Your gift gives comfort to expectant moms & dads

Centering Pregnancy Family

A happy family. Sudipta & Surya welcome their son, Adhrit.

Excitement. Nervousness. Delight.

Sudipta Chakrabarti and Surya Pathak had so many feelings when they found out they were expecting their first child. They were overwhelmed with joy, and like so many first-time parents, they were also overwhelmed with questions.

After an initial appointment, their obstetrician suggested they try the Centering Pregnancy program. They were skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try knowing traditional care was always an option.

By the end of the first session, their doubt was replaced with confidence. It was reassuring to meet 11 other couples all experiencing pregnancy together. Their group facilitator, Mallory Betz, and her team addressed concerns and described a plan for the next eight months, emphasizing that they would have as much support as they needed from the team.

“We didn’t feel alone,” says Surya. “We felt that we would have the support one expects from close friends—only better in this case as they are also trained professionals.”

 Read more…

Your gifts are changing traditional care for first-time parents

Expecting parents learn skills like how to swaddle during a Centering Pregnancy session.

Have you ever noticed the pride that comes with having (or being) a “Group Health baby”?

You might even know this joy first-hand.

At Group Health, we share that pride with you. However, we also knew we could make the pregnancy experience more meaningful for our members.

Karen McConnell, a midwife at Group Health Bellevue Medical Center, was interested in the concept of group prenatal care for quite some time. When the Centering Pregnancy model was written up in several midwifery and medical journals as an approach that was lowering pre-term birth in high risk populations, she and several other midwives were inspired to pilot the program at Group Health. They applied for and secured a Partnership for Innovation grant from the Group Health Foundation to do just that.

“The whole concept makes perfect sense!” says Karen. “In traditional prenatal care we see women with the same concerns and offer the same reassurance over and over. How much more meaningful for them to offer the advice to each other and have more time to talk about other things?”

Centering Pregnancy integrates three components of care: assessment, education and support. It also offers expecting mothers and their partners a community with whom they can experience the newness of pregnancy together, and share concerns and coping mechanisms.

Today, with support from incredible donors like you, Centering Pregnancy is in full swing at two Group Health locations: Bellevue and Tacoma. Read more…

Lee’s Legacy: A gift to educate future physicians

Lee was inspired to give back.

Lee was inspired to give back.

It seems like Group Health has always been part of Lee Scheingold’s life. Her connection began in 1969 when she and her late husband Stuart arrived in Seattle. They were immediately drawn to the organization’s unique nature and became members. Throughout the decades it became much more.

While her path was different than many, her emotional connection is familiar to what so many longtime Group Health members experience.

Lee landed an internship for her Master in Social Work (MSW) at Group Health, and not long after was hired by Group Health Mental Health Service. Soon she was asked to join the Family Practice Residency faculty and served as their first behavioral scientist before starting her own private practice.

Then came Stuart’s diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2003. Intense and supportive relationships were formed with his multiple care providers and staff.

“They loved us. A strong word, love, but it’s the only one that will do.”

When Lee formed her own donor-advised fund last year, she knew she wanted to support the Group Health Foundation.  Read more…

Meet our new Foundation President Diana Birkett Rakow

Foundation President Diana Birkett Rakow

Foundation President Diana Birkett Rakow

Dear Friends & Supporters,

It is an honor to introduce myself to you as President of the Group Health Foundation. Now more than ever, I am struck by the unique challenges and opportunities that we all share to transform health care and keep our community healthy. That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of the Group Health Foundation—an organization that with your support has brought innovative approaches to our patients since inception.

We have a long history of looking for new and better ways to care for our patients. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking through a different lens. When I need to shift my outlook, I can count on my grandmother. With 102 years of experience, she offers great perspective. I recently had the chance to introduce her to my son Gus (another adorable Group Health baby), and was reminded how good health enriches life at every stage.

One of my favorite things about my job is working with great people. As Laura Rehrmann passed me the torch, she reminded me that I have the support of so many incredible donors. And while I know that my grandmother has a unique perspective, so do you. That’s why I’ll be turning to you for guidance and experience along the way.

I look forward to meeting you in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, you can always drop me a note.

