It’s hard to believe our new Foundation has been in existence for eight months already. Last August, Haywood Regional Medical Center was sold to Duke Lifepoint and became a for-profit hosptial. By law, we could no longer monetarily support the hospital directly. We wanted to retain the foundation, however, so we changed our name to Haywood Healthcare Foundation and shifted our focus to supporting the unmet healthcare needs of Haywood County individuals and citizens.
Ginger Lang, the Chair of the Foundation’s Board sat down to answer a few questions this week. Questions are in bold with Lang’s responses in quotations.
How do you feel the Foundation’s transition is going so far?
“Our transition from Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Foundation to Haywood Healthcare Foundation (HHF) has been smooth. We have made excellent progress in forming a Drug Abuse Coalition with Haywood County Law Enforcement and together we are addressing the prescription drug abuse issue in our County.”
HHF Board meeting with Haywood County Law Enforcement.
“On May 16, we will be hosting our first big fund raising event of the year, Casino Royale. Net proceeds from this event will be used to purchase Narcan to be carried in law enforcement patrol cars. Narcan is a nasal spray that immediately reverses overdoses from opioid prescription drugs, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, as well as heroin, making it possible to save lives. We will also purchase Blister Packs of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen, which will be distributed by Haywood County Law Enforcement to area doctors, encouraging them to use these combined medications for pain relief to replace prescriptions for opioid pain medications. We are also purchasing AEDs (defibrillators) to be carried in patrol vehicles so that law enforcement, often first on the scene in cardiac emergencies, will be able to provide intervention within 3-4 minutes and save lives. Currently our patrol cars do not have AEDs.”
“We are also moving ahead with plans for our 24th Annual Golf Tournament and Gala August 25-26. Our initiative for this exciting event is to provide funding to Good Samaritan Clinic so that under-served individuals and families in Haywood County can have access to medical care.”
How does your grant program work?
“Our grant program was our first project for 2015. We sent our requests for grant applications to Haywood County nonprofit agencies and organizations and were very pleased with the diversity of responses that we received. Our Board approved 25 grants of up to $5000 for healthcare projects and programs across many types of nonprofit agencies and organizations serving a wide range of ages and healthcare needs. Partnering with nonprofit agencies is part of our mission. Working together we can leverage both financial and human resources to maximize our impact and sustainability.”
Chairperson Ginger Lang and Vice Chairperson Joan Barnes awarded over $80,000 in grant money to 25 grant recipients.
How does the grant cycle work?
“The first step is that HHF sends out an RFP – request for proposal – to nonprofit agencies and organizations, requesting them to submit grant proposals for funding programs and projects related to healthcare needs. Once the proposals are received, our Grants Committee reviews all grants and makes recommendations for approval to our Board. The Board then reviews the recommendations and approves the grants. Grantees are notified that their grant proposal has been approved. A grant agreement is signed by both agencies.”
What are your initiatives and priorities for 2015?
“HHF has chosen prescription drug abuse, in partnership with Haywood County Law Enforcement and in support of Haywood County Health Department’s #1 priority for 2015, and access to health care as our top initiatives for 2015. Some of our grants address obesity, nutrition, health education and fitness because we feel these programs are all significant in helping to create a healthier Haywood County. Healthcare needs can be addressed by providing direct care or by providing educational programs that address the issues and focus on changes in lifestyle so that individuals, empowered with knowledge and support, can improve their health and avoid the need for medical intervention.”
As you can see, it’s been a very busy and exciting eight months. We would love to see you at our fundraising events! All of our fundraising goes toward creating a healthier Haywood County.