In June 2020, the Superior Health Foundation awarded Gogebic Community College in Ironwood a $2,500 Equipment Fund grant to purchase manikins for the UP Certified Nurses Aides (CNA) Academy. The goals of the program were to hire a permanent trainer with dedicated space and equipment to provide training, create multiple entry points throughout the year with a dependable training schedule, hold multiple classes throughout the year providing up to 190 training seats, stabilize the pipeline of applicants and build collaboration with regional employers to solve talent recruit concerns related to CNA applicants.
So far, a permanent trainer has been hired and oriented to the role. A bed, PPE, sink, training manikin and incidentals have been purchased. Three regional employers have purchased training seats through the academy, and six training sessions were offered to the community between May and December 2020. Variable training schedules (afternoon, evening and weekends) have been offered to meet the needs of the different demographic groups being served.
The equipment provided training stations that allowed students to practice skills prior to clinical practice. The talent pipeline is beginning to stabilize despite significant limitations from the pandemic: 46 students have either completed the program or are currently enrolled, and 35 applicants are working to satisfy the requirements to enroll in the course.
In May, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $2,500 Equipment Fund grant to Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice for the purchase of a television and four iPads for its telehealth project for Adult Day Services and Hospice. It now coordinates daily ZOOM meetings with patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and homes using iPads. It also facilitated ZOOM activity programming for Adult Day Services participants, and offers monthly grief groups, outreach presentations and care conferences using the technology.
Through this grant, it was able to continue to serve the very vulnerable Adult Day Services population by conducting twice weekly Zoom activity meetings. The participants would smile and sing, play bingo and tell stores. They were so happy to be able to see their friends’ faces who they missed seeing in the ADS classroom. Overall, 50 activity sessions were held with an average of six participants at each meeting.
In addition, using technology for the hospice patients has proven to be very helpful for the Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice community, particularly in light of the visitor restrictions in facilities. It has placed iPads in facilities so staff can coordinate visits with families and for staff to check in and coordinate care. Families have been very grateful to be able to see their loved-ones faces since they have not been able to have access in the skilled nursing facilities for nearly nine months.
To date, it has facilitated nearly 300 telehealth visits thanks to the support for the technology purchased through this grant.
In Fall 2019, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to Feeding America for its mobile food pantry distribution program. In total, Feeding America hosted 89 mobile food pantries in the U.P.’s nine eastern most counties and delivered 1,600,727 pounds of food, equivalent to 1,333,939 meals. he amount of food distributed greatly exceeded its projections. This disparity is primarily a result of the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts on the food bank’s programs.
Feeding America used Superior Health Foundation’s grant to fund four distributions. Delta, Marquette, Menominee and Schoolcraft Counties each received one grant-funded distribution. The distributions delivered a total of 69,596 pounds of food, equivalent to 57,997 meals. Much of the food distributed consisted of nutritious items; 62.9 percent was produce, 23.7 percent was dairy and 2.9 percent was protein. Distributions funded by Superior Health Foundation served a total of 2,745 individuals across 1,203 families.
The program not only met recipients’ immediate needs for food assistance but also reduced their chances of experiencing a variety of nutrition-related ailments – such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity – by providing them with a source of nutritious food. The mitigation of these conditions could lessen recipients’ healthcare costs and therefore place them in a better financial position to avoid food insecurity in the future.
Additionally, the estimated retail value of the food distributed with the help of Superior Health Foundation is $158,678.88. By providing food at no cost to attendees, the program enabled recipients to allocate scarce financial resources to other necessities and become even more financially secure.
We are proud to support Feeding America!
In Spring 2019, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $4,995 Spring Grant to Gogebic Range Health Foundation in Ironwood for the purchase of a Duet Wheelchair Power Assist Bicycle to expand the capacity of the Iron Belle Wheelers. The Iron Belle Wheelers is a volunteer-run program which provides access to the Iron Belle Trail by offering bicycle rides to individuals — who cannot ride a bicycle independently — on a power-assisted bike with wheel chair attachment.
The Iron Belle Wheelers continue to offer rides at various locations, spreading awareness through attending community events and working with community organizations and agencies. The Iron Belle Wheelers also continue to expand the number of operators by offering training two times per year.
In addition to the training offered, the Iron Belle Wheelers have trained the staff at the Gogebic Medical Care Center where there is the greatest demand for rides. The Iron Belle Wheelers offer rides at three main locations: Ironwood Depot Park, Gogebic Medical Care center and at the Wakefield Sunday Lake Park.
In January, the Superior Health Foundation awarded a $499.96 equipment grant to St. Paul Conference Society of St. Vincent dePaul to purchase four knee scooters for the hospital equipment loan closet to loan to the public at no cost.
They were able to purchase all four knee scooters, and they had an additional scooter donated as well. Thus far, they have loaned out two of the scooters (the pandemic has resulted in less surgeries, and therefore, less demand than normal). St. Vincent dePaul is working with social workers in health care facilities to make people aware of the availability of the scooters.
The Superior Health Foundation awarded a $500 COVID-19 Emergency Grant to the Dickinson Iron Community Service Agency/Family Ties Adult Center to purchase activity packets for Alzheimer’s patients they serve.
The Superior Health Foundation awarded the YMCA of Marquette County a $1,000 grant to purchase cleaning supplies for sanitation to help it reopen. Well, that reopening happened earlier this week. And we, like many others, are excited to see the Y back in business. We wish Jenna Zdunek and the awesome staff at the Y the best as we all strive to get back to normal!
The Superior Health Foundation provided the Negaunee Senior Citizens Center a $500 grant to invest in a new laptop to help better connect with its members who were forced to stay home during the pandemic.
This was a great use of funds in that it allowed the Center to connect with its elderly population during this most difficult time.
Early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, the Superior Health Foundation awarded $1,000 to OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group in Escanaba to purchase PPE gowns for its healthcare staff. There was and continues to be a number of emergent needs across the Upper Peninsula during this pandemic. Additional funding is available through our Covid-19 Pandemic Fund.