Bronson Health Foundation Impact Report 2020

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POSITIVITY IN ACTION Bronson Health Foundation Impact Report

Looking back on 2020 has been a surreal exercise. Remembering the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting with colleagues and friends virtually, hosting family gatherings and special occasions on video platforms that many of us had never used before, virtual school, wrestling with present and past racial injustices and, sadly, too much heartbreak. However, in the face of all those challenges, we also remember many examples of togetherness, generous giving, and selfless sharing of resources. Partnering with you in support of one another, our patients and families, and our healthcare workers is a special bright spot for us when we reflect on 2020. Together, we care. Together, we thrive. Together, we advance the health of our communities. Today, Bronson is more steadfast than ever in its purpose of serving the needs of our communities and providing exceptional care for all. In this year’s Impact Report, you will read several examples of ways your help lifted spirits and supported our essential workers during the most difficult year we have faced as a healthcare system. You will also learn more about our historic Cancer Care Campaign that is delivering on the promise to strengthen cancer care for everyone in our region. And, throughout the report you will see the significant impact philanthropy has in the lives of Bronson patients, families and staff. As the Bronson Health Foundation looks toward the future, we commit our efforts to raising and investing resources that advance inclusive and equitable health care for all members of our community. Thank you for being on this journey with us. We are grateful for your friendship and support.

Terry Morrow Vice President of Development Bronson Healthcare

Von Washington, Jr. Board Chair Bronson Health Foundation


Each day, we are inspired by our patients who courageously face challenges,

4 See how community members stepped up to help our patients and staff during the pandemic.

8 Meet the “ray of sunshine” who is helping parents navigate the NICU. (Cover story)

10 Read an overview of our historic Cancer Care Campaign — Hope and Healing Start Here.

our employees who overcome hurdles, and our donors who generously give. Every story provides a window into the

14 Get an inside look at Camp Bronson — a unique place for young patients.

16 See how technology is helping doctors care for our littlest patients.

17 Find out how a program in South Haven is getting books into the hands of kids.

true impact of giving.

18 Take a look at the bright new atmosphere in pediatrics in Paw Paw.

20 Learn how patients get the help they need before heading home from the hospital.

21 A new residency program is underway in Battle Creek. Find out about it. 3

“ I was able to freely talk to them and not worry about judgement. They helped provide me good direction, to help give me a different perspective.

Israel Aliciea II, CISM team member, Lindsay Gignac, RN, and Amy Morrison-Maybee, CISM team coordinator 4

COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund During a year like none of us have ever experienced, our community stepped up to ask, “what can we do to help?” In March of 2020, Bronson Health Foundation launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to address immediate needs of staff and patients. In just a few short months, more than $1 million was raised through generous donations from organizations, foundations, businesses and individuals. These donations helped to build confidence when resources were scarce, helped relieve stresses many employees had never felt before, and brought technologies needed to keep patients and staff safe. As of July 2021, more than $2 million has been raised for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

Caring for the Caregivers Just a month into her nursing career, the area Lindsay Gignac was working in at Bronson became one of the hospital’s COVID-19 units. She knew the patients she would be helping to care for were facing serious medical challenges. “It was very scary to hear I’d be working in the COVID Unit. I knew the gravity of it, but I knew it’s what we had to do.” Lindsay worried about her two young children and husband at home, and the physical and emotional strain her new assignment might bring.

A few weeks in, a patient in their sixties who Lindsay had been caring for, died. It was a situation that was particularly challenging for the team. “You go home and think about all the things you did, and wonder if there was something you could have done differently,” says Lindsay. Over the next few days, Lindsay received check-ins from Bronson’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. The team is made up of specially trained employees from departments across the system who intervene to provide a safe environment 5

COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE FUND for participants to talk about a traumatic event and their reactions to it. CISM is funded by Bronson Health Foundation and complements the professional counseling services also available to employees. “I was able to freely talk to them and not worry about judgement. They helped provide me good direction, to help give me a different perspective, and help me to realize that I did everything I could have done for the patient,” explains Lindsay. “We have to be strong. We aren’t supposed to take it home with us, but it’s difficult not to.” Israel Aliciea, who is manager of operational services at the Bronson Athletic Club, volunteered and trained to be a member of the CISM team. “It struck me as a way I can help others in the organization, when this is what they do everyday on the frontlines,” says Israel. “We provide emotional support, techniques on how to deal with stress, and just give them an ear to listen.”

