When UC Davis Medical Center’s Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion opens this fall, its pediatric emergency program will be poised to enhance its longstanding record of high-quality care and satisfaction of its patrons and their families, and solidify its distinct services for the urgent needs of children and adolescents.
The enhanced features of the pediatric emergency program make it a unique resource in the Sacramento area – a much-improved and enlarged treatment space, equipment designed specifically for children, a private pediatric waiting area and clinicians with specialized training in pediatric emergency medicine capable of treating children with any medical or traumatic emergency.
These enhancements are made possible, in part, with funding from the Lions Education Foundation District 4-C5 and Lions Clubs International Foundation. The pediatric emergency department is named in recognition of these organizations’ $250,000 donation.
"Our heritage and legacy are connected to the medical field, to children and people in need," says Kay Fukushima, past international president of Lions Club International and a member of the Sacramento Senator Lions Club since 1965.
Partnerships between Lions Club International and UC Davis date back to the 1960s with the formation of the Northern California Lions Eye and Tissue Bank, which, in cooperation with the UC Davis School of Medicine, harvests corneal tissue for transplantation.
The gift to the Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion – the first major gift from Lions to UC Davis – came about almost by accident when, in 2007, Fukushima attended a luncheon and virtual hard-hat tour to learn about the new facility. Fukushima recalls meeting a "distinguished-looking fellow" while walking in from the parking lot. That fellow turned out to be the luncheon’s keynote speaker, professor emeriti Michael W. Chapman, for whom the pavilion’s new emergency services and trauma center is named.
Fukushima presented the opportunity to the Lions Club board members.
"We met quite a few times and identified our effort areas, which was primarily pediatrics," he says. "We always lean toward helping youth."
The board decided that the Lions’ annual golf tournament be redirected toward raising funds for the pavilion.
In the first two years, Lions Club International Foundation matched monies raised by Lions Club International.
"It made it possible to cut a check in 2009 for $100,000," Fukushima says proudly. The club anticipates a similar success at this year’s golf tournament, which was held Sept. 10 at The Ridge Country Club in Auburn.
Lions Club International began in 1917 as a way for members to give back to their communities. It blossomed into the world’s largest service organization, one that reaches across 205 countries and has 1.35 million members. Lions Clubs International Foundation has been ranked the No. 1 non-governmental organization worldwide.
"Since we have so many members from different countries, when there’s a disaster, we usually already have the manpower there," Fukushima explains. "All we have to do is fund the effort. Food, medicine, blankets are all distributed by members, so there are no administrative costs. One hundred percent goes directly to the recipient."
Fukushima likens the nearly-100-year-old Lions Club to a stealth operation.
"We do a lot of service projects to help the community, but we don’t pound our drums too much. You don’t always see us on TV or hear about us on the radio. To reach our centennial is a heck of an achievement."
The need is significant. More than 81 million Americans over age 20 have one or more types of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure. Peripheral vascular disease is estimated to affect up to 10 million Americans. UC Davis Health System is improving cardiovascular health through state-of-the-art patient care, cutting-edge research, education and outreach.