Today was super cool – it began with a visit to Valley Medical Center by a group of 12 nursing students from Japan! That’s them, in the photo, along with VMC Foundation staff member Debbie Burdsall, touring through our Spinal Cord Rehabilitation outdoor plaza.
A couple quick cool items for you today: Last week was the grand opening of Valley Specialty Center, VMC’s new fantastic outpatient clinic…and the Idol Hands Band was there to rock the party, louder than we’ve ever been, with a huge sound system (not pictured is our amazing singer, Veronica Giles, R.N.). Big thanks to the hundreds that came out for the celebration, including elected officials and even former SCVHHS CEO Bob Sillen!
Now – on to national affairs: Say what you like about federal earmarks, but I’m with George Stephanopoulos who said today “You have to decide – is it a bad earmark, or a good earmark?”
If you’re seeking an example of a good earmark, I offer two, as championed by Congressman Mike Honda and signed into law by President Obama yesterday: Valley Medical Center has been granted $404,000 for digital mammography equipment, and $233,000 for emergency room ultrasound technology.
Both will save lives, at a time when VMC is facing yet another hard year of budget cuts. Neither represents even a fraction of the federal budget. And sadly, though badly needed, these vital technology purchases are only two of the long list of items we need at YOUR public hospital…and cannot afford right now.
That’s why the VMC Foundation is working so hard to raise funds for more equipment and programs. We cannot stop just because the economy is down; in fact, since demand for VMC is up, we need to work doubly hard!
SO, yes, we’re thrilled about Valley Specialty Center, which will help more patients receive care more efficiently. But we need more technology, equipment, and support to keep it all going.
Today we celebrated a major partnership at the VMC Foundation, and I just had to share it with you. First 5 Santa Clara County has made a multi-year, multimillion dollar commitment to us for support of our tiniest, most fragile patients: The babies in VMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The benefit of this life-saving equipment and program investment can seriously not be measured fully in dollars or statistics. Let’s instead measure it in families:
The photos above are Greg, Fan and Dana…Dana is about to start Kindergarten, but spent a very tough time in our NICU when she was born tiny and prematurely. When Dana came into the world, she was the size and weight of a stick of butter. Think of that. They thought she might not survive, but today…well, you can see her: A happy, healthy girl ready for school!
It’s the major leaps in technology (and the amazing staff of our NICU) that lead to such great outcomes for Dana and so many others, and First 5’s investment will help ensure we meet our growing tech needs. “What happens to these babies in the first few minutes of life,” explained Nurse Manager Kim Corvin at today’s press conference, “will impact the rest of their lives…and that impacts our whole society.”
Kim is right – and First 5 cannot be thanked enough for this investment in our future. Visit them to learn about the other great things they do around Silicon Valley: http://www.first5kids.org/