Women & Children’s Center at VMC receives $5.75 million towards launching campaign to raise $25 million

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, SAP, Sharks Foundation and the Rademakers Family announce major gifts.June 24 montage

Making a historic down payment on the future of women and children’s healthcare in Silicon Valley, SAP, the Sharks Foundation, the Rademakers Family, and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County have committed $5.75 million in seed funding to create a Women and Children’s Center (WCC) at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), which will be the first of its kind in San Jose.

“This Center will strengthen Santa Clara County’s historic commitment to providing quality care to women and children,” said Ken Yeager, Chair of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Health and Hospital Committee. “I appreciate the generosity of these donors. Their gift lays the groundwork for this essential service as we plan for the future of VMC.”

“Caring for women and children is at the core of what we do,” said Paul Lorenz, SCVMC Chief Executive Officer, during a news conference at SCVMC today. “This is a huge first step in raising the $25 million needed to make the Center a reality in 2016.”

The Women and Children’s Center at SCVMC will make use of an existing hospital building, consolidating pediatric, birthing and postnatal services into a single facility. Funded by a public-private partnership, the building will undergo significant renovation and upgrades to convert from general adult uses to specific women and children’s services.

A $4 million gift from FIRST 5 Santa Clara County will be invested in the labor and delivery department and the neonatal intensive care unit to be located on the third floor of the future WCC.

“This upgraded facility represents all the values we cherish at FIRST 5, which focus on making sure children five and younger have a better chance to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives,” said Jolene Smith, CEO of FIRST 5. “We’re excited because we’ll be able to integrate many of our programs and services throughout the WCC.”

With their $750,000 gift, SAP and the Sharks Foundation are making the single biggest donation to a non-profit since the foundation was started in 1994. As part of the SAP sponsorship agreement, SAP directs about $375,000 annually to the Sharks Foundation. The donation will sponsor the pediatric unit, located on the fifth floor of the WCC.

“The Sharks Foundation is thrilled to partner with SAP to fund the pediatric floor at the new Women’s and Children’s Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center,” said Jeff Cafuir, Manager of the Sharks Foundation. “We are extremely pleased to be involved with such a unique project that is going to make a significant and positive impact on the lives of so many here in Santa Clara County.”

“SAP is excited to support the development of the Women and Children’s Center as it reflects our belief that we strengthen our communities when we are making smart investments in projects aimed at improving the health outcomes for women and children,” said Jenny Dearborn, Senior Vice President at SAP.

After a tour of the WCC site at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, John and Ann Rademakers were so impressed they decided to donate $1 million to make it a reality. “We immigrated from the Netherlands decades ago and raised our children here. We have received so much from our community that we feel this is a meaningful way to give back and support the well-being of all our children.”

VMC is partnering with Silicon Valley Creates (SVC), the region’s arts and creativity network, to bring together artists and cultural partners to completely redesign the family experience with a touch of magic that complements VMC’s premier medical services.

“We believe in the healing powers of the arts and there will be no better place to put this idea to work than at the new Women and Children’s Center,” said Connie Martinez, SVC Chief Executive Officer.

The founding sponsors of the WCC have recognized why the WCC is urgently needed as San Jose is the largest city in the United States without a free-standing children’s hospital. That deficiency has been on the minds of healthcare leaders and local advocates for decades.

They emphasized, while the initial donations are a great start, much work needs to be done to raise the remaining $20 million necessary to finish the WCC.

To learn more about the Women and Children Center at VMC Campaign, click here.

“VMC changed the way we view healthcare!”

Chin family

THE CHIN FAMILY: JACQUELYN, AUDREY, ALEXANDRIA, AND DAVID

The Spring 2014 issue of the VMC Foundation’s Impact Report features the moving story of Audrey, a young girl born with cerebral palsy who has complex medical needs. Audrey’s parents, David and Jacquelyn, had a lot of frustrations with the quality of healthcare Audrey initially received, causing them to lose faith in the medical system.

