Magee auxiliary group donates $354,016 to support Magee
Filed under Volunteer Service Boardand Foundation newsand Magee-Womens Hospital
The Volunteer Service Board (VSB) of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC made a $354,016 contribution to enhance breast cancer patient care, fuel prematurity research, better connect parents to their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and to better the hospital’s environmental footprint. The VSB’s generous contribution will support eight projects.
Sharon Shoodik, VSB president, says, “It is with great pride and pleasure we are able to significantly contribute to Magee. Through our efforts we are able to supplement funding and in some cases fully endow a wide variety of projects that range from research to patient care to education. The group’s hope is that our support of these projects will lead to discoveries and breakthroughs in women's health that will benefit local women, as well as women around the world.”
The VSB allocated $12,592 to enhance the care of Magee’s breast cancer patients through three projects. They earmarked $5,440 for dignity robes that provide comfort for women during radiation treatment because they only expose the breast being treated, while covering the other. In an effort to maintain a calm, relaxing atmosphere for the breast cancer patients who have appointments at the Magee-Womens Surgical Associates offices, the VSB agreed to fund $2,500 for the purchase and installation of a radio receiver and sound system. The soothing music will hopefully help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety patients may experience prior to their appointments. The VSB also granted $4,652 for robes for breast cancer surgery patients who are required to undergo a procedure on the 3rd Floor Breast Imaging Center prior to surgery. The VSB recognized the lack of privacy patients have in an ordinary hospital gown while traveling from the pre-operative area to the imaging center, which can only be accessed through a public corridor. These robes will provide warmth, privacy, and comfort to patients.
More than 540,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the United States, which puts them at higher risk for a variety of problems in childhood and later in life such as serious respiratory infections, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, and obesity. The VSB elected to support a long-term program that measures body mass and composition in 100 preterm infants at Magee in order to understand the contributors to infant obesity. Funding totaling $164,500 will be directed to purchase a PEAPOD Infant Body Composition Tracking System to conduct the study. The program is critical to develop strategies to improve infant outcomes that can be implemented before birth such as maternal nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy and infant feeding practices.
Parents deal with many challenges when their newborn faces an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Having to return to work and leaving their babies for hours at a time is unimaginable. To help curb parents’ anxiety, the VSB invested $67,600 to install a web-based camera system in the NICU providing family members an opportunity to see their baby from their home computer or mobile device 24 hours a day. This technology offers priceless benefits of irreplaceable real-time moments for families and their newborns.
The VSB’s last group of projects funded parallel the hospital’s green efforts. The auxiliary group allotted $90,150 to sustain Magee’s serene organic gardens, fishpond, and pergola. These areas provide peaceful places for staff, patients, and visitors to take a break from the bustling in the hospital. In another effort to go green, the VSB supplied $8,111 worth of green birthing kits to the parents of the more than 10,000 babies delivered each year at Magee. To prepare for each delivery, a custom pack is designed to have all the supplies needed by the physician or midwife. Transitioning to a green birthing kit will help to limit the amount of waste accumulated during delivery and cut down on costs. Lastly, the VSB will tag $11,063 for Magee to perform a nationwide survey of physicians to gather their ideas about environmental issues within hospitals and how these issues impact the health of their patients. Magee plans on implementing ideas to lighten their environmental footprint.
Thanks to the VSB’s thoughtful support each year, Magee is able to advance projects that benefit the region’s women and infants. Their commitment to Magee’s mission is as strong as ever, and without their efforts, important projects would not be funded.