Gateway Medical Foundation
The Gateway Medical Foundation was established in 1991 by a group of Sedgwick County businessmen, along with the expertise of its medical community-representatives of our doctors, medical staff and hospital board. In the early years the organization’s primary focus was on doctor recruitment. Over time, its interests have branched out into many projects.
The Gateway Medical Foundation is also instrumental in assisting with continuing education in medicine, and providing matching funds in securing grants for the health center. The foundation is literally the fundraising arm of Sedgwick County Health Center. They received a memorial years ago that was set up for providing scholarships to college youth seeking a degree in nursing or in the medical field. These scholarships are available to youth graduating from high schools in either Sedgwick or Phillips Counties, and only the interest is awarded, thus securing the longevity of the scholarship fund.
Many projects completed at the facility are done so with memorials contributed for just those projects. These monies are run through Gateway because they are an enterprise zone (NECALG-Northeast Colorado Association of Local Governments). Contributing in this manner enables the families to receive a 25% tax credit, while benefiting an organization such as the Health Center, via Gateway Medical Foundation.
The last means of obtaining funds to make improvements/assist with projects for SCHC is our year-end letter of appeal sent out via letters to our community for charitable giving, benefiting them as a tax credit.
Gateway Medical Foundation has a governing board of 11 individuals, dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of health care for the community and surrounding area. Gateway considers itself the fundraising arm of Sedgwick County Health Center. They meet the third Monday of each month at noon in the Assisted Living Center family dining hall.
Projects/activities the foundation currently has in place include:
Provides free PSA testing yearly in the Spring, teaming with donors Jim and Carole Kontny.
Provides a “healthy” community newsletter each spring/fall to area residents.
Hosts two yearly fundraising events to secure monies used as “match” in grant applications.
Years past provided three occasions to fundraise: Golf Tourney in June, Ladies’ Luncheon/Bridge Tourney in August, and Fall Ball in October. The golf tourney seemed to lose interest, so are just hosting the latter two at this time.
Currently raising monies/seeking funding through grants for a digital mammography unit for the Radiology department, and for a back-up generator.
As identified above, Sedgwick County Health Center has a wide variety of programs and activities designed to keep people seeking health care in their hometown. Accomplishments in our facility include receiving Trauma IV designation in our emergency department, successful State survey’s in nursing home and assisted living center, low staff turnover rates, and a high level of performance. Although we are a struggling facility like most rural facilities, we feel that we have been conservative over the years, which has made us more financial stable than our counterparts in northeast Colorado. This is an accomplishment that cannot go unnoticed.
In 2002, we began a successful journey in search of funding the expansion/remodel of the existing hospital and clinic, combining them physical and at the same time creating additional space for ER, radiology, lab, and physical therapy departments-total of $3.3 million! We restructured bonds from the Assisted Living Center, creating the original $700,000 for this project. Our own Gateway Medical Foundation then began a variety of fundraisers, pledging $100,000 in local funds, showing outside foundations our show of local support for the project. The remaining funds were procured from grants received from foundations throughout the state of Colorado. Having received the necessary funding, the project began in the fall of 2003 and the grand opening was held in September of 2006. We are very proud of this accomplishment!
When the hospital and clinic were combined, and business offices added to the east side by the expanded ER, an enclosed courtyard was formed. Before the outside walls could be enclosed, the courtyard was leveled, then sloped for drainage, and plastic and landscape rock added. Once the walls were finished, only a double wide door served as entrance to the courtyard. With no funding available, a memorial healing garden project began, and soon families and employees alike rallied to provide trees, shrubs, perennials, pots for annuals, and picnic tables/umbrellas and the manpower to create a beautiful, healing sanctuary. Recently a sparse corner was gifted with a large memorial fountain and grass garden. SCHC has beauty on the inside, and thanks to Colorado Garden Show’s grants in 2008 and 2010, we are looking good around the facility grounds. Last year 8 deciduous trees were removed from the Nursing Home due to disease. The residents miss the shade these trees provided, both in patio ambiance and added heat efficiency in their room. We are currently applying again to CGS for a grant for replacement landscape trees.
In addition to the above projects and the expansion/remodel project, specific projects completed in recent years include:
Whirlpools/towel, blanket warmers for the Assisted Living Center and Nursing Home.
Emergency call system/bracelets for the Assisted Living Center.
Replacement windows/window treatments for the Nursing Home.
Nurses call systems in both the Hospital and Nursing Home.
PAD.Net.Lab (detects peripheral arterial disease), purchased for the Hospital at our doctors’ request.
Assisted with the creation of the Chemotherapy Administration Suite in the Hospital.
Contributed to the purchase of car seats for babies born at SCHC
Purchasing snack vending machines for two facilities, so that the proceeds keep the program viable.