Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and Palo Alto Medical Foundation Receive 2009 Champion for Children Award
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Jan. 30, 2009 - Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC) and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) - Santa Cruz Division were presented the 2009 Healthy Kids “Champion for Children Award” yesterday in recognition of its $800,000 investment in children’s coverage programs and ongoing support since 2003.
County Supervisor John Leopold presented the award to Larry deGhetaldi, M.D., president of the Santa Cruz Division of PAMF. Ali Spickler, field representative for California Assembly Member Bill Monning also presented Dr. deGhetaldi with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of Assembly Member Monning.
Dr. deGhetaldi expressed his thanks to the community and said supporting Healthy Kids was a clear choice for SMSC and PAMF. “Healthy Kids improves the health of local children, reduces missed school days, helps parents be more productive at work, reduces cost and supports a more cost effective system of care,” he said.
SMSC and PAMF have donated $575,000 to pay for Healthy Kids premiums since 2004 and $225,000 to subsidize the cost of premiums for low-income families for the Healthy Families program since 2003. PAMF and SMSC will continue to support Healthy Kids and Healthy Families in 2009.
Over the past five years, Healthy Kids has helped cover more than 12,000 individual Santa Cruz County children by launching its new Healthy Kids health plan, as well as by enrolling thousands of children into Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. According to a 2008 study by USC, between 2000 and 2005 Santa Cruz, along with 8 other California counties operating a Healthy Kids program, showed a 25% reduction in preventable hospitalizations per year. Thus 1,050 hospitalizations were prevented annually for asthma, bacterial pneumonia, gastroenteritis, etc, resulting in cost savings of over $7 million per year to the State.
The award was given during the Healthy Kids Coalition’s annual celebration event. About 70 business and community leaders, elected officials, health care providers and children’s advocates celebrated the accomplishments of Healthy Kids at the Sesnon House in Aptos.
About the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation for Health Care, Research and Education is a not-for-profit health care organization that is a pioneer in the multispecialty group practice of medicine. The Santa Cruz Division of PAMF provides care through three local facilities: Santa Cruz Medical Clinic, Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and the VNA of Santa Cruz County. The division also includes the Santa Cruz Medical Foundation, which provides Santa Cruz County residents with general health care, family practice, urgent care, primary care and health care specialists. The 30-bed Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center offers state-of-the-art perinatal and medical/surgical services combining the luxury of a fine hotel with the safety and security of a licensed accredited hospital. VNA of Santa Cruz County, a bilingual/bicultural organization, provides quality, compassionate, skilled care to homebound patients throughout Santa Cruz County.
PAMF is part of the Sutter Health family of not-for-profit physician organizations and hospitals that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality. Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, Sutter Health is a regional leader in cardiac care as well as care of women and children, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the PAMF’s Santa Cruz region, please visit www.pamf.org.
About Healthy Kids
Healthy Kids of Santa Cruz County is a program of the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County, a nonprofit coalition of public and private health care leaders committed to increasing access to care and building a stronger local health care system. For more information about the Healthy Kids program, go to http://www.schealthykids.org/.