supporting farmers
Women from local communities hosted “Grow, Gather, Give” on Oct. 19, a charitable lunch and learn event that raised funds to assist female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Contributed)

El Camino Health nationally recognized

El Camino Health’s Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI) has earned the HeartCARE Center National Distinction of Excellence based on meeting stringent accreditation criteria, and through their ongoing performance registry reporting. 

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized HVI for its demonstrated commitment to providing a comprehensive, high-quality heart program and cardiovascular care that exceeds national standards.

“As the only heart program in the Bay Area to earn the HeartCARE Center distinction, it demonstrates that El Camino Health provides leading-edge cardiovascular care and superior results that are among the best of all area hospitals,” said Frederick St. Goar, MD, medical director of the Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute at El Camino Health. “I want to recognize the efforts of our incredible multidisciplinary HVI team and commend them for their continued focus on advancing heart care for patients throughout the Bay Area.”

Hospitals and health systems that have earned an ACC HeartCARE Center designation have met a set of criteria, including participating in at least two ACC Accreditation Services, National Cardiovascular Data Registry registries and targeted programs, and quality improvement campaigns that are designed to help hospitals and institutions close gaps in guideline-based care.

“El Camino Health has demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent heart care to the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award this outstanding healthcare organization with the HeartCARE Center designation.”

Hospitals earning the HeartCARE Center designation from the ACC have demonstrated their commitment to consistent, high-quality cardiovascular care through comprehensive process improvement, disease and procedure-specific accreditation, professional excellence, and community engagement.

“Our cardiovascular expertise and dedication to our patients has earned us numerous national awards, accolades and professional accreditations, including several from the ACC,” said Josh Schreckengost, executive director of the Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute at El Camino Health. “Our greatest accomplishment, though, is helping people achieve optimal health and getting back to living their best life.”

El Camino Health has served the communities of Santa Clara County for more than 60 years, with nationally recognized physicians and nurses at two not-for-profit acute care hospitals in Los Gatos and Mountain View, and primary care, multi-specialty care and urgent care locations across the region. 

School district approves strategic plan

The Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District announced that the Board of Trustees adopted the 2023-2033 Strategic Plan, “We INSPIRE!,” at the Oct. 17 board meeting. 

Developed in phases, district students, staff, parents and community members have completed phases one and two, which share the district’s vision, mission, graduate profile and focus areas. 

“This plan is the roadmap for our district,” Superintendent Bill W. Sanderson said. “So much of education, our community, and the world has changed since the district last met with our community and had created the components of a strategic plan several years ago. I’m thrilled with the priorities our Strategic Plan Design Team came up with and look forward to beginning the next stages of implementation.” 

Development of the Strategic Plan started last winter when the district began interviews, feedback sessions, and conducted a community-wide survey that went out not only to students, parents and staff, but also to neighbors who reside within the district boundaries. A design team made up of elected officials, neighboring superintendents, community members, parents, staff and students met from April to September to work on the components of the Strategic Plan, including naming the plan, “We INSPIRE!,” an acronym to describe the sentiment of the plan: Inspiring & Nurturing Self-Confidence, Potential, Innovation, Respect & Ethics.

The Strategic Plan has four focus areas and goals: Student Voice, Engagement, Success and Well-being; Professional Practice, Learning and Innovation; Culture, Leadership and Accountability; and Strategic Family/Community Alliances and Leadership.  

The next step is to define specific action steps to reach each goal, as well as determine metrics and a timeline for implementation. Each focus area will be made up of district staff with the exception of Focus Area 4: Strategic Family/Community Alliances & Leadership, which will include both staff and parents as part of its team. Throughout the process, the district will seek the input and guidance of the community, including students, parents, community leaders and teachers/staff. 

The strategic plan can be viewed at

Supporting Farmers

Women from local communities hosted “Grow, Gather, Give” on Oct. 19, a charitable lunch and learn event that raised funds to assist female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The event was held at Sea to Sky Farm in Santa Cruz.

Attending were: Johanna Mahal, Director of Philanthropy (Northern California), Opportunity International; Rhoxanne Morris-Vaughan, volunteer/supporter of Opportunity International; Chris Laughlin, owner/farmer, Sea to Sky Farm; and Lisa Matar of Los Gatos, founder of Health Bear Food Co., hosted “Grow, Gather, Give.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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