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A new treatment that effectively targets cancer cells is offering pain relief, improved quality-of-life and extended survival time for men with late-stage prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.
Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center has introduced this new cancer treatment, Xofigo (Radium-223 dichloride), for patients with advanced-stage prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bones, but not other organs. Xofigo was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2013 for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Mills-Peninsula’s cancer center is among the first in the Bay Area to offer this new treatment.
“This drug has very low toxicity and has the potential to create comfort in men who are suffering, and it may even prolong their lives,” says Stephen Weller, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula radiation oncologist. “It is an important drug — similar to other types of radiation treatment but more effective.”
Mills-Peninsula Health Services achieved an “A” grade in the Fall 2013 update to the Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.
Calculated twice per year, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce an A, B, C, D or F letter grade reflecting how safe hospitals are for patients. Mills-Peninsula has received “straight A” scores since the inception of the Hospital Safety Score in June 2012. Read More about Mills-Peninsula Receives ‘A’ Grade in Hospital Safety Score
Beginning Oct. 1, legal residents of California who do not have health insurance from their job or from another government program will be able to buy insurance through the state’s new “exchange” called Covered California. On Jan. 1, 2014, most people will be required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) to have health insurance.
All health plans purchased through Covered California must cover certain services called essential health benefits. These include doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency care, maternity care, children’s care, prescriptions, medical tests and mental health care. They also must cover preventive care services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.
For the second consecutive year, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized Mills-Peninsula Health Services for achieving high-quality surgical care. Mills-Peninsula was one of 37 hospitals in the country commended for achieving “meritorious outcome performances” in surgery cases from Jan. 1 -Dec. 31, 2012. Sutter Health affiliates California Pacific Medical Center and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were also recognized.
“It is a great honor to be recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation for surgical outcomes,” says Bob Merwin, CEO. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our entire team, with special thanks to the outstanding leadership of surgeon Bruce Allen, M.D., and Pat Yadao, surgical nurse reviewer in the Quality Management Department.” Read More about Mills-Peninsula Honored for Quality Surgical Care
Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men, who are more than twice as likely to die of the disease as white men, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection can save lives. To help men take action on prostate cancer prevention and other health issues, the African American Community Health Advisory Committee (AACHAC) and Mills-Peninsula are hosting the annual Men’s Health Symposium on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Mills Health Center in San Mateo.
“This is meant to be a day of empowerment for our men to take charge of their own health,” says Gloria Brown, chairperson of AACHAC. “Men tend to put health screenings off. This event makes it easy and fun to take action and learn more about healthy living.”
The event offers free health screenings for prostate cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. A 12-hour fast is required for the lab screenings (water and medications are OK, delay diabetes medications).
In addition to prostate cancer, this year’s event is also focused on heart disease prevention. Dean Moore, a heart transplant recipient, musician and former San Francisco 49er, will be the keynote presenter and will perform a concert at the end of the event. The lab screenings — specifically cholesterol and blood pressure tests — can alert the presence of risk factors for heart disease.
Registration for the Men’s Health Symposium starts at 7 a.m., and screenings start at 7:30 a.m. The event, including breakfast, lunch and a concert, is free to attendees who register by 11:30 a.m. After 11:30 a.m., the cost is $10 for lunch and the concert.
For more information and to register, call 650-696-4378 or go to aachac.org.
In conjunction with National Grandparents’ Day on Sept. 8, acclaimed photojournalist and author Paola Gianturco will speak and sign copies of her book, Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon, on Sept. 7, at Mills Health Center in San Mateo.
Organized by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) USA and the African American Community Health Advisory Committee and sponsored by Mills-Peninsula Health Services, the event is a benefit for the AWDF’s Mother Africa campaign, which helps African grandmothers who are supporting children orphaned by AIDS.
On August 14, representatives from Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the City of Burlingame will attend a celebration in honor of the new installation Ode to Joy, a series of eight sculptures by acclaimed artist Douwe Blumberg.
The Kentucky-based artist responded to Mills-Peninsula’s national call for design submissions for a public work of art to adorn the grounds of the new medical center, which opened in May 2011. Blumberg’s design depicting birds taking flight was chosen by a selection committee, hospital employees and members of the community. Blumberg installed his sculptures of cast aluminum birds at Mills-Peninsula this spring. With more than 200 completed commissions, Blumberg has created artwork for Ground Zero in New York City, the Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial and the royal residence in Dubai.