Downtown San Jose Clinic Groundbreaking, May 31

downtown clinic exterior

Join Supervisor Ken Yeager and the VMC Foundation on May 31st at 1 p.m. as we celebrate the groundbreaking of a new health clinic in downtown San Jose. The new facility will provide urgent care and primary care services in a state-of-the-art facility. The building will be operated by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and community partners.

Event details

When: May 31, 2013, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: 725 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

Who: members of the Board of Supervisors, County leadership, community partners and health care advocates

Parking: available on street and in lot on E. St John Street by venue

RSVP: email us or call 408-885-5299.

DownloadEvent Flyer

Long-time residents of the downtown community will remember the long struggle to prevent the closure of the old San Jose Medical Center. The former owners, Hospital Corporation of America, shut-down the facility in 2004. That decision led to a significant increase in patient visits to the VMC Emergency Department, and created new barriers to health care access for many downtown residents.

Thanks to the voters of Santa Clara County and the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, public funds were approved in 2008 to build a new clinic. The VMC Foundation was honored to play a significant role in securing voter approval for the project. After extensive planning and design efforts,  construction set to begin.

Please join county, health and community leaders are we celebrate this important milestone.

VMC’s Sobrato Cancer Center: the best public facility in CA

Sobrato Cancer Center

The Sobrato Cancer Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program. The SCVMC is the only public/government hospital in California to receive certification, which demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement.

“High standards for treatment must be achieved to receive certification,” stated Dr. Lee Levitt, Chief of the Oncology Department at SCVMC. “We are very proud of this accomplishment.  Everyone on this team works toward the same goal, making sure our patients get high-quality, safe and outstanding care.”

The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program is an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The certification is for three years from designation, which was achieved on March 26, 2013.

This certification program is the first of its kind for oncology in the United States. The Sobrato Cancer Center achieved certification by meeting core standards in all areas of treatment, including:

  • Treatment planning;
  • Staff training and education;
  • Chemotherapy orders and drug preparation;
  • Patient consent and education;
  • Safe chemotherapy administration;
  • Monitoring and assessment of patient well-being.

“Oncology practices that are committed to quality and safety are those that provide the most optimal cancer care,” said ASCO President Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP. “ASCO’s quality programs are designed by leaders in the profession and give practices the ability to continuously improve the quality of care they provide.  The QOPI Certification Program helps practices determine whether they are providing the best treatment and care possible to their patients, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement in the hematology-oncology outpatient practice.”

The Sobrato Cancer Center is named for the family of Silicon Valley philanthropist John A. Sobrato. In 2006, the Sobrato family donated $1,000,000 to the Valley Medical Center Foundation to help fund the purchase of a new linear accelerator for the Center.

VMC cares for people. And bees.

The beekeeper relocates a huge hive from the rafters of VMC’s historic building. Carefully, I would think.

The oldest building on Valley Medical Center’s campus still in use is this one, which houses VMC’s Sexual Assault Response Team. The SART program is the only one in the county, and sadly treats 30 patients a month. It’s a safe place right next to the main hospital where victims of assault get treatment and have evidence collected.

That “safe place” might be why a colony of bees moved in two years ago and built a big hive. That worked out for a while, until we couldn’t go on without fixing the roof.

So, we called in a beekeeper to relocate the hive and its owners.  They get a permanent home, and we get a new roof on a building that goes back to 1917. The roof, by the way, isn’t the only part of the building that needs TLC…so, if you are interested in preserving this historic landmark on your public hospital campus, give me a buzz.

That’s one honey of a beehive! Bees, like VMC’s SART Program, are important to protect.

Healthcare Reform and VMC – game on!

As you probably heard this morning, the United States Supreme Court has upheld (nearly all of) the Affordable Care Act.

Nevermind the politics – from a policy perspective (and the “everyone needs access to affordable, quality healthcare perspective”), this is a very, very good thing.

Because here at Silicon Valley’s public medical center, we are on the front lines of America’s healthcare crisis. Doing nothing was never an option, no matter how the Supreme Court ruled.

