3 years ago By Denise Donley
Last fiscal year, the Foundation provided more than $20,500 in gas/transportation assistance to 316 people
Donors to The Blessing Foundation have helped many patients get the care they need through the purchasing of medical equipment and the construction of new buildings.
However, the transportation of patients to and from their healthcare appointment can get expensive, and the Blessing Foundation needs continued donor support.
"The Blessing Foundation is here to serve the needs of our patients and anybody in medical necessity that doesn't have the finances to receive the care that's been directed towards them by their physicians," said Ann Awerkamp Dickson, administrative director of The Blessing Foundation. "We don't want anyone to not receive to the fact
that they can't afford it."
During its Fiscal Year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012), The Blessing Foundation provided more than $20,500 in gas/transportation assistance to 316 people. That is an increase of 161 people and nearly $7,400 from the year before.
The majority of the assistance, $16,391, was needed by 250 cancer patients.
"The increase in assistance is due to the economy: it's simple as that," added Dickson. "We've all been aware and involved with it in our own personal lives, and when catastrophic illnesses occur and there's nowhere else to turn as a community resource, then that's when the Blessing Foundation will kick in and help our patient base."
Of the remainder of transportation assistance needed by patients, $2,780 was provided through the Merrick Family Medical Crisis Fund to the parents/guardians of children being transferred to other healthcare facilities for types of pediatric care not available locally; and $1,393 was provided through the Patient Family Fund for the transportation needs of patients receiving any type of care.
"Gifts to the Blessing Health system, whether it be in Pittsfield at Illini Hospital or at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, all the gifts that come in to the Blessing Foundation do not pay salaries or anything like that," said Dickson. "They are restricted gifts that specifically go into funds that only will help patient care."