Sobrato Pavilion signage unveiled as new VMC hospital wing nears completion

John A. and Sue Sobrato pose with SCVMC CEO Paul Lorenz and COO Benita McClarin

John A. and Sue Sobrato pose with SCVMC CEO Paul Lorenz (right) and COO Benita McClarin at the Sobrato Pavilion signage unveiling on November 22, 2016.

The sign read “Sobrato Pavilion.”  But the message was “progress.”

Eight years after the voters of Santa Clara County overwhelming approved the construction of a new, earthquake-safe hospital wing at VMC, the building is finally taking shape.  And now, it has formally been dedicated for one of the valley’s best known and beloved philanthropists.

In 2012, John and Sue Sobrato made a then record-breaking gift to the VMC Foundation to support construction of the new facility.  The $5 million donation was matched by additional contributions from the community, providing needed resources to help outfit the building with the best equipment, technology and patient-friendly amenities.

A crowd of 100, including Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and Supervisor Mike Wasserman, join the Sobrato family for a special event to formally unveil the “Sobrato Pavilion” signage on the exterior of the building.

“It’s a great day for VMC, and we would not be here without the generosity and support of the Sobrato family,” said VMC Foundation CEO Chris Wilder.

The 370,000 square foot facility will house a variety of services, including VMCs renowned physical rehabilitation center for patients with major spinal cord and brain injuries.  Just as important, it will provide extra security in the event of a major earthquake.

Construction is set to be complete by summer 2017 and open to patients later that year.  For the staff and patients at SCVMC, it can not come soon enough, making this small milestone a welcome bit of news.

For more information about the Sobrato Pavilion, click here, and check out the pictures from the November 22 event below.

 

Sobrato Pavilion Signage Unveiling

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.

VHC Sunnyvale expands services thanks to grant funding from El Camino Healthcare District

VHC SunnyvaleValley Health Center Sunnyvale is one of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s ambulatory clinics providing care to underserved children and adults living in North County. Services include integrated primary care, dental services, comprehensive perinatal services, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and a pediatric healthy lifestyle center to help children combat obesity and related conditions. Lab and pharmacy are also centrally located for ease of patient access.

This year, thanks to a generous grant from El Camino Healthcare District, VHC Sunnyvale expanded its express care services to increase access, and continued to provide full-service dental care including an evening dental clinic. Funding from ECHD made it possible for VHC Sunnyvale to provide over 4,000 visits to 2,000 patients.

A VHC Sunnyvale patient shared, “At last, I am so very happy to have a dentist who cares about my well-being in regard to my dental health. The service from all the staff has been excellent.”

El Camino Healthcare District has been a long-time supporter of VHC Sunnyvale. Since 2008, over $8.7M in grant funding has been provided to improve and expand healthcare services for North County residents. Due to the success of the partnership, the ECHD board recently voted to award an additional $968,000 to VHC Sunnyvale to continue expanded services in the express care and dental clinics in 2016-17.

Read more about El Camino Healthcare District’s funding priorities for 2016-17 in their Community Benefit Plan.

Our new Annual Report is here!

I’m proud and pleased to share our just-finished Annual Report with you! The report details the VMC Foundation’s work in calendar year 2015 and includes our audited financial statements.

More importantly, you can “meet” some of our generous donors, learn about our programmatic work, and see the real impact of philanthropy on the health of Silicon Valley. Just click here to see the report….it looks great in full-screen mode.

Odds are, if you’re reading this, you arannual report 2015e a donor, a member of the team at Valley Medical Center, or both. That means we couldn’t have done any of this without you. Thank you.

Welcome, Valley Health Center Downtown!

IMG_5318It’s a very, very big week for Valley Medical Center.

After more than a decade, on the site of the former San Jose Medical Center, in the downtown core of the 10th largest city in the United States, medical care is happening. Yes, Valley Health Center Downtown is OPENING!

For folks new in town, a little history:

In the winter of 2004, San Jose Medical Center closed abruptly after 80 years of service. A coalition of downtown activists tried—and failed—to prevent the closure, and then quickly turned their energy toward the future. The question: What could we do to ensure that downtown residents, regardless of insurance status, had somewhere to go for urgent and ongoing medical care?

