Dr. Richard Isaacs, MD: The Willingness to Serve

In the modern world, the desire or the willingness to help others solve their problems is not complete without coming out of the confines of one’s comfortable world into the broader community of people struggling through life, in need or in pain.The Internet has helped to bring this eagerness to reach out to others to its fulfillment — especially in the field of medicine or medical practice, as it should be more properly called by those who are charged with administering health care to the ailing patient.

Medical practice is obviously a wide subject and incorporates so many different aspects of health-care and variations of methods or approaches, from traditional, alternative and even emotional in nature. The majority of people, however, depend on the general field of medical practice recognized by most societies and governments as the scientific and professional field of health-care provided by products of Schools of Medicine and are referred to as Doctors of Medicine (MD’s).

The more common term “physician” has also become synonymous with MD. To be a physician, in general, is to be qualified to provide essential health care using methods recognized by most public institutions as in keeping with accepted modern medical practices. This does not mean, of course, that ancient practices which have proven to be effective are without value in the modern medical profession. It only means that we have progressed to the level of fine-tuning the human capability to provide health care and to alleviate the sufferings of millions of sick people. And the people tasked with providing such highly-specialized skills also possess higher amounts of persistence, diligence and self-sacrifice than most people.

Dr. Richard Isaacs, MD, is a prime example of the qualified modern physician who has made good use of the worldwide web to present his credentials and his services to those who require medical care or assistance. A lot of people might either be surprised or turned off by such a direct approach to promoting one’s profession to the greater virtual community out there. That is because it might come out as somewhat demeaning to the noble profession of the physician which many consider to be more altruistic or service-oriented than most other vocations.

But that was common in the older times when medical practitioners worked silently in the bigger institutions, hospitals or hole-in-the-wall clinics they worked in. Today, doctors form so-called poly-clinics to provide a para-hospital alternative facilities for providing diagnostic and consultancy services. Most doctors, in the past, made do with putting up a sign on their home front-door as simple private general practitioners with a handful of devoted patients in their immediate neighborhood or locality.

However, today, the number of physicians and medical-help providers has multiplied and the means of providing such services have become more dynamic and diverse with the aid of technology. A doctor does not need to be with the patient to provide care, especially with common ailments. Or even in more serious cases where the doctor cannot be present and as long as there are other qualified professionals who can administer the prescription in an acceptable manner. Hence, it is not uncommon for a patient to be in a hospital for a couple of days, for instance, without having been visited by a medical specialist who may be preoccupied somewhere else although she does gets proper medical care under resident doctors. Times change and the way doctors apply their skills has also evolved with the times and the needs of the growing population.

And so, seeing a doctor such as Dr. Richard “Rich” Isaacs open up his resume on a website not only changes the field of medicine in its application but also in its accessibility to those who need its benefits. For this, we have to thank the likes of him for providing a convenient way of seeking medical help without the hassle of directly interviewing or hunting for qualified medical practitioners wherever they may be found.

Just a call away, Rich Isaacs, who holds an Advanced Certification in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery, specializes in orbital, nasal, and maxillofacial surgery, as well as thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Moreover, he is trained in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery and has an interest in post-tumor facial reconstruction and facial reanimation surgery. Rich is within reach to anyone needing his field of specialization in Sacramento, California where he holds his clinic.


Dr. Richard “Rich” Isaacs: At your service!

Dr. Isaacs’ credentials, as seen in his web homepage, are not just impressive but awesome in many respects. For one, he not only has a specialization in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery but also has wide grasp and experience in other medical fields, such as cancer (facial skin cancer, jaw tumor, laryngeal cancer, paranasal sinus cancer and thyroid cancer, to name a few) and has been involved in innovative medical care utilizing robotics and computer technology.

Such vast experience and expertise possessed by one physician should not come as a surprise from one who attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as an undergraduate and finished with honors. Rich, for short, was born and raised in Detroit and took up his medical studies at Wayne State University School of Medicine in that city, graduating, as we would have expected, with honors.

Rich joined Kaiser Permanente in 1995 and he has Advanced Certification in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery. His specialties include orbital, nasal, and maxillofacial surgery, as well as thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Additionally, Rich is trained in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery and is also highly involved in post-tumor facial reanimation and facial reconstruction surgery. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery as well as of the American College of Surgeons. Rich has also published many articles in various publications.

Rich has a passion for teaching and has trained medical students, residents and fellows from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia), and Northstate University School of Medicine (Elk Grove) where he teaches as a Professor of Otolaryngology. Serving as a teacher-doctor could be considered one of the highest accomplishments any professional or any person can have, for that matter. Skills and knowledge can grow not just through study and research but through passing them on to more people who can practice them as well as improve them for more people to benefit from.

