$20 Million Gift Establishes Michael and Judith Gaulke Innovation Hatchery Endowment Fund at Sutter Health
Gift from Longtime Silicon Valley Couple Focuses on Human-Centered Care and Innovation
A Silicon Valley couple, who believe strongly in giving back to their community, donated $20 million to establish the Michael and Judith Gaulke Innovation Hatchery Endowment Fund at Sutter Health. The Gaulke gift is the single largest donation in the not-for-profit healthcare network’s history. Sutter’s Innovation Hatchery, part of the network’s deeper commitment to innovation, is an incubator for identifying creative solutions to healthcare challenges, validating their effectiveness in real-world settings and integrating them into patient care as quickly and safely as possible.
“We are humbled by the extreme generosity of the Gaulkes and their heartfelt gift,” said Sarah Krevans, CEO and president of Sutter Health. “Their support for innovation will help pioneer breakthroughs in care delivery that will transform healthcare here in Northern California and improve patients’ experiences throughout the United States. Our physicians and their teams, working in partnership with the innovation that surrounds us here in Northern California, will bring together the power of creativity and technology with the best clinical care to make healthcare more compassionate, accessible and affordable to all.”
As part of this transformative gift, Sutter Health will name the lobby of its Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) San Carlos Center in honor of Michael and Judith Gaulke. In addition, Sutter will name its PAMF Palo Alto Center after the Gaulkes in a formal ceremony in the fall.
Sutter’s Innovation Hatchery tests promising ideas during 90-day sprints in hospitals and clinics. It focuses on solutions in five key areas: primary care, mothers and babies, mental health, compassionate hospitalization and end-of-life care. The Innovation Hatchery’s swift process and unique approach allows for quicker implementation of practices that can benefit patients in real-time and that can shape their experiences for the better.
Innovation Takes Shape at Sutter Health
Sutter Health aims to revolutionize healthcare by making it simpler, engaging and more human. Led by Sutter’s first-ever Chief Innovation Officer Chris Waugh, the healthcare network embraces a human-centered design approach that sets out to develop new product and service experiences, forge strategic partnerships with cutting-edge startups and technology companies, and help create a culture of innovation across the organization.
Patients benefit from recent partnerships with Augmedix, OpenIDEO, Lyft and Velano Vascular:
- Augmedix: Patients enjoy the undivided attention of their Sutter Health doctors thanks to a pilot featuring Google Glass technology and remote scribes, which frees doctors from notetaking and medical charting during appointments.
- Lyft: Emergency Department patients who would not otherwise have a ride upon discharge are provided convenient and timely transportation by the ride-hailing company from Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
- OpenIDEO: Through a partnership with OpenIDEO, Sutter Health drove an important conversation about end-of-life care by sponsoring an online conversation to gather ideas and input from around the world about the universal yet deeply personal subject of dying. Contributors from 90 different countries offered more than 300 ideas in the initial phases of the conversation, with the goal of identifying and supporting compassionate solutions to improve the end-of-life experience for those who are dying – and their loved ones.
- Velano Vascular: Patients experience less discomfort during blood draws through a needleless technology developed that nurses are now piloting at Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley.
Strong Local Ties Guide Philanthropic Vision to Inspire Real-time Change to Healthcare Delivery
The Gaulkes are longtime Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) patients and advocates. They are cancer survivors, and as a result, healthcare has a personal meaning to them both. Michael serves on the PAMF Community Board of Trustees and is currently the Chair of the Sutter Health Board of Trustees. His experience as Chair of Exponent, Inc., an engineering and scientific consulting firm, will bring ideas from Silicon Valley and tech in general to impact the delivery of healthcare. Judy has a passion for healthcare as well, devoting her time and energy to women’s health issues.
“Judy and I made this gift to Sutter Health because we wholeheartedly believe in what the Hatchery is doing to marry promising innovations with what patients need most,” Gaulke said. “It’s going to take the kind of innovative breakthroughs that come to life every day in Northern California to make a difference in healthcare, and we believe in Sutter’s approach to ‘hatching’ new ideas to improve care quality and access for the better. Judy and I are incredibly optimistic. We believe that investing today will increase our chances of seeing significant change in healthcare tomorrow, so that there is real progress in our lifetime.”