Reaching “new heights” through play and exploration

A message from one of our grateful recipients – Wheel & Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson

New Rock Climbing Wall

The new rock climbing wall

If you have young children and are local to the area, odds are you have found yourself at the Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson a time or two (or twenty!).  A popular destination for our area children year-round, and especially during our cold winter months, it is a place where they can explore, learn, and be physically active. Hutchinson Health Foundation recently awarded Wheel & Cog their second grant to support the purchase a 0-3 year-old Community Playthings modular play set and a 8 ft x 20 ft climbing wall. (Read more about their first grant awarded in 2017 here.) 

Jessica Sabrowsky, founder of the Wheel & Cog, shared how the Foundation grant supported the addition of these two big body play pieces to the current exhibit spaces and enhanced the options for children of all ages between 0-12 years whom the museum targets.

Sabrowsky explained:

The modular playset, targeted at children 3 years and younger has been a fan favorite! This modular playset offers gross motor play opportunities for the young ones and includes small steps, a tunnel and slide. There are also railings to help young ones develop gross motor skills and a mirror. On average, we have had about 10 infants visit most days, sometimes more.

The climbing wall has also added elevation for guests, allowing them to reach “new heights”. The climbing wall has also been a fan favorite, offering all museum guests the opportunity to experience the physical challenge of rock climbing. In addition, the wall provides the opportunity for therapy, social-emotional and cognitive development. The Everlast Climbing wall relates to meeting national standards and grade-level outcomes for K-12 Physical Education.

Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum, like most non-profit organizations, relies heavily on community support through donations, grants, and volunteers. The museum board of directors voted to leverage the donation from Hutchinson Health Foundation with Legacy Funding to complete the purchase for the modular playset and climbing wall. A group of 3M maintenance volunteers, led by Joe Nelson, donated time to install the climbing wall at the museum. We are thankful to have so many organizations within our community who generously support non-profit organizations with volunteer programs and funding opportunities. We cannot say thank you enough for all the support.”

When asked why it is important to keep health care local in our community? Jessica shared:

Delivering quality healthcare services in a rural community does more than provide the needed healthcare. It also has a positive impact on the economic health of the community through supporting higher paying jobs. In rural communities, healthcare and overall vitality of the community are intrinsically linked. A robust community supports and sustains quality health services for its residents by attracting and retaining highly trained and committed healthcare professionals. The doctors, nurses and healthcare network offer a vital safety net for their communities. Communities with strong economies may also be more likely to financially support the healthcare system through higher rates of health insurance coverage, philanthropic giving, and by investing in infrastructure that can be leveraged by the healthcare system. In return, a high-quality healthcare system can support economic and community development initiatives.

If you are interested in learning how to apply for a Foundation grant, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438.

A Message From One of Our Grateful Donors – Citizens Bank & Trust

The Citizens Bank & Trust Business Team from left to right: Anthony Hanson, Tim Ulrich, Buzz Burich, and Mike Cannon

If you have resided in Hutchinson for any length of time, you most likely have been impacted by one of the numerous organizations, facilities and community events that Citizens Bank & Trust supports. It’s no secret that they love this community, and want to see it thrive. The Foundation has been thankful to have their support as an Annual Event Sponsor for many years.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Cannon to discuss why he and the Bank continually support the Foundation and our endeavors. He shared the following:

“We feel our community has a lot to offer, which includes good industry, education and health care. All of these are a vital component to a strong community, and something we take into consideration when making donations. The Bank wishes to aid in enhancing the health care offering in the community with our donations; and we believe gifts directly to the Foundation are the best route for us to support our local health care. After all, having a strong health care system truly helps the community grow and prosper.”

We can’t thank organizations like Citizens Bank & Trust enough for helping us stay successful in our efforts to carry through our mission.

If you are interested in exploring more about becoming an annual event sponsor or event sponsorship, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438

2018 Grant Recipients

Each year the Foundation funds organizational proposals that will support the advancement of health within our community. Through this process, grants are awarded to fund new health initiatives, programs that improve health services, and health education programs. We are able to do this in thanks to the generous support of our donors.

We would like to take a quick moment to introduce you to the 2018 Grant Recipients and encourage you to see how this year’s grants will be positively impacting our community!


Wheel and Cog

Nursery Gym and Climbing Wall
Grant Amount – $5,999

Board member Megan Karg with Wheel & Cog staff

“Our existing Farmers’ Market exhibit provides an opportunity for healthy foods to be experienced through play, and we would like to develop a complimentary exhibit focused on promoting physical activity through big body play with a focus on the addition of two pieces:

  1. A small nursery gym for the 0-24 month old age group
  2. A horizontal rock climbing wall for kids of all ages to enjoy

With the addition of these two new engaging and interactive exhibits, children and their caregivers can experience concepts of healthy behaviors through play, that we project will grow into life-long skills and interests. The idea is that this will aid in reducing health risk factors that contribute to chronic disease, one specifically for the 0-24 month age group, which is something we have not had to offer in the museum yet.

The nursery gym and horizontal climbing wall will be excellent additions to the current exhibit spaces, providing varying levels of complexity and attract a wide variety of ages to play.“

~ Jessica Sabrowsky, Director of Wheel & Cog


Elks Park in Hutchinson

Inclusive Park Project
Grant Amount – $5,000

One of the new pieces of equipment that will be installed in the Elks Inclusive Park

“The inclusive play space project in Elks Park in Hutchinson is designed for children and adults of all abilities to be able to have the opportunity to play and grow together. The components within the structure are designed and built to those with mobility and sensory impairments; allowing them to explore freely and to engage in the space with no limitations. Our goal is to create a space that allows us to meet all children’s needs in the same place and in a multitude of ways. We want to provide a space that encourages social interaction, imaginative play, sensory stimulating activities, and allows children of all ages to not only play side by side, but go out on the playground and compete in friendly environment.”

~ Tammy Lehn, Elks Member


Adult Training and Habilitation Center

Medical Equipment
Grant Amount – $3058

“The purpose of the Adult Training and Habilitation Center is to advance, promote and administer benevolent aims relative to the training and habilitation of adult persons with developmental disabilities or related conditions, and to do so for the purpose of supervising and assisting said adult persons in their training for supported employment and work-related activities in an effort to help them become productive, self-reliant and more independent by their interaction with non-disabled persons within the community and in the work-place, and by enhancing their self-confidence by teaching new skills at a pace in keeping with their level of ability.

ATHC is utilizing the funds to purchase wheelchairs and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for their locations. Wheelchairs are utilized daily by many of their individuals and are necessary to allow these individuals to continue coming to their job. The AEDs will be placed at each of their locations giving piece of mind to staff in the event of a cardiac situation as well as providing vital care in the event of such a situation.

~ Tonia Bymers


Power of Produce

Grant Amount – $3,000

“Power of Produce is a program that helps introduce kids, 3-12, to healthy living through local produce products. With this program we are able to give kids produce tokens that can be used to buy fruits, veggies, etc. at our local farmers market. It is necessary to teach kids at an early age the importance of eating fresh produce to have a healthy life. This program gives kids the opportunity to pick out produce they may love or that they want to try.”

~ Megan Donahue


New wheelchairs for Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools

Wheel Chairs
Grant Amount – $2359

“Our school buildings are large, and growing in size with the newest renovations. By providing five additional wheelchairs, we would be able to replace some of our older wheelchairs that are falling apart, as well as house wheelchairs for easy use on different floors/ends of buildings. In adjusting our evacuation plans for students with needs, the need is apparent for easy relocation during emergencies.“

~ Antonia Barrick, RN, BSN, PHN, LSN

 


Hutchinson Health

10th Annual Nurses Conference
Grant Amount – $2,000

“In order to keep their licenses current, nurses are required to attend education events that provide contact hours. This conference allows nurses to obtain a large amount of contact hours in one day at an affordable price. Over 350 nurses attend yearly from various specialties including long term care, clinics, hospitals, public health and home care.

Many organizations have decreased their education reimbursement budget so nurses are having to pay for their own continuing education. At Hutchinson Health, we strive to provide education that is not only pertinent and timely in an ever changing health care environment, but also provides nurses with information on resources and wellness strategies aimed at preventing health issues or keeping people well after a diagnosis.”

~ Tracy Marquardt, Education Services Representative at Hutchinson Health


New Century Academy

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Grant Amount – $1699

“New Century Academy is a public school that provides the student’s with an alternative way of project based learning. We have approximately 130 students, grades 7th through 12th grade, who attend our school, with staff to help teach and guide them. With these funds, we will be purchasing an AED to be placed in our facility. This machine is used in emergencies when someone is in cardiac arrest from an arrhythmia of the heart.”

~ Casey Noshbush


Hutchinson Health

Training Equipment for Advance Cardiac Life Support Program
Grant Amount – $725

“In the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Program, one important need is being able to identify heart rhythms along with patient symptoms so we are able to treat the patient correctly and in the most efficient way possible. The use of iPads and a Dart Sim App will improve our training immensely by allowing the students to be able to see true heart rhythms along with vital signs. They can also see real time changes as they intervene and run through patient simulations. This in turn gives them the education they need to provide the best possible care to our patients in critical need.

Through the use of this equipment, the overall quality of education provided to our local healthcare staff will be improved, which in turn will provide for improved care for our patients and community members”

~ Joe Jorgensen, ACLS Educator


Eagle Troup Project

Traumatic Bleeding Treatment Training
Grant Amount – $560

“Stop the Bleed Kits will be provided to several businesses throughout Hutchinson including, Hutchinson Public Schools District #423, 3M, MITGI, TDK, and Hutchinson Manufacturing.

This project will help provide necessary education and materials to save lives. The expected results of this program are to better prepare the schools and manufacturing businesses in our community for a traumatic bleeding injury. This will be done by providing education on how to stop the bleed and providing the resources to be used in an emergency situation.”

~ Conor Sturges, Troop Member


Hutchinson Health McLeod County Senior Expo

Program Sponsor
Grant Amount – $500

The McLeod County Senior Expo attracts and engages an active senior population of McLeod County. Approximately 200 seniors attend each year and are searching for health education. The expo is a unique event that specifically targets the health and well-being of people age 55 and older. This event provides health education and programming that tailors to senior’s specific health needs and provides resources that will help them to connect and live their lives to their fullest potential. Funds received will help pay for speakers and other various educational opportunities to help keep costs to seniors reasonable.”

~ Amy Martin, Wellness Program Coordinator


Hutchinson Health

Transportation tokens for Hutchinson Health Patients
Grant Amount – $100

“Transportation barriers lead to rescheduled or missed appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. Transportation barriers are an important barrier to healthcare access, particularly for those with lower incomes or the under/uninsured.

As a part of this grant we are purchasing transportation tokens that will help patients ensure their transportation needs to Hutchinson Health are met.

Trailblazer Transit, a local general public transportation service, is the transportation system that the tokens are being used on. They operate up to 29 elevator-equipped buses driven by paid, professional drivers and primarily serve Sibley, McLeod, and Wright Counties in addition to some select geographical corridors into neighboring counties. A Dial-A-Ride bus service also operates under the Trailblazer Transit name.”

~ Joy May, Team Based Care Lead for Health Care Home


If you or an organization you know could benefit from one of our community grants, you can download an application here. The due date for 2019 selection is February 22, 2019

A Message From One of Our Grateful Donors – The Fortuns’

Longterm Foundation Supporters Wayne and Terry Fortun

Long-term Foundation Supporters Wayne and Terry Fortun

While we are extremely grateful for each and every donor that supports the Foundation, we feel exceptionally blessed for our relationships with long-term donors. Their support and commitment to our cause and efforts year after year are invaluable. Wayne and Terry Fortun fall into that donor group, and recently blessed the foundation with a very substantial donation to the new Cancer Center. We had the opportunity to sit down with Wayne and Terry to learn more about what drives their desire to support our organization. Wayne shared the following:

[Read more…]

Making transport possible

A message from one of our Grateful Recipients – Hutchinson Public Schools

3 of the 5 new wheel chairs that will serve as evacuation aids in the High School and Park Elementary

3 of the 5 new wheel chairs that will serve as evacuation aids in the High School and Park Elementary

One of the most recent grateful recipients was the Hutchinson Public Schools, District 423 with a $2,359.00 grant. Antonia Barrick, Health Services Coordinator for the District, shared how the Foundation grant supported the purchase of 5 new wheel chairs that will serve as evacuation aids in the High School and Park Elementary.

Barrick explained: [Read more…]

Announcing our 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Alex is pictured with mom Stacy, a Rehab Manager for Hutchinson Health and Dad Keith Messner.

Alex Messner, winner of the 2018 Hutchinson Health Employee Child Scholarship, is pictured with mom Stacy, a Rehab Manager for Hutchinson Health and Dad Keith Messner.

Congratulations to all of our 2018 Scholarship Recipients! We look forward to sharing updates from them in the future as they use their scholarships to further pursue their degree in health care. [Read more…]

One Gigantic Step Closer to Our Goal!

The Hutchinson Health Foundation Board pictured with Dr. Mulder

The Hutchinson Health Foundation Board pictured with Dr. Mulder

The Hutchinson Health Foundation Board cut the first check in the amount of $324,021.72 to Hutchinson Health to help pay for construction costs associated with the new Cancer Center. Proceeds for this first payout came from private donors, E-Stars, and the 2017 Gala. We are well on our way towards the $500,000 goal.

If you would like to learn more about the project and how you can support the new Cancer Center, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438, or Cary Linder at clinder@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4442.

Helping Hutch Health and Health Care Thrive

A message from our grateful donors – The E-Stars

E-Star Employees participating in the Winter Olympics Relay. Hutchinson Health Staff is set to raise over $56,000 in 2018.

E-Star Employees participating in the Winter Olympics Relay. Hutchinson Health Staff is set to raise over $56,000 in 2018.

The Foundation is fortunate to have several donor groups who support our mission and efforts on a continual basis. The Hutchinson Health E-Stars is one such group, and their commitment to the Foundation has a large impact that is felt throughout the community. Through the E-Star (employee giving) program, employees are able to make one-time or recurring gifts, payroll deductions and PTO contributions.  In the past five years our E-Stars have donated over $200,000 to the Foundation! The funds foster our grant and scholarship programs, and 2017 and 2018 funds will be applied towards the new Cancer Center.

We recently sat down for a quick Q&A with 2 Hutchinson Health Employee E-Stars – Kara Neubarth, Clinics and RT Operation Services Manager, and Stefanie Frank, Medical Staff & Accreditation Specialist. We wanted to learn why they choose to participate in this program, and what impact they believe doing so has on our community. [Read more…]

Keeping Cancer Care Close to Home

A message from one of our grateful recipients – The Cancer Care Team at Hutchinson Health

Part of the Hutchinson Health Cancer Team supporting the fundraising efforts of the new Cancer Center at the Havana Nights Gala in November

Part of the Hutchinson Health Cancer Team supporting the fundraising efforts of the new Cancer Center at the Havana Nights Gala in November

By now you have probably caught onto this quarter’s theme and focus – the much needed new Cancer Center coming to Hutchinson Health, and the Foundation’s commitment to support this expansion that will have a direct and positive impact on so many in our community. While we can ‘anticipate’ what this renovation will mean to those who have the opportunity to work daily in the new Center, we wanted you to hear from them first hand. Below you will find some thoughts directly from the Cancer Care Team – those who work diligently day in and day out to make those walking through their cancer journey as comfortable as possible. 

