The Alameda Health System Foundation (AHSF) has raised more than $70,000 to support equipment and program needs of the Family Birthing Center in the new Highland Hospital Acute Care Tower.
The funds, secured by AHSF’s Mary V. King Fundraising Committee, will further increase access to maternal and child health care services for Alameda County residents of underserved communities. Residents of these communities typically face numerous barriers to access including lack of information on the benefits of prenatal care and breastfeeding.
The Mary V. King Memorial Fund was established in late 2016 to honor the legacy of lifelong Oakland resident and former Alameda County Supervisor Mary V. King.
King continuously sought to improve the lives of Alameda County residents, and had a passion for children and families. Funds from the memorial fund will support patient care services and family education programs such as CenteringPregnancy® prenatal classes, expert inpatient and outpatient lactation support, and long-term pediatric care.
In recognition of the funds raised by the committee, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to commend the name of the ninth-floor family room as the Mary V. King Family Room. This is the first room to be named in the new Highland Hospital Acute Care Tower.
“Mary’s dedication to the women and children in our communities is unmatched,” said Donna Linton, chair of the AHSF board of directors and Mary V. King fundraising committee member. “We hope to honor her legacy by eliminating health inequities and reducing the occurrence of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
The Mary V. King Fundraising Committee, made up of community leaders Bernard Beal, Henry Gardner, Calvin Grigsby and Donna Linton, originally set a goal of securing $50,000 in support of expectant families and children. Having exceeded that number, the committee’s new goal is $100,000.
“Highland Hospital prides itself on being a Maternal-Child Health Center of Excellence for all in our community,” said Delvecchio Finley, Alameda Health System CEO. “We are grateful for the tremendous impact these funds will have on our ability to provide top-quality clinical care and support for mothers and babies, regardless of status or ability to pay.”
In 1988, Mary V. King became the first African-American woman to be elected as an Alameda County Supervisor and was re-elected twice. King was known for her dedication to her constituents in East Oakland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Ashland and Dublin.
Her legacy in social services for low-income residents promoting health, education and youth violence prevention can be found in the Mary V. King Health Education Center named in her honor at the Eastmont Wellness Center in Oakland.