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POSITIVITY IN ACTION Bronson Health Foundation Impact Report

As we reflect on all we accomplished in 2019, we can’t help but see it within the context of all that has transpired in the first part of 2020. We are reminded of the magnitude of work ahead as we are impacted by a global pandemic and a national movement focused on deeply rooted racial inequities in our communities that affect healthcare outcomes. Your support — past, present and future — is very much appreciated. Bronson Health Foundation’s 2019 Impact Report shows that through your generosity, we were able to make impactful investments to lift up our patients, families, team members and communities. As you turn the pages ahead, you’ll see a glimpse of how Bronson Health Foundation funds are making a difference. We’ll show you how a new piece of high-tech equipment is giving cancer patients in Battle Creek an improved experience. We’ll introduce you to an employee who reached out for help when she didn’t have anywhere else to turn. You will also learn how our work to support children’s health includes care received at Bronson Children’s Hospital and, at times, psychological support for children at home. We hope these and other stories highlight how vital your role is as our friend and donor. As we look to the future, we invite you to join us in our pledge to work together to advance the health of our communities with compassion, equity and thoughtful stewardship. The healing power of kindness is present in every gift. It is our privilege to pass it on.

Von Washington, Jr. Board Chair Bronson Health Foundation

Terry Morrow Vice President of Development Bronson Healthcare


Each day, we are inspired by our patients


who courageously face challenges, our employees who


overcome hurdles, and our donors who generously give.


Every story provides a window into the true impact of giving.



Get a close-up look at how our youngest patients benefit from your generosity. Hear from a patient living with ALS and see how our team advocates for him. Read how a Bronson team member received support when facing a crisis. Meet a patient receiving assistance as she faces cancer for the second time. Learn how doctors are working together to provide mental health support to young patients.

See how our Battle Creek Cancer Care Fund removes barriers for patients.

9 Distributions: Get a breakdown of the many ways Foundation funds helped in 2019.

15 See a list of the many funds and endowments available to support.


Read about a young man who left a lasting legacy to help hospitalized children. 3

“ I know they have my back, and they are going to take care of me.



A Team to Count On As Destiny Bowens-Jefferson went in for her most recent surgery, she and her pediatric surgeon, Dr. Michael Leinwand, sang lines from one of her favorite songs, “Happy.” That kind of positivity comes from a bond built between a care team and a 7-year-old who has already spent more than 300 days of her life at Bronson Children’s Hospital. “Destiny was born with a very rare birth defect,” explains her mom Dionne Bowens. “Her lower esophagus was not connected to the upper. So the tube that runs from your throat to the stomach wasn’t there.” Dr. Leinwand performed Destiny’s first surgery when she was just five days old. Over the next seven years, many surgeries would follow to treat her complex digestive system, including the repositioning of Destiny’s stomach. Dionne says she gets emotional talking about

Dionne Bowens and Destiny Bowens-Jefferson

her many experiences that make the Children’s Hospital so exceptional. “All of it, child life, the parent liaison, all the doctors and nurses…until Destiny is grown, this is the hospital where she will go.” Destiny puts it simply, “I know they have my back and they are going to take care of me.” In addition to her medical team and the many services supported by the Children’s Hospital Fund, Destiny says prayer and her family and friends help get her through. “I love Team Destiny!” she exclaims. Dionne knows the team includes some people she’s never met — the community members who donate to make sure children’s health is supported in our region. “I say thank you to those who have made an investment. It truly does make a difference. What Bronson Children’s Hospital has done for my daughter and so many other families is absolutely priceless.”



A Life Enhancing Gift Barry Peccola says it’s no exaggeration to state his life “has been turned upside down and inside out by ALS.” He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in June of 2014. He went from being a soccer player and distance runner as a younger man to “a guy currently confined to a power wheelchair and unable to take even one independent step.” Barry notes the progression of his disease has thankfully been slow and that pace has allowed to him to adapt to ever increasing physical limitations. Helping him along the way is the team from the Bronson Neuroscience ALS Clinic, which he visits four times a year. While at the clinic, Barry is cared for by Dr. Michelle Crooks and nurse Libby Austin. “Libby is a kind, supportive and professional jewel who has gone the extra mile for me so often, I have lost track of all she has done for me.” He also credits Dr. Crooks for being an advocate. “While there is no effective treatment and certainly no cure she can offer me, she is a compassionate and competent physician and she has provided me with top notch medical care on my ALS journey.” At the clinic, Barry also sees a speech pathologist, respiratory, occupational, and physical therapists, and several other specialists depending on his needs at the time of his visit.


