Cedars-Sinai

Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

COVID-19: Updates for Staff and Physicians

Cedars-Sinai continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to protect the health and safety of our staff, physicians, patients, visitors, volunteers and community. We are prepared to respond and have put all appropriate healthcare protocols and isolation precautions in place. Here you will find timely, helpful information and resources on COVID-19. 

» Read more

Letter From President and CEO: Huntington Hospital

By Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO

I am very pleased to let you know that Huntington Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Health System have signed a letter of intent that provides for Huntington to become an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Health System. The pending addition of Huntington Hospital to our health system is a major milestone. Huntington, a 619-bed not-for-profit hospital, is well known for the quality of its care, its community involvement and the excellence of its physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is a key facility for the region, especially for the San Gabriel Valley, where it serves as a trauma center and provides many specialized services.

» Read more

Celebrating National Women's History Month

In honor of National Women's History Month in March, we are celebrating Cedars-Sinai's talented female leaders with a special Q&A series. This week's interview is with Nicole Leonard, JD, MBA, vice president and associate dean of Research Administration.

» Read more

All Hands Meeting Unveils 'Outstanding' Credo

The 2020 "All Hands" program for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network was held earlier this month at the Saban Theatre to help highlight the high-quality healthcare provided through its 14 medical groups in Los Angeles and nearby communities. The program saw the unveiling of what will be the network's credo: "The Place for Outstanding."

» Read more

Core Labs Can Now Screen for Fentanyl

The Core Laboratories within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine now can test for fentanyl as part of their urine drugs of abuse screen (CS-Link™: LAB555). The service began Tuesday, March 17.

» Read more

FDA Strengthens Warning for Montelukast

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is strengthening an existing warning for montelukast (Singulair and generics) in light of known side effects of serious behavior and mood-related changes. The FDA website has more information.

» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees for February

COF-co

The Circle of Friends program honored 44 people in February. 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

Medical Library User Survey Ends Friday

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Library wants your opinion. The library's annual customer service survey ends Friday, March 20. The survey aims to better understand the information-seeking behavior of the Cedars-Sinai community, and to measure awareness and satisfaction with library services. You can take the survey here.

» Read more

CS-Link Tip: COVID-19 Related Tips

With the ever-changing instructions from different sources regarding what to tell and how to manage patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19, it can be difficult to keep up with the most current information. CS-Link™ has undergone several changes to help address these issues. For example, the Web Activities menu at the top right now has COVID-19 Resources as the first option. From this option you can select to view the latest information from various sites, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and LAC Department of Public Health. In addition, there is a link to an internal site which consolidates all of the Cedars-Sinai specific COVID-19 updates for staff and physicians.

» Read more

COVID-19: Updates for Staff and Physicians

coronavirus480px.jpg

Cedars-Sinai continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to protect the health and safety of our staff, physicians, patients, visitors, volunteers and community. We are prepared to respond and have put all appropriate healthcare protocols and isolation precautions in place.

Here you will find timely, helpful information and resources on COVID-19.

Please keep in mind this is an evolving situation. Check back frequently for updated information.

Letter From President and CEO: Huntington Hospital

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Photo courtesy of Huntington Hospital.

By Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO

I am very pleased to let you know that Huntington Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Health System have signed a letter of intent that provides for Huntington to become an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Health System.

With the letter of intent completed Cedars-Sinai Health System and Huntington Hospital now begin work on a definitive agreement.  After that is reached, it would be submitted for review by various regulatory agencies.

The pending addition of Huntington Hospital to our health system is a major milestone.  Huntington, a 619-bed not-for-profit hospital, is well known for the quality of its care, its community involvement and the excellence of its physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.  It is a key facility for the region, especially for the San Gabriel Valley, where it serves as a trauma center and provides many specialized services.

As with Torrance Memorial, Huntington will continue its local governance, with its own employees, board of directors and medical staff.  Joining Cedars-Sinai Health System enables Huntington to collaborate with Cedars-Sinai, Torrance Memorial and the other health system entities on a variety of clinical programs and shared resources, further enhancing the ability of the entire Cedars-Sinai health system to offer care to the region that is high-quality, accessible and affordable.

In my discussions over the past months with Huntington's leadership, medical staff and employees, I have found many similarities in organizational culture among Huntington, Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial.  All are institutions with deep, longstanding relationships with their communities; committed, outstanding staffs and physicians; a focus on quality and a spirit of innovation.

We will keep you informed as the affiliation process progresses. 

 

 

Celebrating National Women's History Month

In honor of National Women's History Month in March, we are celebrating Cedars-Sinai's talented female leaders with a special Q&A series. This week's interview is with Nicole Leonard, JD, MBA, vice president and associate dean of Research Administration.

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Nicole Leonard, JD, MBA

Nicole Leonard, JD, MBA, vice president and associate dean for Research Administration

What type of obstacles did you face in advancing your career in healthcare?