Since that act was signed by President Obama in 2009, VMC has been hard at work planning for change. Part of the ACA that isn’t being tweeted about today is a big deal for VMC and other “Safety Net” medical centers. “Disproportionate Share” hospitals (those who serve more under/un-insured than hospitals around them) like ours get a reimbursement from the federal government today based on numbers: How many we serve, what procedures they get, etc. Under ACA, that’s changing, and for the better: We now must demonstrate that we’re improving their health, that patients are satisfied with their care, and that we’re able to measure those positive outcomes.

Like it or not, healthcare in America is still a competitive business. The advancements VMC is making will help us compete… As we prepare to open our new world-class hospital (the Sobrato Pavilion), it’s time to “turn the ocean liner.” That takes time and toil. But gone are the days when it’s enough to tally the uninsured we serve and what we do for them, report it to the Feds, and get reimbursed. VMC must compete for dollars by demonstrating better outcomes for all we serve.

With the Affordable Care Act punctuating the need for change, VMC must evolve past the “fee for service” model that’s been the norm, more or less, for 160 years. For its imperfections, Obamacare will make this easier, but it’s already happening and there is no going back.

And that’s not all. VMC is preparing to enroll and provide care to tens of thousands of local residents who will become eligible for Medi-Cal in 2014. And as the region’s largest teaching hospital (1 in 4 area physicians were trained at VMC, including all students at the Stanford University School of Medicine), VMC will play a critical role in training the healthcare workforce of the future that will need to rapidly expand to care for all these newly insured people.

The VMC Foundation is also playing a part, thanks to the help of innovative funders like the Moore Foundation, The Health Trust, El Camino Hospital District, Kaiser, the Sobrato family and more. We are proud to be promoting, working on, and raising funds for the most critical parts VMC’s transformation. And not to belabor the point, but these transformative programs aren’t a response to Congress or the courts; we’re doing them because it’s the way healthcare MUST change, because it’s better for VMC, and most importantly, better for the patients and community we serve. Here’s just a sample of the projects the VMC Foundation is supporting to make healthcare reform a reality at VMC –

  • Patients with congestive heart failure are being better prepared to leave the hospital and manage their conditions, thus reducing readmission rates.
  • System-wide campaigns to improve the patient experience – more quiet, more communication, more customer service.
  • Our Healthier Living Program helps diabetics control their disease, as you may have read about in the Wall Street Journal (yes, that was a boast).
  • Heard about the “medical home model?” It’s happening at a Valley Health Center near you. One door = a team of health pros with you at the center of the team.
  • Electronic health records? On-line link to your doctor, meds, history and appointments? We’re building it as I type.
  • Access to fresh fruit and veggies is hard for many VMC patients. Coming soon: Our on-campus Farmers’ Market!
  • You’ve heard of VMC’s renowned spinal cord injury rehab center? How about spinal cord injury CURE? We’re on the forefront of new technologies that are astounding and magical.

One more time: We’re doing all this anyway. But with today’s decision, it’s going to be easier.


Electronic medical records: It’s going to be Epic!

Jeff Scarafia of Epic, presenting June 5 to a group of county health leaders. His slide shows just a few of the medical centers using Epic.

Yesterday I got to learn a bit more about Epic, the system being implemented here at Valley Medical Center to catapult us into the 21st century!

That’s not even hyperbole: Epic is truly epic. Once it’s fully implemented, we’ll be part of a growing national network of medical systems using the same electronic medical record platform…and we’ll all benefit.

I’ll be able to make appointments or change them right from my computer at home or iPhone. Accessing lab results, re-ordering medications? All a snap. History of my constant, frustrating battle to lose weight? The info is at my fingertips.

But most importantly, if I’m visiting Epic’s HQ in Wisconsin, and I’m wandering through a field and get hit by a cow*, the local trauma center using Epic will have instant access to my medical history and know that I’m allergic to Bovinabutanol.**

This is technology that will truly save lives – maybe mine, maybe yours. And just another great innovative step being taken by our public hospital. Learn more at

* This is unlikely to happen.

** I totally made up that medication.

“After Hours with the Business Journal,” Mar. 29 @ 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by Focus Business Bank

Join the VMC Foundation, John A. Sobrato, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and Focus Business Bank for “After Hours with the Business Journal.”

Meet an network with staff of the Business Journal, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and John A. Sobrato. And learn about the latest addition to the VMC campus – the John A. and Susan Sobrato Pavilon.

