Foundation Brings New Stroke Program to Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare Hospital

The mission of ValleyCare Charitable Foundation (VCCF) is to raise funds and awareness for projects and services that improve patient care in the community. VCCF is dedicated to the health and betterment of the Tri-Valley through the ongoing funding of the Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare hospital, and its innovative medical programs. Forward-thinking and community-driven, VCCF helps ensure that the community has access to world-class medical care and life-saving solutions close to home and work.

"Our efforts fund pioneering programs, including cutting-edge services, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, compassionate and personalized care, and much more," says Shake Sulikyan, Executive Director of VCCF.

About 60 years ago, a grassroots movement to raise money for a local hospital showed a spirit of generosity that continues to this day. Since its founding, VCCF has worked with its neighbors to build a healthcare system that reflects the growing and changing needs of the community. It also works to foster and protect the lifeline between the people of the Tri-Valley and the compassionate, personalized, and high-quality medical services that enhance the greater community, according to Sulikyan.

"Although we are part of the Stanford family and have benefited from investments and support from Stanford, our hospital remains an independent nonprofit hospital," notes Sulikyan. "As such, our hospital relies on donations to ValleyCare Charitable Foundation to help deliver meaningful results every day. Life-saving solutions don't just happen; they require an ongoing commitment and donations from our community."

A new Stroke Alert program is one example of the life-saving solutions that the VCCF has brought to the Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare hospital thanks to community support. As a result of funds raised by the VCCF during last year's Campaign for Stroke Care, the hospital was able to launch a new TeleNeurology and stroke-response, or Stroke Alert, program on December 17, 2018. Two days after the launch, a 58-year-old male from Pleasanton went to the Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare Emergency Department (ED) with stroke-like symptoms.

"The nurses and the physicians recognized his symptoms and activated the Stroke Alert," says Sulikyan. "The new protocols worked perfectly. The patient was examined by the Stanford Neurology team in Palo Alto utilizing the new TeleNeurology robot. The patient received blood-clot-busting medication shortly after arriving in the ED. Less than two days later, I watched the patient walk out of the hospital unaided to go home. It was absolutely incredible."

Longtime Livermore residents Lynn and Joan Seppala helped launch the Campaign for Stroke Care last year for deeply personal reasons. Lynn Seppala suffered a stroke years ago and remembers, "I went to therapy rehabilitation nearly 30 miles away, often three times a week for almost a year."

The Seppalas wanted stroke treatment and rehabilitation to be available locally. Their goal has been partially reached with the new Stroke Alert and TeleNeurology programs but more work remains to be done. The Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare hospital still needs to become a certified Primary Stroke Center so it can accept ambulances transporting stroke patients.

"We expect to have a site visit this summer and begin accepting ambulances in the next few months," says Sulikyan. "We also still have a funding gap for comprehensive post-stroke rehabilitation and support services."

To help bridge that funding gap, individuals can choose to earmark donations for the Stroke Program. For more insight into programs supported by VCCF, it now offers Community Insiders' Tours. Visitors explore the hospital, get important updates, and have an opportunity to meet staff and ask questions.

For more information about the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, please visit .

To schedule participation in a Community Insiders' Tour, please visit .

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