Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hospital grants are another way CMN meets needs

When you think of how Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supports kids in our community, you tend to think of the obvious: programs like the Child Life department, the CARE Mobile and the Baby Buggy. And, of course, the direct help they provide to families in need with meal trays, vouchers and travel expenses.

But there are behind-the-scenes ways CMN is helping, too. When you see a program or specialized piece of equipment that serves our young patients, there’s a good chance CMN Hospitals and their generous donors have played a key role.

This spring, CMN is preparing to distribute nearly $250,000 in grants to departments throughout CoxHealth, from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cox South, to Family Beginnings at Cox Branson and community outreach programs.

“Funding these projects is a more indirect way we give back to our community,” says Justin Bess, assistant executive director at CMN Hospitals. “People may think of us giving money directly to families, but if we can purchase a piece of equipment that will help 100 kids throughout the year, that can have a huge impact.”

Interested departments typically submit grant proposals for things that will benefit children, but may fall outside of the usual budgeting process. A committee of volunteers helps CMN leaders review the applications and decide how the funds will be distributed.

This year, CMN Hospitals has approved 26 proposals. Among the projects:

• Cox Branson Family Beginnings: $36,000 for jaundice meters, Panda infant warmers and scales, and a handheld hearing screening unit

• Cox Monett Labor and Delivery: $62,000 for three Panda infant warmers

• Cox South NICU: $64,000 for Atom Dual INCU equipment, vein illuminators, motion seats, incubators and specialized bed-attaching IV poles.

CMN leaders point out that even beyond the annual grants, when there is a need for children, they work to fill it. For example, one grant request was for a new, state-of-the-art isolette for the Baby Buggy, CoxHealth’s specialized ambulance for infants. The $95,000 price tag made it a challenge to fund through a traditional grant, but because the need was so great, CMN found a way to fund the project through its endowment, which helps fund the Baby Buggy program and the CARE Mobile.

“It’s all part of meeting the needs of our youngest patients, whatever those needs may be,” says Tim Siebert, executive director of CMN Hospitals. Siebert points out that in challenging financial times, distribution grants are key to giving departments what they need to provide the best care for patients.

“CMN Hospitals is here for kids and to make a difference,” says Siebert. “If we can provide a lifesaving piece of equipment, or fund a program that will have an impact in the life of a child, that’s what it’s all about.”

Radiothon set for March
Don’t forget to tune in to the 2014 Radiothon on Power 96.5 on March 6 and 7. The fundraiser will be broadcasting live from the main lobby at Cox South.