SEBMF Celebrates 10 Years of Family Centered Care

Posted on Oct 1, 2015

Happy Birthday 10The test of a good idea is how long it lasts. It has been 10 years since a small group of East Bay health care pioneers created a network that allows physicians to focus on building strong relationships with their patients.

Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) and East Bay Physicians Medical Group (EBPMG) are celebrating the anniversary of a 10-year partnership. On Oct. 1, 2005, with approximately 100 employees, 49 physicians and four allied health professionals on board, SEBMF started providing hospitalist services for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and opened its doors at three care centers in Berkeley.

“I’m so proud of what SEBMF and EBPMG has been able to accomplish together over the last 10 years,” says Samuel Santoro, D.O., President and CEO, EBPMG. “We pride ourselves on delivering patient-centered care and I want to thank all of our employees and physicians for their commitment to providing the best possible care for our patients. Each and every one of you has played a pivotal role in our success.”

SEBMF started out with 10 medical specialties. Today, SEBMF includes more than 29 medical specialties, three urgent care centers, four hospitalists programs, plus laboratory, X-ray and other diagnostic services.

How the Journey Began
In the early 2000s, Sutter Health and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center needed a strategy to recruit and retain top-notch physicians and allied health providers in the face of multiple challenges:
• an aging medical staff
• a shortage of new physicians
• physicians leaving private practice to work for Kaiser and other medical foundations
• the high cost of practicing primary care medicine in the Bay Area.

To develop an integrated health care system and support physicians financially, the steering committee of medical center and physician leadership decided to create a medical foundation – SEBMF — for providers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
That required forming a medical group — EBPMG — with at least 40 physicians comprised of a minimum of 10 board-certified specialties.

Three Lead the Effort
Led by William DeWolf, M.D.; Katarina Lanner- Cusin, M.D.; and Louis Wu, M.D.; who represented three established primary care and obstetrics and gynecologic medical groups, recruitment efforts began in 2004. They sought out providers who wanted to join:
• a multi-specialty medical group that provided patient centered care
• a more integrated network of physician offices and hospitals
• a single electronic health record (one-patient, one record).

Soon many of their partners were on board and by December 2004, hospitalists from Alta Bates and Summit campuses expressed interest in joining and recruiting physicians to build EBPMG.

“We wanted to have a multi-specialty group that was integrated on one electronic health record (EHR), providing comprehensive care to our patients,” says Wu, the medical group’s chief medical officer, who at that time had cared for some of his patients for almost 30 years. “Our medical foundation also provided an opportunity to nurture and support talented physicians who were just starting out as well as in-community physicians looking to practice in a larger multispecialty group.”

SEBMF Milestones
In 2008, the medical foundation implemented Sutter EHR and today more than 85,000 SEBMF patients have enrolled in Sutter Health’s My Health Online, a patient portal providing online and mobile access to their medical records.

By 2010, SEBMF had expanded its geographic footprint to include care centers in Antioch, Brentwood and Castro Valley.

In 2011, SEBMF opened its first Urgent Care facility, in Antioch, which had great success and paved the way for Castro Valley Urgent Care in 2014 and Milvia Urgent Care in Berkeley in 2015. All three centers are growing and together they care for more than 1,000 patients each month.

Today SEBMF has 400 employees, 275 clinicians and 12 care centers in eight East Bay communities. We have nine laboratory locations and five radiology and imaging centers and support hospitalist programs at Alta Bates Summit, Eden and Sutter Delta medical centers. SEBMF will treat approximately 19,000 new patients in 2015, a 50 percent increase since 2011.

Congratulations to all of our employees, physicians and allied health professionals as we celebrate this special anniversary.

One Comment

  1. Expand northward! Not only Richmond, Pinole, Hercules and thereabouts, but also Benicia, Vallejo and American Canyon (on the road to Napa) can use more aligned facilities, especially primary care docs and ancillary providers like physical therapists. Much of the area has little to choice but Kaiser.

    I’ve been a patient of Roger Iliff’s for nearly 30 years. Keep up the good work!

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