Long before the COVID-19 virus hit the Bay Area, Eden Medical Center was renowned for delivering exceptional intensive care to patients throughout southern Alameda County. A level 2 trauma center, the 24-bed Eden ICU provides specialized treatment for the region’s most critically ill patients, including those suffering from life-threatening injuries and infections, acute cardiovascular events and respiratory conditions. And as a designated Primary Stroke Center and a Neuroscience Center of Excellence, the unit serves a large number of patients with stroke and other serious neurovascular concerns. Generous community donors, along with grateful patients and physicians committed to giving back, are instrumental in ensuring the Eden ICU can offer world-class care close to home.
Philanthropy supported the construction of the state-of-the-art facility that Eden Medical Center moved into in 2012, and ongoing gifts help the ICU purchase of life-sustaining technologies, including continuous renal replacement therapy machines for safer hemodialysis. Donor dollars also foster vital research such as an alcohol withdrawal treatment project.
The most recent fundraising campaign met its goal of generating $65,000, which Sutter Health matched. The $130,000 total enabled the ICU to acquire a Philips Expression MR200 MRI-Safe Monitor to track ICU patients’ vitals during MRI, as well as two best-in-class Medtronic 980 Ventilators that proved especially crucial for COVID-19 care. “We wouldn’t be able to do the great work we do without philanthropic support,” says Bob Sypher, director of the Eden ICU.
ICU Through Pandemic
While the coronavirus crisis has stretched resources and upended normal workflows in the ICU, the dedicated physicians, registered nurses and support staff have risen to the challenge. Aided by hospital leadership, operations staff and Sutter Health’s coordinated network of care, Eden has adapted to the often tense, rapidly changing environment to consistently deliver phenomenal care. Whether tending to COVID-19 patients directly or administering life-saving treatments to stroke sufferers, they’ve worked tirelessly to keep patients, one another and the entire community healthy and safe.
“This experience has been stressful, but it has gone very well,” Sypher says. “We’ve had to get used to donning and doffing isolation gear and working with all the doors closed, and it has been challenging to secure medical equipment. But we’ve managed to get PPE and other supplies we need to protect patients and ourselves every day, so hats off to the people in this building who work very hard to make that happen.”
Philanthropic support has enhanced our care during this pandemic.
Both in preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases and caring for all ICU patients at the height of the pandemic, the providers’ workload increased significantly. Physicians and support staff took on extra shifts while hospitalists, therapists and nurses from other departments cross-trained in intensive care to fill in any gaps, tend to overflow patients and be on call. These selfless efforts allowed the ICU to maintain the high level of care it is known for, even upholding its ratio of one registered nurse per one or two patients.
“The nursing and ancillary staff have done a great job, so I am very proud of our team,” says Dawn Troeger, N.P., critical care coordinator for the Eden ICU. “Even though these are not ideal circumstances and we don’t have all the equipment we’re used to working with, everybody has risen to the occasion and keeps showing up to deliver high-quality care.”
Philanthropy has been essential to Eden Medical Center’s COVID-19 response. Donor gifts helped ease some of the cost burdens incurred through the pandemic, such as increased staffing and the purchase of additional hospital beds. Additionally, philanthropy teams across Sutter Health pooled resources to purchase iPads for physicians to conduct virtual visits and for ICU patients to communicate visually with loved ones restricted from visiting. “Philanthropic support has enhanced our ability to care for patients during this pandemic, and we are so thankful,” says Sarah Kiyoi, R.N., chief nurse executive at Eden Medical Center.
Future Philanthropic Support
Over the next decade and beyond, philanthropy will become all the more crucial. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICU had been experiencing higher patient volumes. According to Sypher, for the first few years after Eden Medical Center moved into its new Castro Valley location, the ICU averaged about 1,100 patients annually. In recent years, however, roughly 1,500 patients per year have sought intensive care, with the unit serving a record 15,595 patients in 2019.
Because the local population is growing and the number of older adults is increasing exponentially, there will be an increase in serious, life-threatening illness and injuries requiring intensive care in the years to come. Ongoing generosity will help the ICU acquire the latest technologies to provide the vital intensive care services these patients need. By partnering with loyal donors and newly interested community members who have shown their appreciation and compassion for our care teams during the pandemic, we can ensure access world-class care close to home.
If you’re interested in making an impact locally by giving to the Eden Medical Center ICU, please contact Kathleen Jose Le, director of philanthropy, at email@example.com or (510) 727-2753.