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Dominican Hospital Women of Wellness Council Announces $75,000 in Funding

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Second year of funding supports and expands women's health services at the hospital

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (July 23, 2020) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has received $75,000 in funding from the Women of Wellness Council (WoW), a local women’s giving society. A program of the Dominican Hospital Foundation and founded in 2018, the WoW Council’s purpose is to provide financial resources to support and expand women’s health services at Dominican Hospital. 

“Throughout its history, the mission and values of Dominican Hospital have been shaped by visionary female founders and senior leaders,” said Dominican Hospital President and CEO Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “It is only fitting that today, the highly influential women of the WoW Council should help carry on the hospital’s legacy of improving patient care now and into the future.”

Each member of the Women of Wellness Council commits a minimum of $1,000 annually to support essential technologies, programs, and services for women at Dominican Hospital. The Council meets three times annually to learn more about Dominican Hospital’s current women’s health services and exciting new developments from key physicians and medical staff. Council members work to identify and understand the need for new or improved programs, equipment, or facilities, and to foster new relationships. They have the opportunity to review project proposals put forth by the hospital and vote with their pool of funds to determine which proposals receive funding. 

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to educate our members about the impressive breadth of services offered by the hospital, and highlight areas with strong potential for growth in each department or program,” said Women of Wellness Chair Allison Niday. “More than $125,000 of funding over the past two years has supported expansion of existing programs and creation of new ones. The Council is growing quickly, with more than 80 members participating currently. We hope to reach our goal of 100 members this year.”

The WoW Council selected the following initiatives as recipients of their $75,000 donation:

  • Emergency Department – Nitrous Oxide Pain Management: $9,455
    To ease the suffering of patients undergoing painful procedures and/or conditions that are not adequately managed with traditional medication, inhaled nitrous oxide will be brought into the Emergency Department. This project will disproportionately benefit our pediatric patients as a more favorable method to powerful sedatives. A mask, which may be scented with kid-friendly fragrances, is placed on the patient’s face to deliver the nitrous oxide gas prior to a procedure. After the procedure is completed and the mask removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide will dissipate within just 20-30 seconds. The potential benefits of nitrous oxide are not limited to children—the use of this non-addictive anesthetic, on the list of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines, further supports Dominican Hospital’s work to implement alternatives to opioid narcotics in the Emergency Department and beyond. 
  • Maternal Child Health – Five AvalonCL Wireless Fetal Monitoring Systems: $48,495
    The AvalonCL wireless fetal monitoring system enables continuous fetal heart rate monitoring for high-risk patients, such as mothers expecting twins or triplets. High-risk patients require monitoring 24 hours a day to ensure fetal well-being. Traditional wired fetal heart rate monitoring is interrupted whenever a patient leaves the bed to use the restroom or bathe. The wireless AvalonCL system assures no disruption when a patient moves around her room and also reduces the amount of cables within the room and on the unit, for total freedom of movement during the birth experience. 
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation – Pelvic Floor Clinic: $17,050
    Women with pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, or bowel dysfunction face significant challenges to their quality of life. Pelvic floor rehabilitation is an evidence-based, non-surgical approach to treat chronic pelvic pain and pelvic floor disorders. Through the Dominican Hospital Pelvic Floor Clinic, specially trained physical or occupational therapists will complete a detailed examination and develop a customized treatment plan to help improve women’s pelvic floor function. Treatment interventions may include biofeedback, electrical stimulation, muscle strengthening, and manual therapy with specialized sensors and weights to provide optimal care to patients. In January 2020, three members of Dominican Hospital’s Outpatient Therapy team completed specialized training to become Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioners. These practitioners are eager to launch a Pelvic Floor Clinic in order to help women in our community overcome these common conditions and regain their confidence and quality of life. 

“This generous and considered support from the Women of Wellness Council ensures that Dominican continues to operate on the cutting edge of women’s health care,” said Drew Gagner, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Dominican Hospital Foundation. “Our Council members recognize Dominican’s commitment to excellence in patient care, and are dedicated to ensuring the women of our community can access world class health care now and into the future.”

Dominican Hospital provides the full scope of women’s health programs and services. Maternity services include a variety of pre-natal birth preparation and fitness classes, advanced peri-natal care with an onsite Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in partnership with Stanford Children’s Health | Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and post-natal new parenting classes. As a certified Baby-Friendly® hospital, newborns at Dominican are immediately placed skin-to-skin on their mothers after birth to bond and make their first feeding attempts. They also stay in the same room with their parents throughout their time in the hospital. Breastfeeding classes for expectant parents as well as breastfeeding support following birth are offered at the hospital through International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), who are on-site daily to provide teaching and counsel.

Additionally, Dominican Hospital offers the only comprehensive Cancer Center in the Monterey Bay area. Many programs are provided specifically for women, including wig fittings, nutrition classes, counseling, and other services to provide support for treatment and recovery. Dominican recognizes the unique cardiac care needs of women, sponsoring free cardiac risk screenings for women and handling the most complex cardiac cases in the region. Also, gynecological surgery is performed at the hospital using state-of-the-art robotic technology for minimally invasive procedures and faster recovery. 

To learn more about the Women of Wellness Council, visit


About Dominican Hospital
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for generations. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican Hospital offers a comprehensive, Baby Friendly-designated Birth Center, and provides an on-site Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through a partnership with Stanford Children’s Health. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence. Dominican Hospital is planning a $360 million renovation and expansion to ensure that the growing Santa Cruz County community can access world class health care well into the future. The project will allow for advanced technology, new state-of-theart facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit

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Publish date: 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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