Friday, April 22, 2011 2:00 AM

Fresno Heart & Surgical is grateful for gifts

Recent generous gifts to Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital totaled $100,000 from donors who were impressed with the hospital’s leadership and its surgical programs.

“We believe confidently both in the mission and the leadership of Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital and feel honored to play a role in this special facility’s continued operations and growth,” said Cynthia Bruno Wynkoop, Esq., of the GL Bruno Family Foundation. The non-profit, public benefit corporation specifically assists the poor, elderly, distressed and disabled with its grants and gave towards the hospital’s area of greatest need.

“We hope that our multi-year gift will aid the Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital in its continued mission to be a preeminent surgical facility in order to serve those in our community with serious medical needs,” said Wynkoop.

Robert E. Smittcamp, president and chief executive officer of Lyons-Magnus Co. Inc. food processing, said his gift was directed specifically toward surgical services. “I’ve known world-class bariatric surgeon Kelvin Higa for years and I really wanted to support his endeavors in making that bariatric program a world-class addition to our community,” said Smittcamp.

The hospital received HealthGrades’ Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award for the past two years, putting the hospital among the top 5% in the nation. Only two other hospitals in California have achieved a similar distinction.

For the third year in a row, Fresno Heart & Surgical also received a top 5-star rating for the quality of its vascular care from the national independent health care ratings organization. Patients also give the surgical hospital accolades for its amenities, care and service; for the past three years, Fresno Heart & Surgical has earned the “Outstanding Patient Experience Award” from HealthGrades.

Wanda Holderman, Fresno Heart & Surgical’s chief executive officer, thanked donors, “These gifts help us fulfill our mission of providing quality patient care. We look forward to growing our services and bringing needed technology to the Valley with this kind of generous support.”

Technology the hospital is considering will benefit from other donations. Some of the projects include: HD flat screen monitors for the operating rooms, a hybrid surgical suite that would combine the advanced imaging capabilities of catheterization procedure rooms with the surgical, a highly advanced monitoring system in the cardiac catheterization lab, an MRI, and video equipment upgrades for minimally-invasive operations.

Erin Kennedy reported this story. She can be reached at