Serving Our Communities
Celebrating our Service to our Communities
Spring is the time of year for renewal. And it’s a time when Capella Healthcare’s family of hospitals celebrates its service to the community, renewing their commitments for the coming year. Each hospital publishes a Community Benefit Report which provides an overview of the contributions they’ve made to their community. These reports provide a summary of taxes paid, charity and uncompensated care provided and investments in the community, including physicians recruited. The hospitals also reflect on the time, dollars and other resources given to support their community’s charitable organizations, schools, Chambers of Commerce, and economic development initiatives.
Not only are our hospitals caring for the health of those they serve, they’re improving the health of their communities. Here are a few examples.
A Heart for Kids
Tennessee’s hospitals have a heart for children. Grandview Medical Center (Jasper, TN) works in collaboration with the nine-school Marion County system to provide comprehensive health screenings. Thousands of children and youth receive free basic screenings, including blood pressure and scoliosis checks (with parental permission) and height/weight, vision and hearing screenings as part of a state mandate. “We are happy to have the hospital become a part of our young people’s lives at such an early age. We live in an area of higher than national average rates in diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use, so reaching out to the children and their parents early with the results of these screenings is important not only to them and their families, but to the communities we serve as well,” said CEO Bruce Baldwin.
Additionally, GMC sponsored the second annual “Healthy Horizons” event – working with the Marion County Health Council. While hundreds of children engaged in activities such as t’ai chi and jazzercise and enjoyed inflatable obstacle courses, their parents received education on nutritional cooking and local resources on healthy living.
Employees at River Park Hospital (McMinnville, TN) have helped make sure children aren’t going hungry by playing a hands-on in the FUEL Backpack Program. The program provides bags of balanced, non-perishable food to vulnerable elementary school students who may not have access to full meals during the weekend. The bags are discreetly placed in the students’ backpacks before they take them home on Friday afternoon.
Children who eat breakfast show improved cognitive function and perform better on tests. That’s why Highlands Medical Center (Sparta, TN) recently sponsored “Fuel Up for TCAPS,” providing breakfast for students at White County Middle School the week of Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program Achievement Tests (TCAPS).
At DeKalb Community Hospital (Smithville, TN) and Stones River Hospital (Woodbury, TN), the staff recently bought Nike tennis shoes as well as shirts and pants for 20+ boys in the Indian Mount Residential Farm for Boys. Established in 1991, the boys’ home has touched the lives of almost 1,000 adolescents, whose average stay is four to six months.
Teaching Good Health Habits
EASTAR Health System’s Auxiliary and Volunteers recently sponsored the 30th annual “Let’s Play Hospital” program for approximately 800 first-graders in Muskogee, OK. The program is designed to alleviate fears of children who may need to come to the hospital for surgery. The program feature’s the hospital’s mascot Well Wabbit.
Additionally, the EASTAR Cancer Center partnered with Dr. James Beebe, a family medicine and wound care physician, to educate area youth on the dangers of tobacco use. Dr. Beebe involves the students by performing experiments depicting the effects of smoking on breathing and destruction of lung tissue. The children also participated in a “No Smoking” poster contest with prizes awarded to the top three.
Keeping Hearts Healthy
For the 7th consecutive year, National Park Medical Center (Hot Springs, AR) sponsored the American Heart Association’s annual Sweetheart program in conjunction with the 2013 Heart Ball. The AHA Sweethearts are a group of high school sophomores and juniors who make a commitment to learn about cardiovascular disease and lead healthy lifestyles by participating in numerous heart healthy activities over a four-month period.
