Our new Information Kiosk (yes, it really is a big deal…)

Me, my hat (it was cold), Kim Lopez and two excellent volunteers showing the way.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center just got a little easier to visit, and a little more welcoming!

We’re so proud of our new information kiosk, purchased through generous donations from VMC Foundation supporters. It’s sturdy, wired for electricity, and expertly constructed. It’s even kinda cute; you can’t see in the photo, but it has a tiny Spanish tiled roof.  I was so thrilled when it arrived last week, and was curious to learn how much of a difference it would make.

So, to find out, I spent time there today volunteering. Wow—what an education I got!

Most hospital campuses are huge and sprawling, and ours is bigger than most…and let’s face it: Most of our visitors and patients would rather be somewhere else. They arrived stressed, sick, confused, emotional—and then suddenly have to decide which building is their destination. Signage can be missed, but what cannot be is a friendly face eager to help. Our volunteers are amazing, speak many languages, and now have a station where they can provide a comforting word, a map, and the encouragement of “You’re in the right place; it’s just there, through those doors.”

In the time I spent with our volunteers today, I watched and helped them direct an elderly couple to the Sobrato Cancer Center. A frightened woman was shown our urology clinic. A man, obviously not feeling well, got to the Express Care center with no trouble. Absent our kiosk and the team inside, I’m convinced their experiences would have been less positive. I mean, it’s hard finding your way around any complex set of buildings (remember your first day of middle school)…and when you’re under the weather, it’s much harder.

That’s why, I’m convinced, that another frequent request is “Can you help me find my car?” When parking in a 5-story garage, and your mind is on a loved one who is hospitalized…well, you get the picture. We’ve all done it, and nothing takes the edge off like having someone there to help you.

This is just one more way that your public hospital is making the experience better for everyone…and we at the VMC Foundation are so pleased to have helped make this possible. If you are a donor, THANK YOU, because YOU helped make this tiny bit of new real estate a reality. And as small as it is, it’s already making a BIG difference every hour, every day.

My final interaction before I left the kiosk was a man who approached and said “This is where I get information?” I told him it was.

“Great. What’s the capital of South Dakota?”

About E. Christopher Wilder

Chris Wilder is the Executive Director of the Valley Medical Center Foundation. He is constantly updating his blog with thoughts on what's happening at VMC, the state of Safety Net institutions, and health care reform.

4 Responses to “Our new Information Kiosk (yes, it really is a big deal…)”

  1. christina Egan January 13, 2017 12:24 pm #

    This is wonderful. Thank you for the great blog. The Foundation’s support means the world to us and our hospital staff, volunteers and patients.

    • E. Christopher Wilder January 13, 2017 1:59 pm #

      Well, with your leadership of our volunteers, and the leadership of SCVMC that embraced this idea, the support was never in question! Thanks for all you do Christina!

  2. Betsy DiPietro January 13, 2017 2:25 pm #

    Thank you so much, Chris. We see so many people who don’t know where they are at VSC. This will help our patients get to their appointments without the trauma and frustration of yesterday! Great job!

  3. Luisa Lennon January 18, 2017 11:25 am #

    Chris, the VMC Foundation & its supporters, VMC Leadership and Volunteers Rock!!!

    That location is perfect in directing visitors when they first arrive. Also by walking in the volunteer’s shoes for a day, you caught a small glimpse of what volunteers and patients/visitors encounter every day.

    That building as small as it is, IS a BIG deal! It makes a huge difference as it can serve as the first and lasting impression of VMC: Positive & Caring Service for our patients and their families. Also, thanks for thinking of the volunteers’ comfort level, especially during inclement weather. You are AWESOME!

Leave a Reply