Elizabethtown Community Hospital
Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s 2013 annual fundraising campaign is underway.
The annual appeal is conducted primarily through a letter that is mailed to people in the hospital’s service area and to donors who live outside of the area. The appeal letter provides information about the hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation program which allows patients to recover at the local hospital after having surgery or treatment at another facility. It also explains the benefits of receiving this important care, closer to home.
“The hospital’s annual campaign is designed to serve two important and complimentary purposes,” explained Jane Hooper, director of community relations for the hospital. “Each year, the letter serves to introduce a specific service that the hospital offers. It also reminds people about the importance of considering a donation to the hospital; one of the community’s largest not-for-profit organizations.”
The 2013 annual appeal letter explains that in the days following surgery, or once a patient is feeling better after an acute illness, he or she can ask to be transferred to Elizabethtown Community Hospital and into the inpatient rehabilitation program where patients can recuperate closer to their home community, friends and family.
According to Hooper, there are some significant differences between this program and others in the region.
“The patient is followed throughout all stages of recovery,” said Hooper. “From the emergency room or primary care office to the pre-surgical consultation with a therapist, and into the hospital-based rehab program, the patient is monitored and assisted by a team of caregivers. There are therapist-assisted home visits and outpatient rehab once the patient is discharged. Throughout the entire process, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and therapists follow the patient’s progress. Continuity of care is incredibly important; this is what makes the program at ECH different from others in the region.”
The “home visits” are one of the most important pieces of the therapy program. Once inpatient-based therapy is complete, but before a patient is discharged from the hospital, the therapy team travels with the patient to their home to help develop specific strategies for navigating his or her home. Everything from climbing stairs to getting in and out of bed may be discussed; relieving anxiety and ensuring a safer transition.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital, like any non-profit organization, appreciates the generosity of individuals within the local communities. This hospital ensures that gifts from the community enhance or increase healthcare services at the main hospital facility and its community-based health centers.
Some organizations count on annual contributions to help balance a budget deficit; but that is not the case at ECH.
“We don’t do that because it can lead to a future shortfall and distort future planning. In addition, this hospital is financially well-managed,” said Hooper. “Gifts received during the hospital’s annual campaign are put toward additional equipment, patient care items or a specific purchase.”
“Healthcare is one area that is often a target of federal budget reduction,” said hospital CEO Rod Boula. “Grant funding for various initiatives, along with reductions in payment from Medicare and Medicaid to hospitals are shrinking. Hospitals like ours undertake annual fundraising initiatives to maintain the ability to develop new services for patients.”
Tax-deductible contributions to the hospital can be made electronically through its website at ech.org or by check made payable to Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Checks should be sent to: ECH Community Relations Department, P.O. Box 277, Elizabethtown, N.Y. 12932. The campaign runs through Dec. 31.