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.”