According to GLH’s Foundation, Marketing and Communications Director Christine Hemphill, she and others associated with the hospital have been approached by various parties asking for ways they can help the facility remain open, and one of these has been an avenue for financial donations.
“I was called to the lobby last week to meet someone who was there to drop off a cash donation. I let him know that we were working on an avenue for gifts such as his, and that I would get back to him once a fund had been established. Because of these requests we are opening our Foundation for donations for those who would like to do so,” said Hemphill. This person who wanted to leave cash is not alone, mentioned Hemphill. “Former patients who are grateful for the care they received at GLH have been especially eager to contribute in a meaningful way,” she said.
The Foundation has non-profit 501(c)(3) status, so all donations are tax deductible. Hemphill stressed how these donations would be used, describing them as going to much-needed capital improvements and not salaries. Items such as roof repairs and air-handling systems are on the list for repair or replacement.
“Other individuals and business and civic leaders in the community have really stepped up in looking for opportunities to help,” said Gary Marchand, interim CEO of the hospital. He indicated this has included everything from contacting state and federal elected officials to engaging privately-funded consultants to help map out a viable plan.
The board and administrators of the hospital say that the gravity of the situation has started to become real to residents as they try to imagine life in this community without a healthcare facility and emergency department. They explain that while these will be true life and death situations, losing the hospital would not only affect current and future patients, but it would affect the families of employees who would be without a job and have a detrimental impact on the tax base. Local economic developers have described what a recruiting disaster it would be for new industries considering moving to Leflore County.
Yet according to Marchand, there is good news in the midst of bad. “We were thrilled to receive an A rating from the Leapfrog Group in December,” he said. According to their website, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are assigned to almost 3,000 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually and they have become the gold standard measure of patient safety, cited in MSNBC, The New York Times, and AARP’s The Magazine. Using more than 30 national performance measures,
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey produces a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. Only twelve hospitals in Mississippi received this most recent A rating.
“We are able to run a safe, high-quality hospital,” said Marchand. “Our challenge boils down to reimbursement numbers and our ability to get paid for our services,” he added.
“We have been touched by the individuals and businesses that have contacted us asking how they can make a donation,” Hemphill said. “Online donations can be made by visiting www.glh.org. Online payment options include credit and debit cards, Paypal, and ACH (electronic payment from a bank account). Checks can be mailed to GLH Foundation, ATTN: Christine Hemphill, 1401 River Road, Greenwood, MS 38930. For more information, please leave a detailed voice message for Christine Hemphill at 662-451-7548.”