Sutter Health
Founded1921; 100 years ago (1921)
Number of locations
24 acute care hospitals
Area served
California, Hawaii
Key people
Sarah Krevans, President & CEO
Number of employees

Sutter Health is a not-for-profit integrated health delivery system headquartered in Sacramento, California. It operates 24 acute care hospitals and over 200 clinics in Northern California.

Sutter Hospital Association was founded in 1921 as a response to the 1918 flu pandemic. Named for nearby Sutter's Fort, its first hospital opened in 1923. Later known as Sutter Community Hospitals, the organization eventually merged with a number of struggling hospitals in the surrounding area.[1] In 1996, Sutter merged with California Healthcare System, expanding its footprint into the San Francisco Bay Area.[2]



The organization takes its name from one of Sacramento’s original European settlements, Sutter's Fort, built by California pioneer John Sutter. In response to the 1918 flu pandemic, community leaders constructed the first Sutter Hospital in the vicinity of the fort, replacing an old adobe house that had previously served as a makeshift hospital. Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento occupies this site today.

Other Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals date back to the 1800s and were some of Northern California's earliest health care providers. For example, California Pacific Medical Center[3] in San Francisco was formed out of successive hospital and medical school mergers dating back to the city's earliest days of organized medicine. In 1866, the predecessor of today's Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital opened its doors to residents of Sonoma County.

Many of the health care facilities that eventually became part of the Sutter Health network were created as charitable hospitals by community members in cities coping with growing populations, epidemics, fires, floods and earthquakes.[4][5]

Late 20th Century

Government cutbacks, the advent of managed care, and other financial pressures fueled an increase in hospital and physician organization mergers, acquisitions and affiliations.[6] By 1995, Sutter Health had grown to include 18 affiliated hospitals, seven medical foundations (physician organizations) and numerous outpatient care centers throughout Northern California.

Meanwhile, in the San Francisco Bay Area, another affiliation of hospitals was forming. By 1986, Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in San Francisco, Mills-Peninsula Hospital in San Mateo and Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae had created an affiliation known as California Healthcare System (CHS). Berkeley-based Alta Bates Corporation (now known as Alta Bates Summit Medical Center) joined CHS in 1992, the same year that saw the creation of California Pacific Medical Center, formed through a merger of Pacific Presbyterian and Children's Hospital of San Francisco.

In January 1996, Sutter Health and California Healthcare System merged.

21st Century

The new century brought advances in health care technology and Sutter Health was among the first health systems in the United States to install bar code medication safety technology and an electronic intensive care unit.[7]

In 2010, Sutter Health reorganized its hospitals and medical foundations into five regions: Central Valley, Sacramento Sierra, East Bay, West Bay, and Peninsula Coastal.[8][9][10] In November 2014, it announced further operational integration of its five operating units into two: Bay Area and Valley Area.[11][12]

In 2016, Sutter Health became the jersey sponsor of the San Jose Earthquakes.[13] In 2019, the Sacramento River Cats stadium was renamed Sutter Health Park.[14]

Hospitals and Clinics

Sutter Health consists of 24 acute care hospitals and five medical foundations, plus specialized centers for surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, rehab, and home care. As of 2015, Sutter Health organizes most operations into two geographic units.

Sutter Bay Hospitals

Sutter Valley Hospitals

Sutter Bay Medical Foundation

Sutter Valley Medical Foundation

Other Services

In 2010, Marin General Hospital (now MarinHealth Medical Center) left Sutter Health to operate independently under the Marin Healthcare District.[15]

Notable services

Sutter Health doctors and hospitals provide a variety of clinical services including cancer care, complementary medicine, diabetes care, heart care, children's health, home health/hospice, mental health care, orthopedics, pregnancy and childbirth, sleep disorders, transplant services, and weight loss surgery (bariatrics).

Sutter Health affiliates have been nationally recognized for cardiac care,[16][17] neonatology,[18][19] transplant care,[20][21] and neurosurgery.[17]

Until the opening of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital's pediatric emergency department in 2013,[22] Sutter ran the only pediatric emergency department in San Francisco.[23]


Sutter Health doctors and hospitals participate in voluntary and mandatory programs that publicly report patient satisfaction, cost, utilization and quality of care measures. These include Hospital Compare, California Healthcare Foundation, California Office of the Patient Advocate, and The Leapfrog Group.

Sutter Health affiliated hospitals and medical groups, have been recognized by a number of independent health care quality organizations. For example:

In 2014, the Brookings Institution[31] and The Atlantic[32] wrote about Sutter Health's nationally recognized Advanced Illness Management program, which improves quality of life for patients with advanced, chronic illness, reduces unnecessary hospitalizations, and makes care more cost effective. In 2015, NPR in Los Angeles reported that the Sutter Health network doctors are standardizing treatment and testing options to make care more consistent and help reduce overall costs for patients, while maintaining care quality.[33]

Legal actions

In 2004, Sutter Health implemented a systemwide policy for charity care and health care discounts for uninsured and underinsured patients. In 2006 Sutter Health expanded its policy to offer automatic discounts to uninsured patients. Later, along with several other health systems, it reached settlement agreements in class-action lawsuits related to the billing of uninsured patients.[34]

