VMC Farmers’ Market Grand Opening May 15th

Farmers Market flyer

The VMC Foundation is pleased to announce the grand opening of its Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.  The market will open at 10 a.m.  A special ribbon-cutting event will occur at 11:30 a.m.  Normal hours will be 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. each Wednesday until November.  The market will be located at the Valley Specialty Center, 751 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose. WIC and CalFresh/EBT will be accepted.

The Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Farmers’ Market is a partnership between the VMC Foundation, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, County Employee Wellness Department and The Health Trust. To learn more, download Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Farmers’ Market flyer.

Downtown San Jose Clinic Groundbreaking, May 31

downtown clinic exterior

Join Supervisor Ken Yeager and the VMC Foundation on May 31st at 1 p.m. as we celebrate the groundbreaking of a new health clinic in downtown San Jose. The new facility will provide urgent care and primary care services in a state-of-the-art facility. The building will be operated by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and community partners.

Event details

When: May 31, 2013, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: 725 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

Who: members of the Board of Supervisors, County leadership, community partners and health care advocates

Parking: available on street and in lot on E. St John Street by venue

RSVP: email us or call 408-885-5299.

DownloadEvent Flyer

Long-time residents of the downtown community will remember the long struggle to prevent the closure of the old San Jose Medical Center. The former owners, Hospital Corporation of America, shut-down the facility in 2004. That decision led to a significant increase in patient visits to the VMC Emergency Department, and created new barriers to health care access for many downtown residents.

Thanks to the voters of Santa Clara County and the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, public funds were approved in 2008 to build a new clinic. The VMC Foundation was honored to play a significant role in securing voter approval for the project. After extensive planning and design efforts,  construction set to begin.

Please join county, health and community leaders are we celebrate this important milestone.

VMC’s Sobrato Cancer Center: the best public facility in CA

Sobrato Cancer Center

The Sobrato Cancer Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program. The SCVMC is the only public/government hospital in California to receive certification, which demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement.

“High standards for treatment must be achieved to receive certification,” stated Dr. Lee Levitt, Chief of the Oncology Department at SCVMC. “We are very proud of this accomplishment.  Everyone on this team works toward the same goal, making sure our patients get high-quality, safe and outstanding care.” You can ask your medical expert regarding getting a smas facelift procedure and how it could benefit you.

The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program is an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The certification is for three years from designation, which was achieved on March 26, 2013.

This certification program is the first of its kind for oncology in the United States. The Sobrato Cancer Center achieved certification by meeting core standards in all areas of treatment, including:

  • Treatment planning;
  • Staff training and education;
  • Chemotherapy orders and drug preparation;
  • Patient consent and education;
  • Safe chemotherapy administration;
  • Monitoring and assessment of patient well-being.

“Oncology practices that are committed to quality and safety are those that provide the most optimal cancer care,” said ASCO President Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP. “ASCO’s quality programs are designed by leaders in the profession and give practices the ability to continuously improve the quality of care they provide.  The QOPI Certification Program helps practices determine whether they are providing the best treatment and care possible to their patients, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement in the hematology-oncology outpatient practice.”

The Sobrato Cancer Center is named for the family of Silicon Valley philanthropist John A. Sobrato. In 2006, the Sobrato family donated $1,000,000 to the Valley Medical Center Foundation to help fund the purchase of a new linear accelerator for the Center.

Gregg Adams is on a mission to keep you alive.

The following article appears in “One Giant Leap,”  a special advertising supplement of the March 29, 2013 edition of the Silicon Valley Business Journal.  You can view the entire publication online here, or pick-up a copy of the Journal at your local newsstand.

Meet the man who keeps San Jose’s only top level trauma center at the ready for just about anything, how he copes with the loss of a young patient, and what Hollywood gets wrong about emergency medicine.

California Valley Medical Center

In casual dress, a cup of hot tea, and an office over-flowing with books, paperwork and framed credentials on the wall, Valley Medical Center’s Chairman of the Department of Surgery Gregg Adams, M.D. could easily pass as a college professor.

Which, befitting of a man as accomplished as Gregg, he is – an Associate Professor for Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, to be exact.

But his calm exterior belies a passion and intensity for what he does each day – save lives.

The Southern California native came to VMC first in 1990 at a Stanford resident, and full-time in 1999.  For the faint of heart, his job responsibilities would seem daunting; manage over 130 surgeons, maintain VMCs high standards for trauma services and disaster response and – oh yeah – scrub in for between 200 to 400 surgical procedures each year.

VMC Foundation Executive Director Chris Wilder sat down to talk with Gregg about his career, his day-today-day responsibilities, how he manages the stress of life-and-death situations, and what makes VMC such an inspiring place to work.

Chris Wilder: You started out a pediatrician.

Gregg Adams: I did when I was in training at Oregon Health Sciences University. I liked the science.  I really liked the kids.  Parents were really fun to talk with.

My downfall in pediatrics was during my internship, I did a rotation of pediatric surgery, which was six weeks of absolute bliss, and I thought, I think I’ve made the wrong decision, so I changed.

CW: How is it blissful?  I want to get inside the head of a surgeon because I have no idea what it’s like to do what you do. There must be so much pressure.

