Passavant Hospital Foundation

HOW A HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE BECAME A PATIENT, THEN A GENEROUS DONOR

Matt Morrow, 51, is a senior manager in Information Technology at UPMC Passavant. He has worked at the hospital for 18 years, so when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer two years ago, there was never any doubt where he would seek treatment.  “Like the commercials say, ‘I didn’t choose to get cancer, but I did choose UPMC,’” he says. “The people here are like family to me, and this is my second home.”  Since his diagnosis, Matt has endured 37 chemotherapy treatments, each lasting upwards of five hours.  “I’ve worked at the hospital all these years but now I realize what the patients go through,” he said.

The Keystone Oaks varsity football team, where Matt’s son, CJ, is a senior player, showed its support by accepting donations and selling wristbands and t-shirts for Matt’s fight against cancer. They sold out of 200 shirts and 200 wristbands in just two games.   “Two years later, people are still wearing them,” CJ says. “It’s great.”

Matt took the money that was raised — all $1,250 of it — and donated it to the Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund, which helps qualifying oncology patients get free wigs, medication, transportation to appointments and more.

“Now that I understand what people go through after a cancer diagnosis, I want to help,” Matt said. “I heard about one patient who had to spend $25,000 on medicine alone. Donating to the Cancer Care Fund was one way I could help.”

Matt’s medical oncologist, Jennifer Osborn, MD, was not surprised to hear of his generosity. “Matt’s cup is always half full,” she said, refering to his ever-optimistic attitude.


HELPING PATIENTS BREATHE EASIER IS ONE NURSE’S MISSION

Jaime Martin’s grandfather died from lung cancer in 2012. For the last few months of his life, he had required portable oxygen.

“I remember a particular appointment taking longer than expected. Fortunately, the hospital was able to fill his portable oxygen tank so he could comfortably breathe for the car ride home,” said Jaime, a nurse practioner in the surgical department at UPMC Passavant.

Oxygen is not optional for this population and Jaime believes it should be readily accessible at all times. In the past, Jaime had encountered issues with patient discharge at UPMC Passavant because patients forget their portable oxygen tanks at home or the tank was not at an acceptable level for discharge.

“Many patients utilize portable oxygen for a variety of reasons and assume that the tank can be filled or provided by the hospital,” she explained. “Unfortunately, this was not a service our hospital could provide, so patients often had to extended their stays, sometimes resulting in overnight admission to the hospital.”

To remedy the situation, Jaime submitted a grant proposal through Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund. 

She requested enough funding for three portable oxygen tanks, carts and regulators that could be loaned to patients on a short-term basis upon release from the hospital. She also asked for monies to cover the costs for on-going oxygen refills. 

The Foundation approved the request and the equipment was delivered in November.  The tanks currently serve patients, completely free of charge, in multiple departments throughout the hospital.

“Our goal is to provide each patient we encounter with exceptional care and this service makes it possible to discharge patients to their homes with their oxygen needs met,” Jaime said. “I want to thank the Foundation for making it possible.”

Save the date for the 7th annual Passavant Hospital Foundation Run/Walk on Friday, August 16, 2019 at North Park. 
Passavant Hospital Foundation’s 6th annual 8K Run/Walk at North Park in August raised $14,136 for the Foundation’s mission! Participants, ranging in age from 9 to 83, braved the rain for a soggy but fun family event, pictured at left.


“LIGHTS OF LOVE” TREE HONORS AND MEMORIALIZES LOVED ONES WHILE BENEFITING HOSPITAL PATIENTS

For the 32nd year, the “Lights of Love” tree was displayed in UPMC Passavant’s lobby throughout the holiday season. Each light and every dove ornament memorialized or honored a special person for a small donation.

Proceeds benefit the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary, which uses the funds to buy things like the Patient Transport Department’s ergonomic wheelchairs for easier in-and-out access; AccuVein illumination devices that provide great vein visability for IV access for the Cardiovascular Services/Radiology Departments; and more. This year, $2,140 was raised, and will be used to benefit UPMC Passavant Hospital patients, their families and hospital staff. 


WHEN RECOVERY IS ALL FUN AND GAMES

 

April is Occupational Therapy Month. To celebrate, therapists and aides at UPMC Passavant volunteered their time to hold the first-ever Game Night for their Rehab Unit inpatients on April 26, 2018.

Game Night provided physically and intellectually stimulating games — and a lot of fun and laughs — for those working hard to develop and maintain healthy bodies and minds.

The goal was to help improve the patients’ experience in the hospital,” explained Rehab Unit Supervisor Gabby Mosso, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM. “We tried to think of games the patients would have fun playing, and games they all could participate in, whether it was a low-level skill or high-level talent. It was less about intervention and more about fun,” she said. “They had a great time.  “The event was very well received.”  Patients competed in a variety of competitions, including corn hole, ‘Name That Tune,’ Wii bowling and much more in the rehab gym, while bed-ridden patients enjoyed card games, crossword puzzles and word searches.

All participants enjoyed a vast array of prizes, including reachers, grabbers, long-handled shoe horns, long-handled sponges, stress balls and hairbrushes.  “I thought Game Night was great. It was a lot of fun,” said a rehab patient named Robert.  The fun and games were offered from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Between 80 and 100 patients participated.  “I know the patients loved it because they had to leave at 5:30 p.m. for dinner, and by 5:45, they were already rushing back to the gym to play some more,” Gabby laughed. “I know the therapists loved it, too, because they asked me if we could hold a Game Night every month,” Gabby added. 

The therapists and aides worked hard to organize and coordinate another Game Night six months later in October, just in time for Physical Therapy Month. “We called it ‘Autumn Fest’ and included some fall crafts in addition to the games,” Gabby said. “It was just as fun and well received as the first Game Night!”  The climax of the evening was a giant game of Bingo in the rehab gym. After each round, winners got to choose their prize. By the end, they were grabbing handfuls of items from the prize basket.  “I won a great squeeze ball for my hand that was affected by a mini- stroke. I also got a deck of cards so I can play Solitare or games with the kids later,” Robert said.  Passavant Hospital Foundation provided most of the games and prizes for both Game Nights.

 

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