Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation....Heathcare Fund Raising Mon Oct 22nd


Health Care Fundraising One


By Terry Bailey



If you want to make a doctor chuckle, ask him or her, “Has health care changed any since you began practicing medicine?” In our day and age of change, health care is the segment of our society that has changed the most.


Realizing the necessity of local health care, between the end of World War I and until about 1950, many Kansas counties constructed hospitals. These hospitals, for the most part, were built and supervised by the local county governing board with local tax money. These new hospitals attempted to keep the local medical community abreast of new technology, equipment, and to attract new physicians.


Early on costs were minimal and patients were able to pay their bill when dismissed or shortly after. Advanced medical technology for diagnosis and treatment has become more and more expensive. The advent of Medicare in the 1960s allowed many older Americans to have access to health care but Medicare reimbursement rates have shrank over the years. Insurance also has made health care available to folks but, like Medicare, reimbursement rates have not kept pace with costs.


Health care has changed from when the friendly country doctor made house calls in his horse and buggy and black medical bag to the ultra-modern medical center that is highly technologically advanced. In 1920, the average life expectancy was 53.6 years for men and 54.6 for women. By 1998 this had increased to 73.8 for men and 79.5 for women.


The Beloit medical community strives to maintain a commitment to excellence and to treat all patients with respect and compassion and to offer them the most advanced, most effective medical treatments and technologies available, and to deliver the most cost effective, high quality health care possible.


The business of running and keeping a hospital financially viable has come under greater and greater pressure. In the past decade over 800 hospitals have closed in the United States. In Kansas more than 20 were forced to close. The bottom line is that Kansas hospitals are providing services without being reimbursed for the cost of those services. Kansas hospitals, including Mitchel County Hospital Health Systems, continue to provide services to those in need, many times at a loss. This means funds for capital improvement and providing for state-of-the-art health care services are very rare.


In order to provide much needed funds for much needed equipment and technology, the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation inaugurated a community giving appeal in 2017. The goal was to assist in raising funds for critical equipment purchases and health care investments in our communities. Last year the fundraising drive raised $103,000 which was invested into critical equipment purchases which included: an acute surgery bassinet, MRI sedation equipment, emergency room patient lifts, acute air mattresses and a tread mill for the Physical Therapy department.


Stephanie Simmons, executive director of the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation said, “Hospitals all across Kansas face challenges. This is not unique to Mitchell County. Our 12 member Board of Directors realize that community involvement is vital to continued success. We hope that by organizing a fund raising drive we will provide local citizens a way they can donate to their hometown health care providers.”


The slogan chosen by the foundation for this year’s drive is KEEPING HEALTH CARE CLOSE TO HOME. More on this next time.

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