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Sobrato’s $5 million grant for Santa Clara medical center

February 03
22:42 2012

SAN JOSE, CA: The Valley Medical Center Foundation and the leadership of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) have announced an unprecedented $5 million donation from Silicon Valley developer John A. and Susan Sobrato to help furnish and equip the 370,000-square-foot SCVMC building currently under construction on the medical center’s main campus on Bascom Avenue in San Jose.

The 168-bed hospital wing at VMC will house the hospital’s renown rehabilitation center as well as acute care and intensive care centers, among other facilities.

“We are really proud to have our name associated with this new building,” Sobrato told a group of about 75 people, including hospital workers and VMC Foundation board members gathered at a late morning news conference at the hospital.

“It will serve all people, regardless of their race or ability to pay,” said Sobrato, a VMC Foundation board member for 20 years.

Sobrato’s donation also is the largest gift to VMC since the hospital was founded in 1876, said VMC Foundation Executive Director Chris Wilder.

Santa Clara County voters in 2008 approved Measure A, an $840 million bond measure to help VMC upgrade its buildings to meet state mandated seismic safety requirements. The new 370,000-square-foot Sobrato Pavilion will become the flagship of the VMC campus.

At a time when hospital funding is becoming increasingly scarce, Wilder said he hopes Sobrato’s donation – which will pay for such equipment as rehab training systems, patient lifts, and remote patient monitors – will attract others to help VMC secure $10 million more of equipment still needed.

Wilder said the Sobrato family also has donated up to $3 million for other VMC projects, including $1 million to fund a linear accelerator to treat cancer patients at VMC’s Sobrato Cancer Center.

Among those on hand for the announcement was Dr. Greg Jenkins, a retired dermatologist and husband of Olympic skating legend Peggy Fleming.

The Los Gatos couple were board members of the VMC Foundation, and over the years donated about $57,000 worth of proceeds from their now-closed winery to VMC and other organizations to help fund breast cancer research. Fleming was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 1998.

“I’m proud of what has been accomplished at VMC, and very happy about the Sobrato family’s donation,” said Jenkins, who added that he looks forward to “other people contributing and becoming aware of what is being done right here on South Bascom Avenue.”

‘Sobrato Pavilion’ features

The Sobrato Pavilion will be a state-of-the-art medical facility with 168 inpatient, single-occupancy rooms and specialty services. Combined with SCVMC’s existing 406 seismically compliant beds, this new building ensures that this public hospital is ready to meet the growing health care needs of the community.

The Rehabilitation Center in the Sobrato Pavilion will include a new Independence Plaza, an outdoor park designed specifically to help patients learn to walk, use a wheelchair and navigate the world on their own again. Screened by foliage for privacy, it will feature gardening areas for patients, a courtyard for family gatherings and a variety of challenging walking surfaces such as cobblestones, grass, curbs and curb cuts.

It will also feature a new Aquatic Therapy Center with a spacious pool overlooking the Independence Plaza gardens. The feeling of weightlessness in a pool helps patients with certain kinds of spinal cord and brain injuries with their rehabilitation exercises.

The Sobrato Pavilion will be the Bay Area’s first LEED Gold certified hospital, with environmental principles built in to every phase of the design. Green roofs, energy efficient windows and fixtures and numerous other features will enhance the operational efficiency of the building, while providing patients, visitors and staff with a clean and comfortable hospital environment. Building Information Modeling technology greatly increases the efficiency of construction.

Planners of the Sobrato Pavilion sought to create a less stressful environment for patients, staff and visitors, incorporating innovative designs like the Meditation Room on the 1st floor to promote serenity and human dignity. The new Lobby Link between the lobby of the current Main Hospital and the Sobrato Pavilion will feature lush plantings, secluded seating areas, and soft natural light. This area grants visitors, staff and patients a quiet and peaceful respite.

India Post News Service

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