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COMMUNITYMATTERS Perry County Community Foundation Newsletter

What impact has PCCF grant money in Perry County had in the past year? Here are just three of those stories. One program created by Visiting Nurse Association of Southwestern Indiana helps keep clients healthy and potentially saves lives. The Perry County Community Foundation awarded a grant that assisted in the purchase of VNA “Heal at Home” kits. Kits include a digital blood pressure kit, a digital scale, as well as a digital thermometer. These kits are provided to patients who will then self monitor their health utilizing the kits from the comfort of their home. A nurse calls the patient on a daily basis to ask what their results are and to determine if additional medical intervention is needed. For example, if a patient has Congestive Heart Failure, even a small weight gain can indicate dangerous fluid retention. By weighing with an accurate digital scale, and then having a nurse be aware of this health indicator, VNA can intervene and adjust medication or have the patient’s doctor advise on other resolutions that may play a role in the condition. Without this monitoring, the fluid retention may have led to an ER visit or hospitalization. “Never has the need been more critical to keep patients out of the hospital and healing at home. Costs for ER visits and extended stays continue to rise,” stated Lauren Rickelman, Development Program Director for the VNA of Southwestern Indiana. “By providing low cost Heal at Home kits to patients, we encourage self-monitoring which leads to patient ownership in health management and better health outcomes.” Rickelman said that so far 41 patients had been helped by the Heal at Home kits. She also explained that the patients receiving the kits are home-bound, meaning they cannot leave their home due to their health and stated that the Heal at Home kits and the daily conversations with the Nurse “Coach” provide contact with a person who cares and can provide a sense of security. She also explained that the program has been successful in lowering the incidence of patients seeking emergency care to 13% and their incidence of re-hospitalization to 22%. Rickelman also stated one patient so looked forward to her daily call from her Nurse Coach that she began to call in on her own because she couldn’t wait to tell someone her positive health results. To the left is the handicap accessible mini-van that Ride Solution was able to purchase with the help of grant money received from the Perry County Community Foundation and other agencies. Established in 2001, Ride Solution is the public transportation provider for Perry County that allows rural residents to travel independently without relying on family members or neighbors just to meet their daily needs. The populations that are being served are very diverse: families, children (school related trips), elderly, people with disabilities, low-income populations and others without personal means of transportation.


Knowing that the skill set is changing today, Perry Central School Superintendent Mary Roberson wanted to prepare the students for the world in which they will live and work. With the help of grant money received from the Perry County Community Foundation, Roberson and others at the school have created a program titled “Learning for the Next Century” which is composed of two key elements. One element is hands-on focus where students experience robotics and how technology will affect their future. The other is an educational and marketing component that will educate parents, students, and the community about the importance of 21st century skills. The classes meet during the school day and have around a total of 100 students who participate in the program. The goal of the marketing is to reach everyone: students, parPictured are some of the students at the Robotics Competition ents, and community members. They have videos playing in at Ivy Tech. the school common areas that can be viewed by the students themselves, or as Roberson explained when there are school activities such as basketball or volleyball games the public can view them as well. When asked about the reactions of the students, Roberson stated that it’s an eye-opening experience and she said that the students really enjoy the robotics portion. “It’s an exciting and fun way to develop specific science, math and technology skills,” she said. “Students will be better equipped for the changing world and will have an increased understanding that Perry County can compete in the global economy and that there are jobs here in Perry County,” Roberson explained. “Yes there are good jobs. You can come back to Perry County.” Contact us! Perry County Community Foundation 817 12th Street/ PO Box 13 Tell City, IN 47586 Phone: 812.547.3176 Email: renate@perrycommunityfoundation.org

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Grant Money in Action - Second in a series of three