Why is VMC so great? Teamwork!

Mature Students Sitting Together Working on Computers

It’s not every day that you get a ringing endorsement from one of Silicon Valley’s most influential companies, but today is the day.

Facebook (you’ve heard of them?) has a product manager whose son spent weeks at VMC’s renowned Burn Center earlier this year. That’s a hard place to be, obviously, but the care you can expect to get there if you ever need it is fantastic.

So much so, and so impressed was Ms. Budaraju, that she wrote a piece on what she learned about teamwork from the Burn Center. It’s a marvelous and well-written piece, and the information contained crosses nearly every job, every sector I can think of.

So, I invite you to read her excellent post and apply what she learned – what VMC’s Burn Center exhibits – to YOUR work. I know I will!

A new Family Lounge and Library, inspired by Nora

The first thing that visitors see when they arrive on the 5th floor of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is not much at all – an elevator lobby, white walls and linoleum. It’s a place to walk to and from and nothing more. The revitalization of this small space will be the catalyst for efforts to transform the entire current “Main Hospital” into San Jose’s first Women and Children’s Center… all thanks to a little girl named Nora.

Thomas Boström and Claire McCormack stand next to the initial rendering of the new Family Library and Lounge that will greet visitors to SCVMC Pediatrics. Their gift is being made to honor their late daughter, Nora.

Thomas Boström and Claire McCormack stand next to the initial rendering of the new Family Library and Lounge that will greet visitors to SCVMC Pediatrics. Their gift is being made to honor their late daughter, Nora.

Nora was born on December 11, 2009, in San Francisco. “Within months, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.  Because of her diagnosis, she became very experienced in hospital visits and longer stays. She passed away on November 22, 2013, in Palo Alto.

Her parents, Thomas and Claire, were Nora’s greatest champions, and since her passing have become fierce advocates for hospital safety and children’s health issues.

With the support of family, friends and co-workers, Thomas and Claire created a fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to honor Nora’s memory. That effort brought them to VMC for the first time, and to the bland elevator lobby on the 5th floor.

Understanding the need for families to have safe and engaging spaces to visit during their hospital stay, they proposed a small library area for kids to read books with their parents. It was an idea close to their hearts.

“Nora especially loved reading books,” shared Thomas. “We hope the space will offer an escape from the hospital setting for children and their families. We want it to be a place where patients can read books alone or with their parents. They can have a quiet spot outside their rooms to relax.”

Soon, when visitors arrive on the 5th floor, they’ll be greeted by a warm, welcoming space filled with books and cozy places to sit and read. The library will be a fulcrum for a remodeled lobby and hallway, outdoor patio and a small, multi-purpose room that will preview a grander transformation of the entire 5th floor and building. The family and patient experience will be permanently altered, all for the better.

It’s a fitting legacy for Nora that will benefit VMC families for decades.

To learn more, visit www.imaginevmc.org.


Health Trust makes $250,000 gift to transform VMC café


Health Trust leadership, including CEO Fred Ferrer, present their gift to VMC Foundation CEO Chris Wilder, joined by SCVMC CEO Paul Lorenz and Supervisor Ken Yeager.

Health Trust leadership, including CEO Fred Ferrer, present their gift to VMC Foundation CEO Chris Wilder, joined by Supervisor Ken Yeager and SCVMC CEO Paul Lorenz.

Promoting healthy food choices has been at the core of The Health Trust’s efforts to confront Santa Clara County’s ongoing obesity and diabetes crisis. At VMC, that’s meant funding a weekly Farmer’s Market on campus, and now – thanks to a $250,000 gift – transforming the only café in the future Women and Children’s Center into a fun and appealing source of healthy food for kids and their families.

Modeled after the nationally recognize café do-over at the Children’s Discovery Museum (CDM) in downtown San Jose – a project that was also funded in part by The Health Trust – the current VMC space will get a physical and menu upgrade. At the CDM, a generic, junk-food dependent space that had all the charm of an airport food court was replaced by a beautiful restaurant that promotes health eating using design, color and a novel menu. Healthy eating is not presented as an option (a la ordering a “diet” soda) – it is the only option. Yet, offered in a way that promotes the inherent quality and deliciousness of the food, and not as a “take-your-medicine” necessity.

It’s an approach that suits VMC well, where high standards for healthy food options already exist. The current space, however, needs a major face-lift. And there is an added benefit to adding a revitalized café to San Jose’s first Women and Children’s Center, beyond the people served. It sends a message that healthy eating is a cornerstone to health. Indeed, the new café will literally be in the corner of the building’s ground floor.

Work on the café will commence in 2017.

To learn more about the campaign for a Women and Children’s Center, visit www.imaginevmc.org.

Medical Legal Partnership Opens at VMC’s new Health Center!

The alert reader of this blog will remember two years ago when we celebrated the five-years of VMC’s Medical Legal Partnership Clinic. This is the innovative idea that, sometimes, a lawyer can solve your medical problem better than a doctor!

Intrigued by that concept? So were we in 2009, and so was FIRST 5 Santa Clara County which funded this great partnership and kept it going for five years.

Sometimes, it takes that long to prove a concept…but the good news is that in Santa Clara County, especially at Valley Medical Center, a proven concept leads to my favorite word: SUSTAINABILITY.

After hundreds of patients helped, fueled by donations from FIRST 5, the leadership of VMC asked the County to make the Medical Legal Partnership a permanent part of its budget, and to give it a home in the new Valley Health Center Downtown.

…and that happened, and today was Opening Day! A huge congratulations to Dr. Leanna Botkin and the team at the Law Foundation Silicon Valley’s “Legal Advocates for Children and Youth” for demonstrating how this collaboration can make such a positive difference for patients who often have little recourse to improve a situation for themselves or their children.

Click here to learn more about the Medical Legal Partnership, and here to learn more about Valley Health Center Downtown, the latest jewel serving the population of our country’s tenth largest city.