In 1961, the residents of “Lesiure World” (now known as Laguna Woods Village) realized they needed a hospital to serve its growing community. Today, more than 40 years later, Saddleback Memorial Foundation continues to partner with generous corporations, foundations, and members of the community making Saddleback Memorial Medical Center the center for aspirational patient care. The philanthropic contributions from generous donors enable Saddleback Memorial Medical Center to provide essential medical services, continually integrate new technology and advanced medical procedures, enhance the center’s facilities, and support continued staff education.
The value of Saddleback Memorial Medical Center is demonstrated by the outstanding medical care physicians and staff provide. Patients are treated as if they were the staff and physicians’ own family members. The medical center’s high standard of care is also evident in the recent awards and accolades from prominent organizations in the healthcare industry. Saddleback Memorial Medical Center was voted the #1 Hospital in the Orange County Register’s 2015 “Best of Orange County” and was ranked as one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2016 – the second consecutive year the hospital has been given this distinction.
The continuous success of the medical center has aided Saddleback Memorial Foundation in growing its philanthropic roots. Many patients who receive care from the medical center become lifelong donors and continue to support the endeavors of the foundation.
Max Page, famously known as the child actor who played Darth Vader in the enormously popular Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial in 2011, was born in 2004 at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center with a congenital heart defect. The medical center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was able to find his ailment early on. Max returned nine years later to support the Saddleback Memorial Foundation 2013 Spring Gala by hosting the auction, donating his own funds, and even auctioning off his Darth Vader mask, which was won by the physician who delivered him, Cathy Han M.D.
Heartwarming stories like Max’s are common for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. The foundation believes it is imperative that donors understand what their contribution supports, and the deeply positive impact they have on the medical center patients as well as hospital staff.
Thanks to the generous support of the foundation’s donors, the medical center recently opened a state-of-the-art Simulation Lab as part of their professional development program. The lab includes adult patient simulators that provide realistic hands-on training for students in areas such as labor and delivery, cardiology, hospice, and pulmonary rehab. The lab also includes high-tech audio/visual equipment so educators and students can play back the simulations for teaching purposes.
The foundation continues to support the staff and care providers of the medical center as well. In July 2016, a group of Saddleback Memorial employees were honored with scholarships to further their higher education. These awards are part of the scholarship program established in 1977 and, since then, Saddleback Memorial Foundation has distributed more than $900,000 in scholarships.
Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s newest endeavor is raising funds for the medical center’s newly launched space redesign project, I’MAGINE. The renovations will include a redesign of surgical and nursing recovery units as well as the pre-operating areas to provide comfort and privacy during the transportation and recovery time for patients. Another development will be the creation of a hybrid operating room, which will primarily be used for cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. The room will provide surgeons with the optimal setting for minimally invasive procedures. The three-year project involves many aspects focusing on improving the patient-family experience the medical center strives to continuously provide.