Wednesday, March 30, 2011

VMC Among "America's Best Hospitals"

Silicon Valley is home to some of America’s best hospitals. So when the competition is this tough, there is no shame in taking the silver. In U.S. News and World Report just released “America’s Best Hospitals” annual report, VMC was ranked second only to Stanford for best hospitals in the San Jose Metro Area. VMC was specifically recognized for “high performing specialties” in Ear, Nose and Throat, Gynecology, kidney disorders and rehabilitation care. Rankings aren’t everything, of course. But the recognition is well deserved. VMC and Stanford, of course, share a long-established bond. Together, both hospitals operate Santa Clara County’s only top level trauma centers. VMC is an official teaching hospital of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and numerous VMC physicians also serve on the Stanford faculty. To see the report, check here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why do we give to charities, anyway?

Is healthcare philanthropy in big trouble?

I agree that #1 and #2 of the "triple threat" to healthcare giving are real, as reported by Health Leaders Media: Uncertanty of health care reform and local (county) budget crises nation-wide.

#3 I'd like your opinion about. Here's the situation:

President Obama's proposed 2012 budget caps charitable deductions at 28%, while a Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission proposal would reduce the tax incentive for charitable giving to a 12% tax credit for donations that exceed 2% of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

Nine out of 10 AHP [Association of Healthcare Philanthropy] respondents surveyed in February said the Bowles-Simpson proposal would cause significant reductions in overall giving to their organization, with 64% saying the adverse impact on major gift-giving would be considerable. About 40% said giving would fall between 10% and 30% if significant changes are made to the current tax incentives for charitable donations—which conservatively could amount to more than a $1.07 billion drop in total annual giving to nonprofit hospitals, AHP said, based on its own FY2009 statistics.

AHP Chair Mary Anne Chern said any reductions in the tax incentives for charitable giving could be "devastating for healthcare in the U.S."

The implied assumption here, of course, is that people donate to get a tax deduction. While that may be true, I cannot believe it's the driver. Especially here in data-driven, outcomes-based Silicon Valley, my strong sense is that we donate because we want to see a positive, measurable change in our community as a result of our help. We want to make Santa Clara County a better place for everyone.

Let me know: If your donation was only partially tax-deductable, would you give as much to the charities you support? Frankly, the future of the VMC Foundation may depend on how we collectively answer this question. I welcome your thoughts:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Read all about it: VMC's Rehab Center Rebuilding Lives...

VMC’s Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brian Injury Rehabilitation Unit changed my life.

And I was never even a patient - just on my first tour of VMC, considering an offer to become Executive Director of the VMC Foundation. Seeing VMC Rehab up close made that decision very easy.

You probably know that our rehab center is one of the best in the country. This week, we’ve got news for you – it’s even better than you think.

Check out “Rebuilding Lives,” the special 12-page section in the March 11, 2011 weekly edition of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal, for an up-close profile of VMC Rehab. Read remarkable stories from patients, and meet the amazing staff. Learn about our efforts to use technology; from stem cell research to bionic exoskeletons, to find the next great breakthrough in rehabilitation care.

Buy your copy of the Business Journal on newsstands now, or download the special section here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Community Effort helpes Clothe Victims of Sexual Assault

Need proof that only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others?

Look no further than Lisa Blanchard and the Grateful Garments Project she has just launched to benefit VMC’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). The idea for Grateful Garments began when Lisa was working on a school project. Tasked to develop a fundraising initiative, Lisa chose a cause that aligned with her volunteer work with SART. She knew that the clothes of the clients treated by SART were being collected for evidence, leaving the patients in need of comforting, warm clothing to wear home after their exam.

The Grateful Garment Project's mission, then, is to ensure that every client that crosses the threshold of the SART facility is provided with whatever clean, new clothing, toiletry and food items they may require to reduce any additional impact on their being. Additionally, VMC’s SART Program can benefit from upgrades to equipment and supplies…sadly, this need is real, no matter how we wish it wasn’t.

Lisa’s project has put her passion into action. Working with resources provided by the VMC Foundation and SART, Lisa has raised hundreds of dollars to support this act of compassion, and she is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Grateful Garments Project is now a Facebook Cause: Join the cause and use your donation to say “thank you” to Lisa, for showing us that it only takes the power of one person to make a positive change in the lives of others.