Help California’s Most Vulnerable Children Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic

Silicon Valley Children’s Hospitals Struggle to Keep Ventilator-Dependent Children Safe in Center of California’s COVID-19 Outbreak

Just down the road from the largely shuttered headquarters of Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla, and thousands of other technology corporations, a small cadre of clinicians is hard at work trying to keep California’s most vulnerable children safe from a pandemic they may never understand.

Campbell-based Children’s Healthcare Organization of Northern California (CHONC) Pediatric Hospital and its nearby sister facility, CHONC Saratoga Pediatric Subacute, are Northern California’s only facilities dedicated to providing long-term subacute care to ventilator-dependent children. With limited supplies of personal protective equipment, the devoted teams of nurses and respiratory therapists have so far been able to stave off the illness, but time is not on their side.

“When you are situated in the middle of California’s hot spot for COVID-19,” said hospital administrator Donna Donihi, “it isn’t a matter of if coronavirus will strike us, but when.”

To aid in the fight to safeguard their children, Donihi and his team have launched a campaign to acquire the equipment necessary to fight this and subsequent pandemics.

The Need

  1. Personal protective equipment for clinicians
    1. N95 Masks
    2. Disposable Procedure Masks
    3. Disposable Procedure Gloves
    4. Disposable Procedure Gowns
    5. Touchless Thermometers
    6. Germicidal Disinfectant
  2. Monetary donations towards the purchase of facility decontamination equipment
    1. Tru-D SmartUVC Ultraviolet Disinfection Device
  3. Monetary donations for other facility needs

Pediatric Subacute Facilities

Serving California’s most vulnerable children, pediatric subacute facilities provide long-term clinical care to children who are machine-dependent and present multiple complex diagnoses. These catastrophically-injured or severely-disabled youth range in age from a few days to 21 years old, and present a level of acuity similar to children in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) at large regional hospitals. Once the medical condition of children in NICUs are stabilized, they may be transferred to pediatric subacute facilities, where their stays can last from a few days to many years.


The Children’s Healthcare Organization of Northern California (CHONC) is a privately-held network of facilities in Santa Clara County that are the region’s only acute and subacute facilities that provide long-term care to catastrophically-injured or severely-disabled, ventilator dependent children. Although the acuity of the children at CHONC facilities is similar to that of children in regional NICUs, reimbursement for long-term care of these children is a small fraction of that provided to NICU units. Nearly all children in these facilities receive financial coverage through Medi-Cal. Unlike large General Acute Care Hospitals, the clinical staff at CHONC facilities primarily consists of RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and RTs, who provide care under the direction of a medical director.  The significantly lower reimbursement levels and high cost of living in the South Bay mean that these facilities have limited resources available to deal with crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Reach Your Potential

Reach Your Potential is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2016 in order to help disabled children acquire expensive complex rehabilitation equipment.

In 2019, RYP began support of the Great American Triathlon (, the successor to the world’s oldest modern triathlon, in order to raise money for Sacramento region children’s charities including local chapters of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, RYP is once again expanding its support of children by helping with the collection of supplies and funds to assist Northern California’s pediatric subacute facilities in keeping the State’s ventilator-dependent children safe during this life-threatening event.

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