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The Impact of Philanthropy

Grants and donations make it possible for Rush-Copley to live its promise of providing extraordinary patient care each and every time.  This promise is one that cannot be achieved without the involvement of numerous stakeholders who share in a common ideology that “together, we can make a difference.”

Rush-Copley Foundation gratefully acknowledges the many different partners who have intentionally chosen to invest in projects, programs, and initiatives that are elevating, enhancing, and transforming the health and wellness of the communities Rush-Copley is privileged to serve.  What follows are recent examples of the wonderful way in which, “together, we can make a difference,” is being realized.

Waterford Place

Waterford Place: Cancer Support Center

Proceeds from our Rich Harvest Classic golf tournament benefit Rush-Copley’s new cancer support center, Waterford Place, which will open in the winter of 2015-2016. While Rush-Copley currently offers many of the latest medical technologies available in fighting cancer, Waterford Place will be designed to provide additional psychosocial support not currently available within the Aurora and Kendall County areas. The center’s programs will include educational classes; counseling sessions; workshops and speakers; nutritional education; cooking classes; fitness programs; family support programs; meditation groups; complimentary medicine therapies such as Reiki and massage; art and music therapy; and networking opportunities. All services will be offered for free; Waterford Place will be entirely underwritten by philanthropy.

The annual Rich Harvest Classic takes place in July at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, recognized as one of the Top 50 courses in the nation. Hosted by Jerry Rich and the Rich Family, this event has raised a cumulative total of more than $2 million since it began 18 years ago. Rush-Copley has a very special friend in the Rich Family. In addition, the event receives strong support from community members and physicians, but particularly Rush-Copley’s corporate partners. Wholehearted thanks go to Sodexo, a long term donor to Rush-Copley and the premier sponsor of the event, for many years.

Step by Step to Wellness

A grant received from The Alfred Bersted Foundation will enable Rush-Copley Medical Center and VNA Health Care to continue co-managing the Aurora Community Heart Clinic, the only clinic that provides specialty cardiac care to vulnerable populations in Southern Kane and Kendall Counties.  The funding will also support the launch of a group education program, Step by Step to Wellness, that helps these heart patients adopt healthy lifestyle habits to reduce their risk of heart disease.  Program activities include individual clinic consultations, diagnostic testing, group education on preventing or managing cardiovascular and other chronic disease, cooking demonstrations, low-impact group fitness sessions, and community walking clubs.  Supplemental grant funds were awarded for this program to VNA Health Care from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Movement Disorders Class at the Healthplex

Programs for People with Parkinson’s and Other Movement Disorders

The Movement Disorder Program at Rush-Copley provides free education and support services to people with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. While the program received initial funding from a single benefactor, many friends of the hospital and grateful participants have been moved to also support the program. This comprehensive program includes support groups, art therapy, exercise classes, and a wide array of educational programs, offered to approximately 350 patients in Kane and Kendall Counties, Illinois. Movement Disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, impair many aspects of motion and mobility. However, the condition’s impact on emotions may have the greatest effect on one’s quality of life. For this reason, the comprehensive programming and services we offer our patients provide an invaluable source of friendship, self-confidence, purpose and peace of mind. Thanks to the camaraderie and knowledge these patients gain from each other, they also know they are not alone.

Scitech Exhibit

Heart-Health Exhibits for Children

Rush-Copley collaborated with SciTech Hands On Museum in Aurora to produce an exhibit on heart health targeting children in the 5-16 age range. An interactive video screen enables children to “see” how fast their heart beats after exercising, and they learn about the link between exercise, diet, sugary drinks and heart health. It was funded by a $10,000 grant from Making Kane Fit for Kids, the Kane County initiative to reverse childhood obesity by 2020.

The Rotary Club of Aurora also provided a grant to Rush-Copley for a SciTech exhibit on hand-washing, in order to reduce the spread of illness by teaching children about bacteria and the importance of effective hand-washing techniques. Both exhibits are located in the lunchroom at SciTech so children can immediately apply the lessons they learn.

Grants Support Increased Energy Efficiency

A grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and subsidies from Commonwealth Edison are enabling Rush-Copley to replace the lighting in our parking deck and ambulance bay with energy efficient LED fixtures.  The new fixtures include light sensors designed to turn the LED lights from 50% capacity (in a normal situation with no movement of vehicles or employees) to 100% full brightness when a vehicle or employee enters the space on foot or in a vehicle.  By reducing energy consumption, Rush-Copley will help the environment while also saving money.  The lighting retrofit is estimated to reduce the hospital’s energy use by 229,100 kilowatt-hours annually.

Rush-Copley Community Care Fund

As a not-for-profit hospital, Rush-Copley Medical Center provides advanced medicine with extraordinary care to each patient who enters our doors, regardless of ability to pay.  Now, philanthropy is opening up an additional way for us to help make healthcare more accessible to members of our community, such as those who cannot afford much-needed medical care at home after they have left the hospital.  Thanks to an outpouring of donations from Rush-Copley employees, a new fund, the Rush-Copley Community Care Fund, has been established to underwrite prescription medications, bus passes and homecare equipment for this vulnerable population.

In 2013, the Tellabs Foundation endorsed our commitment to our community by swelling the Fund’s capacity through a $50,000 matching grant.  Giving patients the medications, walkers or transportation they need not only speeds patients along the road to health, it helps to decrease the chances of readmission to the hospital.

Examples of patients who have been helped in this way include a 40-year-old man laid off from his job whose supply of medicine ran out before a new job started.  Without an income or employer-sponsored health insurance, he could not afford his prescriptions, fell ill and was unable to start work until Rush-Copley stepped in with medication assistance.  Another example was a 25-year-old student whose temp jobs did not include health insurance and whose parents were also uninsured.  A sudden wound infection required antibiotic medications that would simply have been unaffordable to this young woman without our help.  Another case involved a homeless legal immigrant who fell off a roof while working a day labor job, incurring severe arm and leg fractures.  Unable to put any weight on his leg, but also unable to use a wheelchair or walker because of his arm, he no longer met the homeless shelter’s mobility requirements.  Rush-Copley paid for his five-week stay at an assisted living facility, helped get him accepted into a job training program, and paid for his walker, transportation and medications.