Long-time coordinator of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Peer Support Program, Richard Patterson, who passed away in June of 2011, will be honored on Thurs., June 28th with a commemorative plaque that will be placed at the new Sobrato Pavilion followed by a BBQ dinner for the community-at-large. More details will be provided about this event in the coming weeks and NorCal SCI will be sure to bring them to you but do save that date.
NorCal SCI co-founder, Franklin Elieh, had the privilege of being a part of the peer support team for nearly six years before Rich passed away and has very fond memories of a kind, caring and hard-working man determined to make a difference for those he came in contact with during his time at SCVMC. "He always had a big smile that you could see from a mile away and always joked about his trials and tribulations," said Franklin.
He was 48-years-old at the time of his death and had worked at SCVMC since 1995. He became a quadriplegic at the age of 19 as a result of an accident and spent his hospital and rehab time at the same place that would eventually employ him.
Rich was a tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities, committee member for the Public Authority for In-Home-Supportive-Services, a co-chair of the Disability Advisory Commission for the City of San Jose, and instrumental in the start-up and success of Accessible Adventures for People with Disabilities. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Education in 1996, and his Master's Degree in Counseling Education with an emphasis in Traumatic Injury and Lifestyle Counseling in 1998, both from San Jose State University.