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Even Small Gifts Make A Big Difference

Six decades ago, area residents saw a critical need for local, quality healthcare. Their grassroots fundraising campaigns resulted in the opening of St. Clair Hospital in 1954. Now an integral part of the community, St. Clair continues to grow and expand—while remaining one of the few independent hospitals in our area.

From its very beginnings, St. Clair has counted on the support of the people, organizations and businesses of the community to continue that legacy of giving forged some 60 years ago. Giving helps to ensure St. Clair can continue to deliver on its mission of providing the highest quality healthcare services that patients may need throughout their lives.

No one understands this more than Melissa Marion, Director of Development and Governmental Relations. As the leader of the St. Clair Health Foundation team, she speaks with the people, organizations and businesses of the community every day to encourage them to continue the legacy of giving that will make a lasting impact on St. Clair and our patients. Melissa and her team work year-round to raise funds to support the important work of St. Clair.

“Having a world-class health system in our community is so important, and donations to the Foundation are part of the reason why our health system can provide exceptional patient care now and for years to come, “explains Melissa. “Donations also enable St. Clair to provide comfort items for patients, purchase new and updated equipment, and introduce new services—among other things.”

Gifts are made in a variety of ways and support the greatest areas of need across our health system. Thanks to generous supporters, St. Clair has most recently been able to:

  • Offer complimentary transportation for patients who would otherwise not be able to get to their appointments
  • Deliver safe sleeping spaces for families who have just delivered a baby
  • Assist patients who have faced difficulties paying for their care
  • Purchase new recumbent bikes for the Cardiac Rehab program
  • Provide entertainment and other items for the inpatient psychiatric unit

The Foundation team will continue to raise funds to support these existing programs and introduce new programs to ensure our patients continue to receive the very best care. In fact, Melissa

shared that one of their latest focus areas is assisting oncology patients in deeper and more meaningful ways.

At St. Clair Health, we are here for the patients arriving for their first cancer screening. For the patients who received a biopsy and are anxiously awaiting the results. For the patients preparing for surgery. For the patients being treated with chemotherapy or radiation. We are here for every step of every patient’s cancer journey because we not only care for them. We care about them.

We aim to take care of the whole patient, which is why the care we provide extends past the clinical needs. The Foundation team works closely with the oncology team to identify the most appropriate items to add to cancer care packages, as the oncology team is comprised of experts who best understand how we can best meet a patient’s medical and comfort needs.

Items include a large blanket, thermometer, extra soft toothbrush, hard candies, fuzzy socks, lotion, hand sanitizer, lip balm, a nutritional shake, and an activity or coloring book with colored pencils. They are all placed in a sturdy tote bag so patients can easily transport everything for appointments.

According to Melissa, “Instead of offering a list of suggested items for patients to purchase, we provide them with everything they may need so they can focus their time and energy on treatment. We’ve found that the various items included in the cancer care packages really make big a difference for patients.”

Just ask Marlene, an oncology patient who received one of the 500 cancer care packages the Foundation distributes each year. Marlene wasn’t sure if she would use the many items in the cancer care package, but she was pleasantly surprised to find that each item proved invaluable during her weekly appointments. She really appreciated the thought behind the contents of the cancer care package, particularly the soft and warm blanket.

On behalf of Melissa and the Foundation team, along with oncology patients like Marlene and those that care for them, we ask you to consider making a gift to the “50 @ 50” campaign that we are launching in conjunction with the global generosity movement known as Giving Tuesday on November 29, 2022.

We are asking at least 50 individuals to donate $50 November 29, 2022, to fund the creation of 50 cancer care packages. Click here to help us meet our goal! Your donation of $50 will fund one of these packages full of essential items to comfort our patients through every step of their cancer journeys.

To learn more about the impact of your gift or to make a donation for another area of need, please visit stclair.org/giving or contact Melissa Marion at [email protected] or 412.942.2465. Every gift will make a lasting impact!