We are truly fortunate to have world-class healthcare right here at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara. The recent, premature arrival of our twin babies was a reminder about how close to home the need for quality healthcare sits.
I must confess that I am a convert – I was initially hesitant to move from what had been a more flexible private sector plan. As affordable and streamlined as their healthcare model is, Kaiser had a reputation for sometimes being frustrating.
Any trepidation was quickly proven unnecessary. My wife Sabra and I received top quality care from physicians who were contemporary and professional. And, when we were lucky to become pregnant they monitored the babies’ development and the well being of my wife.
It continued to be the case when our babies decided to arrive eight weeks early and quite to everyone’s surprise. A tremendous amount goes through a parent’s mind when babies deliver this prematurely, realizing that best laid plans were for naught and the health of your family lies in the hands of others. Sitting in the delivery room, with a dozen medical professionals ready to receive our two children, I could only think, “Thank God we’re here. If anything can be done to help our babies or my wife, they can handle it.”
Avery Lunde and Rodney Thomas Diridon did arrive, healthy but very small. They were quickly ushered into the neonatal intensive care unit, where the NICU team provided care, monitored their vital signs and tested their progress until they were ready to be released. When they did come home they were healthy and mom and dad were happy. It’s fair to say this is in large part due to the recent and ongoing care from Kaiser.
In hindsight, I should have known better than to worry about Kaiser in the first place. I’d worked with them years ago though a paramedic internship and knew the staff were conscientious and competent. When I sat on the City Council, Kaiser made good on their promise to build a state of the art hospital, including an emergency room in addition to the conditions of their project approval. Kaiser has always done right by us here in SC.
While it’s easy to complain, it’s also important to recognize when your expectations are exceeded. Kaiser’s mission is to “Provide affordable, high quality healthcare services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.” If the care our babies and family continue to receive is any indicator of their overall service, the team at Kaiser Santa Clara has more than met this goal.
(Rod Diridon, Jr. is the current City Clerk and Auditor, and a former City Councilmember for the City of Santa Clara.)