Mon12222014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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El Camino Hospital board names firm for CEO search

As El Camino Hospital prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday next month and continues its search for a new CEO to replace Ken Graham, the board of directors voted at its March 19 meeting to ease those transitions by assigning new leadership for the board.

Normally scheduled for July in the new fiscal year, the board voted to appoint John Zoglin as chairman, replacing Wesley Alles. Other new officers are directors Uwe Kladde, vice chairman, and Dr. Patricia Einarson, secretary-treasurer.

Zoglin and Einarson will oversee the executive-officer search as sole members of the CEO search committee, which appointed the firm Russell Reynolds last month to conduct a national search for a new hospital leader. Without citing specific reason, the board voted 3-2 in February not to renew Graham’s contract, which expires in June.

Russell Reynolds is not a new name for El Camino. In the past few years, the company found the hospital’s chief medical and information officers, Eric Pifer, M.D., and Greg Walton, respectively. The executive search company has more than 300 consultants in 39 offices around the world and is the sixth largest health-care executive search firm in the United States.

“Our Russell Reynolds team has made some outstanding placements,” Einarson said. “As we move forward, we will be soliciting input from stakeholders about the qualities and experiences they see as most valuable for the next CEO.”

At the board’s April 12 meeting, the group recognized Alles for his contributions to the hospital, particularly during an era of health-care reform and a difficult economy, El Camino’s own financial crisis and its two campus openings, the new hospital in Mountain View and the Los Gatos facility.

“In a year when the challenges just seemed to keep coming, as chairperson, he demonstrated not only strategic thinking, but also vision and integrity,” a resolution honoring Alles’ service reads.

In the meantime, the search continues for a chief financial officer to replace Marla Marlow, who abruptly retired in May 2010, two months after the hospital announced a $11.3 million shortfall.

For several months, Robert Dvorak acted as interim chief financial officer, but he recently stepped down from those responsibilities. The board recognized his service with a resolution last month.

Moving forward, the board approved Ned Borgstrom as interim CFO. Borgstrom brings hospital financial experience from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Exempla Healthcare in Denver and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

And the hospital’s overall finances are in the black, with year-to-date profits posting at more than $21 million through January.

In other key metrics for the hospital, quality care and hospital growth, Graham said there are areas of concern.

“Overall, the hospital is not quite achieving its volume objectives year-to-date because of lingering recession effects, but there are positive signs of volume improvements across the major service lines,” he said in a March report.

In a corporate scorecard measuring quality, finances, growth and employees in the second fiscal-year quarter, October-December 2010, the orthopedics, urology, cyberknife and infusion center departments surpassed their goals.

But in assessing hospital care, Graham said the hospital must improve patients’ overall length of stay, a high C. Difficile infection rate – Clostridium Difficile, an opportunistic bacterium that flourishes in patients on antibiotics – and nursing staff’s responsiveness.

In the patient safety/nursing sensitive indicators assessment, the scorecard rated nursing staff’s responsiveness at 63 percent – the goal was 70 percent.

The second fiscal-year quarter followed a large reduction in force in the nursing staff, accomplished through early retirements, voluntary leaves and job reorganization in October.

In the scorecard’s final metric – employees rating El Camino Hospital as a place to work – 25.3 percent of its employees gave it a thumbs-up. The goal was 55.1 percent.

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