In the latest Around Town column, firefighters get recognized for delivering a baby, a health center CEO receives a Woman of the Year award and a county supervisor gives an update on Stanford's proposed expansion.
OH BABY! ... Fighting fires and treating injured patients may be their forte, but emergency responders of the Palo Alto Fire Department also are no stranger to the art of midwifery. This was made clear Feb. 9, when Palo Alto paramedics responded to a call in the Crescent Park neighborhood and realized that the mother's labor was proceeding faster than expected, according to City Manager James Keene. He announced at the City Council meeting on March 5 that the city's population has just increased by one, after paramedics delivered "a healthy baby who just couldn't wait to enter the world, or to get to a hospital." The audience cheered when Keene showed a photo of Palo Alto firefighter and paramedic Daniel Fortino holding the newborn boy. "Delivering babies outside the hospital is another skill practiced by the medical professionals in the Fire Department," Keene said. Both the mom and the baby were taken to Stanford Hospital for evaluation and both were reportedly doing fine, he said.
STATE HONORS ... Luisa Buada has seen Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto grow from 13 employees to more than 200, transform from a modular building into a 38,300-square-foot facility on Bay Road and see an expansion of medical services for the undocumented, uninsured and low-income residents in East Palo Alto and neighboring communities. Her past 15 years as the medical center's CEO caught the eye of Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, who recognized her with the 24th Assembly District's Woman of the Year award on Monday. "For over three decades, Luisa has expanded access to health care to tens of thousands of residents who would not have care otherwise. With limited resources, Luisa is creating healthier communities, one patient at a time," Berman said in a press release. Buada was gifted with a large frame holding her certificate at a state Capitol ceremony. Berman and Buada were both wearing purple, a color that has long been associated with achieving gender equality, according to the International Women's Day organization. Buada, the daughter of a Filipino farm worker and a nurse, was exposed to the poor health conditions migrant farmworkers faced as a volunteer of the United Farm Workers' Union. After earning a nursing degree from the University of California, San Francisco, she founded Clinica Popular del Valle de Salinas, a community health center serving farmworkers in Salinas Valley. She also founded the Berkeley Primary Access Clinic and helped establish LifeLong Medical Care, a health services nonprofit, before working at Ravenswood.
OPINIONATED CROWD ... Midpeninsula cities, groups and individuals may have submitted the most comments about Stanford University's proposed expansion to Santa Clara County in the agency's history. More than 1,900 separate comments were received on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the plan that would add more than 2 million square feet of academic space to the university, in addition to 3,150 housing units, 40,000 square feet in child care facilities and other buildings by 2035. "While it's unclear if that's a record for the County, it's clearly a lot of comments and reflects a deep level of interest in the community," Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a press release Wednesday. The responses came from 19 public agencies, 13 non-governmental organizations and 250 individuals, 90 of whom have made remarks at one or more of five public hearings. The project is one of the largest development applications the county has ever received, according to Simitian's office. Once the county responds back to all the comments and the report is final, the project will be voted on by the county Planning Commission, then Board of Supervisors. Simitian is looking into having county staff post the comments online. "With a project as large and complicated as the Stanford General Use Permit." The university's existing permit approved in 2000 led the the building of the Engineering Quad occupied by the engineering, medicine, humanities and sciences programs; Knight Management Center, which is home to the Graduate School of Business; and Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building.