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BEST Of 2015 People: Hidden Heroes/Satellite Health Care


Last year, Silicon Valley-based Satellite Healthcare (which has several locations in the North Bay), a nonprofit provider of kidney dialysis services, decided to celebrate its 40th anniversary by giving back to the communities it serves.
“We’ve always been about giving back to the local community,” says Stephanie Hull, territory director for the North Bay, San Francisco and Oakland at Satellite Healthcare. A former dialysis nurse, Hull has been with the company for about five years. “Our founder was a Stanford doctor [Norman S. Coplon, M.D.] who moved the centers out of the hospital and into the community [in 1973].”
 
Rather than mandate how to give back, the company decided to put things into its employees’ hands. “They chose who they wanted to give to and why,” says Hull. The result? Grants of $400 or $4,000 each, totaling more than $70,000, were distributed to its centers through its “40 Points of Light Community Project Grant” program.
 
Some of the local donations include the Santa Rosa center, which was granted $4,000 to develop kidney-friendly meals for the community (in cooperatin with the Meals on Wheels program); the Rohnert Park center donated $400 to the Roseland School District to support a child who wanted to attend medical school; the Larkspur center donated $400 to Whistlestop (pictured); and the Windsor center granted $4,000 and provided brochures to the Sonoma County Kidney Crisis Foundation.
 
Grant applicants were asked to complete an online essay explaining what the funds would be for (all were asked to choose recipients involved with kidney disease), how they would help and how they’d be implemented. Satellite Healthcare reviewed the applications at the corporate level to recommend which ones would be approved. The result was a true success.
 
“We’re a nonprofit, so it’s a unique situation for us to be able to do special projects to give back in different ways,” says Hull, explaining that most other dialysis centers are for-profit businesses. “It’s what we’re proud of and why people work here. We might not be as big as the other companies, but we’re just as strong.”

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