Valley Health Foundation has a long history of leading and promoting new solutions for a healthier Santa Clara County. We innovate because growth comes from change. We proactively support and find solutions to vital needs in our community.
At Valley Health Foundation, we believe processes to achieve meaningful change in the health of individuals and a community begin with collaboration and a willingness to adopt or create innovative solutions. Our large public healthcare system serves diverse populations. When we innovate to solve complex health challenges, our learnings and new models can make an impact nationally and globally.
In our experience, innovation takes many forms. It can be the adoption and dissemination of a best practice model, the acquisition of new technology to improve health or the collaborative creation of an entirely new innovative solution or innovation to improve health within a community.
Donors are a catalyst for innovation precisely because their giving provides clinicians with flexible dollars to experiment without risking public dollars. Time and again, that model has proved decisive in launching new programs. By proving the concept first using philanthropy, our donors inspire long-term public investments that sustain their impact into the future.
Best Practice Models - Adoption of best practice models of care that improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of healthcare for patients and staff within Santa Clara County’s public healthcare delivery system.
Technology - Pursue funding to support the acquisition of leading-edge equipment, education, and technology to ensure patients and staff have access to the highest quality care and health outcomes.
- Connecting Parents to NICU Babies
- Helping Spinal Cord Injury & Stroke Patients Walk Again
- Fighting Cancer
Research - Valley Health Foundation innovates by partnering with clinicians and researchers to conduct research, test new models of care, and ultimately disseminate important findings that improve the quality of care and health outcomes for patients everywhere.
Adoption of best practice models of care that improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of healthcare for patients and staff within Santa Clara County’s public healthcare delivery system.
The following are examples of programs supported by Valley Health Foundation and its donors that are based on established best practice models that were adopted and adapted to improve the health and health outcomes of children in Santa Clara County.
- Reach Out and Read Program: Valley Health Foundation’s Reach Out and Read Program is based on a highly innovative and successful model founded in 1989 at Boston City Hospital by a group of creative pediatricians. They discovered that when physicians modeled reading to children during a clinic visit and gave the book to the child, the mothers were six times more likely to read to their children compared to mothers who did not receive the modeling and the book. Valley Health Foundation funded the launch of this model by providing training and age-appropriate books (in English and Spanish) to physicians and staff at all County owned pediatric clinics across Santa Clara County. Today, pediatricians and staff routinely read with children and provide books at scheduled clinic visits through age. The Reach Out and Read Program was started in 2004 and distributes more than 40,000 books annually. Valley Health Foundation partners with the National Reach Out and Read organization to update its curriculum and training to ensure children receive the lifelong benefits that result from families reading aloud to their children every day.
- Music Therapy for NICU Babies: The care team at the award-winning Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center includes two staff members who are funded by Valley Health Foundation to provide music therapy to premature babies during their stay in the NICU. This best practice model is based on research that reveals music therapy with neonates improves and stimulates healthy brain development, reduces stress in a sometimes-noisy care environment, and promotes healthy bonding between the premature baby and their loved ones.
- Pediatric Healthy Lifestyle Center (PHLC): The PHLC at Santa Clara Valley Healthcare (SCVH) provides expertise and multidisciplinary care team support to pediatric patients who have been identified by their primary care provider with obesity or obesity related illnesses, such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol abnormalities. The PHLC care team works with families to prevent disease by adopting healthy habits for life including adopting healthy eating and exercise habits and making other necessary changes in the home environment to achieve better health. The pilot for this unique model of care was funded by Valley Health Foundation and led by Dr. Antonia Charles, a pediatrician at SCVH.
- Clean Slate Program: Valley Health Foundation purchased a highly specialized laser to support the safe, efficient, and no-cost removal of tattoos from individuals who are enrolled in the City of San Jose’s “Clean Slate Program.” The Clean Slate Program, in partnership with Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center, serves youth and young adults 12 to 24 years old who have found tattoos to be a barrier to furthering their education and employment. For more information, go to: Youth Intervention | City of San Jose (sanjoseca.gov)
Pursue funding to support the acquisition of leading-edge equipment, education, and technology to ensure patients and staff have access to the highest quality care and health outcomes.