As a Physician-In-Chief, Rich has proven his himself to be a good leader as well as a trusted practitioner. In April of 2005, He was appointed to the Physician-In-Chief position for the South Sacramento and Elk Grove Medical Facilities. He supervises 450 physicians and more than 3,000 nurses and staff who care for the 210,000 Kaiser Permanente members in the South Sacramento and Elk Grove areas. Rich also serves as the Medical Director of operations, including all inpatient and outpatient departments. He also works as the Chief Medical Officer for the 290 bed Acute Care Hospital and ACS Level II Trauma Center.

Does Rich still have time to do something else?

We all know doctors are quite busy people but they do find time to enjoy life. Hence, as impressive as Rich’s credentials may appear, he does find time to be an active sportsman, being an Alpine Member at the National Ski Patrol. And while he is at that, he likewise provides comprehensive care to injured skiers at the Tahoe Donner Ski Resort. Now, that is impressive as well as admirable – having a great, exhilarating time and serving fellow sports-enthusiasts when they need medical care.

What can we say but present to you Dr. Richard “Rich” Isaacs – at your service! He must enjoy what he is doing.

Kaiser promotes healthy babies with Dr. Richard Isaacs

Kaiser pushes for greater breast-feeding success among moms

The healthiest thing any child will ever consume is his or her mother’s breast milk. Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento wants to make certain new mothers learn how to breastfeed their babies before they leave the hospital to increase the future good health for babies.

Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento was recently designated a “Baby Friendly” hospital in accordance with the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

The staff had a small celebration on Aug. 14.

Max Villalobos, senior vice president for Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento said, “This is an international recognition.”

He said a special thanks to Barb Hansen, assistant manager of health education, and Cheryl Cox, manager of the perinatal services unit.

“Sometimes we overuse words, but this is prestigious,” he said.

Currently, Kaiser South Sacramento is one of 83 hospitals nationwide to fulfill the program’s 10-step process to become baby friendly.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in 1991 with help from UNICEF. Kaiser staff received a certificate of intent to work towards being admitted to the Baby Friendly program in 1993.

Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Richard S. Isaacs thanked the staff for their commitment. Isaacs, an ear, nose and throat doctor, said he learned that breast-feeding a baby causes fewer ear infections as they grow.

“It gives the child the best start,” he said. “It gives them natural immunity, it helps prevent infection, and it gives them tremendous nutrition. But more importantly it’s an emotional bond between the mother and the child.”

Debra Payne, program planner for First 5 Sacramento was at the Aug. 14 ceremony to congratulate the staff. First 5 Sacramento was involved with this program at Kaiser too.

Joni Wuthrich, director of prenatal services, said the staff have undergone training courses, learning the importance of encouraging breast-feeding over formula and allowing new mothers to “room in,” or stay with their baby the entire hour after delivery to breastfeed.

“I’ve been a nurse for 34 years and every single year more research comes out about how good breast-feeding is for babies,” she said.

Dessiree Whitehurst gave birth to her first child, a girl, on Aug. 13 at Kaiser in South Sacramento. The fact that Kaiser South Sacramento is in the Baby Friendly program and promotes breast-feeding amongst new mothers was reassuring to her as a new mom, she said.

“I’ve heard so many things like ‘It’s hard to breastfeed,’” she said. “Knowing that there is so much help- it’s really good for me.”

Whitehurst had already started breast-feeding her baby by the next day.

As part of the Baby Friendly Initiative, Kaiser will not accept free formula from vendors.

“We separated our relationship with formula vendors and that is a part of baby friendly too,” Wuthrich said.

Formula is prescribed when it is medically recommended for babies, rather than being a substitute for milk.

Wuthrich said baby formula is healthy, but human milk is better.

Not all women have to breast-feed, they support family choice too, she added.

CAPMG Steering Committee – Dr. Richard Isaacs, MD

As California Permanente physicians, we have a lot to be proud of.

Our physician-led mode of practice. Our partnership with patients. Our proven clinical excellence and nationally recognized quality leadership.

When health care legislation is debated, we want the best chance of a good outcome.

That is why The Permanente Medical Group and the Southern California Permanente Medical Group created California Permanente Medical Groups (CAPMG) political action committee.

CAPMG is our political arm. Our job is to help elect lawmakers who understand and share our values.

On behalf of CAPMG Steering Committee — This is our pledge.

  • No one will work harder than we will.
  • Our priority will always be the Permanente Medical Group model.
  • We will devote our full energy to electing officials who will work with us on enacting the best possible health care legislation.