The Hot Springs AHA Sweetheart program began in 2007 when Kathryn and Paul Russell were seeking a way to raise awareness about heart disease in young women after the sudden and tragic loss of their daughter, Caroline Grace, to a suspected undetected heart condition. The one Sweetheart who demonstrates the most dedication to the program and the most knowledge of cardiovascular disease receives the $2,000 Caroline Grace Russell Memorial Scholarship as well as the title of “Sweetheart of the Ball.” Additional awards are given for leadership, volunteering, fundraising and the very special Catie Cooper Spirit Award, created in memory of 2010 “forever sweetheart” Catie Cooper who was tragically lost during her tenure as a sweetheart.
Throughout the program, the young ladies participate in heart-healthy activities and educational opportunities which include fundraising for the American Heart Association, volunteering at National Park Medical Center, certification in infant and adult CPR, a cardiovascular exercise day, a tour of the NPMC Cardiac Cath Labs, a LifeNet-sponsored ambulance dispatch ride-Mother/Daughter Luncheon. Sweethearts are also required to write an essay about cardiovascular disease which is graded by an NPMC Cardiology Specialist. At the end of the program, the Sweethearts are presented by their fathers, with whom they perform a specially choreographed dance, at the AHA Heart Ball.
This is Sweetheart Chair Kathryn Russell’s seventh year with the program and she is excited with the amount of interest and growth there has been during that time period. “We have a very special group of 26 young ladies who have made a commitment along with their families to living and learning about heart healthy lifestyles,” she said. “The Sweethearts have become ambassadors for heart health and for the American Heart Association, and will serve the community as educators about heart disease this year more than ever. The skills and information that they learn during this program last them a lifetime and contribute not only to their own health, but also to the health of their families and friends.”
Thanks to the fourth annual “Be a Santa to a Senior” campaign, supported by Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center (Russellville, AR), up to 300 older adults who face poverty and loneliness in Arkansas got a gift of love over the Christmas holiday. Community volunteers gather, wrap and deliver the gifts. Area school children also get in on the event as students in local classrooms write Christmas letters and do artwork on white paper bags that will “wrap” the presents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.
Caring around the World
Willamette Valley Medical Center (McMinnville, OR) serves as a “sister” hospital for a hospital in New Abirem, Ghana in West Africa. Through GhanaHope Foundation, a partnership between McMinnville health care supporters and providers in Ghana, volunteers are working to improve medical care and daily life in the impoverished country. They help provide necessary medical services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, surgical procedures, medical training for Ghanaian providers, and medical supplies and equipment.
Teams of volunteers from McMinnville have travelled to Ghana to perform surgeries on cleft palates and cleft lips as well as to help people with diabetes and high blood pressure. WVMC has also hosted a visit from a Ghanian doctor who came to Oregon to learn about US medical facilities and practices.
WVMC has donated 11 crank-operated hospital beds and bedside stands, four birthing beds, six stretchers, three microscopes, a colonoscope and other supplies to the hospital.
Serving Cancer Patients and their Families
With a commitment to provide medical care for every cancer patient, regardless of their ability to pay, but wanting to do even more, Willamette Valley Medical Center (McMinnville, OR) started a foundation ten years ago to help patients and their families. The non-profit organization, launched to assist cancer patients throughout northwestern Oregon, gives away approximately $60,000 a year. The hospital provides office space, a resource library, and supports the director’s salary.
Successful fund-raisers include the annual Barium Cup Golf Classic, chaired this year by Capella Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer Erik Swensson, who is also a practicing physician at WVMC, which raised more than $62,000.
“Cancer puts a strain on people’s health, their finances, and their families” said Kelly McGraw, Executive Director of the Foundation. “By providing grant assistance to help ease the financial burden while patients are undergoing treatment, they can focus on getting healthy and adapting to huge change. We help with basic needs such as rent payments, utilities, food, transportation to and from treatment, lodging, medical premium payments, prosthetics, and many other means of support.”
The Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation also assists patients in connecting with local resources, providing a resource library and participating in educational and prevention activities in the community.
Educating Future Health Care Providers
With a donation of $10,000 to Cameron University, Southwestern Medical Center (Lawton, OK) has established a permanent endowment to help support healthcare education in the Lawton community.
