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. Soroptomist added another $5,000 for the project in 2012, and provided $500 for gas cards in 2013.
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!”
Foundation to bring 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 will partner 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.