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UVMC Awards Community Benefit Grants

 Community Benefits Grant Photo
UVMC employee Jennifer Walker, RN, helps at the Health Partners Free Clinic.

Upper Valley Medical Center is partnering with four other health-related organizations in Miami County to help improve the health and well-being of local residents.

The partnerships represent a total of $477,175 in Community Benefit Grants recently awarded to Health Partners Free Clinic, Hospice of Miami County, Miami County Dental Clinic and a new Behavioral Health Collaboration of UVMC, Miami County Recovery Council and Samaritan Behavioral Health Inc.

“The UVMC Board of Directors is very pleased to be able to provide these grants, which are made possible through the UVMC Community Benefit Fund,” said Rowan Nickol, M.D., chairman of the UVMC Board. This fund was established as part of UVMC’s mission to support local programs that help serve the health needs of the community.

“Upper Valley is committed to our responsibility as a good neighbor in the community we serve,” said Tom Parker, UVMC president and CEO. “The four grant recipient organizations are critical to providing more access to important health care services for our local uninsured, underinsured and underserved populations.”

Health Partners Free Clinic, founded in 1998, is the only free care clinic for the uninsured/underinsured in the county. Health Partners will use an $83,000 grant to cover annual administrative costs.

“Many may not be aware that often foundations and other grantors are not fond of covering administrative expenses with their monies. There is good reason for this as these organizations wish to see their funds go directly to the costs of programming or, in other words, to the services that not-for-profits provide the community,” said Justin Coby, Health Partners executive director. Though warranted, the reluctance leaves a gap in operating money essential to a charitable organization’s survival, he said.

”This is where Health Partners benefits from the UVMC Community Benefits Grant. With our administrative costs covered by the grant, we can proudly tell our donors, whom we could not continue without, that all of their funding will go directly to our programming and not one cent will be spent on administrative costs,” Coby said. “This grant not only lifts a huge burden from our shoulders, it also directly benefits those in our community whether they be a donor or consumer.”

The Miami County Dental Clinic, now in its fifth year, is recipient of a $46,000 grant.

“The Miami County Dental Clinic is so thankful for the generosity of the UVMC Board of Directors and the Community Benefit Fund. The grant provides the clinic with the much needed funds to enable us to increase the number of dental services we can provide to those Miami County residents who do not qualify for Medicaid and would not be able to afford dental care for themselves and their families. It also provides us the opportunity to continue to grow the clinic and increase our outreach in the community, said Claire Timmer, Executive Director. “We also intend to expand our School-Based Portable Dentistry Unit, to meet the oral health needs of underserved children in the Miami County elementary schools.”

Hospice of Miami County will use its $143,597 grant to update an electronic medical record system for the organization that has provided care to the community since 1983.

“We are very pleased that Upper Valley Medical Center sees the need for Hospice of Miami County to continue to serve our patients with the highest end of life care and is able to provide significant funding through the Community Benefits Fund of UVMC grant opportunity. This grant will allow us to add components to our EMR system and continue the high level of quality care that the community has received over the past 30 years from our organization,” said Thomas J. Hagan, Hospice board chairman.

“Hospice of Miami County values our partnership with UVMC and is appreciative of this funding while continuing to work together to improve the quality of life for residents of Miami County and the surrounding area,” Hagan said.

A new grant recipient in 2013 is a collaborative project between UVMC, the Miami County Recovery Council (MCRC) and Samaritan Behavioral Health Inc. (SBHI) to integrate primary and behavioral health and to improve the linkages to mental health and/or addiction services for Miami County residents. A $61,510 grant was awarded to MCRC and a $143,068 to SBHI.

The program will involve hiring this year a MCRC community care liaison to follow up with individuals who arrived at the emergency department with a behavioral health need but are not admitted to the inpatient psychiatric unit. The program’s second area of work, to begin in 2014, will offer behavioral health staff adjacent to a primary care physician’s office to provide consultive screenings on request from a physician to confirm or rule out behavioral health conditions and provide behavioral health services from MCRC and SBHI professionals.

“This new program is very exciting for us and we are pleased to have been invited to collaborate on this project by the UVMC Foundation and UVMC,” said Thom Grim, MCRC Executive Director. “Over the course of time, the blending of physical health with behavioral health can only improve the service delivery capabilities for Miami County citizens and utilizes health care services in a more efficient, effective manner,” Grim added. “Miami County Recovery Council is very appreciative of this opportunity to positively impact healthcare in our community and pledges to do everything in our power to ensure the success of the new venture.”

Content Updated: December 1, 2014

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