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Dominican Hospital Women of Wellness (WoW) Council Announces $65,000 in Funding


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (August 30, 2021) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has received $65,000 in funding from the Women of Wellness (WoW) Council, 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. 

"Few community hospitals have the tools and programs such as those found at Dominican. It is only with community support and invaluable involvement from members such as our Women of Wellness Council that we can provide enhanced health and wellness services for our patients. WoW has been tremendously successful, raising over $200,000 in membership support since 2018. With the constant growth of interest, engagement, and generosity, we will continue to make an impact for years to come." says Alexandra Van Zanen, Philanthropy Manager, Dominican Hospital Foundation.

Each member of the Women of Wellness (WoW) 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. 

“Throughout its 80-year history, the mission and values of Dominican Hospital have been shaped by visionary female founders and senior leaders,” said Dominican Hospital President 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.”

The WoW Council selected the following initiatives as recipients of this year’s $65,000 donation:

  • Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Program- $35,000

In collaboration with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office, Health Services Agency, Monarch Services, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and Dominican Hospital, a local SAFE Program is available to our community at Dominican Hospital. Services are provided at no charge to an indivual who has been sexualy assulted with costs covered through the commitment of community partners. The Women of Wellness Council funds will support the annual cost of medications and laboratory testing for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

  • Wellness Center Outdoor Area - $30,000

Funds will transform the Wellness Center outdoor space to be appropriate and safe for therapy and exercise. The renovation of the outdoor patio will increase the availability for exercise especially for our senior and disabled population. A deck surrounded by handrails is a necessity for seniors who are most vulnerable to falls. It will be pivotal for therapy providing a level and functional surface that is ADA compliant. The Center will serve as an essential hub to approximately 8,000 community members in a variety of services and programs. The building will encompass Dignity Health Care Coordination, Personal Enrichment Program (PEP), a wellness suite with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a community resource room with demonstration kitchen, neurological wing, and classrooms fitted with A/V technology for virtual instruction and education.

  • An anonymous WoW member felt strongly about supporting Dominican’s therapy team in support of dementia care with an additional contribution of $4,000 to fund Posey Aprons. 

Dominican serves many patients who have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other forms of cognitive decline. While hospitalized these individuals often experience greater distress or agitation. The funds will support the purchase of posey activity aprons which will help soothe and distract patients by providing tactile stimulation. Aprons will be single use and provided to the patients on discharge of the hospital for continual use. The aprons will be used as one component of the patient and behavioral support plan to help decrease anxiety and emotional distress, and increase patient safety and support. 

  • In addition, several WoW members stepped up to personally contribute more than $2,500 towards the Dominican Hospital Employee Lactation Room Refresh project for working mothers.

“Each year WoW members have the unique opportunity to virtually view presentations from various care providers regarding the current patient-focused needs at Dominican Hospital. This provides our members with insight into all of the workings of the hospital and shows how much staff go above and beyond to ensure that Dominican remains innovative and forward thinking when it comes to women’s health services available to our community," says Toby Alexander, WoW Chair. 

Dominican Hospital provides wide ranging women’s health programs and services. Maternity services include a variety of pre-natal birth preparation and fitness classes, advanced perinatal 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 performing the most complex cardiac cases in the region. The hospital also offers minimally-invasive gynecological surgery using state-of-the-art robotic technology, resulting in superior outcomes and faster recovery. 

To learn more about the Women of Wellness Council, visit supportdominican.org/women-of-wellness-council

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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 seismic update and modernization project 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-the-art facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit dignityhealth.org/dominican.

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Publish Date: 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Media Contact

Kevin Kimbrough, External Communications Manager

p: (310) 698-9903

[email protected]