“While clinic days are tiring, being seen by all the team members in one place saves me going to a host of different offices. Given the exhaustion associated with ALS, any time I can cut down on preparing to go out in the community is a blessing. Plus, we always manage to share a laugh or two during our interactions. What medicine is better than laughing in the face of a fatal disease? Take that, ALS.” Barry is thankful for the donors who support the clinic through the Robert A. Fabi Neurosciences Fund. “They are providing a life enhancing gift to local ALS patients and their families while also helping make Kalamazoo a more compassionate community. If the clinic were not funded, local ALS patients would be forced to drive to Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor to receive the same level of care. The donors are making a monumental difference in the lives of those of us who struggle to survive one day at a time.”

“ What medicine is better than laughing in the face of a fatal disease? Take that, ALS.


Libby Austin, RN, and Barry Peccola 7

Accelerated Care When Tom and Tammy Lockyer first started visiting the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center for Tom’s prostate cancer treatment, they didn’t know what to expect. They left feeling cared for and confident in Tom’s treatment plan. “From the time you push the button on the door to enter, to the time you leave, they treat you like an individual,” says Tammy. Tom says he was surprised when doctors told him about the Center’s new linear accelerator, which was purchased, in part, with support from generous donors to the Bronson Health Foundation. The new machine would expedite his radiation treatments. “This is really top notch. I knew there was a lot of technology out there, but I didn’t realize it would be in Battle Creek. They are really ahead of the game,” says Tom. The accelerator is faster, reduces the radiation dose, and has enhanced tumor targeting. “It makes it so Tom has shorter treatments and doesn’t experience as much of the side effects and the dread of going every day. He just doesn’t have that,” explains Tammy. 8

Tom and Tammy Lockyer

That, along with the expert staff, makes all the difference. “It lifts you up and it makes you sometimes even forget why you are here, and that helps a lot.”


gas cards provided

round-trip taxi rides

dietary supplies provided

prescriptions filled

mobility transport trips

meals during infusions







Honoring Our Veterans In honor of Bronson employees and their family members who have served in the armed forces, Bronson Health Foundation commissioned four pieces of artwork for the system’s four hospitals. The art, titled Heroes Among Us, is a tribute to veterans and their service to the nation, our communities and to the Bronson Healthcare system. This was made possible by generous donations to the Foundation’s Veterans Fund. The pieces are made with watercolor and graphite pencil on canvas by local artist Andrew J. Woodstock, a veteran of the United States Air Force.


“ It was hard to ask for help, but I knew with my husband being sick, I couldn’t just tough it out.

Cindy Adams 10


Always There to Help For 24 years, Cindy Adams has helped to keep Bronson Methodist Hospital’s patient care areas and offices clean and safe. “I love working at Bronson,” Cindy says. Outside of work, Cindy cares for her husband who has stage four cancer and can’t work because of his illness. “He used to make great money,” Cindy says. “But with him going through chemotherapy, along with the house and car payments, it’s been tough to save money.” Last winter, the furnace went out and couldn’t be repaired. “I was struggling to figure out a way to buy a new furnace. I knew in the back of my mind that Bronson has a fund that might be able to help. It was hard to ask for help, but I knew with my husband being sick, I couldn’t just tough it out.” Cindy applied for assistance from the Employee in Crisis Fund, and received funding to pay for a new furnace. “I felt overwhelmed that they gave it to me. I’m so thankful for what they could do for me as an employee. It’s so reassuring to know the Bronson Health Foundation is there when you need it.”



Facing Round Two Tyesha Anderson was 19 when she first faced cancer. Now at 29 she’s going through it again. “The first time, I had stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Tyesha explains. In her late teens, Tyesha was cared for by the team at Bronson Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic. After chemotherapy and radiation, she went into remission. Still, Tyesha knew her early cancer care could have consequences down the road. “Because of the radiation I received to fight the lymphoma, doctors told me I was at greater risk for breast cancer.” In 2019, Tyesha was in the shower when she felt a knot under her armpit. “I had a biopsy, which confirmed it was cancer. I started chemotherapy at Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center. Once the tumor shrunk, I had a double mastectomy.”


