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MARCH 2021 Visit Our WebSite

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A blessing of hope

Jon and Janeen Wesner gift a leadership contribution in support of Marian's Crisis Stabilization Unit

When Jon and Janeen Wesner learned of Marian Regional Medical Center's plans to establish a Crisis Stabilization Unit for local behavioral health patients in need, it was a community endeavor that placed a heavy rallying cry on their hearts. With the potential for thousands of residents on the Central Coast to benefit from access to Marian's Crisis Stabilization Unit, Jon and Janeen felt called to make a significant gift in support of the new outpatient behavioral health service by sponsoring the new facility's Family and Visitor Waiting Room.

"Truly, everyone is touched by behavioral health, and the Crisis Stabilization Unit project has been heavy on our hearts," shared Jon. "We believe we are called by God to help those in need, and through our support, we know we are answering His call."

As a Charter Member of The Legion of Marian, the Marian Foundation's women's giving society, Janeen learned from hospital leaders of the need for the Crisis Stabilization Unit. She then not only shared this need with Jon to pursue the Crisis Stabilization Unit's leadership contribution, but she also dedicated efforts to the Crisis Stabilization Unit's fundraising campaign to raise more than $1.9 million.

"I've had loved ones in the past who would have greatly benefited from a local Crisis Stabilization Unit, but instead had to travel out of the area for the help they needed. So, knowing the need and hearing the specific plan for behavioral health, we knew we had to do something to help," Janeen recounted after learning about how the Crisis Stabilization Unit will fill a current gap for behavioral health patients. "We want to bring people together, both the patients in crisis and the families who are suffering. Our prayer is that this place will be one of hope and healing for those who are struggling."

Construction work on Marian's Crisis Stabilization Unit is now complete, and the facility is expected to open in the spring of 2021.

Marian launches life-saving ECMO program for COVID-19 and critically-ill patients
Aquisition of ECMO technology made possible by the generosity of the Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation in honor of Louis and Melissa Meza


Due to the generous philanthropic support of the Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation, Marian Regional Medical Center has secured the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) medical technology for critically ill COVID-19 patients and others experiencing life-threatening conditions. Marian, whose ECMO Program began treating patients in February, is the only hospital between the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles with this advanced life-saving equipment, mitigating
the need to travel outside the area for care.

The ECMO medical equipment is similar to the heart-lung bypass machine used in open heart surgery as it pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. When patients receive ECMO treatment, blood flows through tubing to an artificial lung in the machine that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide; then the blood is warmed to body temperature and pumped back into the body.

Inspired by Santa Maria COVID-19 survivors Louis and Melissa Meza, the Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation Directors recognized that the region’s most critically ill COVID-19 patients in need of ECMO treatment were being transferred out of the area to receive this life-saving procedure. As reported in the local media, Melissa Meza experienced severe complications due to COVID-19 which required various treatments and an emergency transfer to a Santa Monica hospital to receive the life-saving ECMO treatment. In response, the Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation graciously made a significant donation in honor of Louis and Melissa Meza to fund the acquisition of Marian’s ECMO medical technology.

“The legacy of our parents, Mark and Dorothy Smith, was one of giving back to the community that was so good to them,” stated Craig and Cameron Smith, Directors of the Mark & Dorothy Smith Family Foundation. “The past year has been the most challenging time in health care for our country. When we heard about the strength, courage, and perseverance of Louis and Melissa Meza in their fight against the coronavirus, we reached out to Marian Regional Medical Center to find out how we could help. That journey resulted in Marian developing the new ECMO Program, and the first of many successful treatments has now begun.”

Recent community support for Marian's health care heroes

We're lovin' it! Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Macal family, owners of several local McDonald's franchises, have graciously donated meals twice a week to Marian employees. Recently, Dan Macal delivered meals of joy to the Marian vaccine clinic's health care professionals, and the staff posed for a photo to commemorate the organization's gratitude. 

Darensberries kicked off the strawberry season with a fresh-picked donation to Marian Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department. What a sweet way to show support for our frontline workers!

The Santa Maria Valley YMCA recently brightened the day for Marian's Telemetry Unit staff by donating "sunshine boxes" and spreading cheer among our health care heroes. 

Leaving a legacy for patients at Mission Hope Cancer Center

The late George Poore was an avid traveler and active community member. He and his wife of 64 years, Beth, had a special affection for the Marian Cancer Care team. 

Grateful for the care he and Beth received, George decided to name Mission Hope Cancer Center as a beneficiary in his estate plan. By making a planned gift, he joined Marian's Legacy Society, a special group of people who have chosen to leave a legacy of hope and healing on the Central Coast. The Marian Foundation is grateful for the profound impact his gift will make. 

To learn more about planned giving and the Marian Legacy Society, click here


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1400 East Church Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454 | (805) 739-3595 |