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Gander Estate Gift to Launch Concussion Baseline Program for Youth

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2017

Pleasanton, CA – Phyllis Hardon Gander, a longtime volunteer with ValleyCare and a TriValley resident since 1974, continues to make a positive impact in our community even after her passing. Years ago, Mrs. Gander designated ValleyCare Charitable Foundation as a beneficiary of her IRA account. Two years after her passing, her IRA distribution will help launch a program that combines her passion for sports with her interest in supporting local youth. “Mom would want her gift to be used by the hospital to help as many people as possible,” said Tom Gander, Mrs. Gander’s son and trustee of her estate. “My sister and I are pleased Mom’s gift can help kids and the local community; she loved the Tri-Valley and the hospital. In making her estate plans, she decided to name Stanford and ValleyCare Charitable Foundation as beneficiaries of her IRA account because she knew the organizations would get the remainder of the funds tax-free and would be able to put the money to good use.”

The distribution from Mrs. Gander’s IRA will be used to support Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare’s Youth Concussion Baseline Program. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009 over 248,000 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sport- and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or traumatic brain injury. Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.

Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare has provided concussion treatment through its physical therapy department for 10 years, caring for both adult and pediatric patients. In the past few years, the healthcare industry has gained a significantly greater understanding of what concussions are and how to treat them. Today, we know that a concussion is a multi-factorial injury and that each patient may have deficits in different categories. Our advanced understanding of concussions allows Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare’s physical therapy team to test for and treat several of these deficits very effectively.

An important part of the decision-making and treatment process after concussion is having a baseline for comparison purposes. Mrs. Gander’s bequest will allow the hospital to meet our community’s needs by offering a complete baseline-testing package for youth that will include balance and visual testing as well as neurocognitive testing.

“Concussions in youth sports have been a concern nationwide. We are thrilled to offer this service to the youth of the Tri-Valley,” said Scott Gregerson, president of Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare.

“Using Mrs. Gander’s estate gift to launch this critical program continues her legacy in the Tri-Valley,” said Shaké Sulikyan, executive director of ValleyCare Charitable Foundation. “We are honored by Mrs. Gander’s generosity and decision to invest in the health of the TriValley through her estate. I know this gift will touch many lives in our community and will offer parents and schools peace of mind.”

For more information about supporting the hospital through your estate plans, please email or call 925-373-4560.

ValleyCare Charitable Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit with the sole purpose of raising funds for Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare. Funds raised by VCCF support a wide variety of initiatives that enhance patient care and help meet the growing needs of the Tri-Valley communities. ValleyCare Charitable Foundation has been generously supported by the Tri-Valley community for over 50 years and is dedicated to keeping quality health care available to you and your family when you need it.


Contact: Shaké Sulikyan, Executive Director

ValleyCare Charitable Foundation