By Trish Carcopa, BA Health Management, Health Writer
“Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because they do not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right for life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud and be bold!” — Brad Pitt
Adopting a health cause comes without reservation when someone you love is impacted. But for those whose health is good fortune, they may or may not choose to support a local health foundation. ‘Tis the time of year to count your blessings and rethink getting involved so that you too can speak boldly for those who may have limited voice, strength, resources and support from family.
The Power of Possibility
Today, someone will be touched and supported by someone they have never met. How is this possible? Think about it. It happens daily with the start of a conversation with a stranger. In healthcare, it is at the intersection of a health challenge, when normal day to day is changed and now must include physician visits, nurses, social workers, physical/speech and or occupational therapy. Healthcare professionals whom you are meeting for the first time. Strangers in whom you must place your trust. When people become patients, they give up control and privacy and must allow strangers to come into their homes. It is in these connections that the power of possibility becomes real.
New Normal and Other Resources
In caring, trusting, trained professionals comes the shared experience of supporting the individual to reach their life measurement goals. This is the mission and work of all healthcare organizations. This is especially true of those working in health- care foundations.
Good Works & Great People
Two states that make this true for the heartland are Kansas and Missouri. Our bordering states have value in health foundations doing much needed work, mostly under the radar. Take these for examples:
Drown Out Cancer
Dr. Tyghe Nielsen, Emergency Medicine, is a Warrior who digs deep into his health reserves, not only to battle his cancer, but to give strength to others doing the same.
Speaking boldly, raising awareness that insurance does not cover all that will be needed to face down cancer. Swimming with others to raise dollars for medical transportation to chemo to meet other’s needs NOT covered by health insurance. This new, two year Health Foundation gives our community another community resource provider.
The American Diabetes Association
Under the leadership of Linda Crider, Executive Director, another year of solid efforts raised at the recent gala, $223,000, to support, educate and aid research. Dollars that support Safe at School, Camp Planet and other wonderful resource programs.
The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society
Rebekah Wells bold voice as Campaign Manager makes the REQUEST for children and adults who battle cancer. At diagnosis and into daily life, the caring staff reach into our community to find and share resources for individuals whose life has changed. Raising awareness about where to turn for help is Rebekah, putting this cause first in the minds of those who choose to care and take action.
The Parkinson Foundation
A New Executive Director, Janeann Gorsky, is fast blazing a path in support of the hard hitting long term diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Tenured leadership compels her to reach out and connect services with community collaborations that will make a positive difference day by day.
In seeking to ease the concern with laughter comes Angela Lawrence, Executive Director, providing a house full of hope and a place of promise that others will gather in support of one another as the journey of reclaimed health unfolds.
The Alzheimer Association
Jan Horn’s number one goal is always remembering to focus our attention on validation of the individual. In doing this, it gives the person with Alzheimer’s a continuing presence with family and friends. Supporting families in education linked to resources enables families to cope with the challenges they face.
The ALS Society
Coleen Wachter, Executive Director, like many others supporting this cause got a huge gift in the wide publicity and executed ALS CHALLENGE this year and rightly so raised awareness and dollars in support. But did you know about their RESOURCE CLOSET? All closets are appreciated by individuals who can be provided needed medical supplies, adaptive devices and other necessary items. But the ALS CLOSET, like others, go beyond and into the ability to borrow expensive adaptive equipment such as Hoyer-lifts and slings. This resource is a HUGE Support to families and caregivers because these lifts save the backs and health of those providing care.
Thank You Kindly, Health Foundation Leadership and Staff!
Your anticipation of our healthcare needs even before we know that we need to care should be the example we embrace as we come together this holiday season.
Give to Any or All of These Great Causes!
ADD any of these or all to your gift of giving because, when you do, you too will become the stranger that cared enough to make a difference and pay it forward.
Giving Our Best
The delivery of healthcare is a patient/family experience. Imagine hearing that “You have Cancer,” followed by “There is no more that we can do for you,” Where would you turn? How would you be able to cope? Taking the time to CONNECT is every bit as important to the delivery of healthcare as diagnosing, prescribing and treatment. Connecting to another person in their time of need “MEETS THE PATIENT WHERE THEY ARE” and enables both the person and the professional to improve the situation.
The Take Away Question…
Patients, are you demanding our best? And, professionals, are we giving our best?
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