Philanthropic donations totaling $240,000 will help OHSU serve rural communities on Oregon’s southern coast. (OHSU)
Three new generous grants will allow patients and students at Oregon Health & Science University to benefit from rural community programs on Oregon’s southern coast.
The Judith Ann Mogan Foundation, a Coos Bay, Oregon charitable organization launched in 2020, has made three philanthropic donations totaling $240,000 to help patients living in Coos and Curry County access specialized OHSU care and to help recruit future health professionals for the region.
Financial Aid for Cancer Patients from the Southern Oregon Coast
About 400 people from Coos and Curry counties, many of whom have experienced heightened financial pressure or housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, have traveled to receive cancer treatment at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
This grant recognizes the financial burden and limited housing options faced by many patients traveling for care, and provides patient support funds to alleviate the physical and emotional burden on patients and their families. In particular, the $25,000 grant will help cover housing and travel costs, medication assistance and other emergency needs for the most deprived from Coos and Curry Counties.
Susan Hedlund, MSW (OHSU)
“With this generous funding, patients who need to travel for their care will be able to receive the most advanced, individualized care at the Knight Cancer Institute,” said Knight Cancer Institute. Susan Hedlund, MSW, director of patient and family support services at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “Patient Support Fund resources will provide patients and their families with the ability to navigate the unique and often complex issues affecting their treatment journey.”
Expanding efforts to break down barriers between children, families and better health
Having a child with a complex health condition, such as diabetes, chronic pain, or cystic fibrosis, is challenging under any circumstances. However, when a family is also affected by social determinants of health, such as work, food or housing insecurity, or unreliable transportation, young patients may be at greater risk for adverse health outcomes.
Since 2011, Novel Interventions in Child Healthcare, or NICH, at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, has partnered with community programs and regional insurers to improve care, reduce costs and promote health for youth whose medical needs are exacerbated by social challenges. . NICH fills the gap in the care continuum, primarily serving young people from disadvantaged and underrepresented populations.
At no cost to the family, the young patient is paired up with a NICH interventionist who acts as a ‘command central’ in helping families with social challenges manage their child’s health, find resources to meet daily needs and navigating a complex and confusing healthcare system.
With a grant from the Mogan Foundation, totaling more than $200,000 over the course of three years, NICH will expand its services to Coos and Curry Counties. Beginning in January 2022, patients under the age of 18 – who live on the Oregon South Coast – will have 24-hour access to NICH interventions that will help create more opportunities to build trusting relationships between families and their caregivers.
“If a family’s daily needs are not met, it can become impossible to care for a child with a chronic health condition,” he says. Michael Harris, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at OHSU School of Medicine and director of NICH. “Through NICH, we are working to remove barriers to care – whether it’s access to medicines or medical equipment, transportation to an appointment or language support – to ensure that more patients and families, including those on the South Coast, have better access. have access to the health care they need and deserve.”
Exposing OHSU Campus for Rural Health Students to the Benefits of Working, Living on the South Coast
Like many other rural areas, the South Coast is deficient in primary care, dental, and mental health care providers for low-income and other disadvantaged populations. OHSU’s Campus for Rural Health offers OHSU students studying a variety of health professions the opportunity to experience rural medicine with clinical rotations, community projects, and joint housing in Coos Bay and elsewhere in the state. Health students who have completed a rural education are more likely to work in a rural area after graduation.
To highlight the many benefits of living on the South Coast for visiting OHSU students, this $15,000 grant provides recreational equipment to introduce students to the incredible outdoor opportunities and benefits of living and working in Coos and Curry counties . The fair will support local outdoor equipment businesses by purchasing kayaks, paddleboards, camping gear, clam digging equipment, and bicycles, all of which will be used by OHSU students.
“The OHSU Campus for Rural Health helps students experience the unique benefits of a rural healthcare provider,” said Megan Holland, MD, regional associate dean for the OHSU Campus for Rural Health’s South Coast campus. “Recreation is one way that OHSU students can also experience the beauty of life on the South Coast. We hope this new equipment will help our graduates fall in love with the field as much as we do, ultimately deciding to live and work here.”