Imagine taken to a hospital by ambulance and then realizing you have no way to get back to your home after being treated. For some patients, the dilemma is real.
That is why the Tomah Health Community Foundation has donated $1,000 to help fund the Lend a Hand program at Tomah Health.
Above: Tomah Health Community Foundation president Pete Reichardt, left, presented a $1,000 ceremonial check to Tomah Health Quality Director Shelly Egstad, MASL, RN to support the hospital’s Lend a Hand program.
“The donation is vitally important for our patients who come maybe to our emergency room,” said Tomah Health Quality Director Shelly Egstad, MASL, RN. “We have had situations where patients have lost everything and we have been able to use foundation funds to help them have a place to stay, get them some clothing, food and things that can sustain them till family is available to help,” Egstad said.
The Lend a Hand program was started in 2018 when hospital officials recognized a growing need to assist those who had no resources. “Before the program, our staff would put their dollars together and help patients,” Egstad said. “Many times our employees would pay for cab rides to help patients get home or to a hotel, so this program has really helped our staff to take care of patients and focus on the care of the patients versus some of the social needs,” she said.
Foundation president Pete Reichardt said the donation continues the foundation’s mission.
“The primary purpose of the foundation is to support projects and services that make a difference in our community that benefit children and families,” Reichardt said. “Health and wellness are very important to what we are doing and the Lend a Hand program really reflects the community need for services that support that project.”
Egstad said over the past year, the program has assisted over 100 patients. “This program has been a real life saver for them,” Egstad added.