Over the past 25 years, the hospital has given more than $82,000 to the college through various scholarships and sponsorships to Cameron University. This permanent endowment creates a source of revenue for scholarships for many years to come, said CEO Steve Hyde who is pictured here with Albert Johnson, Jr., Vice President of University Advancement at the University.
Fighting Cancer Through Relay for Life
Employees, physicians and volunteers at Capital Medical Center (Olympia, WA) have raised thousands of dollars in recent years to help fight cancer through the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, winning recognition for their work. The money raised comes from various fundraisers, including silent auctions, drawings, and other events held throughout the year.
The Relay actually began in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Since then, Relay has grown from a single man’s passion to fight cancer into the world’s largest movement to end the disease. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, gather to take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.
Walking for Hearts and Babies
As a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk, Mineral Area Regional Medical Center (Farmington, MO) kicked off its fund-raising season by celebrating Go Red Day on February 1. The Autumn event raises awareness about heart disease, which is the #1 killer of people in St. Francois County.
The hospital is also involved in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica, which was co-chaired by Chris Westrich, Director of Business Development. The event was expected to raise more than $35,000.
Muskogee Auxiliary Continues Tradition of Service
Building on a long tradition of service, the EASTAR Health System Auxiliary continues to have a tremendous impact on the hospital its patients, visitors and the community. In the past, they’ve provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing scholarships, purchased new electric transportation vehicles to assist patients and visitors to and from the parking lot, and built children’s play centers for waiting rooms and wheelchairs. They helped build and now maintain the Memorial Healing Garden at the entrance of the west campus, dedicated to patients and visitors.
The Auxiliary also sponsored the 30th annual “Let’s Play Hospital” program for approximately 800 first-graders. The program is designed to alleviate fears of children who would need to come to hospital for surgery. To read more about this and see photos of Well Wabbit, the hospital’s mascot, check out this article in the Muskogee Phoenix.
In 2012, the Auxiliary gave 24,615 hours of service, including more than 2,300 from the Junior Volunteers. And they gave more than $45,000 to benefit the community, including the following contributions during the most recent year of service:
- $10,745 – 6-passenger Golf Cart for transporting patients/visitors from parking lot
- $9,168 – Communication boards for 65 patient rooms
- $7,426 – To pay for half of all flu vaccinations used at the “Boo on the Flu” event each fall. The other half is paid for by the Muskogee Medical Foundation.
- $5,665 – Two large Sandboxes for Childcare Center
- $4,045 – Maintenance of Memorial Garden with seasonal plantings/maintenance
- $3,247 – Safescan Target Scanner for the Radiology Department
- $2,000 – Nursing scholarship for employees
- $1,400 – Cancer Center patient assistance (gas cards, Boost nutritional supplement)
- $591 – Vials of Life capsules distributed through EMS Service
- $500 – Educational Grant for Muskogee Wellness Initiative through public schools
- $516 – Flat screen TV for Cancer Center waiting area
Capella Healthcare Recognized for Outstanding Community Support by United Way
Capella Healthcare’s corporate office has been honored by The United Way of Williamson County in recognition of the employees’ community support. Capella was honored with a “Most Creative Campaign” award as well as a “Circle of Caring” award. The awards were presented during the annual Community Support and Volunteer Recognition Celebration held February 21 at The Factory in Franklin.
“The compassion of our Capella family is truly heart-warming,” said CEO Dan Slipkovich. “Together, we’re giving $31,385 this year, representing a 25% increase over last year. Our community is a better place every time a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthier. I’m so appreciative of our many employees who are helping to make this possible and I thank them for their vision and compassion.”
Capella’s Corporate Office “Goes Red For Women”
To show their support for people with heart disease and focus attention on the risks for women, many of Capella Healthcare’s corporate staff took part in the 10th annual National Wear Red Day®, sponsored by the American Heart Association.
