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7 questions for Abhishek Dosi, CEO of Vallejo's Sutter Solano Medical Center

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Sutter Solano Medical Center

300 Hospital Drive, Vallejo 94589

707-554-4444

www.sutterhealth.org



Read more about other local leaders in health care in 2020.

Abhishek Dosi has been CEO of Sutter Solano Medical Center since 2017, after several years in other leadership roles with Sutter Health. He holds a master’s degree in health administration.

Describe a single specific challenge your organization faced last year and why it posed such a challenge. What measures have you taken to overcome the challenge?

Homelessness remains a statewide crisis, and it’s certainly one we feel acutely in the North Bay. Like other health care organizations, we see the impact — particularly, for example, in our emergency department at Sutter Solano Medical Center — and are rising to the challenge in a variety of ways.

One of the most public steps we took recently was to invest in the future Vallejo Navigation Center. We joined with city leaders and other health care networks to fund this project because it means connecting individuals experiencing homelessness to health services, income sources and eventually a path toward permanent housing. That’s good for everyone.

Sutter’s status as a not-for-profit integrated health network means that our focus extends beyond the walls of our hospitals — we care about the overall health and well-being of our patients and their communities. And we know that when unhoused people find housing, their health improves, their lives improve, and the community improves, too.

Mental health services have become a focus of health care providers in the North Bay since the series of wildfires. For your patients, what strategies have you employed to address this issue? For your employees, what are the challenges faced by your organization in addressing their post-fire needs?

The recent wildfires hit home for everyone at Sutter Solano Medical Center — in many cases, our employees and physicians are also our patients, and they are certainly our friends and neighbors. Sutter patients have access to experienced counselors and specialists in the aftermath of traumatic events like the fires, and there are many ways to access them. We offer individual and group counseling, as well as more intensive hospital-based programs.

Specific to our staff and physicians, we provided support that included financial aid, disaster recovery pay, prescription assistance, insurance claims help and mental health resources. We opened the philanthropy-based Sutter Health Employee Disaster Relief Fund to support employees impacted by these disasters. Our goal is to help employees, patients and their communities recover in nearly every sense of the word — it’s central to our mission, and never more so than in events like these.

What obstacles are policy and politics putting in the way of providing quality health care? How much do these challenge your organization’s ability to serve patients?

Some policies create challenges to our efforts to expand access to high-quality affordable care — while other policies help support those efforts. The truth is that we have always navigated a dynamic and evolving industry because we remain deeply rooted in our mission as a not-for-profit integrated health care network. We know who we are, and we care about what we do.

We are committed to keeping our care connected and coordinated so patients — including the historically underserved — continue to receive personal, affordable and high-quality care across Sutter. Integrated networks like ours provide a more user-friendly health care system, patient-centered care and healthier outcomes.

What specific accomplishment of your organization in the past year or so do you wish to highlight?

I am incredibly proud of this team and the extraordinary combination of expertise and compassion that they bring to their work every day, so it’s hard for me to be modest about Sutter Solano’s accomplishments over the past year. But I will highlight just one achievement: being named to the state’s 2019 Maternity Care Honor Roll for reducing cesarean births for first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies.

Sutter Solano Medical Center

300 Hospital Drive, Vallejo 94589

707-554-4444

www.sutterhealth.org



Read more about other local leaders in health care in 2020.

When complications arise during pregnancy, C-sections can save the lives of mothers and infants. But some women undergo the surgery for no medical reason, and that can expose both mother and baby to potentially avoidable risks. Over the last decade, we’ve developed and implemented many programs to improve the care and safety of mothers and babies through pregnancy, labor and delivery. We’ve worked hard to enhance quality and safety to ensure we have among the lowest C-section rates in California, experienced equitably by mothers of all races and ethnicities — so this recognition is especially gratifying.

Tell us one person or situation connected to your organization that inspired you in the past year and why it was so memorable.

It’s hard to work for a health care organization in any capacity and not be inspired every day — I work with people who are there for some of the most significant moments of people’s lives. What I’m always gratified to see is when those same doctors and staff bring their own family members to Sutter Solano, to be treated by colleagues who have earned their trust in the trenches.

One example that comes to mind is Dr. Patricia Seid, an outstanding and well-respected radiation oncologist at Sutter Solano Cancer Center. She’s been named our Physician of the Year — and she brought her father here when he needed care after a major fall last year.

Afterward, she talked about how well all the teams in charge of different facets of her father’s care communicated, and how she thanks them for the fact that her 84-year-old father is now himself again. She said, “They healed him.”

So simple, and yet exactly what our colleagues strive for every day. That’s inspiring.

What are two of your organization’s biggest goals for 2020?

I am chairing the newly reconvened Solano Coalition for Better Health, where we’re bringing together providers and industry and community leaders around one overarching goal: improving Solano County’s overall health care system so that everyone can get the care they need. We’re beyond identifying the issues and have brought together a team to begin planning concrete ways to engage all aspects of the system to address homelessness and behavioral health. Effective partnerships are then going to be one of the best tools we have to fill those gaps.

Specific to our work at Sutter Solano Medical Center, we continue to focus on achieving the highest levels of quality and safety for patients, teammates and providers. We measure this in a variety of ways and have made wonderful strides in our quality, access and patient experience measures, which include things like preventing infections and cutting emergency department wait times. As with most good work, more remains to be done, and the safety and quality of our care will always be a top priority.

Do you have growth plans for your organization this year, such as adding services or increasing staff?

We are focused on expanding our ambulatory care network in Vallejo and have added multiple new primary care providers — both family practice physicians and nurse practitioners — in the past year and continue to recruit more. Our current and future patients want us to provide a multitude of ways to access care at Sutter Health, so we continue to focus in that space.

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