Former 17-year-old VMC Rehab patient mobilizes community to give back

Zack HerndonIn early June of 2010, 17-year-old Pioneer High School student Zack Herndon was enjoying a day at the beach with friends when an accidental fall changed the direction of his summer. Only three days after finishing school, and weeks after completing his Eagle Scout project, Zack sustained a neck injury that required emergency medical attention, and a whole summer of healing. Zack was hospitalized for a week at Valley Medical Center, eventually moving to VMC’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation unit. Just weeks after his release from the hospital, he decided he wanted to give back to the department who helped him recover from his injuries.

Yesterday, Zack and his Father, Bill, Mother, Julie, and brother, Keagan, came to VMC Rehab to donate a DVD library of 130 titles for the patients of the department to enjoy. “I decided to give back to the hospital because all of the patients have DVD players in their room, but they don’t have any DVD’s to watch,” Zack remembers. So as soon as he was well enough to, he posted the need on his neighborhood’s blog, made a presentation to his Boy Scout Troop, and mobilized his parents local Rotary chapter…and the DVD’s started rolling in.

On behalf of the VMC Foundation, and SCVMC Rehabilitation we would like to thank Zack and the entire Herndon family for their generosity and swift action to fulfill this need. What a guy! What a gift! Zack is an incredible reminder of the impact that an individual can have on their community.

VMC’s first-ever Car Show (with just one car)…


Join Valley Medical Center on Tuesday for our first-ever Car Show!

Yes, I know it’s only one car, but it’s a historic one: The first-ever automobile designed and built from the ground up for the disabled community.

Naturally, the car, called the MV-1, is attracting attention nationwide…and naturally, it will be visiting your public hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit–since ours is one of the best in the nation.

Come see this unique and inspiring vehicle and meet the designers:

Tuesday, July 20, 12 noon through 3pm (come any time)
Valley Medical Center’s “Rehab Parking Lot”
751 S. Bascom Ave, in front of the Rehab Center (facing Bascom, between Renova Drive and Enborg Lane)

Mingle with VIP’s, elected officials and VMC’s patients and former patients for whom this car could be a real game-changer. See you there!

Three events up and coming…come one, come all!


Allow me to fill your summer/fall social calendar with some worthwhile events. Each is unlike the other, but all have one thing in common: They promote and support Valley Medical Center. Get ready to mark your calendars, friends…

1. VMC’s Rehab BBQ, Thursday July 29, 11:30 to 1pm. Taking place on the “Rehab Lawn”, 751 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose, this event benefits VMC’s Therapeutic Recreation Program. Enjoy great food, drawings, prizes, and live rock n’ roll provided by the Idol Hands Band (your humble writer plays bass guitar). All this for just a $5 donation? Amazing!

2. National Health Reform Law: Implications for Silicon Valley
Friday, September 10, 2010
The Mayer Theater, Santa Clara University.
9:00-11:00 am (free to the public)
rsvp: nicolek@healthtrust.org

Speakers will address topics including implications for our safety net, coverage, children’s health, seniors, public health and the health care workforce.

Confirmed Speakers include:
Congressman Mike Honda
Sarah Muller, Director of Health Care Policy, Working Partnerships
Chris Wilder, Executive Director, VMC Foundation
Kathleen King, Executive Director, Santa Clara Family Health Plan
Lisa Shugarman, Director of Policy, The SCAN Foundation
Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Public Health Officer, Santa Clara County
Ellen Schaffer, CA Public Health Association North

3. VMC Foundation’s Annual Gala: Luxury by the Lake – Saturday, October 2

This will be the signature event in our 22-year history, held at the stunning Sunnyridge Estate in Los Gatos, one of the finest mansions in the Bay Area. Tickets are $200 per attendee for this black-tie optional ball, which will be the highlight of the social season. Sponsorship opportunities and details can be obtained by contacting the VMC Foundation’s Judy Cosgrove at 408-885-5205. This is one fund raising ball you won’t want to miss!