Despite the common belief that women are “protected” from heart disease by their hormones, statistics show that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women 20 years and older at a rate of one woman every minute. For those reasons, and some very personal ones, Denise Warren serves as a volunteer with the American Heart Association. Denise is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Capella Healthcare.
“Heart disease kills 1 in 3 women,” she said. “I know this all too well — I lost my mother to heart disease in October of 2010. I lost my mother-in-law to heart disease in 2001. My step-mother had five-bypass surgery in September 2009. So for me, it is not a matter of if I have heart disease, but when I will have it.”
Since 1984, more women have died of heart disease than men. In fact, every year approximately 267,000 women die from heart attacks, according to the Women’s Heart Foundation. In fact, more women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined, including cancer.
“These statistics are totally unacceptable, and together, we can change the outlook for ourselves, our wives, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters.”
In 2011, Denise served as Chair for Nashville’s Go Red for Women Campaign, leading the organization to raise $750,000 to fight heart disease, setting a new record in the largest such event in greater Southeastern United States. She continues to make it a priority to educate women about their risk for heart disease and steps they can take to reduce that risk.
Denise’s work with the American Heart Association, as well as her own quest to live a heart-healthy life, is motivated by her daughter Madeleine.
River Park Hospital Fuels Backpack Program to Feed Children
River Park Hospital employees wishing to play a hands-on role in helping the community were invited to participate in the FUEL Backpacks Program. The FUEL Backpack Program provides bags of balanced, non-perishable food to underserved students throughout the community who do not have access to full meals during the weekend. Each Friday, the bags are discreetly placed in the students’ backpacks before they take them home. Several River Park employees now get together monthly to purchase enough items to fill 200 FUEL bags (enough for two bags, per weekend, for 25 children) to help a group of underserved students at one of the local elementary schools.
Project coordinator Shanna Creighton appreciates the outpouring of support she’s received from her coworkers, “This project has steadily gained momentum at River Park and I’m so proud to be a part of it. Some students in our adopted school don’t have stable home lives and their only meals are what they get at school. It’s nice to know that we can at least provide them with balanced meals that are ready to eat to fill their bellies during their time away from school.
River Park Hospital is located in McMinnville, Tennessee, and is part of the Capella-Saint Thomas network.
Operations Team Helps Feed the Homeless
Colleagues from Capella Healthcare’s Operations Division volunteered their time at the Nashville Rescue Mission in December. The Nashville Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the hungry, homeless and hurting, striving to restore hope and transform lives by offering programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment and life-recovery. Visit their website to learn more at: www.NashvilleRescueMission.org
Capella’s corporate office also recently concluded its United Way Campaign, raising a record amount with a new high in participation. Per capita giving at Capella’s corporate office is the highest in the healthcare category.
Saint Mary’s Medical Center Hosts “Be a Santa to a Senior”
Christmas is a time for children of all ages, but while little ones are most likely to have presents under the tree, lonely elders are often overlooked. But, thanks to the fourth annual “Be a Santa to a Senior” campaign, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and the generosity of “Santa’s from throughout the community, up to 300 older adults who face poverty and loneliness in the River Valley will get a gift of love to unwrap this year.
The hospital hosted the campaign’s opening reception beside a festively decorated “giving tree” at the entrance to the Outpatient lobby on Monday, November 12.
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center CEO Donnie Frederic, whose first year at Saint Mary’s has been one of great growth for the facility, was all smiles at the reception. “We are honored to host the ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ tree again this year,” he said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to bring joy to those in need and share in the spirit of giving.”
Community volunteers gather, wrap and deliver the gifts. Area school children also get in on the event as students in local classrooms write Christmas letters and do artwork on white paper bags that will “wrap” the presents. A community gift-wrapping event will be held at the Pope County Senior Center.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.
