Saddleback Memorial Foundation Doubles Fundraising Goal at Spring Gala, Funds Raised for Designed for Healing Project and State-of-the-Art Medical Equipment

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‘Little Darth Vader’ Makes Special Appearance, Gives Back to First Hospital That Saved His Life

Joined by donors, physicians and community leaders, Saddleback Memorial Foundation hosted its Spring Gala – A Celebration of Healing Saturday, April 20. Created to raise funds for the Designed for Healing hospital enhancement project and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial The Women's Hospital at Saddleback Memorial, the event raised $215,000, more than doubling its goal of $100,000. Portions raised were from the Fund-a-Need auction, which garnered $68,000 for a state-of-the-art Giraffe OmniBed for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Max Page, an eight-year-old San Clemente, Calif. boy recognized for his role as Darth Vader in a 2011 Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial, made a special appearance with his family and hosted the Fund-a-Need auction. Born with structural damage to his heart in 2004, Max gave special thanks for the care he received at Saddleback Memorial by donating $500 from his own pocket in addition to his Darth Vader helmet.

To the guests' surprise, a bidding war took place between Cathy Han, M.D., who delivered Max, and another physician over Max's Darth Vader helmet. Dr. Han out-bid the physician with a final offer of $7,000. As a direct result of Max's participation, the Fund-a-Need auction raised $68,000 for a Giraffe OmniBed for the NICU - a full-featured incubator and radiant warmer that creates a healing environment for intensively ill infants – where his life was saved eight years earlier.

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center’s Designed for Healing three-phase enhancement initiative is the first major renovation of its kind since opening in 1974. This comprehensive project is improving the healing environment of patients and their families through nature-inspired design throughout the hospital. Research has shown that the environment plays an active role in influencing the healing process, reducing stress and improving patient and staff well-being.

“After nearly 40 years, the hospital was starting to show signs of wear,” said Steve Geidt, chief executive officer of Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. “The physical facilities weren’t matching the quality of clinical care being provided to our patients. We worked very hard to create an environment that would foster our focus on patient-family centered care, providing a soothing, healing place for patients and their loved ones.”

Since the renovation began in 2012, patient rooms in the Main Hospital have been upgraded with 15 rooms now having the capability to be converted to private rooms. All patient rooms in The Women’s Hospital are complete with the addition of a new Bonding Room for parents who give birth through a surrogate. Throughout the hospital, fresh paint and new flooring have brightened up public areas while art featuring images of nature graces the corridors. Enhancements are scheduled to continue through 2014 with plans to add private patient rooms.

“The Spring Gala brought together all the remarkable people that have supported the Designed for Healing enhancement project and made this not-for-profit hospital what it is today,” said Cecilia Belew, president of Saddleback Memorial Foundation. “We were thrilled to celebrate the beautifully designed facility and the 25th anniversary milestone of The Women’s Hospital.”

Spring Gala 2013 sponsors included:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center Medical Staff, Surgical Care Affiliates
  • Gold Sponsors: Affiliated Pathologists Medical Group, The Page and Alderson Families, Sea View Pediatrics, South Orange County Surgical Medical Group
  • Silver Sponsors: CEP America (2 tables), Yvette del Prado Ph.D. and Nancy Field, Farmers and Merchants Trust Company, Jane L. Frederick, M.D., MemorialCare Medical Group, Pediatrix Medical Group of California, P.C., and Obstetrix Medical Group of Southern California, P.C., Saddleback Radiation Oncology Medical Group, Bebe Shaddock, Siemens Healthcare
  • Table Sponsors: Tracy and Geoffrey Bremmer, California Anesthesia Associates, Gary Damsker, Dennis J. Martin, M.D., O’Connor Mortuary, Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group (2 tables), William A. Phillips and Mary O'Toole, M.D., Saddleback Respiratory Medical Group, South Coast Radiology, South Orange County Cardiology Group, Lawrence T. Tran, M.D.
  • Patron Sponsors: Charles W.G. Eifrig, M.D. Retina Associates of Orange County, Greater Newport Physicians, Lillibridge Healthcare Services, Inc. (2 sponsorships), TideRock Financial, Universal Properties and Management, Inc.