A Solid Foundation

Kerry Haley has been the Executive Director of The Foundation of CVPH for six and a half years—but the Foundation has been serving the community for much longer than that. Since 1989, it has been working to improve the health of our community through education, programs, events, and much more.

In its 27 years, the Foundation has grown exponentially. In 1991, its annual income wasn’t quite $60,000. Today, it brings in more than $800,000 annually—and all of the money raised stays locally. Despite the Foundation being part of the larger UVM Health Network, Haley said, “All fundraising is local and benefits our community.” A 21 member Board of Directors works together to raise funds and implement the vision of the Foundation to improve people’s health, and by extension, their lives.

The Foundation uses a two-pronged approach to realize its goals:
1. Within: The Foundation works within the hospital, nurturing skilled staff, enhancing patient care and supporting equipment needs and the development of new programs. The Foundation believes in investing in hospital staff, providing support through scholarships and educational conferences. The effects of supporting a happy and skilled staff trickle down to patients, improving care. “Build them up,” Haley observed, “and the care they provide will be top-notch.”

The Foundation also supports the hospital from within by being the gate- keeper of all donations received. Everything donated to the hospital passes through the Foundation, ensuring thanks are given to the donors and the money is used properly.

2. Without: The Foundation works outside of the hospital, facilitating pro- grams to improve the health of the community. With its travel funds program, the Foundation helps roughly 60 income-eligible patients and families per year by assisting with the cost of travel to places where they can receive specialized care unavailable to them at CVPH. This program also assists patients outside of Clinton County who struggle with traveling to CVPH for needed care. Haley said, “When we remove or minimize these barriers and people can get the care they need, we’re all better for it.”

The Foundation also supports various agencies that work to improve health- care in the community, but need help funding new programs. Recently, the Foundation partnered with Mountain Lake PBS. Together, they produced and distributed a video and other educational resources to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. Proper education and awareness are cornerstones of community health.

The Foundation sponsors eight to ten health lectures each year—yet another way in which it supports the health of the community through efforts to educate. These health lectures serve a double purpose: to empower community members with meaningful health information and to connect community members with local healthcare providers. The Foundation also funds heart health screenings for the community, and hopes to provide more free screenings in the coming year.

How Can You Help?
The Foundation is a not-for-pro t organization that relies on volunteer support. There are many opportunities to volunteer, from working within the hospital, volunteering for events and helping with fundraising. “The Foundation also relies on the creativity of volunteers,” Haley explained. “Without them, our events just wouldn’t be the same.”

For those interested in volunteering—the next step is simple! Just go to www.cvph.org/volunteer, scroll down, and click “Apply to become a volunteer today!”

For those who don’t have the time to volunteer, but still want to help out—there are other ways! The Foundation accepts donations by cash, check, and online. You can also make a memo- rial or honorary donation or gift in recognition of excellent care received by a loved one.

The Foundation supports younger members of the community by awarding 10 annual scholarships to high school seniors—particularly those interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. Several of these scholarships are awarded with the help of the Foundation’s partnership with Clinton Community College.

As it continues to advocate for high-quality healthcare in our community, both within the hospital and without, the Foundation is constantly supporting new projects. One of the Foundation’s newest projects is the Champlain Valley Family Medicine Residency, a program designed to train family medicine residents. The program will bring desperately needed primary care providers to the area and will improve standards of care within the community. With more primary care providers, there will be fewer visits to the emergency room. Primary care providers will guide community members toward healthier lifestyles.

Transitions Success is another of the Foundation’s new undertakings. This project provides care and assistance to patients who have been discharged from the hospital—which will reduce the number of patients who find themselves returning a few weeks or months later. “Nurses were finding that often there were patients who needed simple things that would keep them from being readmitted,” Haley explained. However, these “simple things” were sometimes things patients struggled to afford. “One example is a woman who was blind and had congestive heart failure,” Haley related. “She needed to check her weight each day and phone it in to her physician’s office, but she could not see the number.” The Foundation was able to buy the woman a talking scale. This was a small purchase, but it was a big help in maintaining her health.”

What does Kerry Haley think of her role at The Foundation of CVPH? “It’s a terrific job,” she said. “I get to meet people who want to make a difference in their community and I can help them do that.” Haley believes you should “find something that you are passion- ate about and a company that you can feel good representing. “What could be better than representing an organization that is so passionate about supporting and improving the health of our community?” she concluded.

Events for Everyone
Outside of educational lectures and programs, the Foundation also holds plenty of recreational community events. Girls’ Night Out is just one of these events, held annually in October. The goal of Girl’s Night Out is to provide women with valuable health information—and to allow them to have fun at the same time. The event begins with a healthcare expert who educates attendees about a women’s health issue. “Then,” Haley said, “a comedian makes everyone laugh while reminding us to take care of ourselves.” Two Girls’ Night Out shows typically draws a crowd of 1,200 to 1,400 women—and some of those women are regulars, returning every year to learn and to laugh.

If Girl’s Night Out just isn’t your ‘thing’, there are plenty of other Foundation sponsored events on the roster. A visit to www.cvph.org/foundation/foundation- events yields a lengthy list of upcoming events, from the Glengarry Bhoys concert at Olive Ridley’s on March 11th, to the annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 26th, the Families Helping Families 5K on June 5th, the Mayor’s Cup Bike Ride on July 10th, and the Annual Candlelight Ceremony on December 6th. There’s something for everyone, and something at every time of year!