All that changed when they were referred to Valley Medical Center. “I’m embarrassed to say that we’d never heard of VMC,” recalls Jacquelyn. “The care and level of dedication that VMC provided was really such a big and pleasant surprise… VMC changed the way we view healthcare!”

Audrey turns four this year… and we’re so happy that she’s doing well!

You can read more about this story, and see updates about our other programs, in our Spring 2014 Impact Report.

Join us for “A Very Big Announcement,” June 24th at 1 p.m.

When we say a “very big announcement,” we really mean it.

Really big. Huge even. Go ahead and think of something big. Got that? Well it’s bigger than that.

Please join us on June 24th at 1pm in front of the Valley Specialty Center for a special event and press conference on the future of women and children’s care at VMC.

You won’t want to miss it.

June 24 @ 1 p.m.

Donor Investment in Innovative Health Strategy Pays Off

Donors willing to fund “out of the box” solutions to our community’s health problems can make a big impact and help improve the way VMC provides care to its patients. With grant funding from El Camino Healthcare District, Valley Health Center Sunnyvale now has a Public Health Nurse, Joy Almquist, who visits the homes of high-risk chronic disease patients to assess environmental and home conditions that influence health behavior, and assists with the coordination of community resources. Though only in its first year, the program is already having a significant impact on people’s lives.

 
Joy with Patients

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: PATIENTS PAMELA, MELVIN, AND APRIL RECEIVE ONE-ON-ONE SUPPORT FROM PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE JOY ALMQUIST

One of the most common patient needs is assistance with medication management. Joy works with a patient named Pamela who has a complex medication regimen that includes more than 20 prescriptions plus oxygen therapy for treatment of emphysema.

Once home from a doctor’s visit, patients like Pamela can have a hard time managing all of their medications, so Joy makes home visits to provide one-on-one help with strategies for medication compliance. Joy’s work with Pamela has also helped avoid readmission to the hospital – whenever Pamela is having a hard time breathing she communicates with Joy who determines if the issue is urgent and can quickly arrange for a clinic visit. Pamela recently shared with Joy, “I don’t know what I’d do without you. This program is very important especially for people who can’t get around. You come to my home and it makes it so much easier and more personal.”

Joy also works with Melvin, another patient referred for assistance with medication management and compliance. Joy helped Melvin establish a routine for taking medications and checking his blood sugar, which has improved his health. With Joy’s help, Melvin also keeps and attends his dental and medical appointments on time, enabling him to remain home and stay independent.

Assessing environmental factors is something Joy is also trained to do. In her work with April, a patient with cirrhosis who is dealing with related symptoms, Joy focused on the importance of good nutrition and abstaining from alcohol. Together they discussed how April could adopt a liver-friendly diet, and Joy shared resources for alcohol counseling and treatment. Joy has actively helped April address barriers to attending her regular follow-up appointments with her primary care provider. April shared, “Joy has absolutely changed the way I think about my body and myself. I had the worst eating habits and, until I got sick, I never understood how it was all related. She makes me want to do all the right things to stay healthy and get my body and mind focused on long-term goals.”

JOY F. ALMQUIST, BSN-RN, PHN

Indeed, Joy says that her patients’ goals become her goals. She works to help patients maintain good health with her guidance and encouragement, which can make all the difference for those with complex medical conditions and challenging environmental factors. Having a dedicated Public Health Nurse working directly with VHC Sunnyvale’s primary care team means that every patient who needs individual support in a home setting can receive it, ideally improving the health of patients and reducing trips to the emergency room. Shari Hurst, VHC Sunnyvale Clinic Manager, shares, “I am confident that the collaboration between Public Health and Adult Primary Care at VHC Sunnyvale has helped patients in the North County area get access to key services that improve their health and well-being. The collaboration is an example of creative, patient-focused teamwork.”

El Camino Healthcare FoundationWith the support of El Camino Healthcare District, we hope to continue implementation of this innovative program at VHC Sunnyvale and establish a model of care that can be replicated to help patients throughout Santa Clara County. You can learn more about El Camino Healthcare District’s investment in the health of our community in their 2013 Community Benefit Report.