Cisco Systems employees give a young VMC patient a Valentine’s Day for the ages

Cisco employee Karen Spicer isn’t one to take Valentine’s Day lightly. To her, it’s not just a holiday for sweets and maybe romance, but an opportunity to give back. For several years, Spicer and her colleagues at Cisco Systems have raised donations to purchase toys and other Valentine’s gifts for children hospitalized in VMC’s Burn Unit. The gifts help bring a smile to children facing long hospital stays and difficult recoveries. This year, they raised over $5000 in donated cash and toys.

For one young patient, Edgar Flores, the day was extra special. Flores was a former VMC patient who experienced massive burn injuries at the age of 5. The ongoing costs associated with his injury have been difficult for his family to absorb. Last year, Cisco employees raised $1400 for Edgar. This year they nearly doubled that result, presenting Edgar’s family on February 15th with a check for over $2700.

The donation drive is an all-volunteer effort led by Karen and her colleagues at Cisco. Pooling modest donations of $5, $20 and even $100, they turn Valentine’s Day into one of the best of the year for dozens of young patients.

And for the Flores family, a chance to get back on their feet.

Once again, Cisco proves that it’s not only an industry leader in networking and IT services, but one of the Silicon Valley’s best when it comes to philanthropy and employee involvement.

To see Karen and the Flores family together, check out this video.

For expectant mothers considering induction, VMC prescribes patience

Dr. James Byrne, Chief of Obstetrics at VMC, talks to NBC Bay Area on the hazards of labor induction for non-medical reasons. As the leader of the regions largest birthing center, Dr. Byrne has heard more than a few unusual requests from expectant mothers eager to have their baby early. He prescribes patience. See why.

The San Jose Rep Supports VMC

During the fall 2010 production of Secret Order, cast and staff of the San Jose Rep asked members of the audience to donate in support of VMC’s Sobrato Cancer Center. The Center – like all services at VMC – provides world class care to all, regardless of ability to pay. On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, leaders from the San Jose Rep presented the proceeds to VMC Foundation and Cancer Center staff.

San Jose Rep Supports VMC

During the fall 2010 production of “Secret Order,” cast and staff of the San Jose Rep asked members of the audience to donate in support of VMC’s Sobrato Cancer Center. The Center – like all services at VMC – provides world class care to all, regardless of ability to pay. On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, leaders from the San Jose Rep presented the proceeds to VMC Foundation and Cancer Center staff.

VMC Rehab patient shares the story of his care

In the Fall of 2010, Dr. Lincoln Krochmal, the CEO of a Bay Area Pharmaceutical company, suffered a stroke. After being rushed to a nearby hospital and stabilized, Dr. K, as he is known to VMC staff, needed to choose a Rehabilitation Center. He chose VMC; this is the story of his care.

At VMC you will walk, never alone

VMC physicians save lives everyday – curing disease, rehabilitating injury and giving our patients hope for the future. But rarely do they get the opportunity to fundamentally alter the course of modern medicine, potentially impacting lives throughout the world. Until now.

Dr. Akshat Shah, a leader of VMC’s renowned Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Unit, joined the Medical Advisory Board of Berkeley Bionics to do what many would say is impossible – to use technology and robotics to allow paralyzed people to walk again. He joined Berkeley Bionics last week in San Francisco for the unveiling of their revolutionary bionic exoskeleton. The results, as the video shows, are astounding. (Dr. Shah is identified as affiliated with Stanford University in the video because like many VMC Physicians, he also teachers at the Stanford School of Medicine.)

Dr. Shah and Berkeley Bionics will continue testing the technology at VMC in the coming year, working with the VMC Foundation as we seek funding to support the project.

The potential is clear – thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, may walk again.

As Dr. Shah says in the video below, “that’s how you change the world.”

A Special Delivery

The Rehabilitation Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Recognized nationally as a “Center of Excellence”, the VMC Rehab Center treats patients with severe head, spinal cord and stroke related injuries, regardless of ability to pay. Since its founding, over 15,000 patients have been served.

Each one of those patients represents an amazing story of struggle and hope. This video features just one. Kinsley Thomas Wong came to VMC with a severe spinal cord injury in July. His wife Jaime was over 8 months pregnant with their son, Taizen.

Deputy Sheriff’s Association makes a surprise gift

Surprises at a hospital are usually not a good thing, especially at VMC, home to one of the Santa ClaraCounty’s top trauma centers and a focal point for emergency medical services and disaster response.

But thanks to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Santa Clara County, the surprise was a good one at VMC on Thursday, June 24, 2010. The DSA joined the VMC Foundation for a special event to announce a donation to the VMC Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART provides victims of sexual assault with a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other staff, and assists law enforcement in the collection of forensic evidence. It isCalifornia’s oldest, continually running program of its kind.

The DSA has been a long-time supporter of SART, donating needed money and equipment to keep the program going. Their members know first hand how traumatic a sexual assault can be, and are dedicated to putting the guilty behind bars. Their most recent gift, announced on June 24th, was a specially configured, high-resolution digital camera that SART nurses will use to photograph patient injuries. Those photographs are critical to prosecutors and often used as evidence against sexual predators. The new camera package was assembled by Sheriff’s Deputies using the same equipment to photograph crime scenes. The previous camera used by SART was over 10 years old.

SART staff knew they would be receiving a donation, but the DSA has a surprise in store. Watch the video to see their reaction.

VMC Foundation music video launches internal giving campaign

I am thrilled to announce that the 2010 Give a Booster Shot campaign officially launches today!

Give a Booster Shot is our annual employee giving campaign, and it’s a great way for Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System staff to invest in VMC by making a donation to the VMC Foundation.

To show you that I will do anything to earn the support of hospital employees, we put together a little video to promote the campaign.

This year’s campaign is all about showing your love for VMC and HHS. If you’re an HHS employee (and even if you’re not, but just want a dose of fun), please visit the http://bit.ly/dfq5EF and make your donation today.