VMC Among “America’s Best Hospitals”

Silicon Valley is home to some of America’s best hospitals. So when the competition is this tough, there is no shame in taking the silver. In U.S. News and World Report just released “America’s Best Hospitals” annual report, VMC was ranked second only to Stanford for best hospitals in the San Jose Metro Area. VMC was specifically recognized for “high performing specialties” in Ear, Nose and Throat, Gynecology, kidney disorders and rehabilitation care.

Rankings aren’t everything, of course. But the recognition is well deserved. VMC and Stanford, of course, share a long-established bond. Together, both hospitals operate Santa Clara County’s only top level trauma centers. VMC is an official teaching hospital of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and numerous VMC physicians also serve on the Stanford faculty.

To see the report, check here.

History made at VMC’s Flag Dedication Ceremony


History was made yesterday at Valley Medical Center.

In a moving ceremony Monday morning VMC’s new flagpoles, installed as a result of 2008’s Measure A, were commissioned and dedicated. The Stars and Stripes, California State Flag and POW-MIA flag are now flying proudly in front of the main hospital thanks to our own VMC Color Guard, Veteran Marines all, from VMC’s Protective Services Department. No ceremony like it had ever taken place before.

VMC Foundation Executive Director Chris Wilder posted his thoughts, and a moving speech from Colonel William Peacock, on his blog yesterday. To read Chris’ full article, click here: http://bit.ly/abFsIQ

Why do we give to charities, anyway?

Is healthcare philanthropy in big trouble?

I agree that #1 and #2 of the “triple threat” to healthcare giving are real, as reported by Health Leaders Media: Uncertanty of health care reform and local (county) budget crises nation-wide.
#3 I’d like your opinion about. Here’s the situation:
President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget caps charitable deductions at 28%, while a Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission proposal would reduce the tax incentive for charitable giving to a 12% tax credit for donations that exceed 2% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.
Nine out of 10 AHP [Association of Healthcare Philanthropy] respondents surveyed in February said the Bowles-Simpson proposal would cause significant reductions in overall giving to their organization, with 64% saying the adverse impact on major gift-giving would be considerable. About 40% said giving would fall between 10% and 30% if significant changes are made to the current tax incentives for charitable donations—which conservatively could amount to more than a $1.07 billion drop in total annual giving to nonprofit hospitals, AHP said, based on its own FY2009 statistics.
AHP Chair Mary Anne Chern said any reductions in the tax incentives for charitable giving could be “devastating for healthcare in the U.S.”
The implied assumption here, of course, is that people donate to get a tax deduction. While that may be true, I cannot believe it’s the driver. Especially here in data-driven, outcomes-based Silicon Valley, my strong sense is that we donate because we want to see a positive, measurable change in our community as a result of our help. We want to make Santa Clara County a better place for everyone.
Let me know: If your donation was only partially tax-deductable, would you give as much to the charities you support? Frankly, the future of the VMC Foundation may depend on how we collectively answer this question. I welcome your thoughts: vmcfoundation@gmail.com

Read all about it: VMC’s Rehab Center Rebuilding Lives…

VMC’s Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brian Injury Rehabilitation Unit changed my life.

And I was never even a patient – just on my first tour of VMC, considering an offer to become Executive Director of the VMC Foundation. Seeing VMC Rehab up close made that decision very easy.

You probably know that our rehab center is one of the best in the country. This week, we’ve got news for you – it’s even better than you think.

Check out “Rebuilding Lives,” the special 12-page section in the March 11, 2011 weekly edition of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal, for an up-close profile of VMC Rehab. Read remarkable stories from patients, and meet the amazing staff. Learn about our efforts to use technology; from stem cell research to bionic exoskeletons, to find the next great breakthrough in rehabilitation care.

Buy your copy of the Business Journal on newsstands now, or download the special section here.

VMC wins national award for diabetes care

Valley Medical Center has received the prestigious American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for having an excellent diabetes self-management patient education program. The certificate is awarded to programs that offer high-quality education, which is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

“We are proud and honored to receive this national recognition. Education is a key component of our program and this recognition confirms what our patients know – that they are getting high-quality services at our Center,” stated Dr. Tyler Aguinaldo, Director of the Diabetes Center at SCVMC. “We use a variety of innovative strategies and components of the Chronic Care Model to help manage this ever-increasing and deadly disease. These strategies include self-management support, electronic registries, care management programs, and evidence-based protocols. We also use cutting-edge technologies such as insulin pumps and sensors, retinal camera screening and tele-medicine.”

Santa Clara County, like the much of the United States, is facing a growing epidemic of diabetes. Driven by obesity, poor nutrition and lack of exercise, diabetes related illness is a leading cause of death and hospitalizations. The VMC Diabetes Center sees more than 20,000 patients a year. And the number keeps growing, as VMC officials believe nearly 1/3 of all Santa Clara County residents are at risk for the disease.

That is why the VMC Diabetes Centers deploys dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, case managers and others to help patients navigate a complete overhaul of their lifestyle. After all, the goal is not only to help the patient in the short-term, but to keep them from ever having to come back.

Community Effort Helps Clothe Victims of Sexual Assault

Need proof that only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others?

Look no further than Lisa Blanchard and the Grateful Garments Project she has just launched to benefit VMC’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). The idea for Grateful Garments began when Lisa was working on a school project. Tasked to develop a fundraising initiative, Lisa chose a cause that aligned with her volunteer work with SART. She knew that the clothes of the clients treated by SART were being collected for evidence, leaving the patients in need of comforting, warm clothing to wear home after their exam.

The Grateful Garment Project’s mission, then, is to ensure that every client that crosses the threshold of the SART facility is provided with whatever clean, new clothing, toiletry and food items they may require to reduce any additional impact on their being. Additionally, VMC’s SART Program can benefit from upgrades to equipment and supplies…sadly, this need is real, no matter how we wish it wasn’t.

Lisa’s project has put her passion into action. Working with resources provided by the VMC Foundation and SART, Lisa has raised hundreds of dollars to support this act of compassion, and she is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Grateful Garments Project is now a Facebook Cause: http://www.causes.com/causes/588638-the-grateful-garment-project Join the cause and use your donation to say “thank you” to Lisa, for showing us that it only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others.

Grassroots community effort helps clothe victims of sexual assault

Need proof that only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others? Look no further than Lisa Blanchard and the Grateful Garments Project she has just launched to benefit VMC’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

The idea for Grateful Garments began when Lisa was working on a school project. Tasked to develop a fundraising initiative, Lisa chose a cause that aligned with her volunteer work with SART. She knew that the clothes of the clients treated by SART were being collected for evidence, leaving the patients in need of comforting, warm clothing to wear home after their exam. The Grateful Garment Project’s mission, then, is to ensure that every client that crosses the threshold of the SART facility is provided with whatever clean, new clothing, toiletry and food items they may require to reduce any additional impact on their being. Additionally, VMC’s SART Program can benefit from upgrades to equipment and supplies…sadly, this need is real, no matter how we wish it wasn’t.

Lisa’s project has put her passion into action. Working with resources provided by the VMC Foundation and SART, Lisa has raised hundreds of dollars to support this act of compassion, and she is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Grateful Garments Project is now a Facebook Cause: http://www.causes.com/causes/588638-the-grateful-garment-project Join the cause and use your donation to say “thank you” to Lisa, for showing us that it only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others.