Southwest Foundation Announces $596,000 in Unrestricted Grants
—Donated Funds Support New Technology and Healthcare Safety Net Programs—
The Southwest Foundation Board of Directors has awarded $596,000 in grants this month to support a number of Exceptional Medicine technology enhancements at the Medical Center. Funds were also earmarked for three key healthcare programs that serve vulnerable populations, including the poor and mentally ill. The grants are made possible through employee and community donations toward the Foundation’s “Areas of Greatest Need” fund. The following is a summary of key programs supported this year:
Advancing treatment for Stroke and Heart Patients
Southwest’s Laboratory Services Department will receive a $40,000 Foundation grant to purchase a key testing instrument that lets doctors know quickly whether life-saving drug treatments are working for heart and stroke patients. Doctors use drugs to prevent platelets cells from further obstructing narrowed blood vessels during heart attacks and strokes. The Accumetrix Platelet Testing Instrument provides doctors with rapid feedback on how well the patient’s drug therapy is working. Neurologists and cardiologists say the new equipment can significantly enhance patients’ ability to survive and maintain brain and heart function!
Lab Equipment Tests Effectiveness of Chemotherapy Treatments
A $52,000 grant to Laboratory Services will be used to purchase a PryoMarkQ24. This new testing equipment identifies defective cells, allowing physicians to determine highly personalized treatment plans for cancer patients. The PryoMarkQ24 will also change how Southwest approaches chemotherapy treatments. Currently valuable time may be lost waiting to determine whether a treatment course is effective. The new device will help oncologists determine ahead of time whether a chemotherapy treatment will be effective. If a chemotherapy treatment is deemed ineffective, doctors will immediately move to other options offering greater potential for success. As many as 240 patients will benefit from this new technology each year.
Advancing Radiation Treatment Options for Breast Cancer
A $254,000 grant to the Southwest Cancer Center will be used to purchase a high dose radiation brachytherapy unit. The new device will be used primarily to treat breast cancer, but it also has applications for lung, prostate, gynecological, intestinal and brain cancers. In the case of breast cancer, a typical treatment course consists of surgery to remove the tumor followed by six and a half weeks of radiation, and then chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. The new high-dose brachytherapy treatment can condense the same radiation treatment time down from six and a half weeks to one week. Approximately 35 patients will benefit from this new technology each year.
Compassionate Drug Program-$50,000
Support for an existing Southwest program that provides free prescription drugs to low-income patients for 10 days after leaving the hospital. During that time period, a Southwest Pharmacy technician applies to national pharmaceutical companies for continuing support for patients. Last year the program was able to identify more than $287,000 in drug funding for low-income patients in our community.
“With the high unemployment rate in Clark County, there’s been a huge increase in the need for assistance with these prescriptions. This grant will help us to provide that help,” said Donna Field, director, Pharmacy and Cancer Services.
Safety Net Primary Care Project-$150,000
To provide specific primary care services for a several month period to uninsured patients for a flat monthly fee. Emphasis will be on patients leaving Southwest who need post-discharge care to reduce the likelihood of re-hospitalization. Funding will support basic primary care services for up to 250 patients as well as imaging and formulary expenses.
Mental Health Social Work Position-$50,000
A one-time grant will be used to support the hiring of a new mental health worker at Family Medicine of Southwest Washington. The individual will provide mental health counseling and referral assistance for low-income women and children. The position will also support physician instruction in dealing with basic mental health issues. Beginning in 2011, the Foundation’s Healthy Steps Endowment earnings plus billing revenue will ensure future funding stability for this position.
These grants are possible through the generosity of donors who want to ensure the very best healthcare in southwest Washington. To contribute to the “Areas of Greatest Need” fund, go to www.swdonate.org.
The Southwest Foundation is the primary fundraising arm of the Medical Center and manages over $6 million for programs such as Healthy Steps Women & Children's Clinic, Cardiac Care, Hospice, Cancer Care, Diabetes Education and Physical Rehab. The Foundation is a separately incorporated not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to support the work of the Medical Center as it benefits the community. Therefore, it shares the same goals, namely to increase access and affordability and to work towards prevention. The Foundation raises and manages funds to support large capital needs, new programs, and services for people who might otherwise fall through the cracks. It accomplishes this by working with businesses and individuals that want to make an impact on the medical center as a vital, community resource.