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Our public health care system, like other public systems in California, has had to deal with reduced budgets while the demand for services just continues to grow.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

An Essential Community Asset at Risk

By Phuong H. Nguyen, MD, MMM Past SCCMA Councilor Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) is the cornerstone of Santa Clara County’s health care delivery system, serving as this community’s safety net hospital and providing some of the region’s most specialized services.

five births in Santa Clara County! •

The state-of-the-art Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit took care of over 600 babies this past year.

It is Santa Clara County’s busiest emergency department.

Did you know that SCVMC plays a central role in the education and training of the next generation

As our public hospital, SCVMC provides medical

of Santa Clara County’s health care professionals?

care to Santa Clara County residents who don’t

Nearly 1,000 nurses train at SCVMC annually.

have health insurance. When people in our

In addition to its accredited residency training

community have limited options in getting health

programs in medicine, Ob-Gyn and radiology,

care services, SCVMC is here to provide quality and

SCVMC serves as a teaching hospital for Stanford,

compassionate care.

UCSF, and other medical school residents. At last count, one in four physicians in Santa Clara County

In addition to essential services, Santa Clara Valley

received some training at the medical center.

Medical Center (SCVMC) provides some of the

Important allied health professionals, such as

most specialized treatment and care to Santa Clara

physician assistants, pharmacists, and Emergency

County residents. With a Neonatal Intensive Care

Medical Services (EMS) staff, also rotate through

Unit, Regional Burn Center, Rehabilitation Center for


spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, as well as a top rated emergency department and trauma center,

Our public health care system, like other public

SCVMC provides critical care when people need it

systems in California, has had to deal with reduced


budgets while the demand for services just continues to grow. In the last seven years, the health

As you may know, SCVMC is the busiest and biggest

and hospital system dealt with budget reductions

hospital in our county. One of four county residents

to the tune of $675 million. Our public health

went to this hospital or one of its clinics over a

care system responded by cutting expenses and

four-year period. Here are some other points to

generating new revenues. Throughout, their priority


has been to ensure the quality of patient and client services.

• • •

the bulletin



Every year, SCVMC provides 700,000 adult and 143,000 children outpatient visits.

And just when you think things can’t get much

The Trauma Center treats some of the most life-

worse, they do. The older hospital buildings – a

threatening and catastrophic injuries every day.

total of 250 beds – will soon be out of seismic

The pediatric trauma center is one of only two

compliance. Because of California state law, these

in the entire county.

structures have to be seismically safe and rebuilt

The burn trauma center is one of only two

by 2013. The price tag is a staggering $1.4 billion,

north of Los Angeles and treated over 250

money Santa Clara County does not have. At 1.3

patients this past year.

hospital beds for every 1,000 people, Silicon Valley

The nationally recognized 76-bed Rehabilitation

has one of the lowest bed ratios in the state. We

Center treats some of the most complicated and

cannot afford to lose these beds.

serious cases. •

The hospital is the eighth busiest birthing

On June 12, the Santa Clara County Board of

center in California and expects to deliver over

Supervisors voted to place a 30-year $840

6,000 babies in 2008. That is almost one out of

million general obligation bond measure

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2008 July/August  

2008 July/August  

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