Volume 1, Number 10
ValleyCare Charitable Foundation Supports
By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer
This year a new program at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare began providing new clothing for homeless patients in need. The idea for the program was sparked by nurses and doctors in the Emergency Department. “Nurses and doctors noticed that patients were coming in and not dressed appropriately for the time of year or had an infection and had dirty clothes,” says Shaké Sulikyan, Executive Director of ValleyCare Charitable Foundation (VCCF).
The healthcare professionals wondered if there was a way that homeless patients could leave ValleyCare with dignity, wearing clothes appropriate for the season whether summer or winter. “It was a grassroots effort, really coming from the providers on the ground,” says Sulikyan.
Historically nurses would take up a collection and buy whatever they could with their own funds, she notes. But individuals could do only so much. VCCF explained the problem and possible solution to the Rotary Club of Pleasanton Foundation, which funded the initial purchase of adult clothing and shoes during the spring of 2017.
Since then the program to clothe homeless patients has expanded beyond the Emergency Department. Homeless in-patients ready to be discharged from the hospital but without appropriate clothing can now get the new, clean items they need. Those include flip-flop sandals during the summer, waterproof shoes in the winter, and sweatpants and sweatshirts. Homeless patients will receive toothbrush kits as well.
The program for clothing homeless patients is just one of many initiatives that have come into existence as a result of the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation. “Our fundraising focus is local, with monies supporting state-of-the-art healthcare technology, facilities, various clinical programs, and services at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare,” notes Sulikyan. These funds support a wide variety of programs that enhance patient care and help meet the growing needs of the Tri-Valley communities.
Uninsured and underinsured women in the Tri-Valley who are going through breast cancer treatment can apply for help from the Women in Need fund, for example. Approximately one in eight U.S. women, about 12%, will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Not all of these women have the resources they need to fight this illness. The Women in Need fund, established in 2010 with a donation from Dentists Against Cancer, provides financial assistance for a variety of treatment-related devices and services.
“The funds available to patients allow them to focus on what’s most important, the fight against breast cancer and their recovery, instead of their medical bills,” says Sulikyan.
Since it was established, the Women in Need fund has provided 468 lymphedema sleeves, bras, gloves, gauntlets, shirts/vests, camisoles, and prostheses, according to VCCF. The fund has also provided 175 wigs to cancer patients and paid for the diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, and radiologist fees for a single patient.
VCCF donors might be surprised at the broad impact their donations have. “Charitable donations and philanthropy support everything from the Emergency Department, to cancer services to cardiac rehabilitation, to labor and delivery, to physical therapy,” notes Sulikyan. “Gifts from our community members and local companies play a big role in ensuring that Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare will continue to deliver the highest-quality care to all who seek our help, now and for generations to come. ”
For more information about ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, visit www.valleycare.com/foundation.aspx.