Message From the CEO
Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, CEO
Going Beyond the Exam Room to Meet our Patients' Needs 
When we think of what patients need, healthcare providers have traditionally thought in medical terms. To keep our patients healthy, we prescribe medications, order tests and perform procedures.
However, patients have voiced a much broader view of what they need to be healthy. When we surveyed 250 of our patients a few years ago about their most pressing health problems, we expected to hear about asthma, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Instead, patients listed food, housing, employment and paying the electricity bill as their top health concerns. For so many patients to express those needs as their main health problems was eye-opening ญญ-- and revelatory.
The time has come for us to think outside the clinical box. If we want to really improve our patients' health, we need consider their lives outside the clinic. That's why we have a goal to make addressing the social needs of our patients a standard part of our care at CCRMC & Health Centers.

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Top Headlines
Patients Now Can Book Appointments at Our Health Centers Online
Patients can now schedule office visits with their primary care providers on myccLink, our free online app for patients. Parents with family-access privileges granted by the medical records unit can also book well-child checkups for their children through myccLink.
Initially, only primary care appointments in family medicine, adult medicine and pediatrics will be made available for online scheduling. This will allow us to better understand the impact of online scheduling before expanding the feature, said Dr. Chris Farnitano, director of process redesign and system integration at CCRMC.
Since myccLink debuted two years ago, we have seen similar sign-up rates across different ages, and for all insurance classes, including Medi-Cal. About 10% of our patients age 70-79 have set up myccLink accounts, Dr. Farnitano said.

Staff can refer patients having trouble activating their accounts or other technical issues with myccLink to or 1-844-622-5465. 
Family Residency Program Named one of Top 10 in the U.S. 
For the second consecutive year, our Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program has been named one of the top 10 such programs in the country.
According to research conducted by the physician network Doximity, Contra Costa had the ninth highest-ranking family medicine residency program in the United States this year. Our popular residency program, which receives 800 applications for 13 residency slots each year, also earned top 10 rankings from Doximity in 2015. There are 490 family medicine residency programs in the U.S.
The Doximity Residency Navigator is an interactive tool designed to help the medical students research and compare residency training programs nationwide based on their unique career interests. It combines objective data with 260,000 nominations, ratings and reviews from over 52,000 U.S. board-certified physicians.
Millions of Dollars at Stake Under New Waiver Projects
Performance goals have been set for a series of projects over a five-year state funding program under the Medi-Cal 2020 waiver. The Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal (PRIME) program is the ambitious followup to the previous waiver, known as DSRIP. Like DSRIP, PRIME is funding for improvement work related to higher quality patient care.  PRIME, however, challenges safety net systems to expand those efforts by moving beyond the original pilots and integrating care across systems and between health divisions. Not meeting PRIME benchmarks will mean losing millions of dollars in funding.
Teams and sub-teams have been created for each of our 10 approved PRIME projects, which include integration of behavioral health and primary care, cancer screening and followup, improvements in perinatal care and ambulatory care redesign. A new data dashboard has been developed to let team members monitor their progress. The PRIME executive team will provide oversight and support to the project teams and the Improvement Academy will be utilized at various clinic locations to educate staff on PRIME and improvement methodology. 
For more information, contact Karin Stryker, the assistant director of Safety Performance Improvement, at 
Vigil Held in Front of CCRMC for Victims of Violence
About 100 people attended what was billed as an "Honor & Justice Vigil" last month outside Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) to pay tribute to lives lost to senseless violence. During the vigil, participants read the names of people shot and killed in the U.S. during the past year in highly publicized incidents in cities such as San Bernadino, Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge. Inspirational quotes and the sounding of a Tibetan singing bowl followed the calling of the names for each incident. The 45-minute event was organized by CCRMC's health equity team. 
Hospital & Health Centers
CCRMC Seeks Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation  
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center is working to earn official status as a baby-friendly hospital over the next four years by improving breastfeeding rates among mothers of newborns.
In order to obtain the designation from Baby Friendly USA, the hospital will ultimately need to raise the percentage of moms who exclusively breastfeed up until the time they are discharged to about 70%, said Dr. Francine Jolton, head of the pediatrics department.
Meeting that goal will involve policy changes, additional training for nurses and providers, and better breastfeeding education for expectant mothers in our outpatient clinics, Dr. Jolton said.
While the effort will take a lot of work, Dr. Jolton said the payoff makes it worth it. Breastfeeding is widely recognized as a low-cost way to ensure better health outcomes for children, and it reduces a mother's risks for breast and ovarian cancer later in life. Obtaining a baby-friendly designation is also a requirement to meet new perinatal benchmarks for Medi-Cal waiver funding, Dr. Jolton said. 
New Transgender Health Clinic Coming This Fall
A new monthly outpatient clinic serving transgender patients is expected to debut on October 7 at our Martinez Health Center. The clinic will provide a welcoming environment for transgender people to receive routine primary care, as well as more specialized care, such as hormone therapy. Dr. Michelle Orengo-McFarlane will be the lead physician at the clinic, which will be staffed by providers trained in transgender health issues. Planning for the clinic has included many stakeholders, including Contra Costa Health Services' LGBT Pride Initiative
Clinics to Provide Smoother Surgical Experiences for Patients
In July, we launched three perioperative medicine clinics to provide patients with one-stop shops for medical evaluations, surgical-care coordination and education before their operations at CCRMC. The clinics are located at the West County Health Center (Monday), Martinez Health Center (Tuesday - Thursday), and Pittsburg Health Center (Friday). Chief Medical Officer Dr. Samir Shah said the perioperative clinics are part of an effort to centralize and standardize the process to reduce variation in care and surgical cancellations.
Caroline Killough
Clinic Manager in West County Name This Year's Winner of the Ruth Pease Award 
Caroline Killough, clinical services manager at West County Health Center, has been named this year's recipient of the Ruth Pease award. This award is given by the medical staff to a non-physician who exemplifies the dedication of Ruth Pease, who was a long-time employee and registered nurse.
Caroline worked as a nurse for many years at CCRMC & Health Centers before she became a clinic manager. One colleague who nominated Caroline lauded her for her passion, dedication and her excellent management skills. Caroline has generously donated her own money to buy decorations for the health center. Despite her busy schedule, Caroline still finds time to make holiday gifts for nursing staff, according to a colleague.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Caroline on a number of occasions, and I am always impressed by her cheerful enthusiasm and can-do attitude," said Dr. Taiyun Roe, medical staff president. 
EVS Operations Manager Saves Woman From Choking
Rich Mentze
You don't need to be a doctor to save a life. EVS Operations Manager Rich Mentze proved that when he performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a hospital co-worker who was choking on a cracker. 

