Following the CDC's recommendations, Skaggs Foundation will postpone upcoming events, including our Annual Employee Donor Appreciation Barbecue set for April 3 in the Tree Rooms at Cox Medical Center Branson and "60 Minutes with Dr. Sam," a lunch and learn on April 9 at Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center. We will continue to look to the CDC for guidance and plan to reschedule both events at a later date.
Employees of CoxHealth who generously support Skaggs Foundation through payroll donations are making a huge difference at our hospital and in our community.
In 2019, CoxHealth employees who support Skaggs Foundation approved a $5,000 project to install cameras for MRI. These cameras are making the MRI team’s job easier and enables them to respond more quickly when a patient is in distress.
“The cameras for the MRI suite have been a tremendous asset,” says Meghan Elet, MRI technologist. “With the current position of the MRI machine, we weren’t able to visualize the patient as well as we would like. The cameras allows us to better see the patient and quickly address any concerns during their test.”
Elet explained that before the cameras were installed, it was impossible to see inside the bore of the magnet.
“So if the patient was moving, you wouldn’t know for some time later once the pictures were acquired,” she says. “Now, we have a monitor right beside our scanning console and we can respond faster if the patient is moving or in some kind of distress, allowing us to address the issue sooner and take corrective action.”
The cameras also provide a sense of security for patients.
“MRI’s can be daunting and worrisome for some patients,” Elet explained. “Now, they know that although we aren’t in the room with them, we are close by and can observe them the whole time. The cameras have made staff feel more at ease because we have a better visual on the patient throughout their exam. It truly allows for a safer and positive experience for all involved.”
If you are a CoxHealth employee who wants to be part of healthier, safer tomorrows join us for one or both of these upcoming events at Cox Medical Center Branson:
• On Friday, March 27, Skaggs Foundation will hold a payroll drive in the cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by for a special treat. Employees who enroll to give at a minimum of $5 per pay period or current donors who increase their gift by at least $1 per pay period will receive an awesome gift from the foundation.
• On April 3, we are hosting our annual Employee Donor Appreciation Barbecue in the Tree Rooms from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for current donors and those wishing to enroll. Stop by for a delicious lunch!
Employees of CoxHealth who generously support Skaggs Foundation through payroll donations are making a huge difference at our hospital and our community.
When you support Skaggs Foundation, you are part of a group giving hope for a future and helping ensure no cancer patient misses treatment. Last year, employees who support Skaggs Foundation voted to provide $1,000 in gas cards for cancer center patients.
"We have cancer patients who would have canceled treatment without the generous giving of others for the gas cards," explained Angelia Huels, RN. "Thirty people have benefited from this program (already). The benefit goes beyond just providing a gas card, it's giving them life."
Angela said one example is a man who was diagnosed with cancer that had spread to his neck, shoulders and back with open wounds. With the loss of income from being unable to work, transportation for treatment would have been a huge challenge. The individuals lives over an hour from the cancer center.
"Being provided with your gifted gas cards and the availability of a new drug to treat his type of cancer, he has had an amazing outcome," she said. "He is no longer in pain, all open wounds are healed and tumors are gone. His story would not have had a good ending without being able to come for treatment. Your gifts made this possible! Many have shared with tears how grateful they are for being able to come to treatment."
If you are an employee of CoxHealth and want to be part of stories like this, please consider joining us at one or both of these events:
· On Friday, March 27, Skaggs Foundation will hold a payroll drive in the cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by for a treat. Employees who enroll to give at a minimum of $5 per pay period or current donors who increase their gift by at least $1 per pay period will receive an awesome gift from the foundation.
· On April 3, we are hosting our annual Employee Donor Appreciation Barbecue in the Tree Rooms from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for current donors and those wishing to enroll. Stop by for a delicious lunch!
Local experts to discuss health topics at Big Cedar Lodge
Join Skaggs Foundation on April 30 for Beauty and Belles, an exclusive women’s event featuring local women’s health providers, interactive discussions and delicious culinary delights all at the beautiful Worman House at Big Cedar Lodge.
“Guests will be treated to an array of scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, delectable treats and a signature cocktail as they take in the beautiful views of Table Rock Lake and watch the sunset from the charming Worman House and patio,” said Skaggs Foundation President Meghan Connell. “You’ll definitely want to grab your girlfriends and make plans to join us for this fun and informative women’s event.”
