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June 2015
In This Issue
Message from the CEO
CCRMC Names New Chief Med Officer, Ambulatory Care Med Director, Chief Quality Officer
Change Agent Fellows Complete Program
Contest for Enrolling Patients in myccLink
One-Year Anniversary of Our Partnership With Health Leads
Art of Health and Healing Receives $65,000 Grant
Nominate Someone for Ruth Pease Award
Send Us Story Ideas
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Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CCRMC & Health Centers

A Legacy of Physician Training

We celebrate an exciting milestone this month with the 65th anniversary of our physician training program. Our nationally recognized residency program began more than six decades ago with a General Practice focus, and was adapted in 1975 to become a Family Medicine program.


Today, it is one of the largest and most competitive Family Medicine residency programs in the country. Attracting more than 750 applicants annually for 14 positions, our program is helping to supply new doctors for our own system, as well as other hospitals in our region. We are training exactly the type of doctors needed to help meet the growing demand for primary care created by the Affordable Care Act.


New medical school graduates come to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) & Health Centers because they know they will learn how to provide a broad spectrum of services to prepare them to care for patients at all stages of life. They come to us because of our excellent teachers (led by Residency Program Director Dr. Kristin Moeller), the diversity of those we serve and our absolute and unwavering commitment to caring for the underserved. Many of them choose to stay with CCRMC & Health Centers. 


We were the first and only residency training program in Contra Costa County until the recent announcement that John Muir Health is starting a programThe need for primary care physicians continues to grow and we are excited about this news and look forward to partnering with John Muir.

Here at CCRMC & Health Centers, our latest class of residents graduates June 26. Please join me in congratulating them and in welcoming our newest class that starts at the end of this month. You are invited to help us celebrate the 65th anniversary of our residency program at an alumni event being held at CCRMC on June 27. (You can read more about our residency program in the Contra Costa Health Services June newsletter.)


Staff Announcements

We also have some exciting medical staff news. Dr. Samir Shah has been named the new Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Ori Tzvieli the new Ambulatory Care Director of CCRMC & Health Centers (see stories below).


I'm very pleased to have Drs. Shah and Tzvieli in such important leadership roles as we continue to focus on improvement and delivery system redesign, and we near the official rollout of our 5-year Strategic Plan this summer (stay tuned for more about that in the next Update). As part of these ongoing efforts, we are looking at ways to develop the most effective organizational structure to help support medical staff and the critical work they do.

I'm excited by the progress we continue to make towards becoming the best health system we can be. We already have the best people.




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Staff Updates: New Chief Medical Officer, Ambulatory Care Medical Director, Chief Quality Officer

New Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Samir Shah   

Dr. Samir B. Shah began his new job as our Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on May 1. A cornea specialist, Dr. Shah joined CCRMC and Health Centers 11 years ago and has served as the head of the Surgery Department since 2010. 

In addition to his clinical service at CCRMC, Dr. Shah has been involved in resident education at UCSF, has served as a team ophthalmologist for two professional bay area sports teams, and serves as an ad hoc referee for the journal Ophthalmology. 

A Bay Area native, he was educated at UC Berkeley, George Washington University, UC Irvine, and the Doheny Eye Institute at USC. Dr. Shah replaces Dr. David Goldstein, who is transitioning into his new post as medical director of Contra Costa Health Services' Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division. 


New Ambulatory Care Medical Director: Dr. Ori Tzvieli

Dr. Ori Tzvieli, longtime Medical Staff President, will begin his new job as our Ambulatory Care Medical Director starting July 1. He replaces Dr. Chris Farnitano, who has taken a new role in Contra Costa Health Services senior staff, working on process redesign and system integration.

Dr. Tzvieli joined CCRMC & Health Centers as a resident in 2000, completing his family medicine residency in 2003. During his 15 years at CCRMC & HCs, he has worked in a variety of clinical, teaching and administrative roles in the inpatient, outpatient and integrative medicine services. For the past four years, he has helped lead CCRMC & HCs through his service as Medical Staff President. 


Dr. Tzvieli received a bachelor's degree in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley, a master's degree from the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program, and a medical degree from UC San Francisco. He is currently a fellow in the California Health Care Foundation health care leadership program. His personal interests include hiking, Buddhist study, beekeeping and urban farming. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, Lori, and two daughters, Hannah and Ruby. 

New Chief Quality Officer: Shelly Whalon, RN 

On June 1, we welcomed back Shelly Whalon as our Chief Quality Officer. Shelly previously served as CCRMC and Health Centers' chief quality officer until she retired in December 2012 to work for another health system. She returned a year ago as an administrator to assist with utilization review and discharge planning. As chief quality officer, Shelly will continue to work with utilization review and discharge planning, as well as patient safety, performance improvement and regulatory compliance.

Shelly began working at Contra Costa Health Services in 1988 and has experience working in several of the department's divisions. For the first decade of her career at CCHS, she worked as a nurse in Juvenile Hall, then went to work in Public Health. She also worked as a home health and hospice nurse. In the late '90s, she came to CCRMC and served in a variety of administrative roles until leaving in 2012.

Shelly brings a rich background quality improvement, measurement strategies, case management, and regulatory compliance. We are extremely pleased to have her back.  


