California Healthcare | Services & Community BenefitNavigation
Thanks to generous support from donors, the Mills-Peninsula Women’s Center has replaced all digital mammography units with digital breast tomosynthesis, providing 3D mammography for breast cancer screenings at no extra cost to patients.
“Digital breast tomosynthesis allows cross sectional views of breast tissue that can uncover tumors that would not be visible on standard mammograms,” says Harriet Borofsky, M.D., medical director of imaging at Mills-Peninsula’s Women’s Center. In fact, a large study from Norway published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology in January 2013, shows that digital breast tomosynthesis improved the overall cancer detection rate by 27 percent and increased the detection of invasive breast cancer by up to 40 percent.
This week Google announced its latest innovation: a smart contact lens developed to help people with diabetes monitor their glucose levels. Patients are more likely to comply with monitoring that does not require frequent pin (lancet) pricks for blood samples, and maintain better health as a result.
Google says that the lens, currently in prototype form, will use a wireless chip and a tiny glucose sensor planted between two layers of material designed for soft contact lenses to measure glucose levels in tears. The lens will use miniature lights to warn the diabetic person if their glucose readings reach a dangerous level. Google reports that they have “completed clinical research studies that explore tear/blood glucose correlation and test lens functionality and comfort.”
Dr. David Klonoff, medical director at the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, worked with Google on a clinical study to evaluate that ability to detect glucose in tears. He was Principal Investigator and co-author of the protocol for the first study in the Google contact lens project.
“We measured tear glucose levels with a unique sampling system and a special measuring method that were developed by Google for very small volumes and very low glucose concentrations. We compared tear glucose levels with blood glucose levels to see how closely these two measurements tracked,” Dr. Klonoff explains.
Test results are still being analyzed by Dr. Klonoff’s team but he reports that he is optimistic about the outcomes and eventual benefit to patients.
“It was exciting working with scientists from Google and to collaborate with such a dynamic creative company. They do not let any barriers stand in their way. I have been following the work of the Google scientists for many years and they are extremely creative,” Dr. Klonoff says.
Read the official Google blog, Introducing Our Smart Contact Lens Project by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, project co-founders.
He founded the Dorothy L. and James E. Frank Diabetes Research Institute of Mills-Peninsula Health Services to facilitate development of new devices and drugs for people with diabetes. He has chaired the scientific advisory board for developing the first FDA-approved insulin patch pump and participated in development of the first FDA-approved dedicated diabetes telemedicine system, the first FDA-approved inhaled insulin, and the first three FDA-approved incretin drugs for diabetes. He recently published his findings in the New England Journal of Medicine as the lead investigator for the first-ever randomized controlled multicenter trial of the world’s first artificial pancreas product for outpatient use.
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.