The Power of 10

Methodist Hospital Foundation is paving the way to better health care for the South Philadelphia community. It has empowered many grass-roots organizations with the ability to aid thousands through its support.

The Board of the Foundation is again pleased to host the 10th annual Fashion Fundraiser. The Foundation began blending style and substance with its first fashion show in 2008; since then it has become a much-anticipated event, drawing crowds, dazzling audiences, and paving the way to better health care for our neighbors in South Philadelphia. This year’s show benefits the clinics and programs supported by the Methodist Hospital Foundation, including many grass-roots organizations that aid the underinsured, uninsured, and elderly, as well as families and children throughout the community.

Supporting health care throughout South Philadelphia is the goal, but the Foundation approaches health care as a mind, body and soul connection. Whether it is through a startup grant that begins a promising program, a relationship that has lasted years or support that goes beyond money, the Foundation finds ways to shape the well-being of South Philadelphia residents for their healthier tomorrows.

ACE Unit Makes the Place Stronger & Healthier

The Foundation and its Fashion Fundraiser have supported many specific programs and organizations throughout its 10 years. In 2015, that organization was the Methodist Hospital Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit. The ACE Unit provides specialized care from medical professionals, social workers, case management, etc., to those age 65 and older with a goal of reducing hospital readmissions, functional decline and medical complications. It’s a big job, and one ACE Unit Nurse Manager Marie Robinson, RN-BC, says is made all the more far-reaching because of the Foundation’s support.

The day room of the ACE unit allows for social interaction and mental stimulation which improves the healing process.

“Because of the generosity of the Foundation, the ACE Unit was able to purchase telemetry equipment,” says Robinson. “This allowed us to broaden our patient care base to include those requiring cardiac monitoring. These patients otherwise would have been admitted to other medical surgical floors and would not have had access to the ACE Unit.”

Since its launch in 2014, the ACE Unit has helped more than 1,500 patients by promoting independence, ambulation and socialization that helps maintain or restore a patient’s previous level of function, which then allows patients to remain in their homes, says Robinson. The Foundation was able to widen the ACE Unit’s admission criteria, and in turn, make it an indispensable part of the community’s health care.

“The Foundation subscribes to the same philosophy as the ACE Unit — to improve the lives of the residents of South Philadelphia,” says Robinson.

Foundation & ADROP’s Unity Clinic Join Together to Rise Higher

The Foundation saw the potential of the Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor (ADROP) Unity Clinic immediately. It is a place where the uninsured and underinsured can find primary care at no cost and no questions asked.

“We have built trust, so if a person comes here, we accept them from wherever they come from,” says Father Jack Deegan, OSA, founder and chairman of the Board of Directors for the ADROP staff. “Emergency Rooms are overwhelmed. If we can diagnose a person and treat them here, we can keep people out of the hospital.” 

It sounds simple – see the need, fill the need, help those in need. But it could not have happened without early support from the Foundation, which to this day includes free blood draws and lab work for Unity Clinic patients and supporting ADROP through the 2017 South Philly Family Health Walk + Expo. Since 2012, the clinic has had over 1,500 patient visits, but the impact goes beyond that, says Deegan. 

Unity Clinic staff give immunizations.

“If community is strong and healthy, then what they do affects everybody. It’s a domino effect,” he says. “When we started out, the Foundation was critical in getting us going. We can depend on them. They are generous, and we can go to them year after year because they believe in what we are doing and we are all on the same side of helping people. We are a good match.” 

Parish Nursing Program Heals Bodies, Minds & Souls

Tindley Temple United Methodist Church heals more than just the spirit. Several days a week, Methodist/Jefferson Parish Nurse Alicia Parker, RN, brings on-site resources to the congregation and community through the Parish Nursing Program. It has been a place for consultations, screenings, immunizations, health fairs, health education and referrals since 2001, when a Foundation grant got the ball rolling at this location.

“It is not always the body, but the soul and the body. When one is out of sync, both can be out of sync. With the program, we can meet people where they are through education and talking about their health,” says Parker.

Hundreds have been helped through the program, and Parker keeps her eyes and ears open to her flock, their health and general health trends. She knows when something is needed to help with her goals she can turn to the Foundation, whether it’s for the latest literature or to support Tindley’s Community Day.

“If the Foundation did not do this, people may not get this care,” says Parker. “We are still supported because the Foundation is the foundation of Parish Nursing. Without them, there would be no program here.”