Editor's Note: The following is a press release issued by the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation this week.
Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation(ERHF) would like to thank the 2012 major donors who dedicated charitable funds to support our community effort to help concur some of the most difficult health issues on the Plateau.
Since 1982, the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation’s focus has been on creating a healthier community. Today, our vision is to be the healthiest region in Washington State and we work hand-in-hand with community volunteers and leaders to find solutions to our region’s healthcare issues that move us forward to our vision.
ERHF began as community members gathering to financially support our small-town hospital. For three decades, the Foundation has offered unwavering support helping to build an emergency room in the 1980s and more recently contributing more than $600,000 in the building of the new St. Elizabeth.
In the 1990s, the Foundation began broadening its focus to the greater community’s healthcare needs and organized Community Health Summits to provide an avenue for identifying healthcare issues. The findings resulted in the formation of ERHF’s Rainier Foothills Community Network Coalition, which currently oversees five task forces working on community healthcare issues in the areas of youth substance abuse, violence prevention, mental health, hunger, and access to healthcare.
ERHF has partnered many years with other foundations and businesses. Thank you to the generous organizations who helped make 2012 a great success!
- Seattle Foundation - $10,000
- Mutual of Enumclaw - $10,000
- Muckleshoot Indian Tribe - $20,000
- Helac Corporation – over $9,000
- Cornerstone Club – St. Elizabeth - $6,000
- Franciscan Health System - over $20,000
- Walmart - $1,250
On an annual budget of $300,000, we provide a broad spectrum of services aimed at creating healthy communities. For the past year, we began running a free Care Van service that takes Plateau residents to health-related appointments. We partner with Enumclaw Youth and Family Services and Medical Teams international to bring a dental van to our rural area monthly. We provide grants for organizations such as the White River School District to provide students a drug and alcohol prevention curriculum and to the hospital to continue prenatal classes, cholesterol screenings and free mammograms. We continue to provide support for our local hospital, and we partner with the Enumclaw School District to provide a book bundle to each baby born at St. Elizabeth Hospital to encourage reading and nurturing.
During the past 30 years, ERHF has raised more than $4 million to support healthcare services for all residents in the foothills communities of Enumclaw, Buckley, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake and the smaller nearby communities of northeast Pierce County and southeast King County.
All this is done through the generous donations of our community, the hard work of our 15-member Board of Trustees, and the dedication of our staff, which includes an executive director, a part-time administrative assistant, a Care Van driver, and Youth Substance Abuse Coordinator.
We are a bedroom community, which recently saw its lumber mill and logging industry pull up stakes and its dairy industry dwindle to a handful of working farms. We are blessed this community is filled with people who rally around a cause and dig deep in their hearts to make things happen. Saving our hot meals program for homebound seniors is one example where the community rallies a diverse group of leaders to collaborate and focus on an important issue that needs to be solved.
Earlier this year, King County announced it would be eliminating funding for the Hot Meal Delivery program December 31, 2012. More than 65 community members turned out for the initial meeting to look at ways to continue the hot meal service, many volunteering that night.
In response, the ERHF Board of Trustees did not hesitate to form a partnership with the Enumclaw Senior Center to provide guidance and financial support. The bridge between the two developed the task force Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, which is run by an 11-member committee. Neighbors Feeding Neighbors’ focus is to continue the current level of hot, home-delivered meal service and to reach those seniors who may not otherwise have access to a warm meal.
Additional volunteers reach out to partner with the Enumclaw School District and underprivileged children in our community and will be starting a Weekend Backpack Meal Program for children who may not have access to multiple or nutritious meals on the weekend. Many children leave school on Friday and do not receive another warm healthy meal until Monday when they return to school. The weekend backpack program will provide 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and a few snacks.
Thank you to the many generous donors and volunteers that help make our programs a success and the Plateau a healthier region to live in!