About the Foundation
Taking Wing Gala Celebrates Orchard Pavilion Renovation and Expansion
Friends and supporters of El Camino Health were thrilled to gather in person at Los Altos Golf & Country Club on May 14, 2022 for Taking Wing, a gala benefiting the renovation and expansion of the Orchard Pavilion for Maternal and Child Health. They mingled and dined in the outdoor courtyard overlooking the 18th hole before moving into the dining room for a short, inspirational program.
"Tonight is a celebration - of being together in person after such a long time apart, of El Camino Health's best-in-class maternal child services, and of the new vision for mother, baby, and family care," proclaimed Gala Chair Katherine Kennedy Allen, as she welcomed the guests. The grateful mother of a now thriving kindergartner who spent 63 days in our Mountain View hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, and survivor of a subsequent Caesarean section following a dangerous uterine rupture, extolled the hospital explaining, "Throughout the years, we have had experiences at other hospitals, but it is El Camino Health that has continuously made us feel like family, like a name, not a number, and always a priority."
El Camino Health CEO Dan Woods proudly touted the hospital's place on Newsweek's lists of top hospitals in the world and top maternity hospitals in the country. "Tonight, we are investing in the next generation to give them the best and brightest start," he said. He went on to describe the construction plans and process for the Orchard Pavilion renovation, crediting input from staff, physicians, patients and families like Katherine's for a design that will "foster a vastly improved patient experience, improved operations, and a better environment for providing care."
The guests got to see construction progress for themselves during a video hard hat tour of the entry, second and third floors that was conducted by Chief Administrative Services Officer Ken King. The expansion to the upper floors, which previously housed physician offices, will significantly increase the capacity of the neonatal intensive care unit and postpartum mother-baby unit in a private room environment. When it is finished, "the new environment will provide the best in the Bay and likely the best in all of California," King asserted.
The increased capacity is needed, Dr. Anna Anderson, medical director of obstetrical services, told the audience, citing a 25 percent increase in delivery volume over the past year. "Our staff is a family," she explained and "we are bursting at the seams in our home away from home."
San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky and his wife Maddie Wishnowsky made a special appearance by video to describe their wonderful birth experience at the Orchard Pavilion last October. "The quality of care at the hospital was incredible, the nurses were amazing," they said before thanking attendees for supporting the renovation and expansion, "a project that is close and dear to our hearts."
Guests also heard from NICU parents Anu Gururajan and Jay Vasudevan, who expressed gratitude to El Camino Health staff for saving their three-year-old son Sanjay's life following his emergency delivery at 20 weeks. "He was doing very poorly but the doctors and nurses worked tirelessly, thinking out of the box, and were able to save our son." After 84 days they were able to bring their "little miracle" home. The Fremont residents particularly appreciate that the new NICU will have a place for parents to stay with their babies. They were the first of many in the audience to enthusiastically raise their paddles when El Camino Health Foundation President Andrew Cope launched the fund-in-need appeal.
After the formal program concluded, guests continued the party in the casino and on the dance floor. The silent auction and raffle closed, and the happy winners picked up their prizes as they left to go home.