After surgery, she started oral chemotherapy to make sure the cancer stays at bay. “I have to take 120 pills in 14 days. It costs a lot,” Tyesha says. With being off work, she couldn’t afford it. The Cancer Care Center’s financial navigator stepped in to help. “She signed me up to get assistance through the Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund,” explains Tyesha. “I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for my medicine. I am so grateful for all this and all the services at the Cancer Care Center. Without them, I don’t know what would be going on in my life right now.”

“ I am so grateful for all the services at the Cancer Care Center.


Tyesha Anderson 13



number of gifts

| $9,486,379

| 28,070

number of donors

| 3,875

FUNDRAISING SPOTLIGHTS Little Help, Big Difference Employee Appeal Our system-wide employee giving campaign brings out the generosity and caring spirit of Bronson’s workforce.

Good Neighbor Community Appeal New and returning donors once again generously supported our annual community appeal.

Bronson Children’s Hospital 5k Run & Walk




Total Raised


Total Raised


Total Raised


Health and Wellness Candace Gryga says the membership scholarship she received for the Bronson Wellness Center through the Bronson South Haven Fund has made a huge difference both physically and mentally. “I can honestly say it has changed my life,” Candace says. “In addition to the staff, I have made wonderful, kind, compassionate friends. The people I have met have been very supportive throughout my battle with different health issues. There have been mornings when I felt depressed and didn’t want to go to the gym, but once I arrived, I was greeted with smiles and encouragement. These acts of kindness never fail to brighten my spirits.”

2019 Distributions

Total: $6,288,616

Neurosciences $17,990

Trauma & Emergency Services $90,205

Employee Support and Education $135,083

Sexual Assault Nurse Navigator & Child Advocacy Center Visits $15,291

Direct Patient Support $157,926

Bronson Battle Creek Family Medicine Residency Program $548,370

Children’s and Women’s Health $1,604,838

Healing Arts $24,989 Sexual Assault Services $1,264,275

Heart and Vascular Services $25,820

Diabetes Support $19,493

Capital Equipment Needs, Rehab, and Various Other Areas $492,221 Cancer Care $896,508

Community Health Initiatives $626,466

Advanced Illness Management $61,769 Interpreter Services $6,781

Bronson South Haven Wellness Center Scholarships $50,000

Behavioral/ Mental Health $162,065

Rehabilitation Needs $46,614 Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services $41,911


Dr. Chetan Vyas and Dr. Lia Gaggino 16


Finding a Way As a pediatrician and director of Bronson Behavioral Health, Dr. Lia Gaggino knew there was a growing number of children struggling with mental health issues, but few resources to help. She pulled together a group of psychiatrists in the community. Dr. Chetan Vyas was one of those who attended the meeting. Afterwards, he called Dr. Gaggino and asked the simple question, “How can I help?”

“ We need help from people like Dr. Vyas who are experts in psychiatry and psychiatric medications.

The pair came up with a plan that would be most efficient and effective. Through funding from the Bronson Health Foundation, Dr. Vyas now spends one day a week as a consultant to Bronson’s pediatricians. When physicians have difficult cases, they can discuss their concerns with Dr. Vyas and he provides guidance on treatment and medication. “In an ideal world,” explains Dr. Vyas, “there would be a child psychiatrist who could see each patient, but because there is such a shortage of child psychiatrists nationwide, children often get

discharged from a hospital and sent to a general pediatrician instead.” “We need help from people like Dr. Vyas who are experts in psychiatry and psychiatric medications,” says Dr. Gaggino. “While we often manage mild to moderate mental health issues, we have some children with more serious concerns. It’s in those situations he can really help direct us to proper treatment. Having his support means we are able to make better choices for our patients.”



