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 or 320.484.4438, or Cary Linder at or 320.484.4442.

Engaging the community in interactive and imaginative play

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

Board Member Gail Gillard, Wheel & Cog Founder Jessica Sabrowsky, and Foundation Director Cary Linder

Board Member Gail Gillard, Wheel & Cog Founder Jessica Sabrowsky, and Foundation Director Cary Linder

What has the Hutchinson Health Foundation been up to? Recently, we had the opportunity to grant $3,920 to the Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson for their brand new “Backyard Explorers Exhibit”.

Jessica Sabrowsky, founder of the Wheel & Cog, shared how the Foundation grant supported a large portion of the new exhibit build, designed to provide an interactive indoor-outdoor experience for your little explorer, pilot or camper!

Sabrowsky explained:

“With the funding we have been able to bring an exhibit that serves as a platform for a lower sensory room with aspects that bring out nature. We tried to mimic parts of the Masonic River Front with the park, river, bridge or dock, and features that museum guests might encounter in their environment such as songbirds, rabbits, and outdoor hideaways. We feature large body play equipment such as a conveyor slide, and an airplane teeter totter that seats 7! It is delightful to know that the Hutchinson Health Foundation strongly supports the efforts of Wheel and Cog.” [Read more…]

Bringing fresh fruits and veggies to our children

A message from one of our grateful recipients – Power of Produce Club

Board Member Brandon Thiemann, wife Jillian and their son Theo with Foundation Director Cary Linder at the first Hutchinson Farmers Market for the 2017 season

Earlier this spring, the Foundation had the recent opportunity to present the Power of Produce (PoP) Club at the Hutchinson Farmers Market with $2,000 in funds to help the program reach additional children in our area. 

The PoP Club, first introduced into the Hutchinson area in 2016, has seen tremendous success in its early years. Designed to help educate and excite our youth about the importance of incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet, it is targeted at children ages 3-12. Each week, children receive $2 in the form of a wooden token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables and produce producing plants. The PoP Club engages children at the Farmers Market and empowers them to make healthful food choices. Farmers markets across the nation have implemented the program and documented the program’s positive impact on the fruit and vegetable consumption of children, as well as an increase in families attending the Farmers Market.

Karen M. Gensmer, registered nutritionist at Hutchinson Health and Chair of the Heart of Hutch Eat Smart Committee, shared how the additional funding from the Foundation for the PoP Club will have a positive impact on those within our community. [Read more…]

A New Inclusive Playground for All Bodies and Abilities to Play

A message from one of our grateful recipients – Elks Lodge Inclusive Playground Task Force

New Elks Park Inclusive Playground

New Elks Park Inclusive Playground

The Foundation had the recent opportunity to present the Elks Lodge Inclusive Playground Task Force with $5,000 in funds to put towards the installation of a new Inclusive Park Playground right here in Hutchinson.

This new playground will allow children of all abilities to participate, play, and enjoy the outdoors together. With an inclusive playground, the play components are inviting and usable by most any child, whether they are able bodied or physically challenged. While the nearest inclusive playground is 50 miles away, that is about to change. The city will soon have a 9,000 square foot playground at Elks Park, next to the existing space, with 25 important components designed for children of all abilities. [Read more…]

The ‘New Faces’ of Hutchinson Health

A message from one of our grateful Recipients

new adult intubation head

New adult intubation head for training

The Foundation recently had the opportunity to approve a grant request for training tools and equipment that assist in team training and procedures for staff in the following departments: Emergency Services, BirthCare, Medical-Surgical, and Intensive Care. [Read more…]

Bringing Autism Screening Home

A Message From One of Our Grateful Recipients – Mental Health Clinic Services

Recently the foundation accepted the grant application from the Mental Health Clinic Services and funded the purchase of a piece of equipment to aid in the diagnosis of autism. The ADOS, or Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, allows providers to accurately assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorders across age, developmental level, and language skills.

With the purchase of these materials, the Mental Health Clinic is working with a team including pediatricians, child psychiatry, child psychology, OT and speech to develop a specialized autism service line. [Read more…]

Scholarship Recipient Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson, daughter of Toni Peterson, Occupational Therapist for Hutchinson Health, was one of two 2015 recipients of the Foundation’s Employee Child Scholarships. To provide a better understanding of how these scholarships, made possible by our grateful donors, impact our youth, we asked her to share her thoughts. [Read more…]

Scholarship Recipient Lindsey Krenik

Part of how we make a difference is through the Foundation’s Scholarship Program. Each year, we present six $1000 scholarships to students in our local communities who will be entering studies in a health care related field.

In December we received a welcome note from past scholarship recipient Lindsey Krenik. She took time out of her busy schedule to share and update us on her experiences. We wanted to share her update with you so that you can see how your donations directly impact the youth in our community. [Read more…]

New Equipment to Bring Mom & Baby Together

Panda Warmer, Zoom Cart, and Fetal Heart Monitor that are now being utilized in the Hutchinson Health Birth Care Center

Panda Warmer, Zoom Cart, and Fetal Heart Monitor that are now being utilized in the Hutchinson Health Birth Care Center

The Hutchinson Health Birth Care Center was the very recent grateful recipient of the fundraising efforts at the 2015 Gala. We recently sat down with Dr. Zoulek, OB and Teresa Smith, Birth Care Manager & RN at Hutchinson Health, to discuss how the new equipment has helped both babies and mothers within our community. [Read more…]

Visualizing Veins & Easing Fears

Message From One of Our Grateful Recipients – AccuVein

Brandon Thiemann, CRNA demonstrating how the AccuVein works.

Brandon Thiemann, CRNA demonstrating how the AccuVein works.

The mission of the Foundation is to engage donors to assist Hutchinson Health in meeting the health care needs of its patients, residents, and clients. As a result, the Foundation has funded and supported countless health care programs at Hutchinson Health and within our community. Yet, we realize a lot of the work to match the intention of each donor with the needs of the health care community is done quietly behind the scenes. As a result, we want to be more forthright about sharing the stories from some of our grateful recipients.

We recently sat down with Brandon Thiemann, CRNA at Hutch Health, to discuss how a recent donation that made the purchase of an AccuVein possible and the impact it has had locally.  Here are a few thoughts from Brandon:

The AccuVein helping highlight the veins in Brandon's hand

The AccuVein helping highlight the veins in Brandon’s hand

“Patients will often say having an IV started is the most stressful part of the hospital experience. I know many of us have had at least one experience where it took more than one try to get that IV placed. Thanks to the Foundation’s hard work and generosity, Hutchinson Health now has a device that makes this process easier, and greatly improves the chances of success on the first try! This device, known as AccuVein, has greatly enhanced the level of care we provide our patients at Hutchinson Health.

The AccuVein device is mobile and can be used in any area of the hospital or clinic. It allows the health care provider to visualize veins that previously could not be seen, ultimately improving the IV starting experience and resulting in a more positive patient experience.”

When asked why he feels it is important to keep health care local in our community, this is what Brandon had to say:

“We are a community-based hospital and clinic, and we absolutely pride ourselves on serving our community. Often, we care for our families, friends, relatives, and acquaintances at some of their most vulnerable times.  The community depends on us to provide the best possible care we can, and they need access to this care without long or impossible travel times.  Thanks to donations from the Foundation for devices like the AccuVein, we can greatly enhance the services offered and provide the absolute best care we can to our community, which is a win – win.”

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