Tenure marked by Collaborative Pandemic Response, Expanded Access to Equitable, High-Quality Care, Mental and Digital Health
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of the integrated not-for-profit Sutter Health system, has announced her plans to retire in early 2022.
“I am grateful to have spent the last five years as CEO of Sutter Health’s not-for-profit integrated network…”Sarah Krevans
“I am grateful to have spent the last five years as CEO of Sutter Health’s not-for-profit integrated network, serving 3 million Northern Californians each year in one of the most diverse regions in the country,” Krevans said. “Sutter’s integral role in the communities we serve has been on full display during the pandemic. I see firsthand how incredible our people are – especially our staff and clinicians on the frontlines treating patients – and the significant benefits of an integrated network that can share best practices, resources and support.
“As CEO for the past five years, Sarah has been a leading voice in advocating for the patients and communities that Sutter Health serves.”Gubby Barlow, Sutter Health Board Chair
“We also extended Sutter’s resources to the State of California to collaborate with them and other hospitals and health systems to tackle the challenges of the pandemic and put our state on a path toward recovery. This level of partnership and coordination is like nothing I’ve experienced before, and I am proud to have been a part of our collective response to the worst global health crisis in our lifetime,” Krevans added.
First female leader
Sarah was named Sutter Health president and CEO, the first female to lead the organization, in January 2016. Prior to this role, she served as Sutter’s chief operating officer, and regional executive officer and president of the Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region.
“The Sutter Health Board and I are grateful for Sarah’s commitment to Sutter Health’s mission, vision and values during her 22 years with the organization,” Sutter Health Board Chair Gubby Barlow said. “As CEO for the past five years, Sarah has been a leading voice in advocating for the patients and communities that Sutter Health serves.
“She has brought out the best in Sutter Health’s integrated network as our not-for-profit health system navigates a global pandemic and devastating wildfires impacting care sites, staff and clinicians. Under her leadership during these challenging times, the Sutter Health system continues to effectively coordinate medical care and healthcare services and play an integral part in California’s response to the pandemic.”
The Sutter Health Board will conduct a national search for Sutter’s next CEO and will consider internal and external candidates for Sarah’s replacement.
Accomplishments during Krevans’ tenure as CEO include:
- National Leader in Safety and Quality: Sarah has deliberately focused on elevating Sutter’s culture of safety. The integrated network continues to be ranked among the top performing health systems in the country and is a national leader in care quality, with the majority of hospitals and care centers now outperforming state and national averages in nearly every measure of quality.
- Affordability: Sutter’s commitment to continuously improving patient health outcomes is helping to lower the total cost of care for patients and payors. Sutter’s average total cost of care trended 8% below comparable Northern California hospitals over the past 10 years. Additionally, during Sarah’s tenure as CEO, Sutter kept its rate increases to health plans to less than 3% annually, which is lower than the cost of inflation. Sutter also has launched a financial recovery effort to address the fiscal challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This ongoing work has already resulted in the implementation of several actions and programs to make the organization more agile and resilient going forward and accelerate Sutter’s affordability efforts.
- Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity: Sarah’s unyielding commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion led the organization to be among the first in the state to offer unconscious bias training for system and clinical leaders – a training now provided to all clinicians. Sutter’s commitment to maternal quality and equitable care has led to some of the best maternal health outcomes across race and ethnicity, in stark contrast to national trends. This is just one example of Sutter’s robust health equity work, which continues through its Institute for Advancing Health Equity. The Institute – which Sarah played a key role in establishing last year – is working to embed health equity measures into all facets of Sutter’s clinical care.
- Innovation: Sarah has supported innovation efforts across Sutter’s integrated network. She was critical in securing philanthropic donations, including $20 million from Mike and Judy Gaulke in 2018, that funds several innovative partnerships and new tools that make healthcare simpler, more engaging, and human-centered. A recent example is Scout, which launched earlier this year as a virtual tool to support youth experiencing mental health challenges, and has 40% of users reporting an increased sense of resilience.
- Digital Health: Under Sarah’s leadership, Sutter accelerated its timeline for expanding telehealth services, helping balance the need for ongoing patient care with Sutter’s response to COVID-19 surges. Sutter’s video visits went from 10,000 video visits annually to more than 1 million in 2020. Despite the increase in video visits, overall utilization dropped 13% compared with 2019, as Sutter managed care efficiently and addressed patients’ needs despite these challenges.
- Mental Health: Through new and expanded telehealth, technology platforms and partnerships with expert organizations, Sutter has expanded its mental health support, education and access for patients and employees. One of the technology platforms is with Quartet, which helps primary care physicians connect their patients with mental health specialists.
As Sarah prepares to retire early next year, she plans to devote more time to several community and philanthropic endeavors she has been involved in over the years.