Fulfilling a Wish When Steven Michael Hanson was undergoing cancer treatments at age 31, he saw many children also with cancer and other serious illnesses. “That really bothered him,” recalls his mom, Loretta. She said he found it distressing that kids had to go through the same procedures and treatments he was enduring, which were often painful and had difficult side effects. Over the next several years, Steven’s cancer metastasized and further treatment options were limited. “That’s when he told me he wanted his savings to go to children who needed help,” says Loretta, “that was important to him.” Steven passed away in 2018. Loretta along with Steve’s father, Chris, reached out to Bronson and fulfilled Steve’s wishes by making a gift to the Bronson Pediatric Specialists Endowment. The endowment supports the pediatric subspecialists at Bronson Children’s Hospital. This allows pediatric patients who need specialized treatment, and their families, the ability to stay close to home while receiving the best possible care at Bronson. Steven Michael Hanson with his parents Loretta and Chris


That’s when he told me he wanted his savings to go to children who need help … that was important to him.

John and Kay Polzin Award

Due to the Hanson family’s generosity, the endowment was renamed in October 2019 to the Steven Michael Hanson Pediatric Specialists Endowment. “He would probably be embarrassed that the fund has been named after him,” Chris says, laughing. “But that’s how Steve was; he was always helping others and doing good deeds, but didn’t want the recognition. He was a quiet, behind-the-scenes person.” Steven was very community-focused, which is one of the reasons Loretta and Chris chose to give to Bronson. “Steven would be happy that his money is benefiting the kids and families who need it most, right here in Kalamazoo,” says Chris. Loretta says her son always had a heart for children. “He would be proud that this will always be a source for helping someone.”

Upon Frank J. Sardone’s retirement as President and CEO of Bronson Healthcare, the Bronson Health Foundation Board of Directors awarded him with the John and Kay Polzin Ambassador for Healthcare Award. Like the Polzins whom the award is named after, Frank is recognized for his humble generosity and his work to tirelessly make this region a better place to live during his 32 year tenure with Bronson Healthcare. 19



Child Life



Music Therapy

Art Therapy

SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS IN NEED patients assisted Discharge Needs (such as gas cards, clothing, Bronson at Home services)

1,267 $65,245

Outpatient Transportation

107 $1,075

Child Advocacy Center

49 $5,143

Rehab scholarships, medical supplies, and various other needs TOTAL 20

funds spent

338 $46,151 1,761 $117,614

A Healthy Start In 2019, the Foundation expanded its support of breastfeeding services by ensuring that lactation consultants were part of every mom’s care team at Bronson BirthPlace – Battle Creek. These lactation consultants provide nearly 1,300 consults a year in Battle Creek, including inpatient and outpatient visits. Our lactation consultants are registered nurses, dieticians and social workers certified in breastfeeding consultation. They provide prenatal and post-partum education, advice on breastfeeding practices, and personal consultation services at no charge to help ensure moms are supported and babies thrive.

Pediatric Diabetes Kits When Murry Jeannot’s parents noticed the fouryear-old wasn’t feeling well, they took him to see his pediatrician. That visit revealed seriously high blood sugar, and Murry was immediately sent to Bronson Children’s Hospital. During his two day stay, including a night in Pediatric Intensive Care, doctors diagnosed Murry with Type 1 Diabetes. “I didn’t know much about it,” says his mom, Cody Allkins. “Only that our life would be different forever.” Cody says the care team provided education and resources to help the family manage Murry’s diabetes once they went home. That included a Diabetes Care Kit, funded through the Foundation, for newly diagnosed pediatric patients. The kit contains a log book, snacks, a glucagon pen and a two weeks supply of insulin and syringes. “The care team showed us how to use what was in the kit and we were able to practice with it,” says Cody. “Now, we give him insulin four times a day and it has become second nature.” She appreciates that the team made her feel confident right from the start. “Throughout the whole experience, we felt supported and comforted. They reassured us that we could get through it and it was all going to be ok.”

