Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Receives $5 Million Matching Grant

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 — John A. Sobrato donates $5 million challenge grant to equip new Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Building: largest donation of its kind west of the Mississippi.

San Jose, Calif. — January 25, 2012 — At 11 a.m. on January 25, the Valley Medical Center Foundation and the leadership of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) will announce an unprecedented $5 million donation from John A. and Susan Sobrato to help furnish and equip the 370,000-square-foot SCVMC building currently under construction on the medical center’s main campus on Bascom Avenue in San Jose.

In 2008, the voters of Santa Clara County approved a bond measure that funded the construction of the new building, to increase SCVMC’s compliance with California’s earthquake standards. However the millions of dollars needed to furnish and equip the building were not included in the Measure A allocation. The building will house the nationally renowned SCVMC Rehabilitation Center and 168 new patient beds, and is scheduled to open in 2013.

The Sobratos’ $5 million donation—determined by VMC Foundation staff to be the largest single donation to a public county hospital west of the Mississippi—is a challenge grant to spur further donations. The VMC Foundation and SCVMC have two years to double the donation’s power by finding sponsors for naming opportunities throughout the new building, which will be known as the Sobrato Pavilion after Jan. 25.

“We see this donation, with its generosity and its challenge to Silicon Valley, as most characteristic of John and Susan’s approach to philanthropy,” said Chris Wilder, executive director of VMC Foundation. “From his long service on our Board of Directors, to their generosity in helping make the SCVMC Cancer Center one of our region’s outstanding oncology facilities, the Sobrato family has set a world-class leadership example in helping this hospital fulfill its mission of providing the best medical care to the whole community.”

“Sobrato Pavilion” Features

The Sobrato Pavilion will be a state-of-the-art medical facility with 168 inpatient, single-occupancy rooms and specialty services. Combined with SCVMC’s existing 406 seismically compliant beds, this new building ensures that this public hospital is ready to meet the growing health care needs of the community.

The Rehabilitation Center in the Sobrato Pavilion will include a new Independence Plaza, an outdoor park designed specifically to help patients learn to walk, use a wheelchair and navigate the world on their own again. Screened by foliage for privacy, it will feature gardening areas for patients, a courtyard for family gatherings and a variety of challenging walking surfaces such as cobblestones, grass, curbs and curb cuts. It will also feature a new Aquatic Therapy Center with a spacious pool overlooking the Independence Plaza gardens. The feeling of weightlessness in a pool helps patients with certain kinds of spinal cord and brain injuries with their rehabilitation exercises.

The Sobrato Pavilion will be the Bay Area’s first LEED Gold certified hospital, with environmental principles built in to every phase of the design. Green roofs, energy efficient windows and fixtures and numerous other features will enhance the operational efficiency of the building, while providing patients, visitors and staff with a clean and comfortable hospital environment. Building Information Modeling technology greatly increases the efficiency of construction.

Planners of the Sobrato Pavilion sought to create a less stressful environment for patients, staff and visitors, incorporating innovative designs like the Meditation Room on the 1st floor to promote serenity and human dignity. The new Lobby Link between the lobby of the current Main Hospital and the Sobrato Pavilion will feature lush plantings, secluded seating areas, and soft natural light. This area grants visitors, staff and patients a quiet and peaceful respite.

Naming and Sponsorship Opportunities

For donors interested in leaving a lasting impact, exclusive naming and sponsorship opportunities are available, and will be matched by John A. and Susan Sobrato up to $5 million through 2013.

SCVMC Rehabilitation Center - $2,500,000

SCVMC Acute Care Center - $2,000,000

SCVMC Intensive Care Center - $2,000,000

SCVMC Atrium - $1,000,000

Aquatic Therapy Center - $500,000

Independence Plaza - FUNDED

Welcome/Lobby area - $200,000

Rehabilitation Café - $100,000

Meditation Room - $100,000

Health Resource Center - $100,000

Featured placement on lobby donor wall - $25,000 and up

Donor Wall placement - $10,000 and up

About Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Foundation

SCVMC is Silicon Valley’s largest and busiest hospital and the only one with a 100 percent open door policy. It serves as both the “safety net” and provider of world-class specialty services such as the Cancer Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the Bay Area’s only Burn Trauma and Rehabilitation Trauma Units. The Sobrato Pavilion will be the center of public safety and emergency preparedness for Silicon Valley. SCVMC’s mission to care for anyone, regardless of ability to pay, has stood for 135 years.

The VMC Foundation is a non-profit established in 1988 to raise gifts and grants for the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System. Since its incorporation, the VMC Foundation has raised more than $25 million to provide facilities, equipment and services not covered by Santa Clara County public dollars.


Chris Wilder, Executive Director of VMC Foundation. Photo by Luis Gonzalez
Chris Wilder, Executive Director of Valley Medical Center Foundation
Chris Wilder, VMC Foundation Executive Director. Photo by PRx Inc.
John A. Sobrato and Chris Wilder. Photo by Luis Gonzalez
John A. Sobrato is interviewed. Photo by PRx Communication Strategists
John A. Sobrato. Photo by Luis Gonzalez
John A. Sobrato. Photo by Luis Gonzalez
Mike Wasserman, Santa Clara County Supervisor
VMC Foundation announces Sobratos' $5 million donation. Photo by PRx Inc.
Elisabeth Handler PRx Communication Strategists