Community Chest

Community Chest

An appreciation for your support during this crisis.

If there has been a pleasant surprise in all the unpleasantness this pandemic has brought, it has been the way people, companies, and organizations have stepped up to offer help and support to those who are on the front lines of patient care.  Across the nation and the world, competition has broken out to find and acquire the supplies needed to safely care for patients. Here at GreacMed, we have truly been blessed to be surrounded by a community that came to use with many of the supplies we needed.

It’s been especially gratifying to see the diversity of both the gifts given and the corners of our community from which those gifts have come. You can literally stay it’s been everything from A to Z.  A is for Anson Railsback and his son Brad of Advantage Plumbing in Hutchinson.  Just to keep the letter “A” going, Brad is the son-in-law of our Medical Manager, Joyce Armbrust.  They donated 100 of the shoe covers they use in their customers’ homes.  Z is for the Sedgwick County Zoo’ Hospital which gave us 29 disposable gowns.

There are other examples of businesses giving their own supplies to help us care for patients.  Fast Signs and Urban Nail Salon both use latex gloves, and their donations of those gloves came in very handy for our testing team.

Early on, we were in dire need of antiseptic cleaning supplies throughout our clinics because the virus had depleted our usual sources for those items.  Superintendent Chad Higgins and Richard Bell of the Maize School District rode to our rescue with a generous supply of wipes and tissue.

Of course, as a Christian healthcare ministry, GraceMed has always been blessed to have the support of area churches in times of need, and I’m thankful to be able to say that has been true in this current crisis as well.  Our thanks to Bonnie Phillips and her group of volunteers at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in east Wichita for making and donating 100 face masks.  Another 100 masks were given to us by Carolyn Kretzner and the members of the Dorcas Circle at East Heights United Methodist Church.

N95 masks provide the added, life-saving protection that our doctors, nurses, and oral health providers need to see patients.  Justin Mohr of Central Community Church and Dan Doerflinger from the Pathway Church brought us supplies of these specialized masks along with respirators and hand sanitizer.  Special covers for N95 masks that prolong their use were designed and fabricated by a team that included Fruhauf Uniforms, ComfortCare Homes, Groover Labs, Gardner Design, and WSU’s GoCreate makerspace.  Funding for the project was provided by Grumpy Old Men. Face masks were also provided by Kyla Guyette from United Healthcare as well as the GraceMed Guild who has so faithfully served us in times of need.  Human Resource Director Trisha McPherson’s mom, Cathy Hoss, also made us a generous supply. And our Chief Information Officer, Keith Flippin regularly delivers masks made by his wife, Vickie Flippin, for our team and the homeless.  All greatly appreciated.

The downside of having to wear a mask might be that it’s not so comfortable around your ears.  A couple of our kind donors, Joi Ines-Haukom and Maria Caro, had that covered, too, donating headbands with buttons affixed to them that could be used to wrap the elastic around.  If you have to wear a mask all day long, it can make a welcome ear-saving difference.

Several people and businesses wanted to show their support by feeding us, and there are a lot of GraceMed employees who want to say a hearty “thank you” to them.  KWCH presented us with Hog Wild Barbecue gift cards, while Kowin Davis from KFC on Seneca delivered meals for our testing team.  Kim Blackman brought lunch from Chicken & Pickle, and Joselyn Rinco from Taco Bell at 21st and Amidon brought us some Mexican meals.  Greg Johnson from the Braums store on Seneca treated us to ice cream one special day, while Dr. Kimberly Taylor of Taylor Wellness Institute surprised our testing team with a Chico’s lunch.  Dold Foods delivered a plentiful supply of their Hormel bacon for our employees, and Kidspace Pediatric Dentistry brought a cake baked just for us. Then there was a patient, Cynthia Garcia, who wanted to say thanks with Starbucks gift cards, always a popular perk.

Another critical supply we needed, especially early on, was information about PPE and other COVID-19 testing parameters.  Dr. Tom Moore and Dr. Chloe  Steinshouer were extremely helpful with their expertise in infectious disease and pulmonary medicine.

Last, but by no means least, we could not have done our testing without the face shields designed and constructed by the engineers at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research.  As everyone knows by now, this absolutely critical equipment for conducting tests is in very short supply.  We deeply appreciate the contribution of their highly skilled talents to ensure the safety of our team.

Thank you from our hearts to one and all for your generosity and sincere desire to help.  Your gifts will be memories each of us will treasure long after this virus is gratefully a page in history.

Venus Lee, CEO
GraceMed Health Clinic Inc.

This post originated in our State of Grace quarterly news magazine. If you would like to receive the magazine, please visit this link and give us your information. Thanks!