|Last month the UVA Department of Anesthesiology was the first large hospital office to organize and produce full-day meal packets. Details on that successful project are provided on the IHS blog site posting of March 3, 2014. The Department took advantage of the program which allows University employees sixteen (16) hours annually for community service. Guess where they devoted their time?|
Spring is sprung ... and old friends are invigorated
Three (3) steadfast friends of the charity are planning meal-making sessions later this month. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, VA; Louisa, VA Scout Pack 183; and The Children's Garden of Earlysville, VA have been partners in this food program for the last three years. A new participant, which has indicated that they wish to be a "repeat provider" is Unity Church in Charlottesville. Read on ...
The Uniteens of Unity of Charlottesville engaged in a labor of love
A note from Gina Leah, Unity Church CoordinatorBecome involved in this on-going food program ... making meals or providing funds
Just visit the link herein, and read about the food program. Download and share the GUIDE for making these special meals for underfunded caregivers and outpatients who come to Charlottesville for treatment at UVA Medical Center. These generous acts by small and large groups throughout central Virginia make a cumulative difference for so many who simply would not eat without this program. If you need more ideas ... e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely ... T. Wade Clegg III, IHS
Friday, March 21, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
|Am I taking liberties to get your attention? ABSOLUTELY YES! My understanding of a militia is a fighting force composed of nonprofessional fighters called upon to enter a combat situation. Consider this charity (IHS) a fighting force, not in need of replacements, but a few more units to engage and capture new ground. And that is the objective when an underfunded patient or caregiver arrives at UVA Medical Center ... to feel firmly welcomed and comforted, able to take a breath, begin to think clearly for planning next steps ... and begin the process of navigating either self or another back to health. Allow me to pose this question: When was the last time you had to deal with a critical illness or injury away from home, and found yourself without a place to sleep and nothing to eat? Join the fighters to make sure it never happens during our watch. |
The IHS fight began five and a half years ago.
The mission was and remains a sustained battle to meet a variety of situations we named "unmet needs" for those outpatients and caregivers of patients who struggle to balance basic necessities a long way from home. The treatment may be free, the professional medical staff among the best, but without funds for travel, lodging, food, medical co-pays - critical decisions must be made ... TO COME OR NOT!
What if an underfunded person arrives and circumstances dictate a change of plans?
Now we are talking about being caught in an exceptional dilemma. The UVA Hospitality is full,
or the policy for staying in the Hospitality House does not allow for a child under 18 to stay, and there was no one at home base to assist, so the child is with the patient. And ... the transportation which brought the patient has gone, or the only transport to get to Charlottesville arrived late at night, and a patient and child are stranded. Now - add to those frustrating situations the fact that a doctor has seen the patient upon arrival and found something very nasty is happening, so the patient is asked to stay over for tests, maybe for several days. Yes - this is a lot to take in, but patients arrive daily who are not prepared for these critically unexpected situations. The next question of course, until a doctor indicates that one can be healed or that life is about to end, is WHERE DO I SLEEP, EAT, AND SIMPLY MAINTAIN DURING THIS HIGH PERIOD OF ANXIETY?
The Battlefield can seem really bleak when an individual has no ammunition to maintain
IHS has eliminated so many conditions by becoming a "go to" 24/7 independent charity for all UVA hospital social workers to access for temporary emergency situations as described above. Patients are screened and approved by social workers, and when needed, IHS pays for lodging (commercial and Hospitality House); provides up to 300 full-day meal packets monthly through social staff; and provides food on request to Hospitality House. Of course the other unmet needs have been mentioned, but lodging and food remain the most prominent immediate concerns. No one is confronted with having to sleep on a bench inside or outside UVA Medical Center, or inside their car on a side street, or stay hungry. Those situations are now rare ... thanks to a dedicated volunteer squad working closely with social workers.
The UVA Hospitality House (HH) changed its policy as of last month for the lowest pay range (indigent) guests from $1/night to $10/night for ALL guests. This change was felt immediately as presenting a significant challenge for us. Remember - our initial objective was to assist with immediate " temporary commercial lodging assistance" for a few days only when HH was fully occupied or HH policy prevented use of Hospitality House.
A Reality Check of what this change NOW means
IHS has paid for underfunded guests at Hospitality House with a desperate need for as little as $1/night over the last few years. The longer staying guests who paid only $1/night rate were almost always cancer outpatients here for extended chemotherapy from 4-8 weeks; therefore, what has been a fee from $28 - $56 will jump to $280 for the first 14 days, and then $5/night for the remaining treatment days. In other words, a singular patient's 8 week fee could range from $350 - $490. You can see how a few extended long-term stays for chemo outpatients and a scattering of guests who only stay for a few days can easily exceed our commercial lodging cost monthly. In essence this new change will increase our need for lodging funds 100%.
Some Dedicated Friends have suggested that we must seek new soldiers in this fight
The question is: Are you willing to help us with this idea? Are you willing to lead an effort to dedicate as little as $10/monthly and ask 10 others to consider your lead. Reach out to members of your family, neighbors, co-workers, church members, club members, etc. to join you in dedication of $10/monthly. ACTUALLY ASK 10 OTHERS TO CONSIDER JOINING YOU. Each one who joins the fight, even if only $5/monthly, will likely become a permanent soldier.
We are prepared to support you and introduce what IHS does
You have already been introduced to IHS through our website and blog postings. Once this website is read by others, our objectives are abundantly clear. It is so important for contacts to understand that this is an ALL volunteer public charity (NO ONE is paid) and funds are fully used to meet the unmet needs of the least able to sustain while in Charlottesville for treatment.
It's so easy to reach out and discuss generosity which affects the lives of so many
We know that people want to be asked to make a difference. We know that people want to be assured that their giving is going exactly where it is intended. We need for you to bring this awareness to your sphere of influence. If you can do this ... we will sustain and continue to put our hearts, our time, our feet forward to secure this program which is so vital for so many.
Upon accessing our website home page, the easiest way to become a singular or consistent contributor with a small monthly donation, the PayPal opportunity is available. Please let us know you have read this e-mail and offer comments or suggestions.
Sincerely ... from ALL of us on the front lines daily.
Monday, March 3, 2014
|Last week IHS received a call from Lynn Heath at the UVA Department of Anesthesiology, located in the old hospital building within the UVA Health System complex in downtown Charlottesville. She simply called and said, "I have full-day meals ready for pickup." We had no idea that this project was even in the works, but we were truly delighted and immediately arranged for retrieval. |
I asked Lynn to share this experience with readers of this e-mail and then for placement on our charity blog site. This is the FIRST time that a large hospital office had planned, collected and produced full-day meal packets ... used their community service hours available for supporting a charity ... and it seemed appropriate to share how it came about ... hoping to stimulate other office participation.
A Note from Lynn T. Heath, Executive Assistant to George F. Rich, Chair
Department of Anesthesiology .... Our department selected IHS for holiday charity.
"On most days, things are pretty quiet in the Department of Anesthesiology administrative offices at the University of Virginia. And then there was February 21, when ten staffers worked together to assemble 72 meal packets, each package containing enough food to last one person for a full day. We also included a handmade greeting card as a personal touch. A fun change of pace for a worthwhile cause, and easy enough for any office to pull off.