A nonprofit organization tied to Mercy Health recently announced that it provided more than $1.3 million in 2019 to healthcare programs as well as hospital renovations in Clark and Champaign counties.
The Mercy Health Foundation of Clark and Champaign counties, which serves as the philanthropy arm for Mercy Health in the area, also saw a bump in donations last year, raising a total of $1.7 million and surpassing its original fundraising goal of $1.45 million.
Kristy Kohl McCready, the foundation’s president, said they saw two large gifts made to the organization in both 2018 and 2019, which helped them to surpass their fundraising goals for both of those years.
The foundation raised $1.8 million in 2018 and donated back $800,000. Their original fundraising goal for that year was $1.3 million. Kohl McCready said during that period they received a grant of $210,000 from Cardinal Health to provide Narcan, which is used to treat opioid overdoses, to EMS services as well as first responders in Clark County.
In 2019, the foundation received a large donation of $270,000, this time from a private donor.
Kohl McCready said a bump in donations during those two years allowed them to use that money towards maintaining several community health programs, renovating the lobby of Mercy Health Urbana Hospital last year as well as purchasing equipment for surgical services at the Springfield Regional Medical Center.
A new front entrance was built at the hospital in Urbana towards the end of 2019. The approximately $950,000 project also included renovating the hospital’s chapel as well as opening a gift shop for patients and their families.
“That entrance has really changed the way that patients flow through that hospital,” Kohl McCready said, noting that her organization raised about $800,000 towards the project. It also included a new patient registration area at the hospital.
The overall goal is to provide better access to outpatients and those with limited mobility by improving the hospital’s drop-off and discharge process, representatives of Mercy Health told the News-Sun last year.
The new entrance has a cover to protect patients from the elements and has automatic sliding doors to improve wheelchair access. The registration area allows patients to enter and register in the same place, hospital officials told the News-Sun. That was not the case before as outpatients had to previously register at the emergency department.
In addition to that project, Kohl McCready said the foundation provided funding for the health network’s mobile mammography program that held 139 screening events in Clark and Champaign counties in 2019.
Kohl McCready said that program serviced over 1,000 woman last year and the foundation covers those who are not insured or have a high copay. The goal is to provide more access to breast cancer screenings.
She said they spent close to $50,000 on that program going towards those screenings as well as having a radiologist read those screenings.
The foundation also reported spending about $100,000 in 2019 on a prescription assistance program that is administered by Mercy Health.
“For some in the area, it is a choice between prescriptions or food,” Kohl McCready said.
Those who qualify financially for the program are given vouchers that they can take to a local pharmacy to get medication as well as prescribed medical equipment.
The foundation will be funding that program as well as the mobile mammography lab in 2020 as well. Kohl McCready said they hope to raise more than $1.45 million this year and plan on donating $1 million back to the community.
The foundation is also expected to donate $200,000 this year towards an intensive cardiac rehabilitation program that will run for 72 weeks and will feature education centered around cardiovascular health as well as a exercise and cooking component.
That program will be held at Mercy Health’s location on Burnett Road in Springfield and at its hospital in Urbana.
The foundation has also received a $40,000 donation to replace the furnishings in 15 rooms used for outpatient surgery at the Urbana hospital, Kohl McCready added.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.