director Cynthia Belon; other CCHS staff; members of the county Mental Health Commission; and Dr. Neal Kohatsu, medical director of the state Department of Health Care Services, all joined a wide-ranging discussion that also included students, paramedics, police officers and healthcare professionals.


"I feel very, very privileged to have been part of this community discussion," Dr. Kohatsu said. "Your stories were all inspiring, and beyond inspiring, I am committed to doing everything I can do at the state level ... to trying to remove real and perceived barriers" to care.


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Cancer Center Earns Highest Rate of Patient Participation in Clinical Trial

Our Cancer Center enrolled the highest percentage of patients in a recent national clinical trial.


The Cancer Center recently took part in the South West Oncology Group (SWOG) #1204 clinical trial, screening cancer patients for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viruses and then assessing proper use of anti-viral treatment and cancer therapies for optimal management of the patients' conditions.

The Cancer Center and its staff (shown here) have a long track record of giving patients access to cutting-edge therapies.

CCRMC participated in the SWOG trial in affiliation with the Bay Area Tumor Institute (BATI), a nonprofit organization that works closely with CCRMC in cancer treatment research. Among the seven institutions that participated in the SWOG trial, our Cancer Center signed up 67% of potential patients, whereas the second highest site in the nation signed up only 49%.  Dr. Lili Wang, CCRMC's oncology section chief, served as the primary investigator in the trial.


Dr. Wang noted that CCRMC's Cancer Center has a long track record of giving patients access to cutting-edge therapies.  The Cancer Center has won multiple awards from the National Cancer Institute for its high patient participation rates in clinical trials. 


To learn more about the Cancer Center, visit its webpage

How to Get More "Ask Me" Cards

Our "Ask Me" communication cards provide patients, family members and care givers with a list of health-related questions to ask a doctor or nurse. The popular cards also offer other tips designed to help patients make the most of their time with providers.  


If you are interested in getting copies of the Ask Me card--or need to re-order new ones--email Lynette Watts or call her at (925) 370-5403. 




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Health Providers Get Creative at 9th Annual Art Event

Event goes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30
Doctors, nurses, other Contra Costa Health Services' staff , and patients will once again share their artistic sides this year for the 9th annual Health Care Workers as Creators event at CCRMC. 

This year will highlight South African Peace Train founder and Grammy nominee Sharon Katz. The program will also feature work by photographers and painters, musical performances, a sacred dance workshop, face painting, and hands-on art making guided by expressive arts therapists.

While the event and food are free, people are encouraged to donate to Art of Health and Healing, a group of medical staff and others that promotes activities and programs designed to foster creativity, improve patient satisfaction and create a better healing environment.

The event will take place in the Redwood Grove at CCRMC from 3 p.m to 8 p.m. on September 30. 

For more information or if you're interested in participating or volunteering, contact Karen Lloyd at [email protected]

Get Free Tote Bag at CCRMC Farmers' Market 

Click the image to enable a printable version you can bring to the CCRMC farmers' market to redeem a free shopping bag. 

Service Excellence Winners

Karla De Trinidad

Clerk - Experienced Level

For providing excellent customer service and for being a fine co-worker.

 - Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Mark Haidinger

Clerk - Experienced Level 

For being a great liaison with staff and contracted vendors, for keeping everyone updated on the status of documentation, being detail oriented, and an absolute pleasure to have on our team.

 - Nominated by Sihina Tatum


Yvonne Liebig

Physical Therapist II 

For being very knowledgeable and compassionate, she is a great asset to our organization.

 - Nominated by Zohra Akbari


Nestor Millado

Medical Records Technician 

For sharing his knowledge and being extremely patient with trainees, for his wonderful sense of humor and for always smiling.

- Nominated by Lesley Bunch


Terry Brown

Clerk - Senior Level 

For his professionalism, prompt response and his constant willingness to help with appointments.

 - Nominated by Marison Kimura


Carlotta McClain

Clerk - Specialist Level 

For going above and beyond to calm a patient's fears and helping the patient receive the health care needed. For her caring, warm and genuine concern for patients.  

 - Nominated by a patient


Norma Martinez

Medical Social Worker II 

For being an excellent team player.  For providing training and support to her co-workers, and for her energy and humor.

 - Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Sheila Del Mundo

Certified Medical Assistant

Dana Slauson, MD 

For their kindness, brilliance and thoroughness, and for always providing excellent service.

 - Nominated by a patient


David Pepper, MD

For being a great doctor who is sincere and helpful.  For giving me local resources and practical tips.

 - Nominated by a patient


Patrick Ruliva, RN 

For coming every day with a very positive attitude and always ready to help others even if he has his own patients to care for.  For remaining calm and patient even during crisis. 

 - Nominated by Maria Suzana Espanol


Yvonne Tomko

Medical Social Worker II 

For always being courteous, professional and helping others.  For providing great customer service.

- Nominated by Sue Meltzer


Paul Kwok, MD 

For going the extra mile for his patients.  For displaying genuine kindness and care for his patients dedicating time to stay by their side keeping them calm before their surgery.

 - Nominated by Deann Bologna


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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