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Fund Drive Volunteers Pump Up the Volume for Emanuel Cardiac Services

Turlock, CA- To support Emanuel Medical Center's expanding cardiac care program, supporters and volunteers raised nearly $200,000 in the first week of the hospital's annual giving campaign.

The goal of the six-week campaign, called Legacy Circle, is to raise $1 million to expand the hospital's life-saving cardiovascular services.

"We have to pump up the volume on our local hospital," said Hughson's Johnny Hill, who has volunteered for Emanuel's annual giving campaign for the past nine years. "We need cardiac services in Turlock because when we need it, we need it fast and we don't want to have to fight traffic going to another town to get it."

In week one of the fundraising effort, hospital employees raised $61,165 and volunteers from the community raised $134,500. Hill sees his commitment to the cause as an investment.

"The little bit of effort that we put out now pays off big dividends over the long term," he said. "Not just for us, but for our families."

Since opening in May, Emanuel's cardiothoracic and vascular surgery team has performed several open heart surgeries, including bypass operations and valve repairs. In addition, physicians used the advanced Cardiac Cath and Interventional Lab at Emanuel to perform over a dozen emergency angioplasty procedures in the past three months to open clogged coronary arteries in patients having heart attacks.

The lab is also used for diagnostic and other interventional procedures, and more than 600 of those have already been performed this year.

Shirley Pok, Emanuel's vice president of development, said that in this campaign, donors know their gifts are saving lives immediately.

"The generosity of our donors is repaid daily, every time a patient in heart distress is treated at Emanuel rather than transported out of town," she said. "Having these services here is so critical when every minute counts."

This year's campaign is year two of a five-year effort to raise $5 million to support the advanced cardiovascular care program at Emanuel. Last fall, Legacy Circle volunteers and donors reached their goal and raised just over $1 million.  

The next phase of Emanuel's cardiac program is opening two new cardiac operating suites - including a cutting-edge hybrid room where the surgical table is integrated with an interventional radiology scanner normally found in a catheterization lab. That integration allows one surgeon to control both the table and the scanner, and will allow Emanuel doctors to treat two emergency patients at once.

"We've already had instances where we were treating one patient in the cath lab when a heart attack patient arrived in the emergency room," Pok said. "The new facilities aren't a luxury, but a medical necessity."

The new surgical suites will cost nearly $4.5 million to build and equip, and are scheduled to open in late 2012.

To donate to Legacy Circle, phone 209-664-5180 or visit to make an online donation.

Emanuel Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-based Christian hospital. Its 403-bed multi-level medical campus includes a 209-bed acute care hospital, a 145-bed skilled nursing facility and a 49-bed assisted living facility. It provides emergency, critical care, pediatric, cardiovascular services, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women's health services, surgery, and hospice services.

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