Cedars-Sinai

Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Letter From Chief of Staff: Physician Wellness

By Clement C. Yang, MD, Chief of Staff

Wellness is one of the highest priorities of the Medical Staff leadership, and we thank you for completing the recent Physician Wellness Survey and sharing your thoughts. Based on the results, we are working to improve wellness in three major domains—creating a culture of wellness, improving the efficiency of practice and developing personal well-being and resilience.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Earns State's Highest Ranking

Cedars-Sinai has earned the highest ranking from the state for its ability to prevent four types of infections commonly contracted in healthcare settings. The medical center is one of only two hospitals in California to achieve this accomplishment for 2017.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Top Ranked in Adult Heart Transplants

The Smidt Heart Institute once again ranked first in the country for completing more adult heart transplants in 2018 than any other U.S. medical center. The Smidt Heart Institute transplant team completed 122 heart transplants during the calendar year, including two heart and kidney transplants.

» Read more

Practice Transformation Helps Treat Physician Burnout

Cedars-Sinai is addressing physician burnout through Practice Transformation, a system change intended to not only bring joy back to medicine, but to transform the way in which medical teams work. Watch to learn more about Cedars-Sinai's Practice Transformation.

» Read more

Physician Playlists: Kelly Wright, MD

A great soundtrack can bring everything together. In labs, preparation areas and sometimes even the operating room, music can help a team focus, build camaraderie and set the right mood. We're highlighting physicians and their favorite playlists.This week's subject is Kelly Wright, MD, Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.

» Read more

Honor a Deserving Nurse

Online nominations for the 2018 Maggie Stempson-Carter Excellence in Caring Award for eligible nurses are open through Friday, March 15. Only members of the medical staff may submit a nomination for this award, which recognizes nurses who exemplify professionalism, clinical excellence and caring. 

» Read more

Call Value for Troponin Changing March 4

Beginning Monday, March 4, the Core laboratories in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will change the level at which critical calls for troponin (Tnl) are made from >=0.04 ng/mL to >=0.3 ng/mL. This change should help streamline care to patients, as call frequency at the existing level can sometimes be disruptive.

» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees for January

COF-co

The Circle of Friends program honored 132 people in January. Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai.

» Read more

Security Department Warns of 'Office Creepers'

The Security Department is asking employees to be on guard for workplace intruders. These intruders, known as "office creepers," are non-employees who enter office buildings to steal from employees or the company.

» Read more

CS-Link Tip: Dictate Notes Later

CS-Link™ has a job aid called "Dictate Later" that allows users to begin a note on a desktop, insert a partial dictation placeholder and complete the note in Haiku later.

» Read more

Letter From Chief of Staff: Physician Wellness

Dear colleagues,

Wellness is one of the highest priorities of the Medical Staff leadership, and we thank you for completing the recent Physician Wellness Survey and sharing your thoughts. Based on the results, we are working to improve wellness in three major domains:

  • Creating a culture of wellness
  • Improving the efficiency of practice
  • Developing personal well-being and resilience

One of the leading survey requests was gym access. Although we don’t have a gym on campus, we would like to provide access to Wellness Discounts including gym discounts that are available to physicians with Cedars-Sinai badges. (The link is available on the intranet or through VPN outside of Cedars-Sinai). Highlights include discounts to gyms like Equinox Gym (free 7 day trial membership), L.A. Fitness ($29.99 per month with $0 initiation fee), and 24-Hour Fitness. In addition, there is code for a 40 percent discount to Adidas Outdoor.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of our Wellness Task Force chaired by Monique Araya and Karyn Eilber and team members Ilana Cass, Itai Danovitch, Marc Edelstein, Jack Green, Steve Jacobs, Ryan Kotton, Shaun Miller, Zuri Murrell, Farshid Nejad, Steve Simons and myself.

Our next steps will be examining the survey results in detail and identifying the next steps in our wellness journey.

We look forward to sharing more wellness opportunities in the coming months!

Clement C. Yang, MD
Chief of Staff

Cedars-Sinai Earns State's Highest Ranking

Cedars-Sinai has earned the highest ranking from the state for its ability to prevent four types of infections commonly contracted in healthcare settings. The medical center is one of only two hospitals in California to achieve this accomplishment for 2017.

Cedars-Sinai was rated "better than the national baseline" for the number of infections it had last year in the following categories: surgical site infections from gastric surgery; bloodstream infections associated with central lines (central venous catheters); bloodstream infections caused by MRSA; and Clostridium difficile infections.

The California Department of Public Health publishes these ratings annually using data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitals can reduce the infections tracked in this report by implementing a variety of safeguards that can greatly improve patient safety and outcomes.

