Augusta Health Employees Make a Difference

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

During National Hospital Week, May 12-16, Augusta Health employees had the opportunity to participate in its first-ever Employee Campaign. The Campaign had widespread participation, with 618 employees making gifts totaling more than $62,000 to support a patient care area of their choosing or the new Employee Emergency Fund.

Nearly $30,000 in support was provided to the Employee Emergency Fund. "We are very excited about this fund and the ways in which it will benefit Augusta Health employees," said Tami Radecke, Vice President and Executive Director of Augusta Health Foundation. "Employees who encounter an unexpected emergency or calamity can apply to the fund for support. A group of employees will review applications and provide assistance to employees meeting the funding criteria." It is expected that the Employee Emergency Fund will provide support to employees experiencing financial hardship for such calamities as a fire in their home, a loved one who has experienced a sudden, but life-threatening illness, or the death of a family member living outside the area.

Employees were generous with their support of the Unrestricted Patient Care Fund, the Cancer Services Bridge Fund, the Shenandoah House Gifted Care Program, and the Musician in Residence Program, as well as scholarship funds for nursing and lab students. The Campaign was organized by a committee of volunteer employees, who helped answer questions and provide direction during Campaign Week. The Committee also helped plan and staff a week filled with fun and engaging activities and events, such as Senior Staff Baby Photo Contest and a Karaoke Contest.

"Before we can expect the community to make a gift to support the healing mission of the hospital, we need to first ask those closest to the organization for their commitment," said Radecke.

"I am very excited by the level of participation for our first Campaign," said Gail Johnson, Director of Employee Health and Employee Campaign Chair. "We are fortunate to have employees who are not only skilled professionals, but who are committed to providing the best care possible to their community. Their financial commitment to providing for patient needs is an amazing demonstration of that loyalty and dedication."

The Augusta Health Foundation was established in 2001 with a large bequest from a community resident. The Foundation was considered a "reverse foundation" because its purpose was to provide grants to nonprofit organizations to improve the health of the community. Due to changes in IRS regulations, the Augusta Health Board of Directors modified the purpose of the Foundation in 2012 to be the charitable arm of Augusta Health and to seek philanthropic gifts to provide for new and expanded patient care programs, scholarship aid for caregivers, and new facilities, technology and equipment. Since 2012, grants to the community have continued through Augusta Health's Community Benefit Committee; more than $300,000 in grants have been provided annually.

Augusta Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for the last three consecutive years. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please contact Public Relations at (540) 245-7329 or (540) 221-7329, or visit the Augusta Health website.