"I am glad to say she was okay, albeit a little sore from the abrupt procedure and incident," Rich said. 

Rich credits years of CPR and first aid training for making it possible to jump into action that day. "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of first aid training," Rich said. "It is a short investment of time that can save lives."
New Lead Physician for Detention Facilities
Dr. Jessica Hamilton
Dr. Jessica Hamilton has been named the physician lead for Detention Health Services. In this new position she will provide, organize, and oversee clinical care in the county's detention facilities. 

Following her residency at CCRMC, Dr. Hamilton worked as an attending physician in our Emergency Department and served as the director of primary care for Planned Parenthood of Northern California.  

Special Events
Medical Staff Dinner & Dance 
Music, food and socializing. Ruth Pease Award winner will be honored and new residents will be introduced. Contact Sue Pfister at for RSVP info. 
Sept. 23 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Dr., Pleasant Hill. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 
Joint Conference Committee
Quarterly meeting where administration and medical staff provide reports to a two-member subcommittee of the Board of Supervisors. 
Sept. 26 in the Bldg. 1 conference room at the Martinez Health Center. Visit website to verify starting time. 
Health Care Workers as Creators 
The 11th annual installment will feature music and art from staff and community members. The event is sponsored by the Art of Health & Healing
Sept. 27 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m in the Redwood Grove at CCRMC, 2500 Alhambra, Martinez. 
$5 Masquerade Sale
Annual event sponsored by the CCRMC Auxiliary selling inexpensive jewelry and accessories. All proceeds benefit patient care
Sept. 27 from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. and Sept. 28 from 7 a.m to 4 p.m. in the CCRMC lobby, 2500 Alhambra, Martinez. 
Project Homeless Connect
Contra Costa's one-stop annual event to connect residents experiencing homelessness to benefits, medical care, behavioral health and social services, shelter and housing. Service providers and volunteers needed. More info here
Oct. 13 from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch. 
CCRMC Farmers Market
Weekly event with local produce, prepared foods and other attractions in front of the hospital. Sept. 27 is the last market for the 2016 season. 
Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CCRMC, 2500 Alhambra, Martinez.
Trainings & Workshops
Improvement Academy: Introduction to PRIME & Model for Improvement
Part of a learning series covering improvement topics at various clinics. Contact Shannon Dickerson or Roberto Vargas for more info. 
Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the West County Health Center, 13601 San Pablo Ave, San Pablo.
Mindfulness Training 
In this workshop, providers and other clinical staff will learn evidence-based, trauma-informed mindfulness skills to help with stress management and health balance. Lunch will be provided. To RSVP, contact Dr. Michelle Wong at 
Oct. 7 from 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at the West County Health Center, 13601 San Pablo Ave, San Pablo. 
Mental Health Crash Course 
A one-time orientation for newcomers to the county mental health system. Contra Costa Behavioral Health, CCRMC & Health Centers, the Contra Costa Family Justice Center and the Contra Costa chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offer the introductory workshop.
Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Contra Costa Family Justice Center, 2151 Salvio Street, Suite 201, in downtown Concord.