Saturday, August 29, 2009

Everyone Eating

Everyone Eating
Originally uploaded by VMC Foundation

How big was our party? Our "Give a Booster Shot" party? We served 1300 meals, gave away 1400 bottles of VMC Foundation water (compostable!) and the Idol Hands Band (way in the background of this shot) rocked for two hours.

We had so much fun, we're thinking of doing this part for the folks who couldn't attend this one (we need an event for the swing/night shifts) and in part because it was just such a BLAST!

Thanks so much for everyone (that's a lot of people) who made this party a success...and for those who gave a booster shot to the VMC Foundation:

VMCF Staff Making Paella

VMCF Staff Making Paella
Originally uploaded by VMC Foundation

So Thursday, we threw a party for the staff of the Santa Clara Valley Heatlh & Hospital System. Two reasons: The excellent work everyone does to care for all the patients that need VMC, the clinics, mental health, alcohol & drug services, public health...are we the best public hospital system in the nation? Is that paella pan big?

That's Elizabeth, Hayley, Andy, Debbie and Judy. Okay, they didn't really cook the food...Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme did.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care Reform: Just the facts, Wilder...

As the director of the VMC Foundation, it's not my job to weigh in on our nation's health care reform debate...but as an engaged member of our community, it is my responsibility to have an opinion.

So, when Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and PACT (People Acting in Community Together) asked me to speak at their news confrerence last week, I did so, on my own time, and stuck to the facts. Mostly.

But it's really HARD keeping one's cool when VMC's Emergency Dept. is so crowded, or when I see VMC's Dr. Lee and Dr. Helman work so hard for culturally appropriate end-of-life care, only to have it distorted by those crying "Death Panels!" Can somone please put a tent over this circus?

Anyhow, if you can't see YouTube at work, send this to your home email. Finally, here's a letter in today's Mercury News from my good friend Gary Ater who blogs about issues of the day at American Chronicle:

Health care crisis must be addressed
It's very disturbing that there are so many Americans misinformed about the country's health care issues. Every day, more than 2,000 Californians alone lose their health care coverage due to either losing their job or they just flat can't afford it. At the current rate of increase, for the average family of four, in less than 10 years, annual health care coverage will cost over $22,000.

The "Palin Dunces" who talk about "death panels" and "forced euthanasia" or say that we're going too fast (after this issue has been in discussion for the last 60 years) don't deserve low-cost health care. But, if we do nothing, we will still pay double for their health care in America's hospital emergency rooms.

Gary Ater

Santa Clara

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm an uncle again!

Wonderful news: My sister-in-Law gave birth to Sophie and Olivia this week, so I'm an uncle twice more!

My extended family's new twins reminds me of a great event you should attend the day after our VMC Foundation gala - which the alert reader knows is September 12.

So, hosted by the Coalition for Alcohol and Drug Free Pregnancies, their "Mothers' Tea for Healthy Babies" takes place 9/13 at the St. Elizabeth Day Home in San Jose. Details are on their website, where you can buy tickets, but consider WHY you should attend:

- When a pregnant woman smokes, drinks or uses drugs, so does her baby (this you likely know)

- This NUMBER ONE cause of mental retardation is 100% preventable (again, you knew)

- Drug and alcohol use during pregancy has NOT declined in recent years (this really shocks me...maybe you too?)

Obviously, they have a lot of education to do, and your attending this event will help them do it. Thanks so much, and welcome Sophie and Olivia.