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Diverse Group Celebrates Completion of Change Agent Fellowship Program
The 2014-15 fellows (Top row, L to R): Julielynn Jones, Finance; Robert Stange, Nutrition Services; Pam Gomez, CCHP; Rhonda Smith, Volunteer Services; Abigail Kroch, Epidemiology, Planning & Evaluation. (Bottom row, L to R): Jaime Jenett, Tobacco Prevention; Marcie Clark, Finance (now with the Office of the Sheriff); Eskinder Daba, Psychiatric Nursing; Lavonna Martin, Homeless Services. 

This year marked the fourth cohort celebration of the CCRMC & Health Centers' Change Agent Fellowship. The Fellowship focuses on developing staff at all levels of the organization to be leaders of change by introducing them to the methods of processes improvement and real-world experiences. 


The nine 2014-15 Fellows celebrated finishing the 15-month Fellowship during a completion ceremony in the main lobby of CCRMC on June 3.

The Fellowship continues to evolve in new and rewarding ways and serves as a leadership training ground not just for CCRMC & Health Centers, but for all of Health Services.  This year's cohort included representatives from Finance, Homeless Services, Public Health and Contra Costa Health Plan.  These Change Agent Fellows -- like the Fellows from the past years -- will be catalysts for improvement and transformation.


Congratulations to all the Fellows for their hard work and dedication as well as to all the Fellows' sponsors for their support and mentorship!


If you are interested in becoming a Change Agent Fellow, applications are accepted once every two years from candidates invited to apply by their Division directors. Every candidate must have a sponsor who agrees to support and assist them through the 15 months of the Fellowship.


For more information, contact program coordinator Olivia Stringer at olivia.stringer@hsd.cccounty.us. 

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Win Celebration at Your Health Center by Getting Patients to Sign Up for myccLink


Enjoy the sweet taste of success by enrolling patients in mycclink, our secure website where patients can email their doctors, request prescription refills and see lab results online. 


In the fall, the health center that enrolls the highest percentage of its empaneled patients in myccLink from July 1 - Sept. 30 will have a celebration thrown in its honor with delicious food and drinks. The fall fiesta will be the first in a series of quarterly celebrations recognizing the efforts of staff to promote myccLink. (Please note that no health center can win more than two times.) 


The celebrations are being funded by the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization that supports Contra Costa Health Services projects and operations. The goal of the celebratory events is to increase the number of patients using myccLink, which can help them communicate more quickly with their care team and get their non-urgent needs met without an office visit.


For more information, contact the Clinical Services Manager at your health center or Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Jenne Gossett at jenne.gossett@hsd.cccounty.us or 925-370-5200, ext. 4468. 


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CCRMC + Health Leads = A Great Partnership 
It has been a year since we began partnering with Health Leads USA, a 

nonprofit organization devoted to addressing underlying socioeconomic issues that affect health. With the help of Health Leads, providers at our West County Health Center have been able "prescribe" services to address issues such as hunger, paying household utilities, and transportation. In its first year, the Health Leads program has touched the lives of more than 2,600 people and has facilitated more than 2,000 successful connections to resources. The program at WCHC is supported by a grant from the Kaiser Community Benefit Fund.


To learn more about this innovative program, visit Health Leads' website or contact Program Manager Andrea LeBeouf at alebeouf@healthleadsusa.org. 

Art of Health and Healing Receives $65,000 Grant from Regional Health Foundation

The Art of Health and Healing (AHH), a group of medical staff and community members devoted to incorporating art in our hospital and health centers, recently was awarded a $65,000 grant from the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation (CCRHF).


Since forming a few years ago, AHH has organized, supported or facilitated various creative wellness projects -- including pet therapy, the annual Health Care Workers as Creators event and Art N' the Lobby -- with little or no funding. 


CCHRF, an independent nonprofit that supports Contra Costa Health Services projects and programs, awarded AHH the grant to improve healing environments at the hospital and health centers with art.


With the funding, AHH will:

  • produce murals in the inpatient psychiatric unit and Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES), including serene scenes for the PES children's room
  • display 35-45 works with a diversity of mediums, imagery, cultures represented, and artists at the Miller Wellness Center
  • curate art exhibits with quilts, wooden frames with areas for baby photos, and other wall elements on the 5th floor of CCRMC in Labor & Delivery and Post-Partum

Most of the work will be done by ArtsChange founder Ann Schnake, who curated the art currently on display at the West County Health Center. AHH is led by Dr. Alan Siegel and Volunteer Coordinator Rhonda Smith.


For more information about AHH and its upcoming projects, contact Alan Siegel at alan.siegel@hsd.cccounty.us.


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Nominate Someone for the Ruth Pease Award

Do you know someone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to help patients? If so, nominate them for the Ruth Pease Award! 


This award is given by the medical staff to a non-physician who exemplifies the dedication of Ruth Pease, a longtime CCHS nurse who worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to positively affect bedside care delivery. Nominees must be a current county health professional, actively engaged in delivery of high quality patient-centered care, and have a passion for change. 


Be sure to include nominee's name, work location and reason why you are nominating them. This year's award winner will be honored at the annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance on Sept. 25.


Please submit your nominations via email to Sue Pfister at spfister@hsd.cccounty.us no later than Monday, July 6.


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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 newsletter editor Will Harper at: 
(925) 313-6903

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