Current Priority Projects at the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation

Foundation brings world-class garden to health sciences campus

Over the last several years, Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital has become nationally recognized for providing a unique, world-class healing environment for patients, visitors and employees. The hospital’s centerpiece is a Japanese-style healing garden created in 2004 by renowned landscape designer Hoichi Kurisu of Kurisu International. The garden won national awards and was featured in The Oregonian. In 2009, Kurisu also created a special entrance garden for the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus across from the hospital. Both gardens were built through contributions to the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation.

Now, Kurisu and the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation are partnering once again to create something that will impact our region for generations to come: a one-acre community healing garden at the heart of the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus. The new garden will feature a community gathering and event space, as well as a calm and serene healing environment for patients, the new Veterans Administration home residents, medical students and visitors. Donors will have the opportunity to be permanently recognized in the new garden.

"We are committed to the idea that access to a natural setting fosters the healing process, and we have heard many stories to that effect since we built the healing garden at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital," said Bill Rauch, president of the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation board of trustees. "I can’t say enough about the community support for our earlier garden projects, and I’m excited that the community is supporting us again as we take the healing-environment concept to a larger scale on the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus. This will be a natural setting where anyone can find peace, and it will continue to put Lebanon on the map."

The foundation is currently leading a $2.25 million capital campaign to finance this garden and adjacent Samaritan Center, the new state-of-the-art conference facility which can accommodate up to 600 people. The center features an outdoor patio overlooking the garden. The patio can be used for even larger events at the Samaritan Center.

Join this campaign today! Click here to donate, or call foundation director Betty Koehn at 541-451-7063.

Cancer patients in east Linn County benefit from donor generosity 

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.

Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital is unique among rural hospitals, in that the hospital offers chemotherapy and infusion services right here in Lebanon.

“It’s unique, to have an infusion center this nice and this extensive at a small hospital,” said Beth Gasperini, nurse manager of the hospital’s Emenhiser Infusion Center. “It’s a critical service for our patients, because otherwise they would have to travel a ways for the services we offer.”

Aside from chemotherapy for adult patients, the center is where patients go for blood transfusions and IV antibiotics for serious infections. The center has capacity for eight patients at a time, and most patients can look out over the hospital’s signature 11,000-square-foot healing garden while they receive treatment.

These services, as well as financial assistance to the hospital’s chemotherapy patients, are made possible in no small part by donors to the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation.

One critical donor, Soroptimist International of Albany, gave the foundation $10,000 in 2011 to start a patient assistance fund to help women who have been diagnosed with cancer or who are suspected of having cancer. Soroptomist has contributed an additional $14,500 since the initial $10,000 grant to this program.

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.

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 Beth Gasperini, manager of the Emenhiser Infusion Center. “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!”

Soroptimist is a 37-member organization, started in 1987, with an unwavering commitment to its cause by donating more than $500,000 to the Linn County community.

According to Jo Ann Banning, a charter member of Soroptimist International of Albany, “What better way for us to live out our charter of helping women and girls than by helping them with their health concerns? We are pleased to be able to help provide critical services and treatment for women who are without or who don’t have enough health insurance.”

Through a variety of events, including its hallmark Walk for the Cause, Run for a Life event, the Soroptimists raise funds that they then make available to local health agencies through a grant program.

For more information about Soroptimist of Albany, click here.

Aside from patient assistance, the LCH foundation’s funds also serve the center with equipment purchases, and a weekly visit from a harpist. In addition, the foundation raised every dollar for the construction of the Healing Garden in 2005.

“We appreciate the support of the foundation and every donor,” Gasperini said. “It makes our job easier, and it enhances the care we can give.

To donate toward chemotherapy services at the Emenhiser Center, click here. For more information, call the LCH Foundation at 541-451-7063.