Cumberland Times-News

October 27, 2013

Hampshire Memorial Hospital fund raises thousands

Money used for programs, services

marla pisciotta
Cumberland Times-News

— ROMNEY, W.Va. — In less than two years, the Hampshire Memorial Hospital Development Fund has made great progress, said Neil McLaughlin, president of the Romney hospital.

“We ask for help from our employees first. We hold an employee campaign that lasts from March to the end of June. Employees can cash in unused vacation time or make a one-time donation from their pay,” Kelley Ritenour, development manager, said.

More than 60 hospital employees donate close to $14,000 a year.  

Part of Ritenour’s job is to go into the community and solicit funds from businesses and individuals. Funds are used for a myriad of purposes from helping obese children to purchasing needed equipment and educating and training staff.

McLaughlin said the fund picks up the loose ends of what wouldn’t necessarily be plan-ned in the overall scheme of the hospital.

In less than two years, the fund has sponsored a Fit-4-Kidz camp at the Hampshire Wellness and Fitness Center. “This is an obese camp. Ten children from the community are chosen each year to come to the center two days a week for six weeks,” Ritenour said.

The purpose of the camp is to teach kids healthy eating, how to make healthy snacks, exercise and swim. “In addition a parent for each child is offered a free membership at the center during the six-week camp,” Ritenour said.

The fund also has provided a defibrillator to the Augusta Church of Christ Community Center and funded a hearing device that is used on pediatric patients at the hospital clinic.

Funding is also supplied to patients in need. Once discharged and not able to pay for prescriptions, the fund kicks in to help.

For patients dropped off at the emergency room and not able to find a way home, the fund covers a taxi fare.

“We have purchased seven television sets for emergency rooms to improve patient satisfaction,” Ritenour said.

Education and scholarships are equally important for the committee. “We have set aside a book fund for the staff’s continuing education and health care,” Ritenour said.

All of the money raised in Hampshire County stays in the county. Donations are tax de-ductible.

Employees or the Wellness Center can put in a grant request from the fund for anything that would benefit a patient, staff or the hospital.

“These are things as a hospital we wouldn’t necessarily find ourselves doing,” McLaughlin said. Working with members of the community makes sure that all the needs are met.

“The committee is a nice blend of people trying to fund health-related needs not part of our base operation,” McLaughlin said. Members of each committee are either working or living in their specific counties.

The hospital committee includes Patty Wygal, John Zeilor, Eileen Johnson, Steve Slonaker, Sallie See, Teresa Dillon, Kevin Callanan, Jenny Grooms, Neil McLaughlin and Kelly Ritenour.

Hampshire Memorial Hospital is part of the Valley Health System. All the system’s facilities have a development or foundation fund.