We will always remember Richard Patterson

The VMC family has lost a true hero.

Richard Patterson passed away last night peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends, to a personal rendition of his favorite song.

In the words of Dr. Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, who leads VMC’s Rehabilitation Research Center

Richard was an amazing man who influenced so many diverse circles and will be missed terribly. He led the peer-support counseling program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for the past 15 years. He was a tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities, peer support coordinator, committee member for the Public Authority for In-Home-Supportive-Services, a co-chair of the Disability Advisory Commission for the City of San Jose, brother, son, fiancé, colleague, and friend. His loss will impact the thousands of lives he has touched.

Richard PattersonOne life was mine. I met Rich eight years ago, and there’s no end to what he taught me. Rich was the first to explain to me that “you never really ‘accept’ your spinal cord injury, rather you learn to live and work with it, the best you can, which is why peer support is so critical.” As much as someone not living with a disability can understand, Richard Patterson helped me understand.

Our work together saw Richard leading adventurists (like him) with disabilities on glider rides, whale-watching and SCUBA trips, and other excursions that proved what was possible. Great men like Steve Lyon and Marv Tuttle worked with Richard for years to demonstrate to thousands that life after a spinal cord injury can be full and exciting. The VMC Foundation will be forever proud to be part of his legacy.

We have, therefore, established a fund in his name, to ensure that his peer support and community work will grow. His family requests that gifts be sent to the VMC Foundation, 2400 Moorpark Ave. #207, San Jose CA 95128. Be sure to write “Richard Patterson” in the memo of your check, or to give by ccard, call us at 408-885-5299 or visit us on line.

Rich, I’ll miss you buddy. We all will.

General Surgical Teaching Excellence

VMC has long been an official teaching hospital of the Stanford University School of Medicine. And now, according to Stanford General Surgery Residents, it’s also their favorite.

Dr. Gregg Adams, Chief of Surgery at VMC announced today that Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has received the “Best Service” Award by the 2011 General Surgery Residents at Stanford. Interns, Second-Year Residents and Fourth-Year Residents all gave VMC top honors, after rotations that included stints at Kaiser, Stanford Medical Center, Lucille Packard and the VA.

The General Surgery Training Program at VMC is headed up by Dr. Adella Garland and Dr. Peter Cahill. Thanks to their work and others, VMC is the largest teaching hospital in the South Bay, having trained a quarter of all practicing physicians in Santa Clara County. It’s just another way that VMC benefits all residents of this valley, regardless of where they normally receive their healthcare.

Soda-Free Summer…but let’s not stop there!

It’s a pretty rare thing that I reference Men’s Health, a publication that spends a lot of time trying to improve one’s sex life. But, on occasion, they actually focus on – yes – men’s health…which oddly is often the same thing as women’s health, and kids’ health!

Who would have thought?

Anyway, as the VMC Foundation launches another year of our Public Health Department’s Soda-Free Summer campaign, it’s important to remember that you can ingest a lot of unhealthy drinks without guzzling Dr. Pepper or Jack Daniels – often without thinking about it, or worse, thinking you’re doing the right thing.

Here, then, is a great article from Men’s Health that should raise your eyebrows…and hopefully, your water glass. Cheers.

How one VMC Foundation program is being affected by Healthcare Reform

Reach out and readIf you have been following VMC in the news or on any of our blogs, you know by now we’re busier than we ever have been. Over the last 10 years, the patient demand for services all throughout our health and hospital system has doubled. Next year, because of healthcare reform, we estimate that an additional 50,000 more patients will utilize the services provided by VMC. Here is one way the VMC Foundation is feeling this patient increase: we have distributed 4,200 more books to children in our outpatient clinics in 2010 than we did during the same time last year. Just take a look at the graph below.

Reach out and ReadReach Out and Read is a program run by every pediatrician in the hospital system. When children visit the doctor for their regularly scheduled well-child visit, their Pediatrician introduces them to a culturally and developmentally appropriate book to take home. As the child interacts with the book, parents are coached on the importance of reading with their child every day and different read aloud techniques. 12,000 of the 50,000 new patients VMC will see next year will be children that will benefit from Reach Out and Read. That represents nearly a $30,000 projected increase in program cost for the next calendar year.

Every child who visits a physician at a Valley Health Center clinic deserves to receive literacy coaching and a book each time they see their Primary Care Physician. We are actively seeking out additional grants and funding sources to ensure that this happens. But a little goes a long way in the Reach Out and Read, and we are hoping you can help. A $40 donation will sponsor one child’s entire ROR book library. Will you help us maintain the imapact of the this program?

For more information on how you can help, or to make a donation to Reach Out and Read, please contact Andy Groggel at 408-282-2687 or email him.

Swing into Summer

[box type=”events”]Saturday, June 4, 2011 – 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.[/box]

The Lexus of Stevens Creek Rooftop
3333 Stevens Creeks Blvd., San Jose map

DANCE to the big band sounds of Full Spectrum Jazz.

TASTE the delectable cuisine of Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme.

ENJOY local artisan wines from seven local winemakers.

TAKE HOME a summer gift bag ($80 value), compliments of Armadillo Willy’s.


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or call 408.885.5299

Proceeds benefit the VMC Foundation.

Summer chic attire.

VMC Nurse wins Healthcare Hero Award

At a ceremony this morning, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal named Linda Richards, R.N. as a 2011 “Healthcare Hero.” Linda serves as Program Director for the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). She was the only nurse to receive an award.

The VMC Foundation salutes Linda and all SART staff for the tireless and essential care they provide for the victims of sexual assault.

Read more about the event from the Business Journal here.