Lindsey Gignac and family

“Having the CISM team is an absolutely vital resource, and right now it’s needed more than ever,” says Lindsay. “Whatever you have on your mind or in your heart, you can freely share. You are talking to another human being who is compassionate and educated.”

In addition to supporting the CISM team, Bronson Health Foundation also provided funding for refreshment carts and respite rooms at each of the four hospitals and mental health support on the units. 6

In the Fight Together Many people in communities across our region shared a feeling of helplessness during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. That feeling is what motivated many businesses, organizations and individuals into action — finding countless ways to reach out to Bronson’s healthcare workers to let them know they were supported. Early in the pandemic, Josh Eby from Bronson’s Human Resources Department was working from home when he saw a post on social media that gave him an idea on how he could help his colleagues on the frontlines. First, he called on Jacob Meyer, a co-worker in Human Resources with a 3D printer. Then, bought one of his own. Soon, the pair had connected with a number of Bronson IT employees including Mike Halifax, Josh Blair, Kevin Wokeck, Kurt Shindledecker, and Matt Karel. Using their personally owned 3D printers and collecting donations for materials, the group printed and donated nearly 3,500 plastic ear savers that prevent masks from rubbing on the backs of ears. “Some of us were setting alarms to wake up in the middle of the night to start another batch,” says Eby. “We were printing 24 hours a day for four weeks. It was a way we could do something for our fellow staff members who were on-site everyday providing patient care.”

Peace of Mind for Families While trying to stay safe and to keep from feeling helpless during the pandemic, Teresa Getman thought of the workers going to nearby Bronson South Haven each day. She wanted them to know the community appreciated everything they were doing. She bought gift certificates supporting local restaurants and businesses and quietly passed them on to be given to staff members working in the hospital during the pandemic. “I wanted to make sure they would continue to be fortified and that they knew people were out there caring for them.” When theaters went dark due to COVID-19, performers still found a way to entertain, and support Bronson in the process. Kalamazoo’s Farmers Alley Theatre presented a virtual show, “The Sun is Gonna Shine,” with half of the proceeds going to Bronson Health Foundation’s Rapid Response Fund. “We wanted to bring a little positivity into everyone’s home,” says Adam Weiner, Farmers Alley executive director. “Everyone knows Bronson is such a vital part of our community and we are so grateful for all that they do and continue to do to keep us safe.”

When Julie Clark, a single mother of three, learned that her children’s school would be closing due to COVID-19, she didn’t know what she would do. Her job in Bronson Pulmonary Specialists’ office was classified as essential during the pandemic. She soon learned that help was available through the Rapid Response Fund which would help Julie pay for childcare while she was at work. “The childcare assistance support for me was an incredible weight lifted off my shoulders,” says Julie. “I am not sure what I would have done financially to support my children’s needs. I was able to breathe easy during the day knowing my children were taken care of, and spend more quality time with my children at night knowing I would be able to pay the bills. This past year was filled with so many ups and downs and I am forever grateful for this gift.”


“ There are days we didn’t even talk, she would just come and hold my hand.

Parents Munmun Mukherjee and Amit Majumdar with Riyan 8


Someone to Lean On When Riyan Majumdar was born at just 1 lb, 13 ounces, it was a very scary time for parents Munmun Mukherjee and Amit Majumdar. “He was this tiny, skinny baby,” recalls Mun. “They took him to the NICU right away.” When Mun had her first visit to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she saw her newborn in an incubator, hooked up to oxygen. It would be six days before the new parents could hold their little one. “Those were really stressful times.” Adding to the anxiety was that it all happened during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Visitation was restricted and it was very isolating. I know parents wanted to share their experiences, but we weren’t interacting with each other because of the pandemic.” That’s where the assistance of the NICU parent liaison, Ruth Ritzema, was invaluable. The parent liaison position,

funded by Bronson Health Foundation Children’s Hospital Fund, helps families who have little ones in the NICU navigate through the difficulties and uncertainties. In her role, Ritzema provides support, encouragement, information, resources and empowerment for advocacy and education. “I used to wait for Ruth to visit everyday,” explains Mun. “Talking to someone really helps. There are days we didn’t even talk, she would just come and hold my hand.” The position also offers peer support which is a powerful aid for current and former NICU families. In Ruth’s case, she shares with current families, that she too had a child in the NICU more than 20 years ago. “It is very, very important to have someone in the NICU, especially someone like Ruth, who has gone through this herself,” says Mun. “She was a ray of hope.”