While the food and view will be incredible, the line-up of presenters is equally as impressive.
“We have a number of local women’s health experts coming together to address a wide range of concerns, from stress, depression and overall female health to demystifying routine care for all ages,” Connell said.
Following the presentation, the providers will be available for one-on-one conversations to answer additional questions.
Beauty and Belles will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. April 30 at The Worman House at Big Cedar Lodge. Tickets are $100 each and pre-registration is required. Reserve your spot today. Call 417-269-INFO and then click here to purchase your ticket.
To learn about sponsorship opportunities, call 417-348-8998.
All proceeds from this event go to support health and wellness initiatives in Stone and Taney counties.
Project funded by Skaggs Foundation
The use and misuse of alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs and the misuse of prescription drugs cost Americans more than $700 billion a year in increased health care expenses, crime and lost productivity, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The Substance Use Initiative (SUI), which began more than four years ago, is an effort to reduce and prevent substance use in Stone and Taney counties by equipping, educating and empowering individuals to be a part of the solution.
Marietta Hagan, of the Population Health Department at CoxHealth, is the SUI project coordinator. The SUI is a project that is funded by Skaggs Foundation and administered by CoxHealth.
“The common agenda of the SUI is to increase awareness about substance use and misuse and its consequences, reduce system silos by increasing collaboration among agencies, increase funding for these efforts, and reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders,” Hagan said.
Oftentimes, people have the misconception that those who struggle with a substance use disorder are morally flawed, lacking in willpower and could quit if they chose, Hagan said. She explained that thanks to scientific research, it’s now understood that addiction is a medical disorder that affects the brain and changes behavior.
“I know it’s been said before but we cannot arrest our way out of the drug epidemic,” Hagan said. “Until we have a better solution, we must educate our youth on the dangers, empower our community to know how to identify and help those impacted, eliminate temptations and equip individuals with medication like naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose. That’s how we will save lives.”
How is the Substance Use Initiative making a difference?
From Dec. 1, 2018-Nov. 30, 2019, the Substance Use Initiative educated 292 individuals on how to administer naloxone, the drug that reverses an opioid overdose. The SUI, with funding from outside agencies, was able to provide the community with 475 naloxone kits.
In an effort to keep opioids from getting in the wrong hands in the first place, the SUI has distributed 6,816 drug deactivation kits since March of 2018 so that when an individual who is prescribed medication no longer needs it, the medication can quickly and easily be discarded.
For individuals currently taking medication, the SUI has distributed 327 medication lock boxes free of charge.
Through collaboration with local law enforcement, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) and the Stone County Community Health Coalition (SCCHC), another 960 pounds of drugs were collected through Drug Take Back events, ensuring those medications are not available to fall into the wrong hands.
Knowledge is Power
“Education is the No. 1 thing we can do to prevent substance misuse,” Hagan said. “Whether it is going into schools, providing trainings or simply having a booth at a community event where we can talk one-on-one with individuals, we cannot discount how important education is in changing social norms and increasing protective factors within the community.”
The SUI received a $100,000 grant to offer an online prescription drug safety course to high school students.
The SUI has also contracted with both Stone and Taney county health departments to provide drug prevention education in local schools.
Through a robust website, drugfreeozarks.org, the initiative was able to reach 15,865 unique visitors who made 25,585 visits to the site.
“The website is a great resource, offering drug facts, inspiring stories, helpful information on how to keep yourself and your medications safe, as well as good information on recovery options and how to seek help,” Hagan said. “The great thing is, it’s focused on Stone and Taney counties.”
To learn more about the Substance Use Initiative, visit drugfreeozarks.org or find them on Facebook at DrugFreeOzarks.
36 students have benefited from grant program since 2015
Rebekah Cowan, a student at College of the Ozarks, describes a scholarship she received last summer as an answer to her prayers.
Cowan, who is in her final year of nursing school, received an $8,000 scholarship to cover room and board expenses for the current school year. The scholarship was made possible by a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant to College of the Ozarks. The program aims to help free up summer months for nursing students like Cowan. Instead of spending her summer working to pay room and board fees for her final year of college, the scholarship made it possible for Cowan to use that time to get hands-on experience in the medical field.
