Sutter Health’s connected model of care allows us to step in where others may step out, investing in underserved communities, supporting hospitals and patients during emergencies and major disasters and opening doors to healthcare that might not otherwise be available.
As a national leader in healthcare quality, Sutter Health considers health equity to be a measurable, key component of quality healthcare. We are committed to eliminating health disparities within our system and beyond by engineering data-driven, innovative solutions. Sutter’s Institute for Advancing Health Equity was created to enhance this commitment – building on the benefits of our integrated, coordinated network of care to further health equity for our patients and those across the country
Learn more about Sutter’s Institute for Advancing Health Equity and how it serves as an innovation incubator to convene experts, advocates and patients to identify inequities, explore ideas and create solutions.
All hospitals are coping with rising labor, facility and technology costs. Hospitals in rural and underserved communities disproportionately feel this pressure as they serve a high proportion of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients. Many of these same communities are also facing a healthcare provider shortage.
To help address this crisis, Sutter evolved into an integrated network well over fifteen years ago at a time when many Northern California hospitals were struggling to stay open and were on the brink of closure. Our focus in making this shift was to fill the unique and diverse regional health needs of Northern Californians, including those in rural areas. We recognized the benefits an integrated network could offer Northern Californians by coordinating services and access to care across doctors, hospitals, care teams and health services.
Sutter’s investments help ensure that patients do not have to travel unreasonable distances to see a doctor or delay essential health services, and they have access to comprehensive medical facilities and leading specialists if and when they need them.
Opening Up Access to Innovation: Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry and EKO telecardiology provide patients access to care in communities who may not have specialists immediately available. Sutter’s Electronic ICU (the first of its kind on the West Coast and only the second eICU in the nation) offers patients 24/7 access to an expert team of doctors and nurses specially trained in mental health and intensive care.
Sutter Health’s integrated model of care makes it possible to provide these services to many rural communities who may not otherwise have access to them.
Sutter Health is able to step in and support patients across our hospitals, clinics and home health care services during emergencies and disasters because our integrated network allows us to quickly shift and provide critical resources at any given time.
Since January 2020, when the first COVID-19 cases were reported in the nation, our entire integrated network acted quickly to adapt our ‘normal’ operations and prepare for a surge of patients in response to this pandemic. California was one of the first states to see cases of COVID-19, and Sutter Health was among the first health systems in the country to care for patients with the virus.
Our integrated network allows us to quickly shift and provide critical resources at any given time, allowing us to protect communities and support patients across our hospitals, clinics and home health care services — especially during emergencies. Our hospitals are not on their own. They have an entire network backing them up and providing needed support.
With the safety of our patients, employees and clinicians as a top priority and in alignment with local, state and federal guidelines to prepare for a surge and support slowing the spread of COVID-19, early on we responsibly and rapidly scaled down surgeries and preventive care that could be safely postponed. The pandemic has also significantly impacted patients’ willingness to seek care, resulting in a sharp drop in overall patient visits to our offices. While the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us and adapting our operations in response has been a costly and difficult endeavor, every decision we’ve made has aligned with our not-for-profit mission and values, and we are proud to continue to care for our patients.
During Sonoma County’s Kincade fire in 2019, Sutter’s integrated network proved crucial. Sutter was able to efficiently and safely move patients out of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital to other nearby hospitals where providers continued to provide seamless care. Our network also allowed staff to quickly contact patients and coordinate care. From filling prescriptions and rescheduling appointments to keeping vital chemotherapy infusions on track, Sutter works to ensure patients have continuity of care, even during emergencies.
Read more about how the Sutter Health team acted swiftly to support patients during recent wildfires:
Because of its not-for-profit mission, Sutter Health steps in where others may step out, providing care for those who cannot afford it, funding education and research that will improve lives, and contributing to programs and organizations that provide healthcare access and services for those in need.
This includes programs that provide adults, children and families with access to primary healthcare, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health services, specialty consultation and procedures, crisis services, dental and vision care, health education, transportation, income assistance and housing, among others.
Read more about Sutter Health’s commitment to serving communities: