Although access to quality healthcare for everyone is the mission of Muskingum Valley Health Centers (MVHC), sometimes patients need a little extra help to get the care they need. That’s why the southeastern Ohio health center set up a Patient Care Charitable Fund in 2014 with a goal to help patients beyond the normal scope of services typically available and go the extra mile. For many patients, it has been a lifeline. The patient fund has helped make possible cervical and colorectal screenings, dental treatment and emergency related expenditures. It has also saved lives, such as in the case of a recent uninsured patient, 62 years old and suffering from symptoms that indicated colorectal cancer. The patient resisted having a colonoscopy procedure, but her MVHC primary care provider convinced her to get a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), paid for with the patient fund. The timing could not have been more critical. The patient’s cancer was confirmed and she immediately underwent treatment, with a positive outcome expected.
Another patient, a male diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, sought help at MVHC for an abscessed tooth. He had no dental insurance and was in tremendous oral pain. Fearing that the patient would not be able to survive a tooth extraction, the dentist opted to insert a crown which was again paid for with dollars from the patient fund.
MVHC has also launched an innovative Patient Wellness Program, thanks to the patient fund. The Wellness Program allows at-risk diabetic patients to participate in an exercise and nutritional program at a local recreation center. Patients participating in the program have shown a measurable reduction in both weight and inches, and have learned valuable strategies for managing their medical condition.
“We’re extremely proud of the results achieved in the short time this fund has existed,” said Dan Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of MVHC. “It has given us another avenue to provide excellent treatment and better serve the 30,000 patients who rely on us for care.”
The patient fund has received over $125,000 through a combination of donations and an annual fundraiser event dedicated to support it. This fundraiser is a dinner event held at The Wilds, the largest wildlife conservation center in North America. Local businesses and individuals sponsor the event, where attendees are treated to cocktails, dinner, a safari ride and animal encounters. This year, MVHC looks forward to including a presentation by Jungle Jack Hanna, recognized as America’s favorite Zookeeper and the creator of three nationally televised programs; Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.
If you’d like to learn more about the Patient Care Charitable Fund, visit http://mvhccares.org/mvhc-pccf/.