WHEN: Thursday, March 29th, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Focus Business Bank, 10 Almaden Blvd., Suite 150, San Jose

WHAT: appetizers and cocktails will be served

TICKETS: $25 per person

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QUESTIONS: Call 408.299.1832

Media roundup: Sobrato Pavilion announcement

photo by Luis Gonzalez

Watch highlights from the press conference and review media converage from John A. and Susan Sobrato’s annoucement of a $5 million gift the the VMC Foundation, the largest ever made to the organization.

The event served as a kick-off for a 2-year VMC Foundation campaign to match the Sobrato donation before the new facility opens in late 2013.




San Jose Mercury News

Sobrato family donates $5 million to help equip new building at VMC

Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal 

John A. Sobrato donates $5M grant to Valley Medical Center

NBC Bay Area

South Bay Hospital Receives Hefty Donation


Santa Clara Valley Medical Center recieve $5 million from John Sobrato 


John A. Sobrato announces historic gift to VMC Foundation

The VMC Foundation was joined by the legendary Silicon Valley philanthropist John A. Sobrato today to announce a $5 million challenge grant in support of the new VMC hospital building currently under construction.  The gift represents the largest ever made to the VMC Foundation, and the largest by an individual to a County Hospital west of the Mississippi.

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If successful in matching the Sobrato donation, the VMC Foundation will have raised $10 million to fund the purchase of vital equipment and medical technology for the new facility, slated to open in 2016.

VMC Foundation Executive Director Chris Wilder also announced that the 370,000 square foot building will be dedicated as the “John A. and Susan Sobrato Pavilion.” It will house adult intensive care and acute care units, as well as Valley Medical Center’s renowned Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center.

Construction of the building is being financed by the tax payers of Santa Clara County, who passed Measure A by overwhelming margins in 2008 to ensure that VMC could rebuilt and upgrade facilities that do not meet state-mandated earthquake safety regulations for hospitals.  While public dollars will cover the costs of construction, millions of additional dollars are needed for medical equipment and life-saving technology.  The VMC Foundation will attempt to fill that gap via an aggressive capital campaign to raise donations from the community.

In addition to the Sobrato gift, organizations such as The Valley Foundation, The Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, the VMC Volunteer Auxiliary and over 600 Valley Medical Center and Health and Hospital System employees who have donated to the Foundation’s “Give a Booster Shot” program have already supported the campaign.

When open, it will be one of the most technologically advanced and energy efficient hospital facilities in California.

To learn more about the Sobrato Pavilion, please enjoy the following video.

Join us for “A Very BIG Announcement” Jan. 25th

invitation to special VMC Foundation press conference, January 25, 2012

Please join the VMC Foundation and John A. Sobrato for a special press conference announcing….well, we can’t tell you just yet.  That’s why people have press conferences.

But when we say “big,” we mean it.   Really, really big. Historically big.  As in, the VMC Foundation will never be the same.

Details are as follows –

When is it? Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Where is it? Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, 751 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose (outside by the flagpoles in front of the Main Hospital building)

What is it?  Nice try.  But you have to come to find out.  And you want to.

And if it’s raining? The event will be relocated to the Sobrato Cancer Center Conference Room on the ground floor of the Valley Specialty Center (click on flyer image to see map).

Need to download the event flyer? Great.  Here it is.

“A Very Big Announcement” – January 25, 2012

Questions?  Give us a call.

“Topping Out” Ceremony for the new VMC Service Building

New Service Building Rendering

The SCVMC New Service Building Upon Completion

SCVMC Seismic Safety Project

“Topping Out” Ceremony

New Service Building
December 15, 2011
11:00 – 11:30 AM
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center


Please join us this Thursday 12/15, at 11:00 AM for the “Topping Out” Ceremony for the New Service Building. The ceremony will take place on Middle Drive (see map with location marked by a red star).

Come sign your name on and watch the highest piece of steel be lifted and installed on the new Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Service Building.

Can’t make the ceremony? Sign the beam anytime between 8:00 and 11:00 AM. See the red star on the map- the beam is painted white and located on Middle Dr.

For more information, call 408-282-2687 or email

The “Topping Out” Ceremony will take place on Middle Dr. next to the new Service Building.