“Surprised yet humbled that the Foundation and community would be helping with the expansion of our Cancer Clinic” is how Jodi Kiefer, a Patient Access Scheduler at Hutchinson Health, explained it when she learned her team would be receiving a donation from the Foundation. “Fortunate to have a Foundation tied to our Hospital that is so committed to helping raise money for the different needs of our organization” is how Shari Heinen, a Chemotherapy Nurse at Hutchinson Health, feels. Shari is also “thankful for the Foundation’s E-Star program so that Hutchinson Health employees can easily pledge our financial support by donating a portion of each paycheck.”

When discussing why an expansion to the Cancer Center is so needed for our community, Jodi shared “the new Cancer Center will help our community by keeping quality cancer care close to home for many patients. A lot of times our patients don’t want to be traveling for hours just to get to and from their treatments.  If they have to come in once a week or more, that can really wear on our patients and their families”

Sue Alrick, a Chemotherapy Nurse at Hutchinson Health, echoed her co-workers statements. “I felt grateful and appreciative when hearing we were the recipients for our new Cancer Center. The Center will have additional treatment rooms, larger exam rooms and a waiting area. It will also include a procedure room for lab draws and other procedures. A calming space will also be available for both patients and families while waiting. Patients really appreciate the ability to have their treatments and care close to home. Myself, along with my co-workers are privileged to travel their cancer journey with our patients and their families, and welcome every opportunity to make that journey as comfortable as possible.”

If you would like to learn more about the project and how you can support the new Cancer Center, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438, or Cary Linder at clinder@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4442.


Our Grateful Donors – Guests Of Our 2017 Havana Nights Gala

Guests of our 2017 Havana Nights Gala

Guests of our 2017 Havana Nights Gala

If you are a regular reader of our quarterly newsletters you know that each quarter we feature one of our many Grateful Donors that make our work possible. As we sat down to plan this quarter’s newsletter, it was shortly after our Havana Nights Gala, held on November 18th. The energy and support we felt in the room that night was still fresh in our minds, and we realized it was nearly impossible to feature just ONE donor this month. Instead we wanted to take a moment to recognize EACH and every ONE of our guests that attended.  That night would not have been such an amazing success without the time donated by our Gala committee members to make it such a fun evening for so many – we had a record setting attendance! Nor could it have been such a success without the financial donations from all of our guests that evening.  The evening raised $121,161 in proceeds (more than double the $52,035 raised at the 2015 Grand Slam Gala)! 

Going into the Gala we had some pretty lofty goals, and we anticipated that it would be a great night of fundraising for the new Cancer Center, to which that night’s proceeds are going. And while we were confident and optimistic about the evening, we were deeply moved by your generous support during the Fund-A-Need. If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend that evening, Auctioneer Jim Fahey commanded the room with a very moving presentation, and a simple question “If you, or someone you know, life has been touched by cancer, won’t you consider helping fund just a half a square foot of the new Center?” To do so, all the attendees needed to do was raise 1 finger for each $250 donation they wished to pledge. The number of fingers that went up across the room…well there aren’t really words to describe it. It was inspiring to say the least. So to our donors that night – THANK YOU – what a fantastic kick off to move us along in this capital campaign! Thank you for your donations, and thank you for your continued support.

Our Amazing Donors

If you wish you could have participated in the fund-a-need that night, it isn’t too late. You can still make a donation to the new Cancer Center at Hutchinson Health by clicking the button below. With a $250 gift you are directly responsible for funding half a square foot in the new center and able to be a part of a great and impactful cause.

Make a Donation