Archive for Thursday, June 22, 2006

Local residents join LMH efforts

June 22, 2006

Residents of Baldwin City embrace the benefits of living in a small town; low crime, less traffic, less commotion, and everybody knows your name. But an added benefit of Baldwin City is its close proximity to Lawrence, which provides big-city services, the most important of which includes hospital care. And now, to show how much they value those services, the citizens of Baldwin are rallying around the $8 million capital campaign currently underway at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. About 30 people have joined the campaign so far, and that number is expected to rise over the next several weeks.

The campaign is sponsored by the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association (LMHEA) in support of the $40 million campus expansion and improvement project slated to begin in the fall. The plan calls for a new emergency department, new birthing rooms, reconstruction of the surgery department and the conversion from semi-private rooms to all-private rooms. With population on the rise in Baldwin City, the improvements will directly impact the community's quality of care.

Sue Brown, life-long resident, and director of Vintage Park at Baldwin City, recently joined the campaign as one of eight vice-chairs for the campaign's Baldwin City Division. Not only does she support the campaign because of what it personally means for her family, but also because the 40 residents of her facility rely on LMH almost daily for responsive, state-of-the-art care. "Baldwin needs to be supportive of this campaign," Brown said. "LMH is, in many ways, our lifeline."

Hospital statistics support that claim. In 2005, LMH logged 7,200 patient visits by Baldwin City residents. Additionally, the hospital owns Family Medicine of Baldwin, where Kevin Hughes, M.D., and David Jones, D.O., logged 9,000 patient visits the same year.

Bob Harvey, LMH Director of Family Practice Clinics, looks forward to offering improved care to patients of the Baldwin City practice. He said that with the continual increase in patient population, comes a greater need for hospital services. According to Harvey, it is not uncommon for at least one patient per month to go directly from the Baldwin office to LMH for urgent care. "The more services and better facilities provided by the hospital, the better and more timely care our patients receive," he said.

Harvey expects the community to respond positively to the campaign. "On every level, there is a great relationship between Baldwin City and Lawrence," he said. "But regarding LMH, the general feeling is 'that's our hospital, too.'"

Kathy Clausing, LMHEA vice-president and chief development officer, said she is pleased with the Baldwin area's response to the campaign, and predicts supporters will be successful in reaching their goal of earning $100,000 on behalf of the community. She said Baldwin City's participation in the campaign is critical to the success of LMH. "As LMH becomes a regional leader by way of its cutting-edge services, it is important to have people of the surrounding communities feel invested in their hospital," she said. Clausing, who serves as the campaign's driving force and strongest advocate, added that although Baldwin City was her first attempt at recruiting volunteers from the outskirts of Lawrence, plans include soliciting support later this summer from Eudora and Tonganoxie, as well.

In addition to caring for the community in its traditional sense, a successful Lawrence Memorial Hospital will also result in a healthier economy for Baldwin City. Currently, Family Medicine of Baldwin operates on a budget of $2 million per year, including salaries paid to Baldwin residents. About 50 LMH employees live in Baldwin City. The hospital is civically connected, as well, offering community education programs and participating in the annual Baldwin City -- Baker University Community Wellness Festival.

Currently, the campaign has reached over $5.7 million. Anyone interested in making a contribution should contact Clausing at 785-749-6134.

LMH Capital Campaign, Baldwin City Division

Honorary Chairs
Ivy Hey
Dan and Carolyn Lambert

Working Chairs
Bill and Sha Harmon

Roger and Jan Boyd
Martin and Barbara Pressgrove
Jim Sears
Ivan Huntoon
Sue Brown
Dave Mercier

Patty Wiseman
Kathy Jardon
Jeff and Robbyn Van Horn
Ron and Merrie Skaggs
Gary and Chris Underwood
Bill and Anita Neuenswander
John and Becky Thomas
Pam Colson
Roberta Gloshen
Amy Cleavinger
Brian Messenger
Charlene Potter
Mary Jane Chubb

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