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Perspectives

residents of its service areas. Foundation Vice
President Jessica Ritchie said the organization,
which works to support seven UPMC hospitals,
including UPMC Lititz, is increasingly focusing
on issues such as homelessness, poverty, and
food insecurity within the communities its
hospitals serve.
Though already present, those problems have
been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,
which caused many people to lose their jobs.
"As a Foundation, we were already beginning
to move more in the direction of community
health," Ritchie said. "But COVID really
accelerated the need for us to address those
kinds of issues."
The UPMC Pinnacle Foundation is not
working alone to address these needs but
partnering with WellSpan Health and Penn
Medicine Lancaster General Health.
"We need the heath care systems to come
together and work on solving these big problems," Ritchie said. "And the health care systems
must work with the United Way and the food
banks and the Community Foundation to think
about how we can provide for all these community needs. It's a job that requires everyone
to work together."
In addition to its community health focus,
the Foundation works closely with hospital
administrators and staff to determine the particular needs of each institution. With limited
visitation during the pandemic, UPMC Pinnacle
Foundation purchased iPads to enable patients
to communicate with family members. At
UPMC Lititz, the Foundation bought cameras
for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
so that anxious parents could remotely watch
their babies.
"We wanted to let patients and their families
know we understood that the situation was not
ideal," Ritchie said.
The Foundation is working hard to
cultivate donors and build relationships
throughout the UPMC service area. It
is grateful for the support of the Lititz
community, many of whom have responded to positive experiences with UPMC

Lititz Women's Place, a designated BabyFriendly Hospital.

for a patient, their support ensures that certain
programs are able to run."

"We have a lot of patients who are happy to
support our efforts because they've had such
a good pregnancy and childbirth experience
in Lititz," Ritchie explained. "People love
our nurses."

According to Altland, the job of the Hershey-based development team is not to fund
the day-to-day operations of Penn State Health,
but to provide for needs that are "above and
beyond" in the areas of education, research,
patient care, community health, and children's
programs. Despite uncertainty caused by the
COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Health
Development raised nearly $54 million during
its 2019-2020 fiscal year.

While the need is great, Ritchie is optimistic
that with community support the Foundation will be able to meet its goals and make
a difference.
"It's a difficult task, but we are working hard
to make the connections we need," she said.
"The outpouring of support we saw during the
COVID pandemic has been amazing, not just
for our patients and staff, but for members of
the community who need some help. People in
Lancaster County are very community minded
and generous, enabling us to work to impact
everyone from babies to elderly residents. The
problems are large and daunting, but we feel
very driven to help."
Penn State Health
Employing a donor-focused approach, the
Penn State Health development team works to
connect the passions of people who give with the
greatest needs of the university health system.
"My job is to find out what people are
passionate about - what matters to them,"
said Kelly Altland, associate vice president and
chief development officer of Development and
Alumni Relations at Penn State Health and the
College of Medicine. "And then I help them
see how that passion aligns to our priorities."
People give according to their interests, Altland explained, and her team puts their gifts
to work. Whether it's contributing to efforts at
Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey, supporting medical practices in Lancaster County
or supplying funds for the nearly completed
Hampden Medical Center in Cumberland
County, the Penn State Health development
team strives to improve the lives of individuals
and communities.
"Every day our donors are impacting lives,"
Altland said. "Whether that's helping to build
a new hospital or providing art therapy services

LANCASTER

34

PHYSICIAN

"The way we do our work has really changed,
but the motivation and individual passions of
our donors have not changed," Altland said.
More than 80 percent of giving to Penn
State Health comes from individuals who
connect with the mission and values of the
health care system.
"Think about what you believe in and
care about, and your resources will follow,"
Altland said.
The development department is growing
and changing along with Penn State Health,
which currently has five hospitals within its
system: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey
Medical Center, Penn State Children's Hospital
(Hershey), Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital
(Hershey), Penn State Health St. Joseph (Reading), and Penn State Health Hampden Medical
Center (Enola).
In Lancaster County, Penn State Health
operates a network of primary and specialty care
providers that benefit from Penn State Heath
development funding.
Altland said the department is expanding its
giving to member medical practices and programs in Lancaster County and supporting the
Lancaster Medical Center, a Penn State Health
hospital currently under construction in East
Hempfield Township.
"We are fortunate to have incredible health
care in central Pennsylvania and individuals
who care about making a difference and helping
others," Altland said.


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Lancaster Physician Fall 2020

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