Sincerely,

Diana Rakow First Name

 

 

 

Do you want to leave a legacy?

Gift Icon

You can make a difference to Group Health patients long into the future. Making a big impact only takes a little planning. A bequest to Group Health Foundation might be the perfect solution for you if:

  • You want to say thanks to your care provider.
  • You have a will or living trust or are thinking about creating one.
  • You want to make a gift to Group Health while ensuring that you first take care of your family members.

Learn how you can leave a legacy – Contact Kathi Willis at 1-866-389-5532.

A community mobilizes to get more children immunized

Smiling school nurse pointing to sign

Peggy Sturm, school nurse at Maywood Hills Elementary

When Maywood Hills Elementary School in Bothell first joined the Group Health Foundation funded effort to raise immunization rates, only two-thirds of students were getting vaccinated.

The school nurse and parent advocates set out to change that, talking to people at community events, ball games, and in casual conversations about the role every family can play in preventing the spread of potentially deadly diseases.

“For me, it’s not just about keeping my kids healthy and safe. It’s about my civic responsibility of keeping our community safe,” says parent advocate Kendi Locknane.

Maywood Hills’ immunization rate has since jumped to 95 percent. The Washington State Public Health Association named the school a 2013 Health Champion.

Watch a video about the turnaround at Maywood Hills.

Giving patients and families cherished time at life’s end

Hospice HandsWhen his doctors first recommended hospice care, William McElroy wasn’t quite ready for it. Not at age 59.

“It’s a real struggle to face your mortality,” recalls William’s sister, Ginger Shorey.

But soon enough, William welcomed his Group Health hospice care team with the same strength and dignity he drew on to fight heart and kidney disease, diabetes and cancer. It helped that he already knew his social worker, nurse, and spiritual counselor. They were caring for his ailing mother.

“Jan, Carol and Jenny worked together so intuitively, absolutely seamlessly,” Ginger says.

William also worked with a Group Health volunteer to create an ethical will, which included an oral history of his family and a gorgeous work of calligraphy—the Chinese character for family or home—which the volunteer gave William’s family after he passed away.  Read more…

Honor your doctor with an investment in health

Doctor Patient iconIn proclaiming March 30 as an annual day of recognition for doctors—continuing a tradition that began in 1933—President George Bush honored “those who carry on the quiet work of healing each day in communities throughout the United States.”

This year, we encourage Group Health patients to honor their physicians on National Doctors’ Day with the gift of health—a donation to Group Health Foundation. Click on Donate Now, then follow the steps to make a tribute gift to recognize your doctor.

Sparing the environment, reducing the risk of overdoses

Woman placing unwanted prescription in binThanks to a grant from Group Health Foundation, a medication take-back program that Group Health pioneered several years ago remains one of the longest-running continuous programs like it in the United States.

Since 2006, Group Health has collected and safely disposed of more than 100,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications, keeping potentially harmful pollutants out of the environment and reducing the risk of poisoning, accidental overdoses or medication errors.

Anyone, not just Group Health members, can discard unwanted and expired medications in a specially designed disposal unit stationed near pharmacies at every Group Health Medical Center in Washington state.

Group Health is working with government and pharmaceutical industry leaders on ways to make this and other medication take-back programs available to more people, says Shirley Reitz, Director of Pharmacy Clinical Services at Group Health.

Learn more about the safe disposal of medication at Group Health. 

One donor, many gifts of health

Portrait of Phyllis Edwards and Daniel Berschauer.

Phyllis Edwards and her husband Daniel Berschauer.

Phyllis Edwards’ doctors at Group Health caught her breast cancer early. During her treatment, she felt reassured at every turn that she was getting the best care possible.

So the retired Group Health social worker jumped at the chance to lead a fundraising campaign for a digital imaging center that’s giving more people in Olympia access to mammograms in a warm and welcoming environment.

During the campaign she said, “I didn’t realize how easy it would be to leave a legacy to the Foundation by simply amending the beneficiary designation on my retirement account. I am still able to remember my family and Group Health.”

Phyllis has served on a Group Health Foundation Stewardship Committee, and gives to our annual fund.

Photo by Stephen Brashear