Unconscious bias was manifested in a couple of ways. One is almost a trope at this point—applying negative labels to behaviors by women that would be praised in men. Those behaviors might be called leadership in the case of a man but when they're exhibited by a woman, they're given a negative descriptor.

Another obstacle came when my career progression was tethered to my male peers. I could grow, be promoted and take on additional responsibilities only if my male peers advanced, too.

Also, and this probably is related just to large organizations, but I found it was challenging to break out of the silos and structures that were in place. I often had to make the case for, and advocate for, the creation of a new position because there weren't necessarily positions for the kind of growth that interested me. Often, if no one retired or moved on, there just wasn't an opportunity to fill an existing position. So the challenge for me was to identify a new role that would allow me to grow and advance.

What leadership advice would you give to your younger self?

First, leadership can come in all areas of your life. You don't have to think about leadership as being tied to your job title. We have opportunities to demonstrate and grow our leadership skills across every aspect of our lives, whatever the role you are in at work, in a volunteer organization or in your family. So just remember that you can lead in many ways and don't think that just because you're not in an executive role that you're not a leader.

Second, do not underestimate the importance of relationships and mentorship. As you move ahead in your career or your job, there are many times when you must influence without any official authority, and it's a lot easier to do that when you have strong relationships with people. It makes people more willing to work with you and to hear you. I certainly have experienced relationships that let me share an uncomfortable truth or an uncomfortable bit of feedback that perhaps a person wouldn't have been receptive to if we didn't have a strong enough relationship.

How have things changed or improved for women in the healthcare field during your career?

There is a greater awareness and acknowledgment of some of the biases and structural hurdles that women face. And that's important because when people are aware of, and acknowledge, these things, it's a lot easier to get their behavior to change. For example, I have noticed less inappropriate language in the workplace. I've also noticed intentional consideration for women and diverse participants in committee work and programmatic development and in other opportunities to provide input.

 

All Hands Meeting Unveils 'Outstanding' Credo

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John E. Jenrette, MD, executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, addresses the audience at the Saban Theatre.

It began with catchy music by a three-piece jazz combo. It ended with a folksy mix of personal reflections and humor from a Tennessee-based author and viral video creator.

In between, there were two hours of motivational stories and other messages highlighting high-quality healthcare.

That, in short, was the 2020 "All Hands" program for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, which provides clinical care through 14 medical groups in Los Angeles and nearby communities. The pep rally-style program—divided into two sessions to accommodate more than 1,800 physicians, staffers and other attendees at the art deco Saban Theatre—was aimed at providing inspiration throughout the 25-year-old network.

There also was some news, with the unveiling of what will be the network's credo: "The Place for Outstanding."

The only pause in the celebratory tone was the acknowledgement of the growing concerns about the coronavirus. John E. Jenrette, MD, executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, assured the audience that "at Cedars-Sinai, and within the medical network, we are prepared, and we are continuing to prepare, for an unknown in Los Angeles." He said the decision to go ahead with the All Hands gathering came only after checking "nearly every hour" with Cedars-Sinai experts and Los Angeles County officials.

Throughout the program, most of the focus was on the qualities essential to providing first-rate care for patients. Even in the introduction for the musical combo, the Apollo Trio, an announcement that boomed over the sound system explained that performing jazz “demonstrates respect, thoughtfulness and deep listening.”

Next came a recorded video message from Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai.

"All of you—the incredibly talented staff members, physicians, clinicians and leaders—have made the medical network one of the largest and most successful in the country," Priselac said. "Year after year you continue to earn the trust of patients from all walks of life. Their trust is reflected in the network's patient satisfaction score, which is now over 90%, a 5% increase over the last five years.

"Their trust is reflected in the growth of the network," Priselac continued. "When the network was formed in 1994, you had two locations. Today, you have more than 40 locations, with approximately 1,900 staff and over 365 physicians and 85 advanced practice providers. In 2019 you cared for more than 500,000 patients. Each one of those patients trusted you to provide the highest-quality care, with respect, compassion and understanding."

Later on, Jenrette explained that the network's new credo is about outstanding care, outstanding teams and outstanding experiences. Jenrette, who at one point donned a cardigan sweater to evoke "Mister Rogers," said the goal is "encouraging this behavior when we see it happen, and calling out and saying, 'Boy, you were really there. Boy, that was really kind. Hey, you were really inclusive.' Those words are used across the organization. It shows us how we want to show up each day and guides us.

"That's how powerful the credo can be," Jenrette added.

"All Hands" attendees were given "badge buddy" cards with the new credo, and the promises that it is meant to embody, in their swag bags.

Several speakers told their personal stories underscoring the "outstanding" theme, including Nitin A. Kapur, MD, MPH, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.

Kapur, whose specialty is general internal medicine, related how he was persuaded to come to Cedars-Sinai after he finished his residency at the Yale School of Medicine. During an interview with Cedars-Sinai leaders, he raised what he considered a challenging question: Isn't Cedars-Sinai just a boutique hospital to the stars? And then, Kapur said, he learned from the Cedars-Sinai physician he was interviewing with, Daniel J. Stone, MD, "It really was so much more.

