Meritus Healthcare Foundation’s board of directors granted more than $2 million to Meritus Medical Center during a quarterly business meeting July 12.
The funds will be used to enhance and continue programs for patients in Washington County and the surrounding region, officials said.
“This is what we work so hard for all year long,” said Bob Rankin, chairman of the Meritus Healthcare Foundation. “Our patients need our help; the community needs us.”
Donations to Meritus Healthcare Foundation fund programs at the hospital, “some that might not exist at all without donors,” Rankin said.
One such program is the emergency fund for cancer patients who might not have the means to support themselves or their families.
Susan Lopp, director of Meritus Health’s John R. Marsh Cancer Center said, “It is really important to have these funds available for patients. We have patients who come to us in need of immediate treatment, but their Medicaid or Social Security disability hasn’t been approved yet, and we have others without any insurance coverage at all. Having funds available can make all the difference in helping a patient overcome their illness.”
Emergency funding can be used for prescription medications, medical supplies, transportation and sometimes dental extractions needed before starting radiation therapy.
One of Meritus Medical Center’s strategic goals is to obtain magnet nurse status, a national certification that recognizes the highest level of nursing skills. Studies show that highly trained, effective nurses produce extraordinary results in patient care and can significantly improve medical outcomes. Meritus Medical Center’s goal is to ensure that 60 percent of its nurses earn bachelor’s degrees or beyond.
The grant to Meritus Medical Center from donors includes funds for free breast cancer screenings; cardiac rehabilitation scholarships; medical record integration; hospital emergency planning; clinical education for oncology, emergency and trauma staff; community obesity and diabetes education; school-aged nutrition, wellness and obesity prevention; medication, transportation and medical equipment for uninsured patients; training for nurses who serve victims of domestic violence; an oncology conference for physicians; a wound center conference for caregivers; a cancer patient navigator program; pediatric rehabilitation equipment; academic scholarships for nurses pursuing their bachelor’s degree in nursing; support for the “Stay Alive! Don’t Text and Drive” campaign for teen drivers; a bereavement conference for caregivers of families who have lost a child; new audio-visual equipment for staff training; and emergency support for cancer patients in need.
Meritus Healthcare Foundation’s board will host an annual business meeting and report to investors on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. at Robinwood Professional Center.
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