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Tomah Health recognizes MDs with local donations


Tomah Health thanked area doctors by supporting to two Tomah area not for profit organizations.

Tomah Health CEO Derek Daly, left, presented ceremonial checks to Tomah Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry operational director Dawn Pleuss, St. Clare Health Mission of Monroe County medical director Michael Saunders, M.D. and health mission clinic coordinator Annie Berendes to mark Doctors’ Day.

Tomah Health marketing & public relations director Eric Prise said in recognition of Doctors’ Day March 30, $1,000 donations were given to the St. Clare Health Mission of Monroe County and to Tomah’s Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry on behalf of the hospital and its providers. “We are very fortunate to have a great medical staff that helps us provide quality health care services to Tomah and the surrounding communities 365 days a year,” said Prise. “As a community hospital, we recognize the importance of supporting other organizations that share in our mission of taking care of the residents of Monroe County. These contributions are a small way for us to show our appreciation to our health care professionals while supporting two needy organizations,” he added.

St. Clare medical director Dr. Michael Saunders, M.D. said the donation will help with health care services and supplies at the facility in Sparta. “The donation will go toward pharmaceuticals for patients and we are also anticipating this spring as we approach the end of the government’s COVID emergency funding that there is going to be shuffling of a lot of people off government health insurance and there will be a greater need for our services.” Saunders said the number of patients has been increasing with numbers up more than 30 –percent. “We exist entirely because of donations like this and without the donations, we cannot do what we do, so we are very grateful,” he added.

Food Pantry operational director Dawn Pleuss said the donation is timely considering the organization’s current fundraiser to purchase a message board sign to communicate better with patrons. She said the pantry has been extremely busy providing food to 661 households a month, which is up from 318 households last year. “A lot of people are really struggling; even working families that are living paycheck to paycheck – it’s just not enough for families to get by right now,” said Pleuss. She cited high grocery prices and the loss of some governmental assistance as the reasons for the increased need.

Prise said similar donations have been made to local organizations for a number of years by the hospital as a way to recognize the work and dedication of local health care providers. “The very first Doctors’ Day observance was organized in the state of Georgia March 30, 1933,” Prise explained. He said legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate in 1990 establishing a national Doctors’ Day, which was signed into law by then President George Bush.

Tomah Health