“The scholarship, it was honestly an answer to my prayer,” Cowan said. “Typically, I work for the college over the summer. That pays for my room and board, which is the greatest cost C of O students have to pay since our tuition is covered (through the college’s work program). But, $8,000 is still $8,000 and it’s a lot to try to meet on your own.”
Cowan spent her summer interning in the Emergency Department at Cox Medical Center Branson. Because of that experience, she now works part-time at the hospital. After she graduates in May, she'll begin fulltime at the hospital as a nurse.
“I was really grateful for the scholarship,” Cowan said, explaining that instead of working only at the college over the summer to earn room and board, she was able to work in a healthcare environment. “It’s given me employment and I cannot be more excited.”
Cowan is one of six students to receive the scholarship this past summer. Each year since 2015, the college has received a grant from Skaggs Foundation, making the Senior Nursing Student Scholarship program possible. Over the course of that time, 36 students have benefited.
“I’m also grateful and blessed to have received the scholarship,” said senior Jamie Chapman. “Because I received the scholarship, I was able to work as an extern at Cox Branson labor and delivery, which is my passion. I love babies and it was such a blessing to be able to witness the births of so many babies and be able to help moms. It was absolutely incredible. It really solidified what I want to do in the future as an OB nurse.”
Skaggs Legacy Endowment is a restricted endowment fund made possible by a generous gift from CoxHealth in 2013. Since that time, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $5.3 million to organizations dedicated to improving health and wellness in Stone and Taney counties. Current grants will impact more than 46,000 lives.
Skaggs Legacy Endowment dedicated to supporting health and wellness initiatives
Now through April 24, Skaggs Foundation is accepting grant applications and concept papers from organizations wishing to receive funds from Skaggs Legacy Endowment. Skaggs Legacy Endowment is a restricted endowment fund dedicated to improving health and wellness in Stone and Taney counties. Since the endowment was established in 2013, more than $5.3 million in grants have been awarded.
To be considered for Skaggs Legacy Endowment funding, programs must be health and wellness related and serve Stone and/or Taney County residents. Eligible applicants must be nonprofit with current proof of 501(c)3 status, a school or governmental agency. Priority will be given to collaborative initiatives that address access to care, child and family safety, dental care, mental health, healthy lifestyles or substance use.
“Through the Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant making program, we are investing in the health and wellness of our community today and for generations to come,” says Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants Committee Chairman Nita Jane Ayres. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with area organizations for the good of Stone and Taney counties.”
Two levels of grants are currently available:
For Joelle Williams, where there is a will, there is a way.
Williams, a homeschooling mother of 7, is on track to graduate in May with a bachelor of science in nursing.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” Williams explained. “I have a transcript from 12 different universities. I’ve started and then I’d have a baby and I wanted to be with them, or we would move. Then, I’d start again, have another baby or move and stop.”
Williams said she had dreamed of working in the medical field since she was 16.
“I never really knew any nurses but I knew a lot of doctors,” she said. “When I got married, I just kind of dug into my home life of being a wife, a mom and a home educator.”
Shortly after she and her husband moved to the Branson area two years ago, she made the decision to go back to nursing school, again.
“It was the first time in 21 years that I wasn’t pregnant or nursing,” she said, adding her two oldest children were both in college and her youngest is now 4. “When I found out that Cox College had an accelerated (nursing) program, I knew that’s what I needed to do. If my whole family was going to hold their breath so that mom could chase her dream, it was going to have to be fast. This sounds cliché but I really couldn’t be doing this without the support of my husband and my children. I think homeschooling has allowed me to prepare for this craziness because you do have to be super organized. My children clean the house. They know how to cook. That has helped me not feel so bad when I’m nose deep in books.”
While Williams and her family have managed to make their busy schedule work, Skaggs Foundation has helped financially. Over the past two years, Williams has received four scholarships from Skaggs Foundation. In addition to that, Williams was one of three senior nursing students to receive a $10,000 scholarship from Cox College. The Cox College scholarship was made possible through a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant.