"He told me that his panel had old, vulnerable patients on fixed incomes, teachers, police officers, fire fighters," Kapur said. "And here was a system that gave so much of its wealth to community service.

"Per year," Kapur added, using approximate numbers, “it had given over $100 million in unreimbursed care for the poor and underserved. Here was a system that gave another $100 million to community benefit programs by providing screenings services at schools, community shelters and homeless shelters."

The program concluded with guest speaker Brad Montague, the creator of the web video series Kid President and the author of Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome and, most recently, of Becoming Better Grownups. Montague charmed the audience with quick observations on children and human nature, along with praise for the work healthcare professionals perform.

"My son dresses up like Peter Pan, and he's thinking, 'I can fly,'" Montague said. "I don't want him to lose that."

Then, switching his attention to the audience, he continued, "I don't want you to lose the hope you have for what's possible in your work, what you see when you're with people, for what you say and what happens in between what you say and what they hear. There's so much good that can happen."

 

Core Labs Can Now Screen for Fentanyl

The Core Laboratories within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine now can test for fentanyl as part of their urine drugs of abuse screen (CS-Link™: LAB555). The service began Tuesday, March 17.

The rapid and automated immunoassay screen will enhance drug screening services already offered to the Emergency Department and other patient-facing critical care areas. The fentanyl test can quickly detect the potentially life-threatening drug to enable immediate and appropriate treatment.

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The lab's drug screen already includes amphetamine, barbiturate, benzodiazepine, cocaine, cannabinoids, methadone, opiate, phencyclidine and propoxyphene.

Positive urine results will be reflexed to an LC/MS send-out method for confirmation. Results will be reported right away in the medical record.

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

 

FDA Strengthens Warning for Montelukast

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing warning for montelukast (Singulair and generics) in light of known side effects of serious behavior and mood-related changes.

For patients with asthma, the FDA recommends healthcare professionals consider the benefits and risks of mental health side effects before prescribing montelukast.

The FDA website has more information.

Circle of Friends Honorees for February

The Circle of Friends program honored 44 people in February. 

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.

Brooke N. Bianco, RN, MSN

Keith L. Black, MD

Courtney Bradley, CN II

Tawnya Brown

Henry H. Chen, MD

Alice P. Chung, MD, FACS

Paul H. Crane, MD

Catherine M. Dang, MD, FACS

Edward J. Feldman, MD

Alisha Fields

Clark B. Fuller, MD

Donna Gallik, MD, FACC

Eskedar F. Gobeze, RN, BSN

Richard E. Gould, MD

Kapil Gupta, MD, MPH, FASGE

Omid Hamid, MD

Nitin A. Kapur, MD, MPH

Elizabeth M. Kim, MD

Irene K. Kim, MD, FACS

Ravi S. Lakdawala, MD

Madeline S. Lerman, RN, BSN

Ronald S. Leuchter, MD

Debby A. Leve

Andrew J. Li, MD

Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH

Rojeh Melikian, MD

Shlomo Melmed, MD

Monica M. Mita, MD, MDSc

Neda A. Mofrad, MD

Cathy Montoya

Esther Morrison, RN

Ronald B. Natale, MD

Ronald L. Paquette, MD

Aracely Perez

Alexandre Rasouli, MD

Karen L. Reckamp, MD

Barry E. Rosenbloom, MD

Wendy L. Sacks, MD

Bruce A. Sandoval

Stephen L. Shiao, MD, PhD

Daniel Shouhed, MD

Irina Vinogradova, RN, BSN, PHN

Lea A. Weintraub, RN

Clement C. Yang, MD

Medical Library User Survey Ends Friday

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Library wants your opinion. The library's annual customer service survey ends Friday, March 20.

The survey aims to better understand the information-seeking behavior of the Cedars-Sinai community, and to measure awareness and satisfaction with library services. The survey is available here.

CS-Link Tip: COVID-19 Related Tips

With the ever-changing instructions from different sources regarding what to tell and how to manage patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19, it can be difficult to keep up with the most current information. CS-Link™ has undergone several changes to help address these issues. For example, the Web Activities menu at the top right now has COVID-19 Resources as the first option. From this option you can select to view the latest information from various sites, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and LAC Department of Public Health. In addition, there is a link to an internal site which consolidates all of the Cedars-Sinai specific COVID-19 updates for staff and physicians.

Patient instructions have also been updated to include both the CDC and LACDPH facts for patients. Typing ‘covid’ into the SmartText lookup text field in the Patient Instructions activity will give you the four options—two from the CDC and two from the LACDPH. These selections instruct patients on hand hygiene, mask use, what symptoms to monitor for, what to do when COVID-19 is suspected and what to do when awaiting testing results. Please feel free to use these resources as much as possible.

CS-Link continues to undergo further changes to help support management of COVID-19 cases during this time. For more information, see the current CS-Link job aids related to COVID-19 by clicking here.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at groupeisphysicians@cshs.org.