GA: I think the pressure is in the trying to do it right.  I think to a certain degree it’s like trying to learn to ride a unicycle. There is a significant front end involvement and commitment.  And you begin to learn and you begin to try and you do a lot of failing and adjusting.

CW: I spend a lot of time touring people through VMC, and when I tell them that we have the only top level trauma center in San Jose, they often ask me what’s the difference between that and an emergency department?

GA: A trauma center is more than just one department.   You not only have to have a top-flight emergency department, but you have to have a top-flight surgery department.  You have to have access to MRIs, you have to access to specialists. All of these systems have to talk to one another.  You have to continually better yourself through education.   So it’s not just an emergency department, it is the entire hospital and the infrastructure that’s built around that to support the trauma center.

CW: True or false – the trauma team springs into action only when an ambulance drives into the ambulance bay or a helicopter lands on the roof.

GA: False.  Trauma begins with prevention.  We go out and talk about wearing set-belts, and talk about wearing helmets on motorcycles and bicycles, and talk about the problems with drinking and driving and talk about gang violence.

CW:  There have been times where you have actually been called to the scene of accident.  Can you tell me one of those stories?

GA:  I’ll use the example of a young man who was at a worksite.  He was digging a hole for a foundation that collapsed around him and was buried up to his neck in dirt.  He could obviously not hop into an ambulance because we was completely surrounded by dirt, and they couldn’t just dig him out, because they feared it might destabilized more of the structures around him, endangering everyone around him.

So we figured out a way to slowly remove the dirt, to reinforce the hole, monitoring his vital signs – because when you are crushed by dirt, actually releasing the pressure can be as dangerous as the crush himself.

CW:  That’s fascinating.  And you saved his life?

GA:  Yes we did.

CW:  So that’s a pretty unique situation, but VMC does a lot of work thinking about the potential for bigger disasters and emergencies that might impact hundreds or thousands of people.  You have a big role in that work.  Are we prepared?

GA: We are prepared in the sense that we have thought about all the things that have happened in the past and that we anticipate that can happen here.

CW: Meteor strike we maybe haven’t thought about yet.

GA:  Right.   A hospital that encounters an earthquake, for example, might say we didn’t have enough gauze sponges, so you buy more gauze sponges.  And we didn’t have good communication, so you buy specialized phones.  So now you have that stuff to handle the next earthquake.  And so of course the next thing that happens is a flood.  And you think – oh my gosh – we ran out of sandbags, so you buy more of those. And you realize you didn’t think of a way to keep the lab from flooding, so you move the lab to the 4th floor.  So now you can handle an earthquake and a flood.  So what’s the next thing that happens?

CW:  A plane crash.

GA:  A plane crash. So while you can prepare in general for a disaster, the disaster that you encounter will require a dedicated crew thinking creatively.

CW:  How do you train for that?

GA:  You practice.

CW:  And VMC actually does practices this stuff?

GA:  We do drills twice a year – and go through all the problems that we encounter and try to fix those each time.

CW: That makes me think of every medical drama and movie.  Hollywood does a pretty good idea of showing people what an emergency department looks like.  But what do they get wrong?

GA:   One is that they have an enormous number of exciting things that happen in 60 minutes with time for commercials.  The second thing is that we are not all beautiful.  And the third thing is probably something I should not say with children present

CW:  I didn’t realize children were present, but I catch your drift.   One thing the TV shows do is make the emergency departments feel like controlled chaos.   Does it feel like that in real life?

GA:  You are never confronted with one problem.  You are confronted with 5, 10 or 50 problems.  Someone that was hit by a car may be drunk, may have cracked their spleen, have a head injury, etc. The only information you have may be what their vital signs are, or what laboratory tests tell you.  So, to a certain degree, it’s a little bit of sensory deprivation and learning to make decisions in a data poor environment.


CW:  So it would seem to me that would take a bit of the pressure off if the patient doesn’t survive, but it doesn’t.

GA:  No. I think that we are all set up as a system, as human beings, as professionals, as people who have pride in their work – I would love for everyone to survive.  Trauma in particular is a killer of young people.  That takes a toll and you have to learn to manage that as a human being.

CW:  How do you do that?

GA:  Everyone does it differently.  You get a hobby, you get a pet, you hug your kids, you get involved in public service in a different way, you begin to give lectures on wearing your helmet, safe practices, gang avoidance.  They become passions for you because you are tied up in the last patient you treated that didn’t survive.

CW: And you find that passion in so many people who work at VMC.
GA:  Oh absolutely. And it’s one of the reasons why people not only come here to work but stay here to work.  You come here because you want to take care of the most complex, most interesting, and challenging patients you can imagine.  And ultimately you stay here because you are working with some of the best colleagues you find anywhere in the world.  Dedicated.  Smart.  Funny. Compassionate.  Absolutely beautiful human beings.

CW:  We have had the pleasure of working together for many years now.  I’m interested in your thoughts on the VMC Foundation itself.

GA:  The Foundation in particular is the most pure, beautiful expression of support for VMC that I have ever experienced.  It is completely focused in what it sees as necessary not just for VMC, but uses VMC as it’s vehicle to support for the entire community.  And that’s the part I love about it.