Philanthropic Priorities to Strengthen Our Margin of Excellence
Since its founding in 1903, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital has been providing exceptional care for our community, rising above unforeseen challenges to maintain its world-class status.
Supported through the generosity of our community, the mission of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation is to help Sentara Martha Jefferson remain at the forefront of high-quality health care while retaining our personalized Martha Jefferson Caring Tradition. The generosity and partnership of our community helps make this a reality, and we are grateful for your dedication and support.
The modern-day challenges of COVID-19 underscore the critical role of philanthropic giving in supporting the unmet needs of our front-line healthcare workers, our patients and their families, and those most at risk in our community. Here are just a few examples of the ways in which contributed support continues to make a difference for the health and well-being of our community.
Cancer Screening, Survivorship and Treatment
Approximately 1,000 women are identified each year at Sentara Martha Jefferson as being at increased risk for developing breast cancer. As an integral component of our nationally accredited Comprehensive Breast Care Program, with community support the hospital has established the High-Risk Breast Cancer Program to go beyond what insurance providers will cover and provide genetic counseling, testing and education, exercise and nutritional counseling, and personal follow-up with a nurse navigator for those identified with increased risk.
Philanthropic support also is instrumental to our Cancer Survivorship Program, which helps patients transition into a new phase of life after cancer care. This program provides a network of services and support, including group and individual counseling, rehabilitation programs to aid patients with physical and mobility issues, and mindfulness-based cancer recovery workshops.
Educational and Professional Advancement for Nurses and Clinical Staff
Quality patient care is defined by the quality of our healthcare delivery team, which is why since 2013 the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation has funded educational scholarships through the Haden Nursing Institute. To date, more than 185 nurses have received scholarships, enabling them to return to school and earn advanced degrees. Evidence demonstrating the close correlation between advanced education, improved patient outcomes and reduced mortality is strong. Thanks to the community’s continuing support, Sentara Martha Jefferson is well on the way to realizing the goal of having at least 80% of our registered nurses attain at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing. We continue to seek community support to achieve this goal.
In 2017, the Foundation extended comparable educational opportunities to our non-nursing professionals through the establishment of the Clinical Education Center. Philanthropic gifts to this program advance the careers of clinical professionals, including respiratory, occupational and physical therapists, as well as medical technicians in the laboratory, pharmacy and operating room (see Hathaway story on page 41).
Programs for Patients and Families Living with Serious Illness
To support the medical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our patients and families, community gifts fund the Palliative Care Program and the Caregiver Center through the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation, offering a lifeline to patients and their loved ones as they navigate the complex and unfamiliar world of health care. Palliative care is a medical subspecialty that excels in symptom management and improving quality of life for patients with complex or serious illness. While the majority of palliative care patients seen in the outpatient clinic are receiving cancer care, the team also sees inpatients being treated for neurological, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, and, most recently, for complications arising from COVID-19. Philanthropic support is essential in providing palliative care and decision-making assistance to patients and their families throughout the progression of an illness, as well as at end of life.
Similarly, the new Caregiver Center provides a unique resource for families. Frequently ill-prepared for overwhelming circumstances, caregivers can be at a loss in navigating the healthcare system, coordinating and caring for loved ones, and balancing their own lives. Fully funded with private support, the Caregiver Center provides a lifeline of emotional support, assistance and guidance. Centrally located near the Phillips Cancer Center, the Caregiver Center offers an oasis for spouses, parents, children, siblings and friends as they support their loved ones.
Caring Acts of Kindness
The Martha Jefferson Caring Tradition is a culture of compassion, respect and kindness that defines Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. Through the Caring Tradition Fund, the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation supports thoughtful, personal touches that help reduce anxiety, lend comfort, and create better experiences and outcomes for patients and their families.
Every nursing unit and program at Sentara Martha Jefferson is touched by the Caring Tradition Fund, which is truly a flexible source of philanthropic support to help wherever the need is greatest. From the Acts of Kindness Program that enables staff to provide a small gift for a patient needing a little extra encouragement or support, to massage therapy for cancer patients, to the purchase of glider chairs for parents comforting children, to pet therapy programs for patients and staff, the Caring Tradition Fund makes possible large and small programs that, together, result in an unmatched margin of excellence.
Please consider a year-end gift to the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation. As always, 100% of your gift will go to programs and initiatives in our local community. Visit mjhfoundation.org or call us at 434-654-8258.
“I feel fortunate to have such a wonderful [program] right in our neighborhood. During all of my interactions with caregivers at Sentara Martha Jefferson, I always feel like I come first—and that helps motivate me to take care of myself.” —Tina LaRoche, patient
“The Sentara Martha Jefferson respiratory therapy team saved my life in 2017, inspiring me to establish the Marshall Make A Difference Fund to provide educational awards to members of the respiratory team. During the COVID pandemic, the respiratory therapists are truly on the front line and deserve our support more than ever.”—Lindsay Marshall, grateful patient and Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation Board member
“Thank you and your team for the compassion that is not learned and for kindness that goes far above and beyond.” —Jaimie Bachmayer, patient