Is it time to go SOLAR?

As the alert “Wilder Side of Health” reader knows, we have new solar panels installed on the parking structures of Valley Medical Center…and now, SunPower is offering a special deal for YOU, just because you work here.

It’s called the SunPower Affiliate Solar Program, and it works to encourage folks to install solar panels at home – at a time when it’s never been more affordable and the incentives so enticing. Visit our new web page for more details if you and your family have been thinking about going solar!

Now, why would I be helping SunPower sell solar systems? Two main reasons:

1. The Earth is my very favorite planet. It’s where I keep all my stuff.
2. The VMC Foundation gets a donation from SunPower for every system sold!

…but you probably guessed that, right? Any way you look at it, this is a neat offer and we are really pleased to be working with SunPower, one of the most dynamic companies in Silicon Valley. So, if you’ve been concerned with your carbon footprint, check it out. I’m having a consultant visit my home in a couple of weeks myself!


With touch of sadness, but an eye on the future, today saw the tear-down of VMC’s old outpatient building…making way of course for the NEW VMC coming soon!

Progress on the “New VMC” – your dollars at work!

I promised several weeks ago that I’d keep you in the loop about the “New VMC” being built with the money you approved when you voted YES on Measure A last fall. Read on, and consider yourself “in the loop!”

First, the County’s first 2009 Series A General Obligation Bonds successfully sold this week, attracting 9 strong bids from the underwriting community. Merrill Lynch won a very close bid, coming in at a much lower interest rate than we expected. The result is that the county now has its first $350,000,000 toward the whole “New VMC” project – and saved a few million bucks in the process.

Meanwhile, construction goes on – or more specifically, destruction. The old outpatient building is being slowly dismantled, and we’ll let you know about the ground-breaking ceremony that will happen later this year when the site is ready for the new hospital. Our new parking garage opened this week, and the wonderful staff of the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System has begun helping with our capital campaign by

Give a Booster Shot!

Today the VMC Foundation launched a new initiative that asks the dedicated staff of the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System to “Give a Booster Shot!”

Time’s are tough, as we all know, so it may seem strange to ask our doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and everyone to dig even deeper than they already do every day…but we know our staff to be generous and to understand how their gifts can be leveraged.

So, http://www.giveaboostershot.orgwas born today! Click and check it out – it’s fun and even a little competitive! We’ve even figured out how to do a payroll deduction for the VMC Foundation – for as little as an $8 “Booster Shot” per check, your name will be on the donor wall in the NEW VMC bed building for all time.

I could go on about how giving a little can help a lot, but I got an email just now that does it better than I could. It’s from Dr. Gregg Adams, our rock star trauma surgeon, who sent this to his co-workers:

Hello all,

In a time of belt tightening and anxiety about the future, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to see your dollars put to hard work for the benefit of you and the community. The VMC Foundation is one such opportunity. They have been a constant, enthusiastic supporter of all of your hard work, and a creative force in getting the resources necessary for continuing the level of care for which VMC is heralded.

Now the VMC Foundation is asking for support from us, from the very people who benefit so greatly from their endeavors.

Please see the information below, and join me in giving the VMC Foundation a Booster Shot. There are many options available, one for every sized pocketbook.

You are among a select group of individuals who never have to look in the mirror and wonder if you make a difference in this world. You make a difference everyday. The community you serve reaffirmed their appreciation for that Mission with the overwhelming passage of Measure A last fall. Please take the time to read through Chris Wilder’s missive below, and consider helping the VMC Foundation, in turn, help us.

Thank you,

Celebrate National Nurses Week!

As Valley Medical Center continues to see a larger number of patients every year, it sure is great to know we have a fantastic team of nurses – HAPPY NATIONAL NURSES WEEK!

Here at YOUR public hospital, we’re celebrating today with a nursing education fair, 11am to 4:30pm in our new Valley Specialty Center building, Sobrato Cancer Center Conference Room…come by!

Tomorrow, Thursday May 7, VMC’s Nursing Exellence Awards will be given out in an inspiring ceremony at 1pm – again, Sobrato Concference Room at VSC.

Join me in thanking those who have dedicated their lives to the field of nursing. If you happen to be a nurse reading this, THANK YOU! I’ve been on the receiving end of wonderful nursing care here at VMC, and I sleep better at night knowing you are there for us all.

VMC and our Public Health Officer in the news…

It’s likely no surprise to you, but the H1N1 Virus (we’re not calling it Swine-Flu anymore, I’m told) is driving a large number of people to Valley Medical Center’s emergency department.

But that’s nothing new…it just makes a growing problem worse. This article is in today’s Mercury News:

While Roy Milligan sped along the freeway on his Harley, a metal chunk flew off a truck and struck his foot. Milligan worried the foot was broken but had lost his insurance along with his job last year. A co-worker at his new job suggested he go to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

“He told me they were really good to people who don’t have insurance,” Milligan said.

Apparently, the word is spreading. Since October, Valley Medical Center officials have seen a 10 percent increase in the number of uninsured patients

Check out the full article here.

Meanwhile, the fight against the outbreak of H1N1 has a great champion. Dr. Marty Fenstersheib is profiled today in the Mercury News as well:

Meet Dr. Marty Fenstersheib and his dark companions: anthrax and bioterrorism. West Nile virus and cryptosporidium. SARS, HIV and TB.

As Santa Clara County’s public health officer since 1994, the small-statured, 59-year-old former pediatrician and marathon runner from Pittsburgh is accustomed to finding himself at the center of Silicon Valley’s scariest public health threats.

Again, read the full article here – Marty is a pretty amazing guy, and we should all thank our lucky stars that he’s looking out for us!