Patient fund eases financial stress for women needing care
The emotional toll of a cancer diagnosis is often significant. Fear, stress, anxiety, sadness and anger are just some of the emotions that someone facing a new diagnosis may experience. And, in many cases, there is the additional stress of worrying about the financial impact of a long-term course of treatment.
Through a patient assistance fund, which was established in 2011 thanks to a generous $10,000 grant from the Soroptimist International of Albany, Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital is working to ease some of that stress by providing financial assistance to women who have been diagnosed with cancer or who are suspected of having cancer.
The fund makes scholarships available to qualified Emenhiser Infusion Center patients who need assistance paying for prostheses, diagnostic tests, treatment, education materials or travel expenses for medical appointments.
“We are so grateful for this generous grant that is allowing us to provide financial assistance to women in east Linn County who need help getting access to critical services,” said Betty Koehn, director of the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation. “We want everyone to have access to excellent care, and we are happy to be able to offer some level of relief to these patients during this incredibly stressful and emotional time in their lives.”
Each day, approximately 21 patients receive treatment at the hospital’s Emenhiser Infusion Center, including those needing cancer treatment or other types of transfusion therapies. The center, which is adjacent to the hospital’s award-winning healing garden, offers state-of-the-art infusion therapy stations and monitoring equipment in a facility expressly designed to provide patients every advantage to their care. And with sweeping floor-to-ceiling views of the healing garden in many of the therapy areas, patients are able to receive treatment in a tranquil and serene setting.
According to the Beth Gasperini, manager of Emenhiser Infusion Center, “This program has been wonderful, especially recently in light of current economics. The glow on patients’ faces when they realize that they will have a little room to breathe financially as they struggle with their disease is priceless.”
Recipients include a woman who could not afford her prescribed cancer-fighting medications. The grant gave her the ability to fill her prescription and begin her therapy. Another woman was unable to keep current on her bills and still obtain the treatment she needed. The fund helped cover travel expenses so she could get the necessary care. The grant also assisted a 50-year-old widowed mother who was out of work for several months during her treatment by helping pay for travel expenses and her rent.
“The patient assistance fund has truly touched the lives and hearts of those in the community that it was meant to serve,” said Gasperini. “To be able to assist these patients has been very heartwarming for those of us who work at the Emenhiser Infusion Center. I only wish we could do more!”
Matching fund improves care for patients
The Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation Matching Fund Policy supports employee-proposed projects designed to improve patient care or employee environment. The fund matches dollar-for-dollar the total amount of employee contributions to the foundation’s annual fall employee campaign.
“The foundation hopes that the Matching Fund for employee projects will both encourage and reward hospital employees in their financial support of the hospital,” said Bill Rauch, President of the foundation. “Their generosity over the years continues to allow the foundation to support projects that will enhance the quality of health care available to Linn County residents.”
The foundation funded 26 employee projects in 2012, for a total of $123,000.