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The Newsroom

Leaving a Legacy

Retired engineer George Nurmela, a Los Altos resident for more than 50 years and a patient of Dr. Fred St. Goar, left a legacy gift of $1.3 million to El Camino Hospital designated for the Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute. Per his direction, following conversations with Dr. St. Goar, the donation has been used to establish the Nurmela Family Education Fund. The monies will be allocated to support the education, training and recruitment of physicians and other clinical leads in order to expand the electrophysiology program and other clinical programs that focus on the treatment of patients with complex structural heart disease.


In January 2016, the hospital created the Nurmela Nursing Excellence Grant, and solicited proposals for projects designed to improve the care of heart and vascular patients at El Camino Hospital. Nurse applicants are required to take a lead role in preparing a proposed project that will have far reaching, positive impact on the care and outcomes of heart and vascular patients and produce measurable results.

The Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular leadership team is pursuing several other opportunities that will advance patient care, as stipulated by the Nurmela Family Education Fund. These will include continuing education for nurses and the creation of an electrophysiology registry that will enable clinicians to track quarterly outcomes in order to improve patient care. Two nurses received grants from El Camino Hospital Foundation to improve patient care during El Camino Hospital’s Nursing Excellence Week in May.

“As technology continues to rapidly change and medical knowledge advances, legacy gifts such as Mr. Nurmela’s are crucial to ensure El Camino Hospital can stay on the leading edge of care for patients and the community,” says Foundation President Jodi Barnard. If you would like to learn about the advantages of making a gift to El Camino Hospital through your estate, please contact Foundation President Jodi Barnard at 650-940-7154 or