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April 6, 2015

TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN

Submitted by: Ginger Lang, Chair
Haywood Healthcare Foundation
Date: April 6, 2015

Living in these oldest mountains on the planet – the true grandfathers – is considered a privilege by many for whom Western North Carolina is home. Haywood County residents are part of a community of generations of families who take pride in the values of independence, and resourcefulness and who “take care of our own.”

It is these solid characteristics that influenced Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Foundation to transition to Haywood Healthcare Foundation when Medwest-Haywood Hospital was sold to Duke LifePoint. This sale resulted in the hospital’s becoming a for-profit entity. The Foundation could no longer legally provide funding to the hospital.


Given HRMC Foundation’s history, since 1991, of funding over $13 million in hospital improvements, limited available funding for community health-related projects and the Foundation Trustees’ commitment to improving the health of Haywood County residents, the Board made the decision to embrace change. In August, 2014, HRMC Foundation made the transition in name to Haywood Healthcare Foundation, retained the same board and expanded its mission to address unmet healthcare needs for individuals and families in Haywood County through partnering with other agencies to achieve maximum impact and sustainability.

Issuing a request for proposals to county agencies, non-profits and schools for grants of up to $5,000 each to address county health-related needs was the first initiative of Haywood Healthcare Foundation, in keeping with its new mission. Many agencies responded, requesting funding for myriad health projects and programming.

Twenty-five grants were approved to assist grantee agencies in providing access to medical and dental care, mental health care and programming for substance abuse – Haywood County’s top priority for 2015 – obesity, nutrition and health and fitness education. Grants spanned the age range in programming: with 7 for youth; 9 for adults; 3 for seniors and 6 for families. Included in these grants are programs for physically and mentally challenged individuals and culturally diverse individuals and families.

These grants allow Haywood Healthcare Foundation to provide funding to a wide range of local agencies and institutions serving individuals and families with diverse healthcare needs and, through combined funding and human resources, create a healthier Haywood County.

The following grants were approved:

Medical care:
Mountain Projects – co-pays for medical care at Good Samaritan Clinic
Mountain Projects – TB tests and physicals for Senior Companion and Foster Grandparents Program
Haywood Community College – the Canton Lions Club will assist HCC students with eye exams and purchase of glasses
Haywood Christian Ministry – purchase medication for patients with diabetes, heart disease
Maple Leaf Adult Day Health – physical and occupational therapy supplies
No Boundaries – expand medical equipment loan closet
Haywood Christian Academy – purchase AEDs (defibrillators)
Haywood Vocational Opportunity – lease of a blood pressure machine

Dental care:
Mountain Projects – dental exams, assessments and treatments for Circle of Hope Leaders
Haywood Health and Human Services – purchase dental equipment

Mental health care:
Good Samaritan Clinic – fund mental health treatment for patients
REACH – individual and group counseling and workshops for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault
KARE – programming for Group Activities for Children and Families, providing training and support for abused children and their families, children of divorce, as well as School Safety Programs

Nutrition:
Haywood Public Library – food supplies for the Teen Cooking Class
Meals on Wheels – provide funding for liquid food supplement for clients
Haywood Health and Human Services – “Wisebucks” Pilot Program with the Haywood Historic Farmers’ Market to increase the ability of low-income consumers to access and afford local produce

Substance abuse:
Mountain Projects – provide funding for education and training in the WNC Teen Institute Youth Alcohol Program
Meridian Behavioral – purchase and distribution of Med Cards of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen to help prevent prescription drug abuse, addiction, overdose and death

Health education:
Hazelwood Elementary School – purchase of health education books for the school library
Haywood County Health and Human Services – provide materials for the 5-2-1-Almost None Obesity Campaign
Aspire Youth and Family–Kids at Work Program, teaching healthy food choices, healthy behaviors and healthy communication for at-risk youth
30th Judicial District/Pigeon Community Center – Multicultural Health Care Project for families

Fitness education:
ARC of Haywood County – purchase of recreational materials for fitness to be used in each group home
Haywood County Big Brothers Big Sisters – funding for fitness and sports opportunities for mentored children ages 6-15

Partnerships and collaboration among agencies create the potential for the wise use of monetary and human resources, sustainability and also fulfill the commitment to “take care of our own” by providing needed healthcare assistance for individuals and families of Haywood County.

Find more information on Haywood Healthcare Foundation at www.HayywoodHealthcareFoundation.org , Facebook or call 828-452-8343.

Ginger Lang, Ph.D.
Current Chair, Haywood Healthcare Foundation

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