About the Foundation
About the Foundation
Fulfilling the Promise, Breaking Ground
On November 3, 2016 elected officials, community members, donors, hospital leaders, clinicians, and staff proudly joined together to break ground on the new facility that will support mental health and addiction services at El Camino Hospital. The construction of the psychiatric inpatient building on the Mountain View campus is intended not only to replace an outdated structure but to lead the way toward the development of a collaborative, regional solution to the fragmented, under-resourced mental health care system.
Silicon Valley journalist Moryt Milo put a human face on the mental health care crisis and affirmed the importance of El Camino Hospital’s commitment to this work. Her son experienced his first psychotic break as a sophomore in college. Over 18 months, he was admitted to and discharged from four other hospitals, allowed to walk away from residential treatment facilities and transitional housing. He ended up homeless and delusional on the streets of San Francisco before finally receiving the help he needed at El Camino Hospital.
“Because of El Camino Hospital’s model program my son stabilized for the first time in two years... able to slowly return to a local college; reunite with friends who love him for who he is; become part of the world once more,” she said. “Today’s groundbreaking on a new facility – for my family and all families challenged with mental health issues – is nothing short of a miracle.”
The new building, with 36 beds in private rooms, will enable the hospital to provide the highest standard of care to more of the most seriously mentally ill members of our community. It will help to address the dire regional shortage of adult inpatient psychiatric beds, which in turn will allow more community members to receive treatment in their home county. When it is completed, El Camino Hospital will be one of only two hospitals in the nation to provide specialized inpatient care for women with perinatal mood disorders/postpartum depression, helping to close a significant treatment gap for the new and expectant mothers who would benefit from a safer setting during the early stages of therapy. They will be treated in a dedicated unit for women of childbearing and rearing age that is designed to strengthen families and break a cycle of dysfunction that can impact generations.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian called the occasion, “a celebration, a testament to the persistence of people who said we can do more.” He continued, “This is more than a groundbreaking. It is a statement of this community’s values.”
“By proudly putting our names on this project and supporting the new facility, we along with other donors and community members are taking a stand on accepting and treating mental illness like any other health condition,” said Donna and John Shoemaker, chairs of the Foundation’s Philanthropy Council for Mental Health & Addiction Services. To date the Fulfilling the Promise fundraising initiative they are leading has raised $6.5 million for the new building and expansion of outpatient programs. “We are still open for business,” John said with a big smile, as he invited those present to contribute.