Ruth Ritzema, NICU parent liaison 9


Hope and Healing Start Here Despite the strains of the pandemic, our Cancer Care Campaign hit historic milestones during 2020 to support cancer care in our communities. Gifts to the campaign are already helping to empower patients as they seek treatment for cancer and blood disorders, equipping Bronson providers to deliver high-quality care, and building on our excellent cancer and blood disorder program.

With community support, Bronson’s regional vision to raise the bar for patients and families we serve includes 1) Building the new Cancer Center in Kalamazoo that provides a patient-centered vision for supportive services; 2) Bringing cutting-edge radiation technologies and facility renovations to our Cancer Center in Battle Creek; 3) Providing children and

families with long term mental health support with the hiring of a child and family psychologist; and 4) understanding health disparities within our regional program so we can advance equitable solutions now, and into the future. In addition to this research, funds will be available to assist patients who require support for out-of-pocket costs that can devastate families including medication and transportation to and from their treatment. “The year 2020 was pivotal in elevating cancer care here at Bronson,” says Randy Mudge, physician-inchief of Bronson Oncology. “We saw the finishing touches made to our Cancer Center in Kalamazoo, which paved the way for a successful grand opening in 2021. We also saw an expansion of radiation care at Bronson Battle Creek, and secured funding for enhanced care for our pediatric Dr. Sunil Nagpal, cancer patients. We couldn’t medical oncologist, have done this without the signs a photo frame support of the community.” of the new Cancer Center – Kalamazoo.


Dr. Randy Mudge and Dr. Jennifer Webb, radiation oncologist (February, 2020)

During 2020, a cutting-edge radiotherapy called HyperArc was added to the new linear accelerator at Bronson Cancer Center – Battle Creek. HyperArc reduces radiation treatment times, increases comfort, and enhances tumor targeting, which reduces damage to non-infected tissue. For the cancer care team, this means improved workflows and the most accurate, automated radiation treatment. Bronson Battle Creek was the first hospital in Michigan to treat patients with HyperArc. In addition to this technology, upgrades have been made to sections of the facility to enhance the patient experience and further support healing.

Laurel Stout of Battle Creek was just two years old in October of 2020 when doctors told her mom what was making her daughter so sick. Leukemia. “I held her and I cried,” recalls Brittney Anderson. Almost immediately, Laurel started chemotherapy at Bronson Children’s Hospital. After her week-long stay as an inpatient, Laurel has returned to Bronson Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic nearly every week since for treatment. Brittney appreciates not just the medical care, but the services and child-friendly environment supported by donors to the Bronson Health Foundation. “The team here has every aspect covered. I don’t have to worry about anything except showing up for appointments,” says Brittney. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. Everyone here is like family and Laurel loves them.”

“ The year 2020 was pivotal in elevating cancer care here at Bronson.


“ We know how much a healing environment matters during such a vulnerable and emotional time.

Valerie and Kim Nuyen 12


A Visionary Gift When Kim and Valerie Nuyen learned about Bronson’s plans to build a new cancer center in Kalamazoo, it was a project close to their hearts. “My family has confronted the realities of cancer treatment,” says Kim. “We know how much a healing environment matters during such a vulnerable and emotional time.” With that in mind, the Nuyens committed to ensuring other families in the community would have access to facilities and spaces that are vital during a journey through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Kim and Valerie, along with Kim’s

company Moore Electrical Service, Inc., made a leading $1.25 million investment in cancer care at Bronson. “The Nuyen’s gift was really a catalyst during the early stages of our Cancer Care Campaign,” says Terry Morrow, vice president of development. “We are so grateful that the Nuyen family shares in our vision, and they have inspired others to give as well. This generous gift will impact countless members of our community for years to come.” In recognition of this historic gift to Bronson Health Foundation, the lobby of the new Cancer Care Center in Kalamazoo has been named in their honor — the Kim and Valerie Nuyen Family Atrium. The Nuyen family 17 13

“ There’s something special that happens when you take a patient out of their hospital room and bring them into a child-friendly environment like our playroom. 14


Heading to Camp Patients in Bronson’s pediatric unit can now visit “Camp Bronson,” a newly remodeled playroom that brings the outdoors in for patients and families. The playroom renovations were funded through donations and participation in the Bronson Children’s Hospital annual Run & Walk. The new features include more natural light and a Michigan camping theme. “Camp Bronson” includes a camper or “camp-ulance” for kids to play in, a campfire scene with toadstools, a tent, and several real trees that have been preserved to make the setting come to life under a canopy of painted leaves.

