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    Sutter Health Improves Health Care Access For Patients with Disabilities

    Not-for-Profit Health System Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 26, 2010 - Today, as the nation recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Sutter Health marks a two-year milestone in its renewed commitment to quality, accessible health care.

    In 2008, Sutter Health adopted comprehensive plans for improved access under the ADA, making the network a leader in disability access in the health care industry. Sutter has invested tens of thousands of hours and millions of dollars over the past two years to improve access to medical services by patients with disabilities.

    Some of Sutter Health’s recent accomplishments include:

    • Hired a systemwide ADA coordinator to guide Sutter Health’s comprehensive compliance plans.
    • Designated and trained 35 affiliate-based ADA coordinators to further improve health care access for people with disabilities – now and in the future.
    • Surveyed dozens of affiliate care centers to identify opportunities improve the physical access of facilities.
    • Began assessing existing medical equipment at our care centers including beds, exam tables, scales and medical chairs. Through these surveys we’re identifying any gaps and opportunities to potentially purchase new equipment.
    • Established seven new organizational policies to help ensure all patients – including those with disabilities – have easy access to quality health care services.
    • Identified and began implementing extensive updates to our website to improve access by individuals with disabilities.
    • Consulted directly with persons with disabilities to share their experiences and challenges with accessing health care.
    Although more work must still be done, Sutter Health is proud of its leadership to improve access to medical services by patients with disabilities. Very few organizations across the United States have made this type of commitment – but quality, accessible patient care is the network’s top priority.

    Celebrating 20th Anniversary of the ADA
    Sutter Health joins the California Department of Rehabilitation, and more than 40 state and local governmental departments, community-based organizations, and private businesses to recognize the ADA anniversary. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend.

    What: ADA Celebration and Resource Fair
    Where: West Steps, State Capitol
    When: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    In addition, Sutter Health donated $5,000 to the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF). YLF teaches high school students with disabilities vital leadership skills, provides career preparation instruction and helps educate and empower students to take charge of their health and wellness.

    Hear from a patient with disabilities about Sutter’s commitment to health care access (MP3) | Audio transcript

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    Kami Lloyd

    Sutter Health Media Line
    (916) 286-6695