"These positive ratings reflect the engagement and collaboration at Cedars-Sinai among our care providers, including nurses, physicians, pharmacists, lab scientists, environmental services staff and many other disciplines to tackle very challenging hospital-acquired infections," said Jonathan Grein, MD, medical director, Department of Hospital Epidemiology, and infection control officer. "It represents our commitment to patient safety and improving patient outcomes."

The medical center received lower ratings for other measures related to bloodstream infections that are resistant to a type of antibiotic and for surgical site infections associated with certain surgical procedures.

That's not unusual for a hospital that provides highly specialized care and treats an older population with complex health problems, said Rekha Murthy, MD, vice president, Medical Affairs, and acting chief medical officer.

She focuses instead on Cedars-Sinai's sustained commitment to battling healthcare-associated infections.

"We have a rigorous infection prevention program that's been in place for some time, and we continue to make gains by focusing on sustaining our gains and new initiatives such as antibiotic stewardship," Murthy said. "Our staff does everything they can to promote patient safety and deliver the highest quality care."

The data is posted on the California Department of Public Health’s website.

Cedars-Sinai Top Ranked in Adult Heart Transplants

kobashigawaesmailianmds480px.jpg

Cardiothoracic surgeon Fardad Esmailian, MD, (left) is shown with Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of Heart Transplant.

The Smidt Heart Institute once again ranked first in the country for completing more adult heart transplants in 2018 than any other U.S. medical center.

The Smidt Heart Institute transplant team completed 122 heart transplants during the calendar year, including two heart and kidney transplants.

The year's transplant statistics were compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the nonprofit organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system and collects data on every transplant performed in the nation.

"Behind every heart transplant patient is a donor who gave the ultimate gift—life," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Smidt Heart Institute. "On average each week, we are able to give two or three patients more time and moments with their families and friends. It’s both an honor and privilege we take great pride in."

Every year since 2010, the Smidt Heart Institute has performed more adult heart transplants than any other U.S. medical center. Despite Cedars-Sinai's transplant achievements, the need for organs remains great. According to UNOS, more than 114,000 people in the U.S. are waiting to receive a lifesaving organ transplant.

"No transplant procedure is merely a surgery," said Fardad Esmailian, MD, surgical director of the Heart Transplant Program. "We realize each procedure is a gift of life for the recipient and a selfless act made by a willing donor."

The achievement also is accompanied by outstanding patient outcomes that surpass the national average, as reported recently by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

"These prestigious achievements could not happen without the dedication and outstanding care provided by our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals," said Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program at the Smidt Heart Institute. "We are grateful for the steadfast trust our patients put in us, knowing our ultimate goal is to provide lifesaving, excellent care to every patient we come across."

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients also recently named Cedars-Sinai’s Liver and Transplant Program as having the best one-year survival outcomes of all hospitals in California, with 96 percent of patients surviving beyond the one-year milestone. Cedars-Sinai’s Liver Transplant Program is one of only six in the nation—and the only program west of Texas—to receive the SRTR designation of "better than expected" results.

"Patients transplanted at Cedars-Sinai can rely on our specialized, compassionate teams who follow each patient through their entire treatment journey," said Andrew Klein, MD, the Esther and Mark Schumann Chair in Surgery and Transplantation Medicine and director of the Cedars-Sinai Transplant Center. "And post-transplant, patients can expect this same level of care for the rest of their life."

Practice Transformation Helps Treat Physician Burnout

BurnoutDarker480px.jpg

Physician burnout is an alarming epidemic in the United States, with more than one in three physicians experiencing it according to a recent study in the Journal of American Medicine. But Cedars-Sinai is addressing the complex problem through Practice Transformation—a system change intended to not only bring joy back to medicine, but to transform the way in which medical teams work with each other and interact with patients.

Watch to learn more about Cedars-Sinai’s Practice Transformation.

Physician Playlists: Kelly Wright, MD

Kelly-Wright480px.jpg

Kelly Wright, MD

A great soundtrack can bring everything together. In labs, preparation areas and sometimes even the operating room, music can help a team focus, build camaraderie and set the right mood. We're highlighting physicians and their favorite playlists. This week’s subject is Kelly Wright, MD, Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.

"It may surprise some that my surgery playlist and my running playlist are the same," said Wright.

She’s a nine-time marathoner and one of the first 1,000 people in the world to complete the World Marathon Majors circuit, a series of the six most celebrated races in the world.

"I think surgery demands the same type of training that marathoning does: endurance, muscle memory, precision and skill. A good playlist with a low, constant beat, minor tones and a rising chorus keeps me focused on the long road (or surgery) ahead," she said.

Many of her colleagues agree. More than one doctor we asked to share their playlist with us said they like to listen to Wright's list on Spotify.

Her favorite playlist includes:

"Honey"—Robyn
"Swish Swish"Katy Perry featuring Nicki Minaj
"Feel the Love"Rudimental featuring John Newman
"Warm"—SG Lewis; "I love the dissonant piano chords overlaid with the bass. It has an unexpectedly driving beat. I would probably say that about all of the songs!"
"Blame"Calvin Harris featuring John Newman
"Paris"The Chainsmokers
"What About Us"—P!nk; "I love how P!nk’s powerful voice builds into the instrumental interlude. It’s inspiring!"
"Secrets"—OneRepublic

Honor a Deserving Nurse

Online nominations for the 2018 Maggie Stempson-Carter Excellence in Caring Award for eligible nurses are open through Friday, March 15.

Only members of the medical staff may submit a nomination for this award, which recognizes nurses who exemplify professionalism, clinical excellence and caring. Originally known as the Excellence in Caring Award, this annual recognition was renamed in 2005 in honor of the late Maggie Stempson-Carter, RN, who won the award in 2004.

Other award recipients include:

  • Peachy Hain, RN
  • Jean Eskenazi, RN
  • Bernice Coleman, PhD, ACNP
  • Betty Nersesian, RN
  • Paula Anastasia, RN
  • Tess Constantino, RN
  • Naomi Tashman, RN
  • Monette De Leon, RN
  • Raji Gandhi, RN
  • Rema Pendon, RN
  • Grace Romulo, RN
  • Joan Kirschner, RN
  • Jason Kirsnis, RN
  • Donna Dooley-Aiello, RN

Nominations can be submitted via the intranet or the internet.

The award recipient will be selected by the Excellence in Caring Award Medical Staff Selection Committee and will be announced at the Annual Nursing Awards Ceremony on May 8, 2019.

If you submitted a nomination last year and would like your nominee to be considered for this year's award, email chris.ng@cshs.org.

Call Value for Troponin Changing March 4

Beginning Monday, March 4, the Core laboratories in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will change the level at which critical calls for troponin (Tnl) are made from >=0.04 ng/mL to >=0.3 ng/mL.

This change should help streamline care to patients as call frequency at the existing level can sometimes be disruptive.

The change in call value was approved by the Medical Executive Committee. The reference cutoff for normal patients and suspicion of myocardial infarction will remain as is.

This call value may need to change again when the Core laboratories begin offering high-sensitivity TnI.

If you have questions, contact Kimia Sobhani, PhD, at kimia.sobhani@cshs.org or Anders Berg, PhD, at anders.berg@cshs.org.

Circle of Friends Honorees for January

The Circle of Friends program honored 132 people in January. 

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgment.

See more information about the program and a list of past honorees.

Rachel Abuav, MD

Hilary L. Albert, RN

Alison A. Almario, RN, BSN, OCN

Laura Amador

Neel Anand, MD

Judith L. Arnett

Joan L. August

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC, FAHA

George Berci, MD

Eileen G. Brown, RN, OCN

Miguel A. Burch, MD

Ty Burrell

Ilana Cass, MD   

Timothy Charlton, MD

Jeffrey C. Chu, RN

Alice P. Chung, MD, FACS

Jeffrey Chung, MD, FAAN

Susan B. Clark, RN

Stephen T. Copen, MD

Stephen R. Corday, MD

Robert W. Decker, MD

Josef A. Degendorfer

Noam Z. Drazin, MD

Gregory P. Eichelzer

Yaron Elad, MD

Rama N. Escolin, RN

Richard Essner, MD, FACS

Edward J. Feldman, MD

Katherine J. Fogg, RN

Lashawn Ford

Charles A. Forscher, MD

Marc L. Friedman, MD

Stuart Friedman, MD

Srinivas Gaddam, MD

Mitch Gheorghiu, MD

Armando E. Giuliano, MD, FACS, FRCSEd

Lindsey R. Glucksman, MD

Sherry L. Goldman, RN, NP

Alyssa T. Gong, RD, CDE

Mark O. Goodarzi, MD, PhD

Richard E. Gould, MD

Leland M. Green, MD

Solomon I. Hamburg, MD, PhD

Omid Hamid, MD

Garo Z. Harmandayan, MD

John G. Harold, MD, MACC, MACP, FCCP, FAHA

Michael D. Harris, MD

Bryna J. Harwood, MD

Nebil S. Hassen

Gail K. Higa, RN, OCN

Robin R. Hudson, RN, CPAN

Mariko L. Ishimori, MD

Patricia A. Jenkins, RN, OCN

Kendra S. Jones

Scott R. Karlan, MD

Raj M. Khandwalla, MD

Chae Y. Kim, MD

Robert C. Klapper, MD

Honore G. Kotler, RN, MSN, ACNP

Gal Kotlov, RN

Lia B. Labrant, MD

Susie K. Lee, RN, MSN, FNP

Kathreena Legaspi

Charlene T. Lichtash, MD

Yuliya Linhares, MD

Edward Y. Liu, MD



Simon K. Lo, MD, FACP

Desiree C. Lupson, CP

Patrick D. Lyden, MD, FAAN, FAHA

Cheryle C. Maano Requejo, RN, BSN, OCN

Rajendra Makkar, MD

Cynda S. Makowka, RN

Jennifer McCay

Wynter P. Merideth

Margo Minissian, PhD, ACNP, CLS, AACC, FAHA

Alain C. Mita, MD

Charles N. Moon, MD

Jaime D. Moriguchi, MD, FACC

Zab Mosenifar, MD

Ronald B. Natale, MD

David G. Ng, MD

Nicholas N. Nissen, MD

Raena S. Olsen, DO

Michelle P. Olumese

Melanie M. Ozaki

Ronald L. Paquette, MD

Shivani K. Patel, MD

Brad Penenberg, MD

Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD

Katie Ramirez

Jeffrey Rapp, MD

Alexandre Rasouli, MD

Ria Rose S. Reodique

Luisa S. Revilla

Bobbie J. Rimel, MD

Brenda Rinsky

Betty Robertson, RN

Fred P. Rosenfelt, MD

Nita K. Rubin, RN, BSN

Yussef Sakhai, MD

Mahmoud Samie

Gregory P. Sarna, MD

Jay N. Schapira, MD, FACP, FAHA, FCCP, FACC

Fay P. Shapiro

Shahrokh Shapoori

Michael M. Shehata, MD

Robert J. Siegel, MD

Steven M. Simons, MD, FACP, FCCP

Ann Marie Siney

Gena T. Smith, RN

Jason C. Snibbe, MD

Elizabeth M. Sobel

Nurit Stern, RN

Vinay Sundaram, MD, MSC

Flordeliz D. Supan

Steven N. Sykes, MD

Stephan R. Targan, MD

Cheryl A. Taylor

Nattapaun Thepyasuwan, DO

David B. Thordarson, MD

Analisa Traba, RN

Diane M. Tryciecky, RN

Eugene Y. Tsai, MD

Timothy Tsui, MD

Carolyn S. Tung-Conti

Elana Vescio

Robert A. Vescio, MD

Christine S. Walsh, MD

Janet Wei, MD, FACC

Jason L. Weiner

Robert N. Wolfe, MD, FCCP

Kelly Wright, MD



Security Department Warns of 'Office Creepers'

officecreepers480px.jpg

The Security Department is asking employees to be on guard for workplace intruders. These intruders, known as "office creepers," are non-employees who enter office buildings to steal from employees or the company.

Once in the building, the thieves can often go unnoticed and will attempt to walk out with valuable personal items, technology or information. They are devious and adaptable—and do their best to blend into their surroundings.

"Preventing theft is every employee's responsibility," the Los Angeles Police Department cautions. "Everyone must work together to become the eyes and ears that will help keep the work place crime-free."

To help ward off workplace intruders, the Security Department says you must first recognize a threat:

  • Try to become familiar with co-workers in your immediate area. That way, you can easily identify an individual who may be out of place.
  • If you see someone wandering the halls or casually roaming about, ask if you can help her/him. Ask questions like, "May I help you find someone?"
  • If your building has an access control policy where visitors must wear a badge, you should notify Security (extension 3-5511) immediately if someone is walking around without proper identification.
  • If you believe an individual seems suspicious, notify Security. Be sure to note details about the person's appearance so that you can thoroughly describe her/him.

The Security Department also offers these tips to help protect your office:

  • Never share keys or your employee badge with anyone.
  • Do not open a secured access door for unauthorized persons.
  • Report suspicious strangers to your supervisor and/or security personnel (extension 3-5511).
  • Don't "hide" your wallets or purses in unlocked cabinet drawers or under your desk. This is the first place an "office creeper" may look. Lock them up if possible.
  • When leaving your office, make sure to lock the door or secure your items.
  • Secure laptop computers and other devices to your desk with security cables or lock them in a drawer.
  • Keep an accurate inventory of all office equipment.

CS-Link Tip: Dictate Notes Later

You have a well-honed template for your notes. Pertinent patient information is pulled into your documentation from other parts of the chart. A good note should include the patient's narrative and your medical decisionmaking. You may just start pecking at your keyboard, but with CS-Link™, there is now an easier way: You can use partial dictation.

By typing .dictatelater, a place holder will appear in your note. You’ll have a reminder in your inbasket, and you can narrate your thoughts using Haiku on your SmartPhone. To learn more, attend a CS-Link Efficiency and Review for Physician meeting on the second Thursday of each month. The classes, which begin at 7:30 a.m., are held in PEC 4.

If you have questions, contact groupeisphysicians@cshs.org.