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Emanuel reaches $1 million fundraising goal
A member of Emanuel Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Services Department demonstrates the hospital’s new Toshiba Infinix Interventional Angiography System on a hospital volunteer at the hospital’s Heart Healthy Ladies Brunch in April. - photo by Journal file photo

Emanuel Medical Center celebrated the successful end to this year’s Legacy Circle fundraising campaign on Thursday. The hospital successfully met its $1 million donation goal in just six weeks of fundraising. Money raised from Legacy Circle will fund cardiovascular services at Emanuel Medical Center.

The new Emanuel Cardiac Cath and Intervention Lab, which opened in April, gave doctors the ability to treat patients who would have previously been sent to other hospitals. 
“With heart disease, time is muscle,” said Dr. Reza Vafadouste, a Turlock cardiologist, at the opening of the cardiac lab.
Vafadouste said that Emanuel Medical Center was previously able to stabilize and medicate heart patients, but they were unable to perform most emergency heart procedures. Cardio patients were sent to other surrounding hospitals for treatment once they were stabilized. A delay in some heart health services could lead to irreversible damage.
“Having services here can treat patients quickly and prevent that damage,” Vafadouste said.
The Emanuel Medical Cardiovascular Services Department now offers a wide range of cardiovascular services, from stint replacement to angioplasty.

The next step in expanding Emanuel’s cardiovascular treatment will be an upgraded cardiac operating room that will allow open-heart surgery to begin next spring.

The Legacy Circle campaign raised $1,003,126 as of Thursday, which was inspiring news for Emanuel Staff.

“There was something special about this year’s fund drive,” said Bill Gibbs, the community fund drive chair. “We’re in the worst economy that most of us can remember, yet many people gave more this year or were new donors. It brought tears to my eyes.”

Shirley Pok, hospital vice president of development, credits Turlock couple Jeani and John Ferrari for challenging the community to raise the money so quickly. The Ferraris pledged to contribute $500,000 if the community and employees raised $1 million.

“John and I are proud of all of you and humbled by your accomplishments. What you have accomplished in just six weeks is amazing,” Jeani Ferrari said.

Legacy Circle volunteers and Emanuel staff are trying to raise $1 million a year for five straight years in order to see improved cardiovascular services at Emanuel. This year Emanuel employees alone raised $315,552, the highest amount ever raised by employees in the 10-year history of Legacy Circle.

“Tonight’s results show how strongly our fund drive volunteers and donors embrace our plan for advanced cardiovascular services. I am in awe of their accomplishments and blessed to be part of this community and its medical center,” said Emanuel President and CEO John Sigsbury.

Although the six-week campaign is over, people can still donate to Legacy Circle. To donate, call 664-5180 or visit

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.