A pillar of the community

Gerald Bishop and Terry Curtis
Aetna executives Gerald Bishop, M.D., and Terry curtis support the region's population growth with a considerable gift to expand the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

For Aetna, it was simply the right thing to do.

“Sometimes you do things because it is good business, other times you do them because they are the right thing to do,” said Gerald Bishop, a Sacramento native, graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine and former resident in endocrinology.

Now Aetna’s senior medical director for the Central Valley, Bishop saw an opportunity for the company to support the amazing growth of the Sacramento region — especially its children — by partnering with UC Davis Health System to improve child health.

“The right thing to do here is to support a great institution that has a proven distinction in children’s health, access to care and health technology, which gives Northern Californians improved access to high-quality care. We hope our support encourages other companies to become involved with UC Davis.”

For Aetna, involvement meant partnering with UC Davis Children’s Hospital and donating $500,000 to help fund expansion of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The gift contributes to the $5 million that UC Davis still must raise locally before qualifying for $19 million in matching funds from Proposition 61, which pays for improvements to California’s children’s hospitals. Once completed, the fully mod­ernized PICU will better serve Northern California’s ever-growing communities by increasing bed capacity by more than 50 percent.

After a recent tour of the existing PICU, Bishop said that he was particularly touched by challenges faced by patients and their families. He also was impressed by the hospital’s use of telemedicine to expand the reach of its health-care services from the urban core to the farthest rural setting. UC Davis Children’s Hospital will name the PICU family waiting area for Aetna, in recognition of the company’s considerable gift.

"Sometimes you do things because it is good business, other times you do them because they are the right thing to do."
— Gerald Bishop

“We’re proud to support UC Davis’ passion for excellence and support the many families throughout the region they serve,” added Terry Curtis, president of Health Care Delivery for Aetna’s West region, who also was instrumental in arranging for the gift.

The UC Davis Children’s Hospital has the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit that offers cardio­thoracic surgery services for children including the tiniest infants. UC Davis specialists provide expert care for children who have undergone heart surgeries, contracted infectious diseases, consumed poisonous substances, or have had transplants and many other complex procedures. A tremendous resource in the region, UC Davis Children’s Hospital’s PICU services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Thanks to the generosity of Aetna, those services can be provided in new, state-of-the-art facilities envisioned for the PICU.