2022 Q1 Grants to the Hospitals of Morton Plant Mease

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In the first quarter of 2022, thanks to the community’s support, Morton Plant Mease Health Care Foundation granted your not-for-profit hospitals nearly $4 million in support of eight programs and three capital projects. Please refer to the following descriptions highlighting key grants supported in the first quarter:

Mammography Voucher Program (MVP)
First started in 2000, this community breast health services program serves uninsured and low-income women with access to clinical breast exams, screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasound, MRIs, fine needle aspirations, image‐guided and surgical biopsies, surgical consultations, and treatment. An important component is the ability to provide education and access to these women about the importance of monthly self‐breast exams, area resources, breast cancer, and the steps they can take to minimize their individual risks of succumbing to the disease.

daVinci Xi Surgical System for Morton Plant Hospital
Robotically-assisted surgery, compared to open surgeries, are minimally invasive and can provide the patient with the added benefits of less blood loss, minimal scarring, less trauma to the body, shorter length of stay and lowering the risk of infection, resulting in faster recovery, fewer complications and overall improved outcomes. The system also allows surgeons better visualization, full use of their wrists, and better body ergonomics as they are generally sitting rather than standing. This helps reduce small, unintended hand motions that can develop with long operative times.

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Pulse Oximeter Pilot Program
Morton Plant North Bay is challenged with readmissions, especially with the diagnoses chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Heart Failure. The hospital’s interdisciplinary teams often hear patients get scared when they are short of breath, especially at night. This anxiety, combined with no health care providers available except the ER, lead to frequent readmissions that potentially could have been avoided. Pulse oximeters will be helpful in these situations as they could help the patient distinguish between anxiety and a real shortness of breath issue.

Morton Plant North Bay Hospital Catheterization Lab
Thanks to grant funding from Women in Philanthropy, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital will now be able to upgrade its cardiac catheterization lab with the Philips Azurion image guided therapy platform. This equipment allows clinicians to perform complex interventional procedures such as angioplasty, a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure that opens narrowed or blocked arteries that supply blood to the heart, more precisely. This technology produces real-time images that are projected on a 58-inch, HD screen with such clarity that it allows clinicians to navigate through the tiniest blood vessels with confidence.

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Atlas of Retinal Imaging in Alzheimer's Study / ARIAS
This grant helped continue the third year of ARIAS, a multi-site longitudinal study of retinal imaging biomarkers of disease risk, disease burden and disease progression in Alzheimer’s disease. The goal is to develop a point-of-care screening protocol, for older adults at-risk for Alzheimer’s and who may be in the preclinical stage of the disease.

Maternity Blood Pressure Cuff Distribution Program
Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal mortality world-wide. This project will fund home-monitoring blood pressure kits for women at highest risk for developing preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. This project will address some of the disparities in health outcomes that underserved and minority pregnant women experience with decreased access to prenatal care and higher rates of mortality and morbidity related to gestational hypertension. The goal of this program is to improve the outcomes of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy by educating, supporting, engaging the community and improving health care practices. The plan is to prioritize distribution to the highest risk, especially vulnerable women with lower ability to procure their own blood pressure cuff. Each kit will include: a validated automated blood pressure cuff, tracking log with a link to "How to take your own BP" video, signs and symptoms patient education sheet, rubber "still at risk" bracelet.

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Bereavement Care Coordinator
The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease follow 1,500 bereaved families per year with our current bereavement card follow-up program. This grant created a comprehensive bereavement support program for our bereaved patients, as well as the community at large. In addition, this allowed the chaplain who currently administers the program to focus more fully on patient care.

CareLift Van Transportation
CareLift is our free transportation service to get patients to and from medical appointments, as well as rides for patients being discharged from the hospital. The service began more than 20 years ago when volunteers expressed concern about patients who were too sick to get behind the wheel and lacked nearby family to drive them. This community outreach program boasts several minivans staffed with more than 150 volunteers who serve as drivers, aides and dispatchers.

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To learn more about the projects funded by your community investments at the not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease, please contact Eric Barsema, Director of Community Impact, at (727) 461-8647 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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