Bronson Health Foundation Funds and Endowments Bronson’s Greatest Needs Advanced Illness Management Fund Alzheimer’s and Dementia Treatment Fund Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Fund Bronson Battle Creek Cardiopulmonary Rehab Fund Bronson Battle Creek Little Angel Rest Fund Bronson Battle Creek Mammogram Fund Bronson Commons Fund Bronson South Haven Fund Cancer Treatment Endowment Children’s Hospital Fund Community Health Fund Cradle Kalamazoo Fund DeNooyer Patients in Need Endowment DiMarino Healing Through Culture Endowment Employee in Crisis Fund Healthy Living and Sustainability Fund Heart and Vascular Fund Margaret H. Varney Endowment Mothers’ Milk Bank Fund Nattaly Brown Child Life and Expressive Arts Endowment Pastoral Care Endowment Patients in Need Fund Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fund Rapid Response Fund Robert S. Doud Arts in Healthcare Fund Robert A. Fabi Neurosciences Fund Sexual Assault Services Fund Starbuck Guardianship Endowment Steven Michael Hanson Pediatric Specialists Endowment Trauma and Emergency Services Fund Veterans Fund 21

Giving Societies The Bronson Health Foundation Giving Societies are a way to honor our generous donors. The giving societies currently live online at bronsonfoundation.com/donors. Please visit our website for a complete list of donors. Good Neighbor Annual Giving Society The Good Neighbor Annual Giving Society honors all donors who make a gift to Bronson Health Foundation throughout the previous calendar year. Friends: Donors who give any amount annually to support Bronson up to $999. Guardians: Donors who give between $1,000 – $4,999 annually to support Bronson. Champions: Donors who give between $5,000 – $9,999 annually to support Bronson. President’s Circle: Individual and corporate donors who give $10,000 or more annually to support Bronson. Lifetime Giving Society The Lifetime Giving Society recognizes individual, corporate and foundation donors who have made cumulative gifts at the levels listed below. The Partners Society: Donors who have given between $100,000 – $249,999 to support Bronson. The Leaders Society: Donors who have given between $250,000 – $499,999 to support Bronson. The Founders Society: Donors who have given between $500,000 – $999,999 to support Bronson. The 1901 Society: Donors who have given $1,000,000 or more to support Bronson. Margaret Varney Legacy Society The Margaret Varney Legacy Society recognizes individual donors who provide a lasting legacy to advance the mission of Bronson Healthcare at any level. This includes bequests and life income gifts. Little Help, Big Difference Employee Giving Campaign Employees who give to the annual employee giving campaign at any level are recognized in the Little Help, Big Difference Employee Giving Circle.




Von Washington, Jr., Chair Executive Director The Kalamazoo Promise

Ron Foor Community President Fifth Third Bank

Rachel Worgess, Vice Chair Community Leader

Norman Hamann, Jr. Partner, Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering

Dennis DeHaan, Past Chair Community Leader

Katharine Werme Hermsen Realtor, Jaqua Realtors, Inc.

Donald Williamson, Treasurer Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Barbara James Community Leader

Stanford Compton President, Compton, Inc.

Mahesh Karamchandani, M.D. Physician, Bronson Center for Colon & Rectal Diseases – Battle Creek

William T. DeNooyer President, DeNooyer Chevrolet Becky East Senior Vice President Chief Financial Officer Bronson Healthcare Steve East Chairman and CEO CSM Group of Companies Chris Fitzgerald Vice President, Bronson Healthcare Chief Nursing Officer, Bronson LakeView Hospital & Bronson South Haven Hospital

Corey LaGro Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. Bill Manns President and CEO Bronson Healthcare Michele Marquardt, Esq. Founding Member DeMent and Marquardt, PLC Anita Mehta Director of Social Responsibility Stryker Corporation

Rebecca Bobadilla Gift Processor Marcy Burnham Database and Prospect Research Coordinator Carmen Foljahn Event Specialist Spencer Haworth Engagement Officer Theresa Hazard Executive Assistant Erinn Kenney Campaign Manager Terry Morrow Vice President of Development John Risley Grant Writer Heather Oestrike Schripsema Major Gift Officer Liz Semaan Executive Director Julie Taylor Development Coordinator Carolyn Wyllie Communications Specialist III


About Bronson Health Foundation Established in 1983, Bronson Health Foundation was created as a means for the generosity and kindness of the community to connect with Bronson Healthcare and support its healing mission. The healing power of kindness is present in every gift. It is our privilege to pass it on.

THANK YOU Health Foundation

(269) 341-8100 healthfoundation@bronsonhg.org bronsonfoundation.com

SP2540, 7/20

301 John St., Box C Kalamazoo, MI 49007-9988

Profile for Bronson Healthcare

Bronson Health Foundation Impact Report 2019  

Bronson Health Foundation Impact Report 2019  

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