Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sad News

It is with a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our own has been killed in a senseless act of violence. Cynthia Palomata, a longtime and dedicated member of our nursing staff, was brutally attacked by an inmate she was trying to assist at the Martinez Detention Center. She suffered a severe head injury and succumbed today.

As we all struggle to cope with this tragedy, we keep Cynthia and her family in our thoughts and prayers. We know that her family will need our support so I will update you as soon as possible with information on how we all can help.

Staff safety is critical to our mission, and we are working closely with the Sheriff’s Office to evaluate safety procedures.

In the meantime, we also need each other’s emotional support, and I encourage staff to call the Contra Costa Crisis Line for confidential counseling anytime at 1-800-833-2900. Employees can also contact our Employee Assistance Program to set up an appointment for counseling if needed at (925) 930-3661.

As I learn more information, I will share it with you.

With deepest sympathy,

Anna M. Roth RN, MS, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center
and Health Centers
333 C Street
Martinez, CA 94553

Friday, October 22, 2010

A call to action in the perfect storm

This week for National Quality week I had the wonderful opportunity along with other safety net leaders to guest blog for the National Association of Public Hospitals.

The following is an excerpt from my post:

The Perfect Storm
Anna M. Roth CEO, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers

With increasing demand, those working to preserve and enhance the safety net will need new levels of leadership skill, improvement knowledge, and systems-thinking to face the significant challenges that lay ahead.

Frequent changes in leadership and direction - as well as inaction when change is clearly needed - have resulted in a culture of mistrust in health care and hierarchical control rather than shared decision making and participative improvement. Too often, when thinking of the safety net, a “last resort” image prevails rather than a place of excellence, hope and recovery and as a place where no one is left out. To add to the challenge, there appears to be a lack of emphasis on the acquisition of continuous quality improvement skills among the safety net workforce...Read the full post at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have you had your flu vaccine yet?

Did you know that only about half of all health care workers get a flu shot? We can do better.

Flu Vaccination information is available at

Here is Dr. Alan Siegel and his band "Rhythm Method" performing at CCRMC a novel version of “Bad Case of Lovin’ You,” re-purposed with a familiar and important message: get a flu shot before symptoms start to appear.Syria T. Berry (vocalist), Alan Siegel (guitar), Duane Campbell (bass), Michael Greene (drums), Bruce Reingold (trumpet)

This year, there is one flu vaccine available which protects against 3 flu viruses including H1N1. Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get vaccinated. Children under 9 years of age will need 2 doses of flu vaccine, one month apart IF this is the first time that the child is receiving flu vaccine, or if the child did NOT receive any H1N1 vaccine.

Where to Get Vaccinated

Flu vaccine is beginning to be available throughout Contra Costa County. To get a flu vaccine:

Check with your regular health care provider
•Kaiser members can call the Kaiser Flu Hotline: 1-800-573-5811 (1-800-KP-FLU-11).
•Community clinics are also offering flu vaccine - call the clinic for details.
Flu vaccines for Contra Costa Health Center patients (must bring cranberry colored card)
•Walk-in Flu Clinics will be held from October 18 - October 22, 2010
Tdap (whooping cough) and pneumococcal vaccine will also be available to those who are eligible.

◦Antioch Health Center: Monday-Friday 12-1 p.m., Health Center Hallway
◦Pittsburg Health Center: Monday-Friday 1:30-4:30 p.m., Health Center Lobby
◦Concord Health Center: Monday-Friday 12-1 p.m., Health Center Lobby
◦Martinez Health Center: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Health Center Lobby (2nd floor)
◦Richmond Health Center: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 1st Floor Conf Room 1603A
◦For Bay Point, Brentwood and North Richmond Health Centers - Appointment Required, call 1-800-495-8885

•Scheduled flu clinic appointments will be available October 25 - December 3, 2010 (As supplies last)

Call 1-800-495-8885 to schedule an appointment.

Links of interest: (check clinic for details)

•Free Public Health Clinics - Wednesday, November 10th from 1pm-7pm at locations throughout the county. Tdap and pneumococcal vaccine will also be offered at these clinics. See locations (PDF).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CCRMC Improvement Academy: 5s Reports Thursday, October 7

You may have seen teams in the medical center who are applying 5S in their work areas.

Improvement Academy Participants will report on their results on Thursday October 7 at 9 AM at CCRMC Building one, Conference Room One. All are encouraged to join.

Of note: Next week we are merging the medical staff noon conference learning sessions with the Improvement Academy. The academy will meet every Thursday at noon at CCRMC Building One, Conference Room one.

More very soon…

Here’s a review of what 5S is.

Seiri (整理) Sorting
Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.

Seiton (整頓) Straighten
A key distinction between 5S and "standardized cleanup" is Seiton. Seiton is often misunderstood, perhaps due to efforts to translate into an English word beginning with "S" (such as "sort" or "straighten"). The key concept here is to order items or activities in a manner to promote work flow. For example, tools should be kept at the point of use, workers should not have to repetitively bend to access materials, flow paths can be altered to improve efficiency, etc.

Seisō (清掃) Sweeping
Systematic cleaning. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place. This makes it easy to know what goes where and have confidence that everything is where it should be. The key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work - not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.

Seiketsu (清潔) Standardizing
Standardized work practices or operating in a consistent and standardized fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are to keep above 3S's.

Shitsuke (躾) Sustaining
Maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous 4S's have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain the focus on this new way of operating, and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of operating. However, when an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, then a review of the first 4S's as appropriate.

If you would like to get involved please let your supervisor know.