A mission to have a positive impact on the community by improving healthcare delivery and patient experience drives the Augusta Health Foundation. As part of that objective, the Foundation worked with internal department directors at Augusta Health to learn about new or expanded patient services and programs. The Foundation began asking for grant requests in 2015, and put together a Grant Committee comprised of volunteers from the Foundation Board to review these requests — potential investments in new and innovative programs that would boost quality of care.
This year, the committee reviewed a number of exciting projects and funded six that promise to bring new technologies, approaches and care to the community.
“When the committee evaluates a proposal, they look deeper than what’s on the application,” says Foundation Director Tami Radecke. “They truly work to make sure that what’s funded and implemented will be meaningful to patients and the care they receive.”
This year, the committee had $80,000 in grant funds for awards, and each of the projects explained below received a portion of that money:
Managing Health Outcomes
Providing equipment and self-management demonstrations, this program began with a Foundation grant in 2015. Since then, it’s had strong success in helping participants manage their blood pressure and COPD symptoms by measuring key metrics for their health. This year, grant funds will help the program continue to improve health outcomes through education about disease management skills.
Simulation models are an essential part of training programs for basic life support, advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support. This program will help implement advanced simulation so that Emergency Department staff can use the strategy for a wider variety of scenarios. The iSimulate technology will also enhance the training programs in Augusta Health’s Clinical Education Department so that nurses can gain experience with scenarios like troubleshooting a chest tube or detecting a stroke.
Inpatient Diabetes Management Program
Sometimes, patients with diabetes aren’t able to purchase glucometers and glucose testing supplies that would help them manage their diabetes more effectively. Other times, insurance might cover the cost of a glucometer but not the testing supplies. This program helps provide that equipment as well as education about how to properly use it, so patients and their families can achieve better diabetes management.
Fit 4 Life
Augusta Health Fitness currently has 83 active community members in its Fit 4 Life program, which provides fitness for those who have a chronic or metabolic disease, and who can’t afford a fitness membership. Grant money will expand the program so more community members can join and experience the quality-of-life gains of regular physical activity.
iPad Stroke Therapy Program
This project will offer higher-level stroke patients the ability to interact with an iPad using various therapeutic applications assigned by their speech, occupational and physical therapists. The applications will address cognitive, linguistic and physical skill sets such as word finding, language comprehension, memory recall, cognitive processing, visual tracking, writing dexterity and physical mental practice.
Mechanical Chest Compression Device
This device provides consistent and improved CPR when compared to conventional hands-on CPR. Studies have shown that well-performed CPR with minimal pauses and high rates of compression increase survival after cardiac arrest. This technology is critical to saving lives in the Emergency Department.
Radecke says that the Augusta Health community is already seeing the results of some of these projects. Not only do they benefit patients, but they also give staff more resources.
“Our staff is so appreciative that these grant funds are available,” Radecke notes. “They truly love their patients, and being able to implement programs and innovations like these propels patient care forward.”