Gary J. Passama, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthBay Healthcare System since 1987, is a 39-year veteran of health care in Northern California. He has served as faculty and speaker for programs of the American Hospital Association, Hospital Council of Northern California and the Medical Group Management Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
From the CEO

Not a Passing Fancy

NorthBay Healthcare recently attracted attention when the American College of Surgeons (ACS) announced it had "verified" that NorthBay Medical Center met its rigorous standards to be a Level II trauma center. Such verification by the ACS is prestigious.

This was another first for NorthBay Healthcare.


On Being Non-Essential

Covered California, the agency overseeing implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"), last week released a list of "essential community providers" (ECPs). Covered California is the mechanism that can provide access to health plans for uninsured people who now are mandated to have insurance.


Fractured on the Sixth of July

As I related in "Born on the Fourth of July," my Independence holiday weekend was consumed by the birth of my first granddaughter. What I did not tell you is how that weekend ended and another adventure in health care started.


Born on the 4th of July

My family had a great Independence Day weekend. We spent most of it at the happiest place in the NorthBay Healthcare system - the mother-baby unit on the second floor of NorthBay Medical Center.

It was there that Drew Estée Passama was born on the Fourth of July. She is the first child of my oldest son and his wife. Quite objectively I can say she was the cutest baby in the hospital.


Pachyderm Poop

On weekends I try to get away from healthcare and pursue other interests. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. 

Listening to a favorite radio show on technology is a weekend pastime. The host is someone I have listened to for many years and I find his take on technology in daily life both entertaining and illuminating. Recently, a caller asked how she could use social media to make her views known about something.


Ooo La La

My Internet translator says "wow" in Spanish is "wow." It says "wow" in Italian is "wow" as well. Nothing gets lost in the translation.

The French, being French, are different. According to my Internet translator, "wow" in French is "ooo la la."  Since my last name is French, I prefer the French version. 


Potentially Useful Helpful Information

Last week in my post, "Useless Helpful Information," I explained the pitfalls of relying on various sources to seek out prices for health care. Media pundits who have little understanding of the complexities of healthcare finances, make it sound easy to simply check "prices" and make decisions based on the information obtained.


The Edge of Tomorrow

My wife and I saw two movies over the weekend. It's a bad habit I am unwilling to break.

The first was "Jersey Boys," which is based on the Broadway hit about the Four Seasons singing group of the '60s. Very entertaining, with great music. Unbelievable as it may seem, Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons' lead singer, recently turned 80.


Useless Helpful Advice

Some advice is helpful. Some is useless. And some is just not relevant.

Patients are exhorted in the popular press to be smart shoppers when it comes to health care. That is good advice when the patient is in a position to make an informed choice. When a patient is not prepared, or constrained by his or her insurance plan, then healthcare shopping advice is both useless and irrelevant.


Blood, Sweat and Cheers

A virus is spreading within NorthBay Healthcare and it is becoming more virulent. Department after department is falling prey to it. After it hits, nothing is the same again.

And that is exactly the result we want.

We recently injected the "Blood, Sweat and Cheers" virus into four programs that will be part of the new NorthBay Wellness Center, to be built on our NorthBay VacaValley Hospital campus. They include the Specialty Medical Practices Clinic, Outpatient Rehabilitation, Occupational Health and NorthBay Cancer Center.