Monday, November 29, 2010

Bionic legs help patients walk again!

At the VMC Foundation, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever. One reason is eLegs: A new technology that literally could replace the wheelchair for millions living with paraplegia.

Yes - think of it.

As profiled in TIME Magazine a week ago, this new invention by Berkeley Bionics promises a new reality for people with spinal cord injuries, stroke, MS, or any condition that has them unable to use their legs. This amazing "exoskeleton" fits over the user's legs, they stand up, and they walk.

But here's what TIME didn't specify: There is only ONE rehabilitation center in the country that will be the first to test eLegs. You guessed it: Valley Medical Center.

This fact recently captured the attention of TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, one of the nation's most respected tech gurus. He then blogged about it, we set up a Facebook Cause, and with his encouragement, the donations are coming in to support this vital program.

Please join us, and if you're looking to be a part of history, please consider donating today...years from now, we all may look back and say "I helped change the future."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From coma to community...

The avid reader of this blog knows that Valley Medical Center contains the most awesomest* brain injury rehabilitation center on this planet and many others. You now have a chance to learn why...and learn so much more.

The VMC Foundation is proud to help present the 2011 Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference on Feb. 24-26. Led by VMC's fabulous Rehab Research Center Team...and you might think this is just for clinical people with long titles after their names. Well, yes and no.

Lots of cutting edge medicine will be discussed, but we'll also hear from Tricia Meili, known nationally as "The Central Park Jogger" who was beaten and left for dead in 1989. Her story of survival is about more than recovery, and will inspire any and all conference attendees.

Plus, we're holding this event at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, a beautiful conference center - read more about this amazing three-day event that will educate and amaze. Please share this information with anyone you think would be interested - and that's likely a long list.

*I read this word last night in TIME Magazine. If they can use it, so can I.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome to the new Valley Health Center Milpitas!

Halloween came a day early this year for the City of Milpitas, with the Grand Opening celebration of our new Valley Health Center...and what a day it was!

Hundreds of families packed the new three-story, 60,000 square foot facility to enjoy arts and crafts, health screenings, hula hoop contests, safety classes and healthy food...none of which would have been possible without the sponsorship of Kaiser, Valley Health Plan, the Public Health Department and Allied Waste (and your very own VMC Foundation, of course).

VHC Milpitas is truly something to be proud of. The clinic offers care in pediatrics, OBGYN, family medicine, allergy clinic, the VMC Foundation-supported Pediatric Healthy Lifestyle Center, and so much more.

Perhaps the biggest hero of the day was County Supervisor Dave Cortese, whose idea it was to have a huge community party rather than a plain ol' "ribbon cutting". I got to emcee the program which included remarks by Supervisor Cortese, County CEO Dr. Jeff Smith, Milpitas Mayor Bob Livengood and Doctors Marcie Levine and Dan Delgado. Ashley Roybal from Congressman Honda's office was there to present a commendation.

Halloween should be full of surprises. At around 1pm, we were, uh, treated to one.

FIRE ALARM! Everyone exit the building!

Thing is, you pack that many kids into a new health center, and one of them is bound to double-dog-dare another to pull the red lever. Either that, or it could have been a San Jose State University Recreation/Leisure Studies major. I was one of those once, and was taught that the best time to suspend a recreational activity is at the peak of its participants' enjoyment.

Special thanks to Michael Elliott and Andy Groggel of the VMC Foundation for deftly dealing with this unexpected "challenge"...and of course to the Health Center staff. The good news is they will NEVER have to evacuate that many people from the clinic again. Ever.

I guess the moral of the story is that, when the question is "trick or treat?", sometimes the answer is "both!" Anyway, congratulations VHC Milpitas and to the community it serves!