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‘Every act of giving has a story behind it’

Trinity Foundation supports patients

-Submitted photo
Patty Grossnickle, a registered nurse at UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, grabs a warm blanket off the shelf. Blanket warmers are an example of items that benefit patients that have been made possible by the Trinity Foundation.

The Trinity Foundation is the fundraising arm of the UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center organization, according to Carol Grannon, senior director of development for the foundation.

And she believes every donation has a story behind it.

“I think every act of giving has a story behind it,” Grannon said. “You don’t always know what motivates people to give, but I can guarantee that there is a story behind that act of giving.”

The Trinity Foundation supports a wide range of projects.

“We raise money for all aspects of health care under UnityPoint Health within the Fort Dodge region,” said Shannon McQuillen, TRMC vice president of people excellence.

-Submitted photo
The Trinity Foundation presents a check to UnityPoint Clinic for cold and flu kits. Pictured from left are Danielle Pingel, Alison Hanna, Carol Grannon, Kristine Harris and Jennifer Crimmins.

Over the years, the foundation has raised millions of dollars for dozens of projects, programs and grants. In an average year, the foundation raise about $1.1 million, Grannon said. In a year when the foundation is running a capital campaign, it might raise $3 million or more.

Capital campaigns are focused efforts for raising funds for specific large projects. For example, the Trinity Cancer Center was a $5.2 million project the foundation ran a capital campaign for. The Paula J. Baber Hospice Home was another $3 million project funded through a Trinity Foundation capital campaign.

When the foundation isn’t working on a capital campaign, it’s meeting with regular donors to find out what projects and programs donors are passionate about, fostering those relationships.

“We work with donors and we get to know them and we know what’s important to them and what they might want to help us fund,” Grannon said.

Many donors give their gifts in honor of or in memory of a loved one who was served by UnityPoint in some way.

“This gives them a vehicle for their healing,” Grannon said.

While some donors will give gifts directed toward specific areas like the cancer center or the hospice home, donors can also direct their gifts to go to what the hospital deems an “area of greatest need,” McQuillen said.

“That allows us the flexibility to fund wherever we really need the money,” she said. “We also utilize a portion of that every year and we allocate it to what we call our grant program.”

That usually ends up being about $200,000 annually, she said.

“We basically say to our employees, ‘Tell us what you need to be able to provide better patient care, to be able to provide a better experience for our patients,’ and they fill out a short grant request,” McQuillen said.

Through those grant requests, the foundation has funded purchases of surgical equipment and training mannequins, among other things.

“I think we’ve purchased every blanket warmer in this place, because blanket warmers are awesome and they have an impact on patients,” McQuillen said. “When you’re cold when you’re coming out of surgery, there’s nothing that feels better than a warm blanket.”

The foundation also supports patients directly in many ways. For patients who have transportation needs, the foundation provides bus passes. The Trinity Foundation will also help patients in need purchase prescriptions or home medical equipment.

The Trinity Foundation hosts two events a year to raise funds — a hospice ball in February and a golf outing in June that raises money for diabetes.

“We do an annual solicitation every year that starts in November where we send out letters asking that people donate with us,” Grannon said. “And we also work with individual people throughout the year, asking for their support. A lot of our donors just have a long history of giving with us.”

Hospital employees give generously to the foundation, Grannon said.

McQuillen herself gives to the foundation.

“One thing that really inspires me is to know that the gifts that I give back to Trinity foundation are impacting the people of our community, our friends, our neighbors, our family members, when they’re most vulnerable,” she said. “Because when you’re accessing health care, oftentimes you’re in a very vulnerable situation and to be able to know that through a donation that I’ve made, I can have that impact on people, on our patients, on our families and on our visitors.”

Every dollar raised by the Trinity Foundation goes back to the hospital and stays in this community, Grannon added.

Donors can mail gifts to the foundation at 802 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Grannon and McQuillen said donors can also stop by the foundation’s office, located inside the hospital, or give online at unitypoint.org/foundation.

“I’m just really proud of the work that we do,” McQuillen said. “It’s a great feeling to know that we are making a difference.”

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