Why is VMC so great? Teamwork!

Mature Students Sitting Together Working on Computers

It’s not every day that you get a ringing endorsement from one of Silicon Valley’s most influential companies, but today is the day.

Facebook (you’ve heard of them?) has a product manager whose son spent weeks at VMC’s renowned Burn Center earlier this year. That’s a hard place to be, obviously, but the care you can expect to get there if you ever need it is fantastic.

So much so, and so impressed was Ms. Budaraju, that she wrote a piece on what she learned about teamwork from the Burn Center. It’s a marvelous and well-written piece, and the information contained crosses nearly every job, every sector I can think of.

So, I invite you to read her excellent post and apply what she learned – what VMC’s Burn Center exhibits – to YOUR work. I know I will!

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.

Stem cell transplant at VMC makes history

Jake stem cell

photo by Julie Haener, KTVU

Last week, Jake Javier became the 5th person in the world to receive ten million stem-derived cells directly into his spinal cord, in a trial that the VMC Foundation has helped move forward.

Led by VMC’s renowned Rehabilitation Center, the trail is a result of years of work that has made Santa Clara County’s safety-net hospital a focal point for stem cell research.

While much is still to be learned, VMC physicians hope to blaze a trail to a future where stem cells can treat diseases and injuries that at present have no cure.  From paralysis to brain injuries, the potential use of these therapies are vast.  VMC will continue to lead, and the Foundation – through fundraising and administrative support – will be part of the team to help make it happen.

For more information on the trail, visit the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine website here.

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.

VMC staff raises $2,000 to help end sexual assault

Members of VMC’s team: Matt Gerrior, Tau Gaoteote, Chris Wilder, Jerry Wright, Gilbert Gutierrez, Steven Hernandez, James Crew, Paul Lorenz, and Erick Bourassa.

On Wednesday, June 22, a team of male VMC staff participated in the YWCA’s 14th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundrasier at Santana Row. The event, in which men walk a mile in high-heeled shoes, is a lighthearted way to increase awareness about the very serious issue of violence against women.

From the YWCA: “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes may look like a stunt with men racing in heels, but it’s actually a statement about men’s roles in ending violence against women and drawing attention to the issue that is connected to strict gender roles and expectations of men.”

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has become an international event that engages men in raising awareness and funds to stop sexual assault and domestic violence. Funds raised from Walk a Mile in Her Shoes make it possible for YWCA Silicon Valley to provide critical response, intervention, and comprehensive support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The VMC team, led by Jerry Wright, raised $2,000 toward the $68,000 total raised by all participants this year. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated in this important community event!

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.

Join us this Saturday in celebration of the Downtown Health Center

downtown clinic exteriorAt Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), we strive to make high quality healthcare readily
accessible to all residents of Santa Clara County. This week, we take one more step to improving access to care with the grand opening of Valley Health Ce
nter Downtown on Saturday, June 11th from 9 AM – noon. SCVMC’s beautiful new health center is located on 777 East Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose.

Many activities are planned to celebrate this opening on Saturday morning.

  • Local firefighters will serve a delicious free pancake breakfast to attendees.
  • Tours of the facility will be available throughout the morning.
  • Elected officials and other guest speakers will be attendance to warmly welcome the

Community to our spacious state-of-the-art healthcare facility.

  • We will have over 20 booths with information, games, and other activities for children and families.
  • The Santa Clara County Sheriff s office will present one of their fascinating search and rescue boats.
  • Guests can participate in a chance to win a free prize.

Our dedicated care team will provide a variety of services, including, but not limited to Urgent Care (open 7 days per week from 8 AM – 10 PM), Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, select Specialty Care, and Behavioral Health. We will also offer onsite pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services. Urgent care, and supporting ancillary services will officially open on Monday, June 13th.  All other services will be rolled out beginning in late June.

Valley Health Center Downtown has the capacity to serve as a Medical Home for over 30,000 individuals, providing quality and accessible care as part of a fully integrated and comprehensive health care system.

For many years SCVMC has worked to foster close collaboration with our local community, community health partners and advocates, elected officials and the Measure A Oversight Committee to support and guide the creation of this new community asset in the heart of downtown San Jose.

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!