Sutter Health has been awarded a $6.1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to expand and develop model patient safety programs over the next four years within the Sutter Health network, a Northern California system of hospitals, physicians and other health care service providers. The grant is believed to be one of the largest single awards for patient safety ever provided to a health care system in the United States. 

Sutter Health is matching the grant award, bringing the total funds dedicated to further advancing patient safety to more than $12 million. 

“With this grant, Sutter Health and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have forged a special partnership to continue to transform and improve patient outcomes,” said Patrick Fry, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “Sutter has long been known as a leader in patient safety.  This grant helps us to advance the adoption of evidence-based nursing practices and increase investment in additional services that ensure the health and well-being of our patients.”

Six Sutter-affiliated hospitals will share the grant, which was awarded to the Sutter Health network for its long-term dedication to patient safety and quality improvement. The specific hospitals were selected to receive a portion of the total funds because of their service to patients in the five Bay area counties in which the Foundation is working to improve the quality of nursing-related patient outcomes in acute care hospitals. 

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley and Oakland
  • California Pacific Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco
  • Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and San Leandro Hospital Campus
  • Marin General Hospital
  • Novato Community Hospital 
  • Mills-Peninsula Health System in Burlingame and San Mateo

“Sutter Health was selected to receive this grant because of its exceptionally strong existing commitment to ensuring patient safety and to sharing the findings of this project more broadly with the community,” said Helen S. Kim, the Foundation’s chief program officer, San Francisco Bay Area and Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative. “This is a unique opportunity to work with an integrated health care system to advance patient safety primarily through nursing – and impact a greater number of patients than with an individual hospital.”

Hospitals across the nation are working to improve patient safety by virtually eliminating preventable medical errors. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant identified leading hospitals in Northern California to tackle this issue, and by bringing additional focus to patient safety, it aims to help hospitals that adopt the tested models.

“To achieve these goals, each Sutter-affiliated hospital will develop and support patient safety nursing teams and initiatives, which embrace evidence-based practices to improve care delivery and enhance nurse communication with patients and their care delivery team,” said Gordon Hunt, M.D., chief medical officer for Sutter Health. “The best performing programs will be recommended for adoption within and outside the Sutter Health network as a best practice.”  

Sutter Health has long been focused on patient safety and the factors that contribute to safe medical outcomes. The Sutter network is investing more than $1 billion in patient-oriented information technology, such as medication bar coding, the electronic intensive care unit and the electronic health record. Sutter also has implemented programs to improve nurse satisfaction, retention and quality of work life; enhanced compensation and benefits for nurses; and expanded opportunities for career growth, continuing education and training.

“Our system’s dedication to nursing education and improving patient safety means our family of medical professionals are armed with a variety of tools to bring additional layers of expertise and safety to patients,” added Dr. Hunt.   

This is not the first grant affiliates of Sutter Health have received from the Moore Foundation.  Since 2004, many of the network’s affiliates have been granted funds for nurse education, clinical advancement, and other programs. They include California Pacific Medical Center, Marin General Hospital, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Novato Community Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and Samuel Merritt College.   

“Sutter Health is proud to be at the forefront of the health care industry’s efforts around safety and clinical quality,” concluded Fry. “In the future, we will continue to take advantage of even greater advances that provide better, safer care for consumers.” 

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health is a family of not-for-profit hospitals, physician organizations and other medical services that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality.  Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, Sutter Health is a regional leader in cardiac care, cancer treatment, orthopedics, obstetrics, and newborn intensive care, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology.  For more information, visit

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks to develop outcome-based projects that will improve the quality of life for future generations. Funding is concentrated in environmental conservation, science, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As part of the San Francisco Bay Area focus, The Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative (BIMNI) was established in 2003 with the goal of improving the quality of nursing-related patient outcomes in adult acute care hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties).

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