Healing Body, Mind, Spirit

Star and Robert Pepper
Star and Robert Pepper

Robert and Star Pepper believe that true healing occurs best with adequate space to rest mind, body and spirit. This applies to everyone involved in the healing process – patients, their loved ones and the health professionals treating and guiding them.

“You may need a creative solution to a challenging medical problem, which is best done when the mind is taken away from daily activity and you’re able to meditate and think,” explained Robert Pepper, a semiconductor pioneer and retired CEO of Sacramento-based Level One Communications.

The Peppers created a place for such contemplation at the UC Davis Medical Center through a donation for the Battistella Meditation Room/All Faith Chapel. The space is a tranquil refuge in the heart of the bustling teaching hospital, which treats the most serious and complex illnesses and injuries.

The hospital chapel was named in honor of Felix Battistella, a highly respected UC Davis trauma surgeon and professor, who was fighting cancer when the Peppers met him through a fellow church member. They were immediately inspired by the UC Davis trauma chief’s warmth, reputation for mentorship and clinical ability.  

“He was not only a skilled surgeon but a highly revered teacher whom absolutely everyone loved,” said Pepper, whose foundation has also given to UC Davis to support biomedical engineering research, health-education facilities and the Graduate School of Management. “We thought it was the right way to honor his contributions, and we were pleased to do it.”