Posts made in June, 2012

Artificial Pancreas Being Tested by Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Expert

David Klonoff, M.D., Medical Director, Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute

Diabetes researchers are closer than ever to creating an artificial pancreas, something that the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute is currently working on. Nature, an international weekly journal of science news , published a story entitled “Medical devices: Managed by Machine” about this cutting-edge work in its May 16 issue.

The article reports on the promise of artificial pancreases in the management of type 1 diabetes and quotes David Klonoff, M.D., an endocrinologist and the medical director of the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, Calif.

According to Nature, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified the artificial pancreas as a top priority and, together with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), formed the Interagency Artificial Pancreas Working Group to identify and work through any clinical and scientific challenges. Meanwhile, government funding bodies in the United States and Europe, as well as many medical device companies, started spending tens of millions of dollars to encourage the development of an artificial pancreas.

Dr. Klonoff has been an advisor to the FDA while this agency has been developing policies for regulating this complicated device, and an advisor to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which raises funds to support research for this technology. Dr. Klonoff was one of 150 scientists and clinicians recently asked by the NIH to contribute to the agency’s 10-year diabetes strategic planning report to identify where to allocate scientific expertise, tools, technologies and shared resources over the next decade – including aiming for the development of an artificial pancreas. Read More

Mills-Peninsula Receives Quality Award for Stroke Care

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has awarded Mills-Peninsula the Stroke Gold Plus award, part of their Get With The Guidelines stroke prevention program, said Ann Jones, Mills-Peninsula’s interim stroke coordinator.

The award recognizes Mills-Peninsula for treating stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to American Heart Association/American Stroke Association standards of care for at least 24 consecutive months. Mills-Peninsula also achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 stroke quality measures in the Get With The Guidelines program.

The quality measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation – all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality-improvement program for hospitals designed to ensure consistent care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. Read More

Nurse Wages & Benefits Still Generous – California Nurses Union Keeps Striking


From six-figure average wages for full-time nurses to an employer-paid pension and other quality benefits, Mills-Peninsula and all Sutter Health hospitals understand that providing high-quality care for patients starts with taking great care of nurses—and all employees.

Full-time RNs at Mills-Peninsula with open labor contracts earn on average:

  • More than $140,000 a year (based on 2010 W2 data)
  • An employer-paid pension plan worth about $84,000 a year
  • Employer-paid retiree health care benefits; most receive a spending account valued up to $35,000 to help cover the cost of premiums, medications, etc.
  • Up to 40 paid days off annually to use for vacation, sick time and other personal uses—about eight weeks of each year

Despite this generous compensation package, the California Nurses Association (CNA) leaders have called yet another strike for June 13. This is the fourth strike in less than one year and the second in 45 days. Read More

Mills-Peninsula Earns ‘A’ in Patient Safety from Leapfrog

Mills-Peninsula earned the top score of “A” in The Leapfrog Group’s new report card focused on patient safety at hospitals. This is the third time in three years that The Leapfrog Group has named Mills-Peninsula as one of the top American hospitals for safety and quality. 

The scores, conveyed in a letter grade from A to F. To develop the methodology and calculate the grades, a panel of patient safety experts provided guidance to The Leapfrog Group. The panel selected 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, analyzed the data and determined the weight of each measure based on evidence, opportunity for improvement and impact, according to The Leapfrog Group.

“Mills-Peninsula is proud to have earned The Leapfrog Group’s highest grade for patient safety,” says Mills-Peninsula CEO Bob Merwin. “This is great news for our community and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire organization.”  Read More