MRMC Auxiliary Continues Tradition of Service
Building on a long tradition of service, the Muskogee Regional Medical Center Auxiliary continues to have a tremendous impact on MRMC, its patients, visitors and the community. In the past, they’ve provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing scholarships, purchased new electric transportation vehicles to assist patients and visitors to and from the parking lot, and built children’s play centers for waiting rooms and wheelchairs. They helped build and now maintain the Memorial Healing Garden, dedicated to patients and visitors at the entrance of the hospital.
In 2011, they gave 22,880 hours of service and spent more than $84,000 to benefit the community. Here are a few highlights from their most recent year of service:
- 22,880 hours of volunteer service by over 100 volunteers and chaplains
- 1,638 hours of volunteer service by 30 Junior Volunteers (age 14-18)
- $1,200+ to the Cancer Center for gas gift cards and nutritional supplement to give to patients
- $6,780 to help purchase the vaccines for the “Boo on the Flu” event
- $5,825 for tuition reimbursement for nursing students
- Sponsor the “Let’s Play Hospital” program for 800+ 1st graders, bringing them to the hospital to “pretend” to be patients, thus helping alleviate fears.
- $3,000 to Good Shepherd Health clinic
- $3,000 to Meals on Wheels community food donation program
- $1,000 to send 5 ED nurses to symposium in Tulsa, OK.
- $1,000+ for upkeep and maintenance of Memorial Garden
- $2,000+ given to child Development center for equipment & toys
- $35,000 donated for equipment for employee gym within MRMC
Hospital and Community Volunteers Stuff the Bus for Charity
The Willamette Valley Medical Center (McMinnville, OR) community outreach team wanted to give something back to the community this year, so they asked the community to help “stuff the bus” with food and toys for the holidays. In 24 hours, with the help of more than 75 hospital and community volunteers, the team collected 2,238 pounds of food, 350 toys and $150 in cash.
The food and half the toys will go to the local food bank. The other half of the toys have been donated to Henderson House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
Organizers are thrilled. “We wanted to get out and give something back to the community,” said Jill Addison, program director at the hospitals’ Wound Care Center and chief cheerleader and organizer of the event. “I heard they were going to cancel the toy event this season because they didn’t have enough funding.”
Besides the benefit of feeling good about such a success, Jill is looking forward to another payoff: “I’ve been invited to Henderson House this Saturday to serve breakfast and watch the kids open the gifts we got for them. I’m going to cry, but it will be worth it.”
Operations Team Helps Feed the Homeless
Colleagues from Capella Healthcare’s Operations Division volunteered their time at the Nashville Rescue Mission recently. The Nashville Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the hungry, homeless and hurting, striving to restore hope and transform lives by offering programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment and life-recovery. Visit their website to learn more at: www.NashvilleRescueMission.org
Capella’s corporate office also recently concluded its inaugural United Way Campaign, announcing impressive results and a fun celebration of success. Read more below.
Capella Healthcare’s Corporate Office Staff Pledges $25,000 Through United Way Campaign
COO Keeps Promise to Shave Head
Capella Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Wiechart puts his money where his mouth is… or at least where his hair was! In kicking off Capella’s corporate office United Way campaign in November, Wiechart promised to have his head shaved if the 60+ employees raised over $10K. He had to pay up on Friday, December 9, when the staff celebrated success.
In a surprising twist, several employees chipped in additional dollars last week to have the privilege of taking just one swipe of Wiechart’s hair with scissors, with the highest additional contributor or “bidder” earning the honors of doing the actual head shaving. In all, the staff of 65 raised $25,000.
Wiechart thanked his colleagues for an “amazing inaugural campaign,” reminding them that their generosity will “help strengthen and uplift those in our communities who need a helping hand. Meals to school children who would otherwise go without, visits to the lonely elderly, and emotional and physical healing to those victimized by sexual assault are just a few examples of what will be made possible by your incredible generosity.”
His final parting words (for his hair): “I regret that I have only one head of hair to give.”