“What an example of lending a hand to somebody,” she said about Skaggs Foundation. “I feel inspired by the generosity of Skaggs Foundation and that they would care enough to help prepare us to help others. I hope to make them very proud of me as a health professional in this community.”
An IRA is a great way to save for retirement – you are preparing for the future while taking advantage of current tax savings. Eventually, however, those taxes come due when you or your beneficiaries take distributions from the IRA. Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the big tax bill: make a gift from your IRA to Skaggs Foundation.
“If you are 70½ years old or older, you can use the charitable IRA rollover to make a tax-free gift to Skaggs Foundation where your money will be put to work to improve the health of your friends and neighbors in Stone and Taney counties,” says Meghan Connell, president of Skaggs Foundation.
“The law allows an individual to transfer up to $100,000 each year directly from a traditional IRA to qualified charities, such as Skaggs Foundation, without including the distribution in your income,” explains local attorney Patricia Fleetwood.
If you have not already taken all of your required minimum distribution for the year, this direct donation to charity can count toward the satisfaction of that amount. Excluding the amount of the gift from your income however, means you can’t also take a charitable contribution deduction for the donation. As everyone’s situation is different, you should talk with your tax adviser to make sure this approach makes sense for you.
“What is great about this opportunity is that it allows you to immediately see the difference your contribution makes,” Connell says. “Gifts to Skaggs Foundation allows us to continue the many health and wellness programs that are helping thousands of individuals in our community live better, healthier lives.”
You don’t have to be over 70 to make a commitment to help your community.
“Regardless of your age, you can give from your IRA at your death by making Skaggs Foundation a beneficiary of your account,” says Connell. “This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and, if you make your commitment before Dec. 31 of this year, you’ll help Skaggs Foundation take advantage of a wonderful matching fund opportunity.”
Former Foundation Board Member Dennis Newkirk has pledged to match up to $50,000 in bequests to the foundation made now through the end of 2019. To take advantage of this opportunity, commitments to Skaggs Foundation may include pledges from your IRA, will, trust or life insurance policy.
“We are so blessed to have this generous offer from Dennis,” says Connell. “Dennis is a faithful supporter of Skaggs Foundation and the work we are doing in our community. Through this opportunity, Dennis would continue to support the foundation after his lifetime.”
More information about planned giving can be found at skaggsfoundation.org/leave-a-legacy or by calling 417-348-8998.
Skaggs Foundation receives funding for fuel cards to benefit cancer patients
During a special presentation Nov. 14, Table Rock Lake Community Foundation awarded $17,487 to area organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people living in Stone and Southeast Barry counties. Skaggs Foundation was honored to be one of the eight recipients. Skaggs Foundation received a $1,000 grant to purchase fuel cards for cancer patients who, without this help, would not be able to afford travel costs to get to and from vital appointments.
The foundation was able to purchase 50 fuel cards at $20 each, meaning as many as 50 cancer patients could benefit from this gift.
“Cancer is a terrible diagnosis that puts a huge strain on individuals physically, mentally and financially,” says Mindy Honey, director of community relations for Skaggs Foundation. “Some patients are traveling to the cancer center as much as five days a week for eight weeks, so the cost associated with travel to and from appointments alone can be a huge burden. These fuel cards are a simple way we can alleviate some of that burden. Skaggs Foundation is truly grateful to Table Rock Lake Community Foundation for making these possible.”
The primary role for the Table Rock Lake Community Foundation is to establish endowed funds for the purpose of funding a community grant-making program, which addresses the most important needs of the community at any given time. This flexibility is made possible by charitable donors who have established funding programs and have placed the decision-making action in the hands of community leaders serving on the TRLCF Board of Directors.
In addition to Skaggs Foundation’s grant for fuel cards, other grants awarded during the event Nov. 14 include: Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks – Reeds Spring Unit, $2,972 for a Cents of Pride Store; CCUMC – Harvest Community Garden, $2,500 to support community garden projects; Galena High School Public Health Class, $3,000 for costs associated with providing Biology of Public Health Course; Kimberling Area Senior Center, $815 to replace a freeze-proof faucet; Pregnancy Life Line, $1,700 to purchase 40 Pack and Plays for a safe sleep program; SKITS, $3,000 for a beltpack system; Tri-Lakes Humane Society, $2,500 to build a dog walking area.