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July 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Annual Fundraiser Exceeds Previous Goals for Special Needs Children

Untitled1Jack’s Helping Hand raised $145,000 at this year’s “An Evening With …”

This year’s fundraising efforts for special needs children has topped the previous three thanks to the generosity of those attending a sold-out event this past weekend. $145,000 was raised at an Evening with Jack’s Helping Hand (JHH), which was held at the Santa Margarita Ranch on Saturday, July 11th.  Guests were treated to a barbecue feast, dancing to live music, a spirited auction, and the company of all those who care about the needs of children with physical and mental disabilities.

Volunteer auctioneer Jim Settle was honored this year by JHH co-founder, Bridget Ready. And special appearances by children and their parents who have been helped by Jack’s Helping Hand gave guests a chance to meet the “success” stories that their generous donations have made possible.

Cancer survivor Owen Beck spoke about his life with the prosthetic leg he received from the organization and assured the crowd that he and Jack’s Helping Hand would be there for his new friend, nine-year-old David Cruz from Creston, California who recently lost his leg to bone cancer.

“It’s always a delight to watch the faces of our generous supporters when they meet these courageous children and hear their stories,” said Ready.
Since 2004, Jack’s Helping Hand has been providing help in the way of specialized equipment, transportation to out-of-town specialists, innovative treatments and therapies, plus toys and other devices that help children with all manner of injury and illness to live happier, healthier, fuller lives.

In addition to the many other achievements of Jack’s Helping Hand, which includes a special adaptive toy lending library, a club for kids who hold birthday parties to support the organization, and a support group for parents of children with cancer, the concept for Jack’s Imagination Park is taking shape. This spacious outdoor park will be built especially for special needs children⎯with wheelchair access, adaptive playground equipment and safer play areas so that all children can enjoy being outside.

“The funds we raised at the event this weekend brings us that much closer to seeing this park become a reality,” said Mary Illingworth, Charitable Donations Administrator. “Considering how much this will mean to so many children, we are really thankful.”

To donate to Jack’s Helping Hand, call 547-1914 or log onto www.jackshelpinghand.org.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Little Hospital That Could

Frenchbldg15_RGBFrench Hospital Medical Center Celebrates Five Years with CHW

Five years ago, the actual leaks in the roof at French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) were as numerous and troublesome as the virtual leaks in the healthcare system it housed. Losing money and nearly bankrupt, the hospital’s buildings were shabby, conditions were crowded, and the equipment was outdated or in poor condition. Today, as French Hospital celebrates its five-year anniversary with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), this 112-bed facility boasts a nationally acclaimed Cardiac Care Center, the brand new Hearst Cancer Resource Center, ranks #1 in patient satisfaction among all 41 CHW hospitals in the Western U.S.,  and is one of the most profitable hospitals in the state. Thomson Reuters ranked FHMC the only hospital in California to achieve ranking among the top 100 in the nation for cardiac care in 2008.

“To call this turnaround remarkable is to understate the extraordinary legacy, loyalty, talent and effort that went into it,” said FHMC Foundation Executive Director, Debby Nicklas.

Recently dubbed “the little hospital that could,” FHMC was established in 1946 by Dr. Edison French, who pioneered the concept of specialization by assembling some of the best medical specialists in the nation for his new hospital. Over time and under multiple, corporate, for-profit ownerships, the hospital suffered –  but patient care did not. When CHW’s Alan Iftiniuk took over the helm of this sinking ship in 2004, he engaged the whole community to find out what had sustained its good reputation.

“I wanted to find out why doctors continued to send their patients here, why people would send their loved ones here,” he said.

“Whether I spoke to patients or their physicians, the answer was always the same,” said Iftiniuk. “We’re treated differently at French, they said. The people at French really care about their patients. They don’t treat us like a number, but rather like we’re family, they said. And that’s the legacy we were able to build on.”

Iftiniuk spoke to more than 700 community leaders and held numerous town-hall style meetings throughout the county. Looking to discover their expectations and concerns, he listened hard and then built their responses into a comprehensive turn-around plan.

“I’ve been around for much of this history, in good times and in bad,” said Nicklas. “I think that today, French Hospital is the best it’s ever been.”

About French Hospital Medical Center
Located in San Luis Obispo, California, French Hospital Medical Center is a not-for-profit hospital founded in 1946. Our team of 521 employees and more than 330 physicians work daily to extend the mission of providing compassionate, high quality health care services to San Luis Obispo and the surrounding communities. French Hospital is a member of Catholic Healthcare West, the largest Catholic healthcare system based in the western United States with 42 hospitals and two medical practice groups in California, Arizona and Nevada.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the Move … and Going “Green”

VMI Team

Verdin Marketing Ink makes socially responsible move           to new “green” office space

In keeping with our founding philosophy of social responsibility, Verdin Marketing Ink (VMI) moved into a new office on July 10, 2009.  VMI has been serving a diverse list of clients for nearly six years with strategic marketing, design, website, social media, and public relations services.
“We have purchased a spacious second floor office with great views and a suite of creative spaces that we designed ourselves,” said President Mary Verdin. “We are excited about working in a place that’s designed specifically for us, and specifically for stimulating creativity.”

As a socially responsible company, VMI is proud to have staff members who sit as board and committee members for several community service organizations, and has a company bike available for employees to use during the workday. Verdin Marketing Ink has also designed their new offices with the goal of obtaining LEED certification. LEED standards include using less energy, installing energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems, and using eco-friendly, recycled materials and cleaners, plus low-VOC paint and flooring materials.  Collaborating with architect, Greg Wynn, and contractor, Mike Hicks, VMI’s space-planning team created the new office to also be “… as warm and welcoming to clients as they are inspiring to our team,” said Verdin.

Our new address is 689 Tank Farm Road, Suite 210, San Luis Obispo, CA  93401. Phone and fax remain the same at 541-9005 and 541-9007 respectively.    Visit VMI online at http://www.verdinmarketing.com.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment