Donations Support Compassionate Care
Through Providence St. Peter Hospital’s Case Management and Utilization Review unit, nurses and medical social workers prepare patients to leave the hospital. Most often the patient is going home, to a skilled nursing facility, hospice, or another arrangement. Recently the Foundation funded vital support to these services through its spring grant cycle. Rachel Davis-Heintz says, “We often struggle to find available resources to help in our many complicated discharges,” and adds, “Having some funds to provide even basic resources for these patients goes a long way.” Rachel and her colleague, Tara Sol, spoke recently about their department’s work - often with the poorest and most vulnerable people.
Rachel and Tara can share an endless supply of stories. Recently, a homeless patient was admitted after having been assaulted on the street. His clothes were torn, and he had no insurance. Through the Case Management process, staff was able to provide gift cards for new shoes, basic clothing, medication, and bus tickets from Olympia through Pierce County to Seattle, where he had family who could ultimately help care for him. “If we weren’t a not-for-profit hospital and did not have these generous philanthropic funds available, I don’t know what we would have done for this man in need.”
They tell another story of a gentleman who had been newly diagnosed with cancer. He was receiving chemotherapy but needed to take precautions as his immune system was compromised. Tara explains, “The man lived in a trailer without electricity or running water, so his living situation simply was not safe for receiving chemotherapy.” Providence staff was able to arrange for him to stay at Sunshine House, with philanthropic funds covering the lodging expense until his chemotherapy was completed and he could return to his home.
Sometimes, Tara explains, philanthropic funds are used to help the family of a patient, as in the case of families with newborns experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome - babies who were exposed to addictive drugs before birth. She says, “St. Peter Hospital receives families from Lewis, Mason, and Grays Harbor Counties where the newborns need treatment for illegal or prescriptive drugs they had been exposed to.” For moms who are in treatment, or the extended families of these infants, medical social workers can make arrangements for them to stay nearby at Sunshine House. “The families often live far away, with little to no financial means already, and are trying their best to care for their infants which have high needs. It is vital they are close by and start bonding.”
Tara emphasizes, “Stewardship of all funds, especially philanthropic funds is very important to us. We teach patients to be healthy in the long term, rather than simply using the financial gift as just a Band-Aid approach.” Providence St. Peter Foundation awarded more than $411,000 through the spring grant cycle to local Providence ministries. A fall grant cycle occurs in October.