Like you, we are passionate about our goals and optimistic about our success.




  • Sharon Levine, MD, Chair, Pediatrics, TPMG
  • Michelle Caughey, MD, Internal Medicine, TPMG
  • Ken Grullon, MD, Gynecology, TPMG
  • Vito Imbasciani, MD, Urology, SCPMG
  • David Lerman, MD, JD. Family Medicine, SCPMG
  • Michael Neri, Jr. MD, Family Medicine, SCPMG
  • Richard Isaacs, MD, Head and Neck Oncology, TPMG

For more info about Dr. Richard Isaacs, you could visit this page or like us on facebook for more update.


  • Traci Perry, Executive Director
  • Liz Rothberg-Smith, CAPMG Staff

Richard Isaacs MD: The fight of his life

A Makahu father with a rare form of cancer is being denied a drug that may give him more time with his four young children.

James Grieve, 44, was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour (DSRCT) last July, when the family were living in Perth.

Grieve told his oncologist the family, who were originally from Britain, were only in Perth on a work visa and he and his wife Victoria wanted to take their children home to Taranaki.

But they were told it was a very aggressive sarcoma and he had to start chemo straight away, Grieve said.

“He made it clear I was going to die. I was going through chemo because I have four kids and something was better than nothing.”

After six rounds of chemo, nothing had changed, he said, so they came home.

But before they left, Grieve’s oncologist in Australia gave him three months worth of a trial drug, Pazopanib, which may inhibit the tumour’s growth and give him more time with his four young children.

However, back home in New Zealand Pharmac won’t fund the drug, which costs $10,000 for three months supply.

In a letter to MidCentral oncologist Dr Richard Isaacs, Pharmac said if Grieve was granted Pazopanib, people with other soft tissue sarcomas would also apply, because there was no clinical evidence to support the use of the drug specifically for DSCRT rather than other soft tissue sarcomas.

So, because of the “possible budget risk” Grieve’s application was declined, the letter said.

Isaacs said Pharmac could define strict criteria for access to the drug, which would limit the expense.

“This drug is funded for advanced kidney cancer and is quite commonly used in that setting, meaning New Zealand clinicians have experience with the drug.”

DSCRT is an aggressive and rare tumour that occurs in the abdomen, Isaacs said. MidCentral Regional Cancer Treatment Service, which covers 500,000 people, sees less than one case a year.

The United States-run trial Grieve was treated on in Australia recommended Pazopanib for relapsed disease, as did the clinicians at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, probably the biggest sarcoma unit in Europe, Isaacs said.

“When we have a rare tumour, we try and follow expert advice, hence my application to Pharmac for funding.

“Soft tissue sarcoma includes a number of different diseases, some of which have been shown to benefit from Pazopanib,” Isaacs said.

James Grieve said he was a realist.

“I know there is no evidence to say (Pazopanib) works, but I know I feel better. I feel a hundred times better. I upped the steroids on the same day. I don’t know what, but something is making the difference.”

Victoria Grieve said she couldn’t afford $40,000 a year to prolong her husband’s life.

With no income for the past nine months the family had been working through their savings.

The chemo didn’t work and the tumours were too extensive for radiation and surgery, she said.

“If we find that this does work, can’t we just give the guy a break and let him spend some more time with his kids?”

Pharmac director of operations Sarah Fitt said she couldn’t comment on individual cases.

“But we do sympathise with the situation this patient is in. In making decisions for individual patients, Pharmac looks very closely at the patient’s individual situation and health need. Pharmac also needs to take into account the wider implications of individual patient decisions, such as the need to be fair to other patients seeking treatment for other conditions.”

Business Journal names “Healthiest Employers” winners

Business Journal names Healthiest Employers winners

Attendees at the Healthiest Employers 2011 awards luncheon walk around the exhibitors area before the awards.

Five Sacramento-area companies won top honors at a luncheon Friday for theie employee health and wellness efforts. Rood & Dax Advanced Insurance Services Inc. of Sacramento won in the micro category (10 – 50 employees).

Dr. Richards Isaacs accepts a Healtiest Employers award on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Kaiser won in the mega category (10, 000-plus employees). The health care nonprofit, which has made healthy living a central message in its advertising years, has had a wellness program since 2002.

Richard Isaacs MD: Kaiser South gets Level II trauma certification

Kaiser Permanente’s South Sacramento Medical Center has been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level II trauma center.

The center got provisional verification by the group last year so it could begin operations, but the process requires reviewers to evaluate the program after it is up and running.

