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Sutter Health Welcomes Sansum Clinic into its Integrated Health System, Enhancing Access to High-Quality Care on California’s Central Coast

Sep 29, 2023, 16:09 PM by Sansum Clinic

Sutter Health Welcomes Sansum Clinic into its Integrated Health System, Enhancing Access to High-Quality Care on California’s Central Coast

Partnership will expand top-tier multispecialty care, foster a seamless patient experience and invest in state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and leading-edge imaging equipment.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter Health, a leader in healthcare innovation, proudly announces Sansum Clinic is now part of its integrated healthcare system. This partnership marks a significant step toward providing enhanced access to high-quality care for the communities along California’s Central Coast. Together, these storied not-for-profit organizations are committed to securing a brighter future for generations to come. 

As part of today’s signing, Sutter and Sansum leaders will gather to tour the site of newly-constructed operating rooms at Foothill Surgery Center. This expanded capacity is one of many projects that Sutter and Sansum leaders have championed since the beginning of partnership discussions, and part of Sutter’s plans to fund the expansion of access to care through several projects in the Santa Barbara region in the coming years.

“Sutter Health and Sansum Clinic are a natural fit because our organizations are driven to improve access and quality, provide a seamless, connected patient experience, and offer our dedicated employees and physicians an exceptional environment in which to do their best work and practice medicine,” said Warner L. Thomas, Sutter Health president and CEO. “We share a true commitment to not-for-profit healthcare and meeting diverse community needs. Through strategic investment in the months and years to come and in close partnership with our aligned medical groups, we’ll continue to deliver on that promise as an integrated system.”

Sutter and Sansum each have a century-long commitment to improving the health of the communities they serve. Unified by their common missions and values, they are now embarking on a journey to shape the future of healthcare on the Central Coast. Together, they will build on Sansum’s 102-year legacy while forging a new path forward.

“This partnership provides a great opportunity for growth and long-term stability for Sansum Clinic,” said Kurt N. Ransohoff, M.D., Sansum Clinic CEO and chief medical officer. “It will increase access for our patients to multispecialty, high-quality care, advance our integrated care model and provide a more connected, seamless experience for patients.”

Joining with Sutter will reinforce Sansum’s healthcare infrastructure and allow continued investment in its not-for-profit, ambulatory, and multi-specialty care model. It will enable continued growth to serve the community for decades to come while providing an opportunity for Sutter to serve the Central Coast and benefit from Sansum’s expertise and partnership with local leadership and the community.

“Sutter Health will be making significant investments into Sansum Clinic and the community, both now and into the future so that together we can expand patient care across Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast,” said Thomas. “Facility and equipment investments, combined with Sutter’s success in recruiting and retaining physicians, will have tremendous benefits for the greater Santa Barbara area in the form of more and better access to high-quality healthcare.”

Sutter and Sansum’s combined management teams are evaluating a variety of capital projects to fund in the months and years ahead – including renovations and improvements at Sansum patient clinics and offices; the purchase and installation of new clinical equipment; and other patient care, physician, nursing, caregiver and employee priorities. 

Some early areas of focus for shared investment include: 

  • Advancements to Sansum’s ambulatory surgery center technology and services, including state-of-the-art technology and three new operating rooms

  • Bringing more advanced diagnostic imaging services and an imaging center dedicated to women’s health 

  • Expanding access to primary and specialty care in Santa Barbara and neighboring communities

To meet growing demand, a key focus of the integration will be to expand services by enhancing existing physician relationships while exploring ways of bringing more primary care and specialty care physicians to Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast. Sutter recognizes that fully engaged physicians, advanced practice clinicians and care teams are essential to delivering high-quality care and an exceptional patient experience. Together, Sutter and Sansum will be in an even better position to attract, hire and retain extraordinary physician talent.

“In the face of industry challenges, the joining of our organizations creates long-term sustainability and the scale necessary for capital investments in our patients and communities,” said Ransohoff. 

“As health systems work to recover from the pandemic, costs – including labor, medicine and supplies – have increased sharply,” said Thomas. “At the same time, we have a growing Medicare population, an increasing shift to ambulatory care, and high consumer expectations around digital tools and technology. By integrating our learnings and best practices, we can better address these headwinds and grow, expand access and invest in the future of healthcare in California.”

“Sutter and Sansum have a shared history of working alongside strong medical groups to form the first medical foundations in California and have delivered healthcare using the same integrated care model for many decades. It’s exciting to have an opportunity to build upon that shared foundation for the benefit of patients in the Santa Barbara region,” said Thomas.

The agreement takes effect on October 2. Sansum’s integration into Sutter will happen over the next few years.

The joining of Sansum with Sutter represents an example of how the organization plans to expand access for patients and make comprehensive and coordinated high-quality care more equitable and accessible to more patients. Sutter intends to be the integrated health system that delivers better access, better quality and a better overall experience for patients, and is the best place to work and practice medicine. 

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health’s integrated, not-for-profit system of associated clinicians, employees and volunteers support more than 3 million patients in diverse communities across two dozen counties. Headquartered in Northern California, Sutter provides access to high quality, affordable care through its hospitals, medical foundations, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent and walk-in care centers, telehealth, home health and hospice services.