In 2014, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union & Employers Benefit Trust (UEBT) filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against Sutter Health.[35] In 2018, the Attorney General of California filed a lawsuit against Sutter Health, alleging antitrust.[36] The Attorney General and UFCW ultimately settled their combined cases out of court in December 2019. Under the terms of the settlement, Sutter was not required to admit wrongdoing, but will pay plaintiffs $575 million in damages, and has agreed to significantly change its anti-competitive business practices.[37][38]

Labor relations

Sutter Health's physician organizations, hospitals, home health and other services have nearly 60 locally negotiated collective bargaining agreements with more than one dozen different labor unions. Approximately 13,700 employees have elected to work under labor union contracts.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "How a Pandemic Launched a NorCal Healthcare System | Newsroom | Sutter Health". Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  2. ^ Russell, Sabin; Writer, Chronicle Staff (1995-08-29). "PAGE ONE -- California Healthcare System and Sutter Health To Merge". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  3. ^ California Pacific Medical Center Women Pioneers in San Francisco Medicine, San Francisco Medical Society.
  4. ^ "1868-1898 - Trained Nurses for San Francisco - A History of UCSF".
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ California's Closed Hospitals, Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets And Consumer Welfare University Of California, Berkeley School Of Public Health
  7. ^ Remote intensive care that's more intensive, US News and World Report. Archived 2011-09-22 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Sutter's Five-Region Structure - Sutter Health 2012 Annual Report". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  9. ^ "256 Hospital and Healthcare Industry Leaders to Know". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  10. ^ "Sutter restructuring to save money". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  11. ^ Rauber, Chris (October 29, 2014). "Sutter appoints top MDs, set to restructure organization in Q1". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  12. ^ "Q&A with Sutter Health CEO Sarah Krevans: 'We have a focus on human-centered design'". Modern Healthcare. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  13. ^ "San Jose Earthquakes announce new jersey partnership with Sutter Health". January 26, 2016.
  14. ^ Egel, Benjy (August 23, 2019). "After 20 years as Raley Field, the River Cats' ballpark is getting a new name". The Sacramento Bee.
  15. ^ Colliver, Victoria (2010-06-28). "Sutter transfer of Marin General Hospital nears". SFGate. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  16. ^ "100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs | 2018". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  17. ^ a b Dyrda, Laura (December 13, 2019). "100 Hospitals and Health systems with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs | 2019". Becker's Hospital Review.
  18. ^ "Sutter Memorial Hospital: Seven decades of serving the community | Valley Community Newspapers, Inc". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  19. ^ Ghisolfi, Caroline (August 21, 2019). "'We are a team': Sutter neonatal pioneer helped regions' tiniest babies survive - and thrive". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  20. ^ Center, California Pacific Medical. "Liver Transplantation Team Performs 2,000th Transplant at CPMC". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  21. ^ "CPMC's Novel Liver Transplant Model Saves Lives and Proves to Be a National Leader". Hospital Council | Northern and Central California. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  22. ^ Poulos, Theresa. "UCSF Opens New Pediatric Emergency Department". University of California San Francisco. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  23. ^ California Pacific inaugurates $3.7 million ER for kids, San Francisco Business Times.
  24. ^ "Sutter Health's next CEO lives what she learned". Berkeley Public Health. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  25. ^ The Lewin Group Analysis of Performance of Systems with More than Four Hospitals on Quality and Patient Satisfaction Measures: Q1 2007 thru Q4 2007, The Lewin Group. Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Sutter Health and UC Davis recognized for integration, San Francisco Business Times.
  27. ^ Alta Bates, CPMC and Stanford hop on Leapfrog's list, San Francisco Business Times.
  28. ^ Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) Announces Pay for Performance Program Results and Award Winners, Integrated Healthcare Association.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Innovations in HealthcareSM 11th Annual Awards Event, Adaptive Business Leaders. Archived 2011-09-04 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Innovations in Healthcare 11th Annual Awards Event, Adaptive Business Leaders. Video: Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Rauch, Jonathan (December 5, 2013). "Opportunity Knocks at Home: How Home-Based Primary Care Offers a Win-Win for U.S. Health Care". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  32. ^ Rauch, Jonathan (December 2013). "The Hospital Is No Place for the Elderly". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  33. ^ Plevin, Rebecca (May 6, 2015). "Showing doctors the way to lower cost, improved care". NPR. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  34. ^ Rebecca Vesely (August 4, 2006). "Sutter Health settles lawsuit for $275 million". East Bay Times. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Communications, Blattel (7 April 2014). "UFCW & Employers Benefit Trust Files Antitrust Class Action Against Sutter Health". GlobeNewswire News Room.
  36. ^ "California attorney general sues Sutter Health, alleging unlawful price rises -". 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  37. ^ "Attorney General Becerra: State, Unions, Employers, and Workers Reach Settlement to Address Alleged Anticompetitive Practices by Sutter Health that Increased Healthcare Costs for Californians". State of California - Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General. 2019-12-20. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  38. ^ Thomas, Katie (2019-12-20). "Sutter Health to Pay $575 Million to Settle Antitrust Lawsuit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-02.