The following are examples of new technologies that were funded by Valley Health Foundation and its donors to improve the health and health outcomes of hospitalized infants and their caregivers and individuals recovering from a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or stroke.
- Connecting Parents to NICU Babies: The NICU at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center takes care of babies as early as 23 weeks gestation, 17 weeks premature. These tiny and vulnerable infants can remain in the hospital for three or more months following their birth. To relieve some stress to the infants' caregivers who may want to spend all waking hours with their newborn, Valley Health Foundation purchased technology that allows the caregiver to always view their growing infant. “NIC View” is a tiny camera that is mounted atop the infant’s care environment and allows viewing by only those with a highly secured link via a phone, tablet, or PC. Parents and families greatly appreciate this unique tool that allows them visual access at all hours of the day and night during their infant’s stay.
- Helping Spinal Cord Injury & Stroke Patients Walk Again: Valley Health Foundation and its donors are dedicated to ensuring our staff and patients have access to leading-edge technology to achieve optimal health outcomes. Physician leaders at the award-winning Rehabilitation Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center partnered with the Foundation to secure funding to purchase a highly sophisticated piece of equipment to assist patients who need to relearn how to walk. The patient gym in the rehabilitation center is the home of these sophisticated machines, two of only five machines like it in the Bay Area. The ZeroG® Gait and Balance System protects patients from falls while providing dynamic body-weight support as patients practice walking, balance tasks, sit-to-stand maneuvers, and even stairs. The machine is mounted to an overhead track, so there are no physical barriers between the patient and their therapist.
- Fighting Cancer: SCVH is home to care for patients diagnosed with cancer, including the award winning Sobrato Cancer Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. It serves more than 1,000 newly diagnosed patients each year and offers state-of-the-art cancer treatment by a very compassionate health care team. Valley Health Foundation partners with clinical leaders to help purchase "cutting edge" technology that ensures the provision of safe, highly effective and minimally invasive care for the treatment of many forms of cancer.
Valley Health Foundation innovates by partnering with clinicians and researchers to conduct research, test new models of care, and ultimately disseminate important findings that improve the quality of care and health outcomes for patients everywhere.
- Optimizing Brain Development for Newborns: The NICU at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is internationally recognized for its exceptional health outcomes and discovery of innovative models of care. More than 10 years ago, Valley Health Foundation and its donors funded innovative “pioneering” research that revealed and promoted many short- and long-term benefits to newborns whose umbilical cord was clamped at 2 plus minutes following birth. Now commonly referred to as “delayed cord clamping”, this technique is safely practiced by physicians around the world. Delayed cord clamping offers the most benefits to preterm infants, but it also benefits full-term babies and mothers. Delayed cord clamping increases hemoglobin and iron in full-term babies, which can reduce a baby’s risk for anemia. Infants whose cords were clamped three or more minutes after birth score higher on an assessment of fine motor skills and social skills than the children whose cords were clamped shortly after birth. In premature infants delayed cord clamping may also reduce the need for blood transfusions, improves circulation, and reduces the risk of bleeding in the brain and necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal disease that affects between 5 to 10 percent of premature infants.
- Pioneering Telehealth for Spinal Cord Injury Patients: Activity limitations imposed by dependence on a wheelchair for mobility make it challenging to maintain a healthy weight among many people recovering from a traumatic injury. To further investigate the use of iPad/tablet technology within a new care model, Valley Health Foundation partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Research Center Team to explore the effectiveness of the use of iPads to support healthy weight maintenance among patients recovering from Spinal Cord injury. Patients were given iPads which assisted them with regular sessions with a dietician who helped them with dietary guidance during the recovery process. The research revealed that the patients who received convenient and individualized dietary guidance by a nutritionist were able to adopt healthier dietary practices after hospital discharge than those who did not. While the research is still underway, preliminary results are promising.
Community-based health programs
- Turning Wheels for Kids is a program of Valley Health Foundation that distributes bikes not only during the holiday season but also year-round through several partnerships focused on preventing childhood obesity and supporting low-income families. Turning Wheels For Kids works with numerous partners to encourage outdoor activity—like riding a bike to school or hanging out with friends—to improve children’s health and well-being.