A donation from the Tomah Health Foundation will help a new program at Tomah Health designed to assist patients with limited personal or financial resources to meet short-term needs.
Officials from the philanthropic arm of Tomah Health have donated $1,000 to help fund the hospital’s new ‘Lend a Hand’ program.
“This new program will help fill the gap for those patients that might not qualify for medical assistance or other financial programs, and have to choose between their medication or having their next meal,” said hospital social worker Amanda Burkhalter.
Burkhalter said the goal of the program is to provide resources for short- term needs that are not covered by other programs, agencies or funding sources; including such things as cab fare, transportation costs, gas cards, medication copay, food or personal items. She said the program would be governed by a hospital policy and implemented by hospital social services staff and nursing leaders who will distribute resources based on assessed needs of individual patients.
“As a social worker, I think this will help tremendously for those people that might fall through the cracks, and I think it shows the commitment of our Foundation to the people of our community and that their basic needs are met.”
Burkhalter said hospital staff has struggled in the past to find assistance for such patients and in some cases have personally helped those in need.
Foundation vice president Brian Eirschele said the donation fulfills the mission of the organization to support health related initiatives that benefit area residents.
“All the members of the foundation thought it was an interesting new program to be able to give aid directly to people who need assistance,” said Eirschele. “We’re pretty excited to see how the program turns out and the impact it has on those who really need help.”
Burkhalter added that hospital staff will log and track all disbursements, which will be monitored for future trends that will be considered throughout the year.