This past year more than 90 patients treated at Tomah Health needed some type of additional help; whether a ride home or funds to pay for medications. To help patients, the Tomah Health Community Foundation has donated $1,000 to help fund the Lend a Hand program at Tomah Health.
“The foundation’s mission is to support organizations and services that help children and families through health and wellness programs, and the Lend a Hand program absolutely does that,” Foundation president Pete Reichardt said of the donation. “Helping children and families in time of need with things that are completely out of their control helps make a positive difference in the community and to these people when they need help at the most crucial point in their lives.”
The Lend a Hand program was started in 2018 when hospital officials recognized a growing need to assist those who had no resources.
“Without the support from the foundation we basically scramble to try and get patients and families what they need in times of crisis,” said Tomah Health Quality / Risk / Compliance Director Shelly Egstad, MASL, RN. “If a patient comes to our Emergency Room after a car accident, their wallet, their identification, their credit cards are all in the vehicle and not able to be obtained. The foundation has helped us provide housing, transportation to a hotel for that short term need,” she explained.
Egstad said before the Lend a Program was in place, hospital staff would pool money to help patients in need. “One of the issues we struggle with is transportation after an emergency room visit. They may come in by ambulance and we don’t necessarily have the services in the community to get them back to an assisted living facility or their home.”
Egstad said since last October, 92 patients have been served by the Lend a Hand program. “This is the third year the foundation has supported this initiative, and we could not do what we do without them.”