Lancaster Physician Fall 2020 - 33

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Jennifer Groff, Vice President, Lancaster General Health Foundation; Gil Sager, Chairman, Board of Directors, Ephrata Community Health Foundation;
Teresa Rineer, Director of Development, Ephrata Community Health Foundation; Jessica Ritchie, Vice President, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation;
Kelly Altland, Associate Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Development and Alumni Relations, Penn State Health and the College of Medicine

"We see these as important efforts as we
support the health care system that works to
support health and well-being in our community," Groff said.
While community members have traditionally donated generously to support LG
Health, Groff, who has been employed by
the Foundation for eight years, five as vice
president, said that support soared during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We were overwhelmed by the generosity
shown during this pandemic," she said. "Hundreds of people sewed masks, donated PPE
(personal protective equipment) and meals, and
made monetary donations. People did not step
back, they stepped up. And that didn't surprise
me, because our community steps up for us
every single time."
Typically, the Foundation holds two signature
fundraising events each year, although both
this year were altered. Groff hopes to be able
to resume the events in 2021.
She thanked everyone who supports the
Foundation and the hospital, saying it would be
impossible for the Foundation's nine-member
staff to complete all its work on its own.
"I always say that we are supported by an army
of passionate and supportive volunteers," Groff
said. "We are very grateful for that."
Ephrata Community Health Foundation
The generosity of northern Lancaster
County residents has enabled the Ephrata
Community Health Foundation to spearhead
many successful campaigns over the years,
raising money to significantly expand the
WellSpan Ephrata Cancer Center, support
WellSpan Ephrata's response to COVID-19,
assist with the formation of a sexual assault
forensic nurse examiner (SAFE) program,

and support many other programs, projects,
and initiatives.
"If you appeal to a need that motivates
someone to respond, you can anticipate that
person will support the cause," said Gil Sager,
chairman of the Foundation's board of directors.
The Foundation in November 2019 launched
a $500,000 campaign to support the cancer
center renovation. Residents of Ephrata and
surrounding areas recognized the need for the
upgrade and responded enthusiastically, enabling
the Foundation to raise more than $632,000
in eight months.
"We had extremely broad support for that
campaign," Sager said. "The project was widely
accepted as a community need, and people
stepped up to support it."
When COVID-19 moved into the community, residents again answered the call, contributing
$35,000 and more than 200 in-kind donations
to WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital.
Over the WellSpan system, more than $300,000
was raised for COVID relief.
"We had a wonderful outpouring of support
from many people, including the Plain community," said Teresa Rineer, director of development
of the Ephrata Community Health Foundation.
"I feel that the pandemic has brought us closer
together as a community."
Sager noted the number of donors
to the Foundation doubled during the
recent campaigns.
The Ephrata Community Health Foundation was formed in 2013 when Ephrata
Community Hospital became part of WellSpan
Health, replacing a long-time Foundation that
had served Ephrata Community Hospital
before being dissolved in the mid-1990s. It

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33

PHYSICIAN

works to raise money in three primary areas:
community benefit, education and innovation,
and clinical excellence, with all monies raised
remaining within the northern Lancaster
County community.
Funds raised for community benefit support
the Ephrata Cancer Patient Help Fund, which
provides cards for gas, groceries, and incidentals
in order to relieve worry for patients.
"We want patients to be able to focus on
getting well, not worrying about how they'll
pay for groceries," Rineer said.
Money raised to support education and
innovation pays for education and developmental opportunities for nurses with a goal of
improving patient care. Nearly $300,000 in
funds earmarked for clinical excellence were
used to create a clinical simulation lab that uses
leading-edge technology to enhance clinical
training and patient care. With two full-sized
manikins, the lab is slated to provide training for
about 600 nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners,
and paramedics each year.
WellSpan Health is committed to local
hospitals remaining in their communities,
Sager explained, and allows money raised
locally to remain there. That is helpful to the
Foundation, as local residents seek to support
their local hospitals.
"People can see that we are operating for
Ephrata Community Hospital, and they like
that," he said. "Those who have a personal connection to a hospital will make a commitment
to help that hospital."
UPMC Pinnacle Foundation
The focus of the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation
is shifting in response to increasing need among
Continued on page 34



Lancaster Physician Fall 2020

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