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,
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.
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JULY / AUGUST 2008
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