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Game Changers 2019 – Essay Series

Game Changers 2019 – Essay Series

Healthcare’s Integration Imperative.

Sarah Krevans, President & CEO, Sutter Health

There are moments in life that forever change you: a wedding, the birth of a child, and the loss of a loved one. In healthcare, we’re honored to witness many of these moments with the people we’re privileged to serve.

For Kathleen Killips that moment was July 3, 2004, when she was 24 years old. It was a Saturday and Kathleen’s family found her unconscious at home. She was rushed to the emergency room at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, outside Sacramento, where doctors diagnosed her with acute liver failure.

Kathleen needed highly specialized care, but it wasn’t available in her community. Her care team contacted its colleagues at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, a national quality leader in liver and liver transplantation care. Kathleen was immediately transferred. When she arrived at CPMC, doctors there told her that without a transplant, she wouldn’t survive the weekend.

In a race against time, Sutter network clinicians connected quickly with each other and with community organizations to find Kathleen a donor. The next day a match was found and Kathleen had a successful liver transplant.

Sutter Health helped save Kathleen’s life that day. But we didn’t do it alone. Her donor’s generous decision, the efforts of the donation
network, her doctors, nurses and care teams, all played a vital role in saving Kathleen’s life.

Kathleen’s story doesn’t end there. In the 14 years since her transplant, clinicians at Sutter Health have continued to care for Kathleen by monitoring her ongoing health and even helping her become a mother – twice! Pregnancy is potentially dangerous for transplant patients, but with the help of her high-risk pregnancy team, Kathleen now has two healthy children.

Every person, in every community across the U.S., deserves healthcare like Kathleen’s. While miracles occur every day in doctors’ offices and
hospitals, the U.S. healthcare system has grown into a complex, fragmented, and expensive industry that’s often hard to navigate and has
significant variation in quality.

Consumers want and deserve personalized, coordinated care that they can rely on; advanced medical quality, improved
convenience, and lower costs.

Years ago, Sutter set out to do just that. We’re building an integrated healthcare system that’s focused on our not-for-profit mission to serve our patients and communities, especially the poor and vulnerable.

We do this so that patients like Kathleen receive exceptional care and service at an affordable price no matter where they go within our network. All patients across Northern California benefit from the sum of innovation, expertise, and standards of care that we promote and maintain.

But to truly transform healthcare in the U.S., all of us in the healthcare industry must proactively focus our unique perspectives and experiences toward a common goal.

That’s the opportunity before us right now: To learn from each other and the successes of other industries, so that we can radically
change healthcare to be more effective, more affordable, and provide more delightful service – while staying true to our mission to care for others.

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