Posted by The Chronicle-Telegram - January 6, 2016
LORAIN — More than $2.2 million in grants from the Mercy Foundation of Lorain County will bring health care services to more at-risk people in Lorain County while expanding services for women and holistic services for those contending with cancer.
The 2016 grants were announced Monday by Scott Pember, president of the Mercy Foundation, who said funds raised in 2015 marked a 43 percent hike over the $1.4 million generated in 2014, and a 105-percent increase over money generated in 2013.
Pember credited a stronger presence and wider awareness in the community by both the Mercy hospital system and the foundation for the substantial boost in giving.
“The hospital and foundation are getting stronger, and the quality of care provided here has significantly improved, along with the number of primary care physicians we have been able to attract,” Pember said. “For the foundation, it’s about making more noise about what we are doing and asking people to help.”
Donations specifically come from employees, patients and families of those served by the Mercy health system, along with community organizations, Mercy auxiliaries and memorial gifts honoring people served by Mercy New Life Hospice.
A large portion of the funds was generated by the foundation’s two marquee fundraisers, a Taste of Friendship, which drew some 500 people to sample culinary offerings from 20-plus area restaurants, and the sold-out Mercy Golf Classic.
The two largest awards for 2016, totaling $841,663 and $725,000, are going to Mercy’s Community Outreach efforts and its Women’s Health Center, respectively.
While the foundation works to see that a variety of programs and services receive money each year, some key programs are funded nearly every year, including the Parish Nursing and Resource Mothers Programs.
“They are so important to our mission,” Pember said. “Both are fully funded by the foundation, which is the only source of funding for them.”
The Parish Nursing Program served nearly 24,000 people in 2014 to address health care, emotional and spiritual needs of people by nurses who work with more than 80 Lorain County churches to care for those who might not otherwise have access to medical care, according to data provided by LeeAnn Hastings, manager of marketing and communications for Mercy Regional Medical Center.
The Resource Mothers Program provides needed medical care to at-risk mothers and newborns, including a large number of Hispanics. The program served 1,099 people in 2015 through efforts aimed at achieving healthier lifestyles and linking them to needed social services.
The $725,000 going to the Women’s Health Center will pay for mammography services for patients who could not otherwise afford life-saving health screenings, along with the purchase of a digital breast tomosynthesis device.
The latter is a state-of-the-art form of 3-D mammography that promises a clearer, more accurate view of breast tissue than achieved by digital mammography alone. Benefits of tomosynthesis include earlier detection of abnormalities and less discomfort for patients. Some 3,500 women are expected to benefit from the new technology annually.
Another $195,000 will go to Mercy Cancer Center for holistic services at its Elyria Center for Body, Mind & Spirit, which serves some 500 cancer patients and others free of charge with exercise and fitness programs, support groups and creative healing workshops.
Some $1.3 million also was raised for the purchase of a nearly $3 million state-of-the-art MRI scanner installed last month at Mercy Regional Medical Center. The new unit, which replaces one in use for many years, was seen as a crucial goal for 2016, according to Pember.
Lifted into place into a special building that will house it, the new 12,000-pound MRI boasts reduced scanning time, higher image quality and enhanced patient comfort, among other features.
The unit is expected to be operating in the next couple of weeks.
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