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Chairman's MessageRodriguez

M. Hellen Rodriguez, MD

As a longtime physician, I'm always an optimist: I strive each day to leave my patients stronger and healthier than they were when they first came to me with a medical need.

As chairwoman of the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Foundation board of directors, I bring that same sense of optimism to the table, doing all that I can to help make the hospital an even better one than it already is. It's a challenging goal and one that will require assistance from a supportive community that has long embraced the mission and ideals of this great facility.

I first joined the PVHMC medical staff in 1987, and since then have witnessed or participated in many of the hospital's greatest achievements. I've seen the Stead Heart and Vascular Center, built with community support the year before I arrived, take root and grow. I've watched the Women’s Center, where I work each day, emerge from a mound of dirt into a burgeoning center of excellence. I've witnessed The Robert & Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center become a center of hope for those suffering with various forms of cancer.

On a different level, PVHMC is also a STEMI receiving center for patients who have suffered a heart attack, a certified Stroke Center for Los Angeles County, one of 50 top cardiac hospitals in the U.S. so designated by Thomson Reuters, and our Emergency Department was recently named among the top 5% in the nation by Healthgrades. Clearly, PVHMC is among the finest hospitals in Southern California.

As each of these clinical programs grew and developed, philanthropy played a key role. Without generous support from those who utilize this hospital, our growth in key clinical areas would not have been possible. The fact is that in most instances, not-for-profit community hospitals simply cannot fund all of their capital needs without generous giving. PVHMC is no exception.

That reality is truer today than it was a few years ago. In recent years our economy has faltered, and along with it many of the constants we took for granted—jobs, income, community services—have shrunk or disappeared altogether. Another constant, however, is our health. No matter what is happening in the world around us, people always need effective healthcare. When illness strikes, it's comforting to know that a great hospital with fine facilities, expert clinicians and the latest technology is nearby—staffed and equipped to make a difference.

With the world changing, it is widely accepted that the only communities that will enjoy continued access to high-quality health care in the future will be those that provide significant philanthropic and volunteer support to the not-for-profit hospitals they rely on. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is facing that challenge with hope and determination.

I know that from firsthand experience. I've supported the hospital for many years, I've served as president of the medical staff, I've served on the Foundation board of directors, and I've chaired committees. Through my own involvement I've seen what tireless devotion and generous giving offered by dedicated supporters can do to strengthen an already vigorous medical center.

As I look ahead to the coming years, I'm reminded of the PVHMC Foundation's overriding mission: through every philanthropic gift we receive, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is able to make an impact in the lives of our patients!

That's our goal in its purest form. Each gift, from a large endowment of property or assets to a smaller gift of cash, is ultimately used to improve the lives of those we treat. What a joy it is to financially support a hospital, then to watch it provide outstanding care to a family member or friend in their time of need.

Going forward, some view the coming year with a sense of trepidation. However, I look at it with a sense of optimism. Your hospital—and it truly is your hospital—is only getting better. We're situated in a generous community with a long history of selfless giving. We share a world where we often intersect only at a point of need. With your support, lets make that point of need a place where hope and collaboration also come together. Join hands to partner with us as we embark upon the exciting challenge of making Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center one of the finest hospitals anywhere!