In commemoration of the heroic efforts, incredible compassion, teamwork and professionalism displayed… Together, in unity, they served greater than any individual can imagine. Never have our core values shined brighter.
These words, engraved near the bottom of the new Healer’s Touch sculptures installed at Novato Community Hospital and Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, convey the community’s deep gratitude for the hospitals’ physicians, nurses and staff. Hand-carved in serpentine stone by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe, the statues honor clinicians for their extraordinary skill and the compassionate care they provide to patients and their families every day.
The Healer’s Touch statutes are especially meaningful because of the profound respect the Shona people pay their traditional healers. Shona healers are regarded as treasures by those they care for, and the well-being and safety of the healer is of community-wide importance.
The Novato statue was given in memory of a former grateful patient of the hospital and is flanked by two 130-year-old heritage olive trees. The donor behind both the statue and the trees has chosen to remain anonymous, but shares his gratitude toward the hospital in this way, “Novato Community Hospital is our hospital. It brings me great joy to invest in an institution run by a team that provides top notch care to our community each and every day.”
In Santa Rosa, board member and grateful patient Rosalie Bulach is thrilled to take part in this touching tribute. “There is simply not enough that I can do to share my gratitude for all of the employees and physicians at Sutter Santa Rosa,” she says in tears. “I am the one who feels honored to be involved and I wanted to be first in line to show my thanks.”
Excellence Through Adversity
Since moving to California four decades ago, Rosalie has had her share of healthcare incidents. Early on, she was delighted with her first experience with a Sutter Health hospital, California Pacific Medical Center, which gave her the impression that healthcare in California was much more compassionate than that in her home state of New York. But after being referred to a “best-in-class” specialist outside of Sutter Health, she realized that the wonderful care is specific to our integrated network.
“I only ever deal with Sutter facilities now,” Rosalie says. She means it. In moving to a new independent-living facility recently, she laid out explicit instructions: In case of an emergency, she should be sent only to Sutter Health for care.
Through wildfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosalie has witnessed hospital employees demonstrate compassion and dedication under the most stressful situations, further confirming her allegiance to Sutter Santa Rosa and the entire Sutter Health system.
“Every time I need healthcare — and it has been too many times this last year — I am overwhelmed by the high-quality care,” Rosalie adds. “During the pandemic, I’ve felt the safest going to the hospital, and I tell all my friends not to delay care because the precautions being taken are keeping us all healthy and safe.”
Rosalie calls herself a “secret shopper” whenever she needs healthcare. She never divulges that she sits on the Sutter Santa Rosa board of trustees, yet she always receives exceptional care, whether in routine visits or during an emergency like the wildfires. This is the reason Rosalie has become a loyal Santa Rosa donor.“When I asked the nurses helping me at a recent urgent care visit how they were holding up under all the stress, they told me ‘this is our calling; we have to be here for patients,’” Rosalie says. “That is exactly why I can’t give enough praise to Sutter. It is the kind of organization I am proud to support. Not only are the physicians high quality, but the staff make me feel like I’m family. That’s important because being single, you don’t want to feel alone.”