The space is designed so each patient, no matter what age, has something to keep them occupied and give them time away from their rooms. There are even outlets which can be pulled down from the ceiling so medical equipment that needs to be plugged in doesn’t interfere with patients moving around the camp. “There is something special that happens when you take a patient out of their hospital room and bring them into a child-friendly environment like our playroom,” says Wendy Kellogg, child life specialist. “It’s truly an immersive experience. When children and families enter the room we often hear ‘Wow! Check this place out!’ Then the real magic happens and they get to be a child.” 15


A Closer Look It’s not always easy to find a patient’s vein for inserting an IV. But when it’s the smallest of patients in Bronson Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it can be close to impossible. “With the size of the veins and the size of the catheters, it can be extremely challenging on some of these babies,” explains Dr. Jennifer Timmons, pediatric surgeon.

New vein visualization technology, funded through Bronson Health Foundation, helps doctors and nurses see the veins on these little babies using ultrasound, making IV access easier. It prevents surgeons from having to make an incision just to find the vein to insert a catheter.

“Having a baby in the NICU can be especially stressful,” says Timmons. “It’s so nice to be able to tell the parents we have the technology like this that can make procedures less invasive. It can put families at ease and make a stressful situation a little less stressful.” Dr. Timmons uses vein visualization technology. 16

Reach Out and Read





| $8,285,916 | 24,936 | 2,926


Total Raised

Well-child visits provide a perfect opportunity to encourage healthy choices for growing bodies and minds. Bronson South Haven pediatric providers are taking part in a Reach Out and Read program, funded through the Foundation. Doctors and nurse practitioners provide books to families during annual well-child checkups from ages 6 months to 5 years old. They encourage families to read aloud each day to help foster brain and language development. Annually, more than 1,200 children are reached each year.


Total Raised


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

Bronson Children’s Hospital 5k Virtual Run & Walk




A Splash of Color The walls at Bronson LakeView Family Care – Pediatrics came to life in 2020 with beautiful new murals painted by local artist Lynda Marnon. With safari and under-the-sea themes, these paintings help to catch the attention of pediatric patients and provide them with distraction. Along with the murals, two wall-mounted activity boards were installed and a new activity cube is available for young patients to play with, too. These enhancements to the pediatric practice in Paw Paw were made possible through the annual Farm to Table dinner and fundraiser hosted by Carlson Farms.


Bronson Health Foundation Funds and Endowments Bronson’s Greatest Needs Advanced Illness Management Fund Alzheimer’s and Dementia Treatment Fund Bronson Battle Creek Cardiopulmonary Rehab Fund Bronson Battle Creek Little Angel Rest Fund Bronson Battle Creek Mammogram Fund Bronson Battle Creek Volunteer Fund Bronson Commons Fund Bronson South Haven Fund Cancer Center – Battle Creek Fund Cancer Center – Kalamazoo Fund Cancer Treatment Endowment Children’s Hospital Fund Christoffersen Family Trauma & Emergency Endowment 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 Pharmacy Fund Rapid Response Fund Robert S. Doud Arts in Healthcare Fund Robert A. Fabi Neurosciences Fund Safe Kids Kalamazoo County Fund Sexual Assault Services Fund Starbuck Guardianship Endowment Steven Michael Hanson Pediatric Specialists Endowment Trauma and Emergency Services Fund Veterans Fund

2020 Distributions

Total: $9,680,916 Advanced Illness Management Support $20,732

Neurosciences Support $50,521

COVID-19 Rapid Response $1,158,846

Trauma & Emergency Services $53,990 Bronson South Haven Projects $174,191

Heart and Vascular Services $16,270

Capital Equipment, Salary Support and various other items $822,158

Cancer Care $3,283,702

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services $25,878

BBC Volunteer Scholarships $12,500

Behavioral / Mental Health Support $13,422

BBC Medical Residency Program $497,715

Employee Support and Education $166,410

Pastoral Care $32,905

Women and Children’s Health $1,645,964

Healing Arts $13,528

Interpreter Services & Technology $8,872

Direct Patient Support $85,761

Bereavement Support $5,350

Sexual Assault Services $1,184,075

Diabetes Support $39,553

Community Health Initiatives $350,067

Patient Rehab Needs $18,500


Bridging the Gap


Shana Pastrana first started her career as an RN helping patients at the bedside. Since 2013, she’s been assisting patients in a different way — as a case manager/ supervisor. Her goal is to make sure patients have what they need to safely return home or to the next level of care. “There are many people who live on a very limited budget, and that can be a real barrier for people in their continued care,” explains Pastrana.

