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.