Meanwhile, up the road at Valley Medical Center, the impact was felt as twice the number of patients began arriving in the Emergency Department than before the closure. Then three times the number.

The team at VMC’s ED worked brilliantly to manage the patient demand. At the same time, a growing coalition began crafting a plan to re-build part of VMC and build another health center downtown.

The opportunity came during the presidential election year of 2008, and the coalition moved with purpose. Measure A was crafted, and long story short, we WON in November. This secured the $50M it would take to build a state of the art health center at 777 East Santa Clara Street where San Jose Medical Center once stood.

And now, eight years later and on budget, Valley Health Center Downtown is serving patients. Last Wednesday we held a VIP and donor reception to thank everyone who made it all possible. The event included many attendees who were there, eleven years ago, working to save what ultimately couldn’t be saved. It was an emotional event and included scores of donors, elected officials, builders and medical professionals. Truly a wonderful evening.

You may think I’m “burying the lead” here, but I’m not. The VMC Foundation throws good parties, sure, but the most important thing is that the mission of Valley Medical Center is being actualized in downtown San Jose…and I am so happy and so proud. For all who made it happen: THANK YOU.

If you would like to be a part of the excitement, a grand opening celebration happens Saturday June 11 at 9am, on site at 777 East Santa Clara Street in San Jose. Free to attend, lots of fun for the whole family – c’mon down!

Announcing the 2016 Physicians & Philanthropy Award Winners!

P&P2016-63

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Physicians & Philanthropy Awards: Dr. Timothy Ong, Dr. Antonia Charles, and Dr. Richard Silberstein (L-R).

Each year, the VMC Foundation honors three of our physician partners with the Robert Violante Physician Leadership Award. The award is named for VMC Foundation founding board member, Dr. Robert Violante, to celebrate the dedication, partnership, and unique contributions of physicians who keep the VMC Foundation strong and growing.

This year, we were proud to recognize Dr. Tim Ong for his dedication to VMC’s Residency Program, which has inspired a number of charitable gifts to the Jensen Medical Residency Education Fund housed at the VMC Foundation. Dr. Antonia Charles was honored for her past service as a VMC Foundation board member, her founding of the Reach Out and Read program at VMC and associated fundraising to the tune of $1.3M, and for her leadership in helping the VMC Foundation design and launch its employee giving program. Dr. Silberstein was celebrated for his long-term support of the VMC Foundation as a champion within VMC and the community, his consistent attendance at Foundation events, and for his significant personal contributions to the Foundation over the past decade.

Read more about the awards in a great Mercury News piece by Sal Pizarro here.

Congratulations once again to Tim, Antonia, and Rich!

VMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Honored with the Wirtschafter Quality Improvement Award

NICU staffThe California Association of Neonatologists recognized the excellent “Quality Improvement” work of the VMC NICU staff in boosting outcomes for preterm babies through enhanced breastfeeding practices, advanced breast milk nutrient analysis, home healthcare visits to help families transition from the hospital setting, and delayed umbilical cord clamping during delivery, resulting in lower rates of intraventricular hemorrhage, intubation, and transfusion.

The VMC Foundation is proud to support the NICU by providing donations that fund new equipment purchases and staff training for these innovative therapies. Donors include FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, the Will Rogers Institute, and many generous individuals.

Read more about how charitable donations are being put to good use at VMC in our Spring Impact Report.

Announcing NEW Donor Gift Clubs!

Join TodayThe VMC Foundation is excited to announce the launch of our annual donor gift clubs: the Friends of VMC and the Leadership Circle.

Annual gift clubs are a way for us to express our gratitude to our many generous and loyal donors with additional recognition and engagement opportunities. Donors who give at least $100 in a calendar year are welcomed at the Friends level. Those who give $1,000 or more per year are welcomed into the Leadership Circle.

Read more about the giving levels and associated benefits on our Gift Clubs page.

Donors to the VMC Foundation support the crucial work of Valley Medical Center, enabling the purchase of vital equipment and supporting initiatives that improve healthcare for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. We rely on the members of our donor gift clubs to continue this important work. Now we can offer recognition and engagement that honors the generosity of our donor community. We thank you!