“We are all here for one goal — the growth and progression of Melissa Memorial Hospital.”
Nancy Colglazier, executive director for Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation, and other board members from the foundation and the hospital gave their appreciation to the Holyoke community during the Legacy of Thanks Celebration Sunday, Sept. 14.
Following a light lunch at MMH, awards were presented and updates were given about the hospital.
The Outstanding Business award was presented to First Pioneer National Bank, with Ben Rahe accepting the award. Colglazier recognized the bank for its constant involvement with the MMHF Legacy Event and how wonderful it is to have continued support from local businesses.
Gordon and Winona Leben were honored as Outstanding Philanthropists for their support of the foundation for many years.
The award for Outstanding Adult Volunteers was presented to Bob and Brenda Brandt. It’s hard to imagine how to do the Legacy Event without them, said Colglazier. The couple gives much of their time and talents to their community.
Representatives from the HHS girls’ basketball program accepted the Outstanding Youth award for coordinating Pink Out events. Colglazier noted their compassion toward those with breast cancer. Funds raised have helped women read mammogram results.
Basketball players at Sunday’s celebration included coach Arlan Scholl, Roni Beavers, Adi Bencomo, Megan Vieselemeyer, Kaylee Ham, Mackenzie Thompson, Tara Krueger and Brook Prottsman.
Receiving the MMH Angel award was Mary Kay Knode, director of specialty clinics at MMH. She goes above and beyond at her job and is truly there for the patients, said Colglazier. She has also organized dinner servers from hospital staff for the Legacy Event.
A special recognition, the Heart Award, was presented to Cherrie Brown. “She is a woman who truly loves where she calls home,” said Colglazier. She pointed out Brown’s passion and excitement for whatever she is involved with, from City Council to the building of the Peerless Theatre. She has served on the hospital board as well as executive director for MMHF for eight years, during which time fundraising for the new hospital building surpassed the $600,000 goal by $150,000.
Recent scholarship recipients were also recognized at the celebration, including Megan Garrett, Brittany Weatherly, Ashley Humphreys, Erin Vieselmeyer, Jordan Zeiler and Logan Zeiler.
The hospital foundation looked back on the year, with much thanks to its financial supporters. “What a bountiful harvest this is,” said MMHF president Linda Alberts.
“We’re very grateful and thankful to everyone,” said Gary Krumm, MMHF vice president.
Award recipients at the Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation Legacy of Thanks Celebration are pictured from left, front row, HHS girls’ basketball team members Roni Beavers, Adi Bencomo, Megan Vieselmeyer, Kaylee Ham, Mackenzie Thompson, Tara Krueger and Brook Prottsman; and back row, Ben Rahe representing First Pioneer National Bank, HHS girls’ basketball coach Arlan Scholl, Brenda and Bob Brandt, Cherrie Brown and Mary Kay Knode. Not pictured are Gordon and Winona Leben.
MMH brings certainty during uncertain times
“I’m continually excited and humbled” for the amount of community support, said hospital administrator John Ayoub. “Community support is one of the biggest pillars needed to lead in uncertain times.”
His hospital update to the crowd highlighted what uncertain times U.S. health care is facing, with constant changes and much confusion.
“Among all this uncertainty, there is some certainty,” he said. Part of the hospital’s mission and focus is the desire for a healthy community.
“The medical staff is the foundation,” said Ayoub. “They are the engine that drives us forward.”
He acknowledged doctors Dennis Jelden, Alison Lauber Shrum and Aaron Wilson and nurse practitioners Deaun Carpenter, Deana O’Gorman and Judy Weimer.
To ensure patients receive the highest quality care, MMH is continually looking to maintain a great lineup of providers. They are looking for the best and brightest through a rural residency program and the Grow Our Own Doctor program.
Once someone gets some experience at MMH, a few years could turn into a lifetime commitment, said Ayoub.
Tuition support is also offered to locals who are continuing education in the medical field.
High-quality equipment is another piece in the puzzle. MMH recently got additional monitoring systems as well as a floating X-ray table that can lower almost to the floor to make it easier for people to get on and off.
Finally, MMH is looking at the needs of the community. Sharon Bernard is now serving as a financial counselor at the hospital to help patients fill out forms and acquire information they need about confusing health care and insurance questions.
Community education classes are in the works to cover topics like diabetes, and Ayoub said the hospital wants to work with local pharmacies to lower the cost of medications.
All of these things have come together to make Melissa Memorial Hospital a stable health care provider in a time of such uncertainty.
Holyoke Enterprise September 18, 2014