go into a nursing home, but have no transportation to get there. My role is to identify those barriers that prohibit patients from maximizing their health.” Sometimes, the solution to overcoming those obstacles is to turn to the Patients in Need Fund, supported by donors to Bronson Health Foundation.

“We follow patients from admission to discharge Shana Pastrana, RN, BSN, BBA to assess what services they have prior to coming in, and what they might need when they go home. Often, patients may not be able to afford the medications they need to treat their condition. They may need durable medical equipment at home. Or, some patients may need to

“Recently, one patient was ready to go home, but the medication she needed was very expensive, so we looked at how we could help. Sometimes, patients are able to meet us half way, or we can get reimbursement from Medicaid. But that takes time, and the Patients in Need Fund is critical in bridging that gap,” Pastrana says. “Sometimes that assistance can be life-saving.”

SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS IN NEED 1,495 patients assisted / $85,762 total funds spent Discharge needs (such as gas cards, transportation assistance, clothing, Bronson at Home services, medication)

Outpatient transportation (for appointments) 20

1,223 patients


Child Advocacy Center




$1,750 funds



$6,764 funds

Rehab scholarships, medical supplies, sexual assault nurse examiner visits and various other needs



$16,028 funds

Cancer Center — Battle Creek Fund, Patient Assistance gas cards provided

round trip taxi rides

mobility transport trips

dietary supplies

prescriptions filled

| 23 | 351 | 461 | 209

BBC Family Medicine Residency Program In 2016, planning began to establish a new residency training program in family medicine at Bronson Battle Creek (BBC). This program is a collaboration between Bronson Healthcare, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed), and Grace Health. In 2020, 12 residents from WMed received training at BBC. Six residents from the inaugural class were joined in July by six from the second class, rotating throughout numerous units at the hospital. “We have a lot of self-starters who are able to adapt to change and adversity well,” says Dr. Daniel Stewart, vice president of medical affairs at Bronson Battle Creek. The residency program provides three years of training for each resident. Generous support from Battle Creek Community Partners and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation made it possible to bring this program to Battle Creek. “There is a sense of pride when you have an education program tied to your hospital. Studies show these training programs tend to enhance patient care,” says Stewart. “And, when you bring residents in, you hope that some will choose to stay when their program is complete and provide primary care in our communities.”

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Our Giving Societies The Bronson Health Foundation Giving Societies are a way to honor our generous donors. The giving societies currently live online at 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 during 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 specified. 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. Little Help, Big Difference Employee Giving Campaign The Little Help, Big Difference Employee Giving Circle recognizes all Bronson Healthcare system employees who generously give at any level.




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

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

Rachel Worgess, Vice Chair Community Leader

Philip Hamilton Partner, Hamilton Law PLC

Dennis DeHaan, Immediate Past Chair Community Leader

James Harris Senior Pastor, Trenches Community Church

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

Katharine Werme Hermsen Realtor, Jaqua Realtors, Inc.

Stanford Compton President, Compton, Inc.

Barbara James Community Leader

William T. DeNooyer President, DeNooyer Chevrolet

Corey LaGro Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Becky East Senior Vice President Chief Financial Officer Bronson Healthcare

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

Steve East Chairman and CEO CSM Group of Companies

Bill Manns President and CEO Bronson Healthcare

Chris Fitzgerald Vice President, Bronson Healthcare Chief Nursing Officer, Bronson LakeView Hospital & Bronson South Haven Hospital

Michele Marquardt, Esq. Founding Member DeMent and Marquardt, PLC

Ron Foor Senior Vice President Government and Institutional Banking Fifth Third Bank

Anita Mehta Director of Social Responsibility Stryker Corporation

Rebecca Bobadilla Gift Processor 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

SP2540, 8/21

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