Reviewers conducted another on-site review in March to evaluate trauma center staff, equipment and other resources to make sure they meet national standards. Full verification will be in effect until 2013.

Since opening Aug. 1, the new South Sacramento trauma center has treated an average of 150 patients per month.

“We are extremely proud that the American College of Surgeons has verified that our program meets their stringent standards,” Dr. Richard Isaacs, physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente South

Sacramento, said in a press release. “We have an excellent staff here and we are committed to caring for some of the area’s most critically injured patients.”

The South Sacramento hospital serves an area from Interstate 5 east to Rancho Cordova, and from Florin Road south to the San Joaquin County line.

The trauma center is a first for Kaiser Permanente nationwide.

Richard Isaacs MD – Kaiser Permanente: Company wants employees to serve as role models in community

Carman stopped exercising after leaving the military in 1991, and the pounds began piling on. But after his father died at age 54, and at the urging of his daughter, a nursing student, Carman decided in 2012 to start making a change.

He credits Kaiser’s Live Well, Be Well program for his improved fitness. Carman dropped 40 pounds since starting the program and trimmed 6 inches from his waist. And in September, he was able to stop taking the blood pressure medication he’d been on for 10 years.

Carman ran in the December marathon as part of a four-member relay team with his daughter and friends. His goal is to run half the marathon this year, and the entire course in 2015. He’s also working on losing another 20 pounds.

The constant encouragement Carman receives through Kaiser has helped him overcome his biggest obstacle: sticking with his exercise program consistently. “I’m just very grateful for everything my employer does,” Carman said.

While many employers encourage a healthy workforce, Kaiser, which employs 66,000 in its Northern California region, including 12,000 in the Sacramento area, has an additional motivation as a health-care provider.

“We want all of our staff and physicians to be role models for our community,” said Dr. Richard Isaacs, physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.

Kaiser’s program offers more than 250 wellness options that focus on six categories: physical activity, healthy eating, emotional health, prevention, healthy workplace and healthy community.

Issacs, a head and neck surgeon, said the program has caused a cultural transformation at the company, reducing absenteeism and making employees happier and more engaged.

“I’m watching our employees actually transform their lives,” Isaacs said. “They look different. They just exude health.”

Employees encourage colleagues to get involved, take lunch-time walks or train for competitions. There are free exercise classes, with yoga, Zumba and boot camp among the popular options.

Employees can track their health improvements online and enroll in a wellness university, where they earn credits and even graduate.

To encourage healthy eating, there are on-site farmers markets and employee gardens at Kaiser’s South Sacramento Medical Center, as well as at offices in Davis and Rancho Cordova. There, workers grow vegetables and chefs demonstrate healthy cooking techniques.

The program’s emotional health component encourages employees to pursue creative outlets. Toward that end, the South Sacramento Medical Center held its third annual art show March 28, where physicians and employees displayed paintings, photographs, sculptures, quilts, beadwork and floral arrangements.

Dr. Richard Isaacs: Kaiser’s summer internship program

Kaiser’s summer internship program gives high school students a chance to see if medical field is right for them

Valley High School senior Faith Allison thought she was interested in cardiology when she started a paid internship at Kaiser Permanente’s South Sacramento Medical Center this summer, but she liked the variety she saw in trauma.

Luther Burbank graduate Melany Caldera figured “you can’t go wrong with health care,” but she got dizzy every time she saw blood. Human resources, she likes.

The idea behind the Kaiser internship program is to give underrepresented and low-income students a close-up view of the career promise of health care before they make a career choice. A comprehensive program that focuses on careers in demand, it can also serve as a pipeline for future Kaiser employees.

“It’s really important for people who have an interest to see their destination before they begin their journey,” said Dr. Richard Isaacs, physician-in-chief at Kaiser’s South Sacramento hospital. “Our hope is they will go back to their own community with a better idea of what they can and want to do.”

The Summer Youth Employment Program is one of the community benefits Kaiser offers in exchange for tax-exempt status. There are 215 participants in Northern California this summer, about 30 in the Sacramento area.

Eleven high-achieving students were selected from 150 applicants for internships at Kaiser South Sacramento.

The full-time program runs for eight weeks. Students do workshops, projects and rotations in departments, meet weekly to share information — and get paid $8 an hour at a time when many high school students have trouble getting a job.

Other local health systems offer internship programs for high school students, too. But most are unpaid.

“Any organized professional experience we can expose young people to — and high school seems to be the focus now — can pique interest in and provide direction for college and medical school,” said Scott Seamons, regional vice president of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California.

A lot of exposure’

Karima Ziyarmal, now 23, was a 2006 summer intern at Kaiser’s South Sacramento hospital.