The Chavez Family

Giving Back is a Family Tradition

Chavez FamilyAndrea and Randy Chavez have always made philanthropy a priority in their lives. It’s a value they also instilled in their sons, Spencer, 33, and Carter, 31, at very young ages.

A longtime Foundation board member, Andrea donates her time, talents, and funds to support Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

“I have never gone for want. My father made a good living as an engineer, we lived in a nice home in a nice neighborhood,” Andrea said. “I’ve just always felt that I need to give back, that I need to help those who are less fortunate.”

That motivation to give back transformed into volunteering for nonprofits, first in high school, then on committees in college, and as a mother of two small children.

The drive to help others also applies to Andrea and Randy’s professional lives. Andrea founded the Talley Farms Box Program over 10 years ago to inspire people to live healthier lives by eating more fruits and vegetables. Randy also works at Talley Farms  ensuring the produce in people’s boxes is of the highest quality.

“Getting people to eat more produce is one of my passions,” Andrea said. “I feel so blessed and fortunate, and I want other people to feel that way.”

Spencer and Carter have both followed in their parents footsteps, helping others by donating to nonprofit organizations, including the Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Foundation.

Recently, Spencer made a sizable donation to the Foundation’s Excellence Campaign to provide a private patient room so patients can heal more quickly and closer to home. The $7.5 million, 5-year fundraising campaign will also bring more advanced imaging
technology to the Five Cities community.

Spencer dedicated the private patient room in memory of his grandparents, Leon and Lucille Chavez.

“I learned so much from my grandparents growing up, and they were both such an important part of my life,” he said. “I remember spending time with them at the end of their lives, and I think having a private patient room like this would’ve been really helpful.”

“I think they would appreciate me choosing to give back with the resources I have to help the next generation of grandparents who are in the hospital and need privacy.”

Andrea also has first-hand knowledge of the impact privacy can have on healing. Diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 35, she had to undergo extensive treatment and reconstructive surgery.

“Having a private room would’ve been wonderful,” Andrea said. “It’s really hard to heal in the hospital when you … don’t have privacy. You can’t get the bed rest you need when you have a roommate.”

Imaging technology also had a profound impact on Andrea’s life, so she wants to make sure her community has access to more advanced equipment through the Excellence Campaign.

“My doctor wanted me to have my baseline mammogram at age 35, which is unusual, but that’s how we found my cancer,” Andrea recalled. “If I had waited to get my mammogram, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

In addition to private patient rooms, funds raised by the Excellence Campaign have already helped pay for a new three-dimensional mammography and biopsy machine. Future imaging to be funded by the Excellence Campaign includes an all-inclusive radiology-fluoroscopy room, a portable digital X-ray, and a new MRI machine. 

“It’s so important to have really good equipment. We want the most up-to-date equipment that’s out there,” Andrea said. “It makes a huge difference for recovery and lifespan.”

As a not-for-profit hospital, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital relies on the support of people like the Chavezes to keep our doctors, nurses, and clinical staff equipped with the tools they need to heal and save lives.

“This is our hospital; it’s right here,” Andrea said. “Across the country, so many communities don’t even have hospitals, but a hospital is the foundation of a community.”
Spencer feels the same way, even though he currently lives in the Bay Area.

“This hospital … is going to be a big part of my parents’ lives in the coming years and I want them to have an incredible medical experience,” he said. “I’m sure there are plenty of kids out there who want the same experience for their parents.”

To learn more about the Excellence Campaign and how you can help, please click here.