A Deeper Impact - Green Tree Community Health Foundation

greentreecommunityhealth.org

A Deeper Impact - Green Tree Community Health Foundation

AFace FacetoWritten by: Kathryn Maleney,Face to Face, Development DirectorFace to Face Social Worker, Susan Willson, meets with a client.When the Green Tree Community Health Foundation grantedsupport to the Face to Face Health Center last Spring, it wasassuring the success of one of the cornerstones in the socialnetwork of East Germantown. The nurse managed healthcenter is part of the colorful umbrella of programs offered byFace to Face at St. Vincent Community Center on Price Street.The organization offers programs for adults and children, anddraws volunteers from across Philadelphia and its suburbs.On a Sunday morning at Face to Face,the line for the Dining Room formsquickly. The midday meal draws hundredsof people from across Germantown andNorthwest Philadelphia. The hall isenergetic; people call out to each other,stamp snow off worn shoes and settle in,waiting for the warm scents drifting fromthe kitchen to become a meal served ona plate, steaming before them.EncounterThe corridor is jumping, but acrossfrom the dining room there is a doorwhich opens half an hour before the mealis served. The Face to Face Health Centeris a haven of calm and healing in thelively stream.Stepping inside, the wooden floors andlight from large windows filtered throughsoft curtains, take the clinical edge offthe health center. Flute music is playedon a CD and, for a moment, one istransported to a place far from thehustle of life on the streets ofEast Germantown.“We work to create an atmospherewhere healing and wholeness arethe reality” explains Health CenterDirector, Donna Whitehead. “Ourintroduction to the client starts withblood pressure screening, assessingfor history of medical problemssuch as diabetes, heart disease,emergently treating wounds andtriaging immediate issues, as well asworking to connect patients to healthcare providers and services. But aboveall, we work to create an atmosphereof trust, where transformation andempowerment become a possibilityand, we hope, a reality.”Donna Whitehead, BSN, hasdirected the center since 2005, havingsucceeded to the post after thefounding director, Melanie GavinMSN, retired. The mission of thehealth center has remained consistentsince its founding, providing nursingcare, foot care, complementarywellness modalities and social service.Nurses work to link clients to healthSusan Koster, RN, CRNP during a workshop on Diabetes Careand social services, including primaryhealthcare, striving to do this in a friendlycommunity based atmosphere.In any week there are multipleexamples of success at the center, butsuccess comes quietly, often a matterof what doesn’t happen. There is anabsence of drama when a person witha heart condition becomes regularin taking their medication, and it ishard to see the success which is theresult of encouraging a client to setappointments and maintain regularcontact with a primary care physician– but these are exactly the successeswhich health center nurses take pride in.“Here’s an example” says Whitehead,looking through a logbook of significantcases. “Mr. B. came in to our healthcenter to ask for vitamins. We dida routine blood pressure checkand found that his blood pressurewas extremely high and in need oftreatment. He had no idea that hisblood pressure was dangerouslyhigh, but as a result of our referralto primary health care, whichresulted in the start of high bloodpressure medications, his bloodpressure is now well managed. Also,Mr. B has taken a proactive role inhis care, and seeks, through our healthcenter, continuous monitoring andhealth education.”When a person has lived on theoutside of “mainstream” society,whether on the streets or in prisonor elsewhere, he or she often feelsjudged when entering the offices andinstitutions of mainstream society.The Face to Face Health Centerprovides a bridge that helps bringpeople, who do not find it easy to stepinto regular doctors’ offices, to beginto establish a path toward personalempowerment for wellness. Trustand caring relationships are keys tosuccess at the health center. BecauseMr. B sensed that he was in a settingwhere he would not be judged, butwould be accepted, he felt comfortabletaking a step that he would not havetaken otherwise. Sincere care for thewell being of clients like Mr. B. makesthe Face to Face nurses so successfulin their work.Last year there were more than3,500 health center encounters, withmore than half of clients respondingpositively to follow up on nurserecommendations. These numbers areimpressive, especially for a health centerthat is open only 12 hours per week.Funds from the Green Tree CommunityHealth Foundation have beeninstrumental in the operation of thecenter. The pool of nurses availablefor this work is small. Funds from theFoundation have helped Face to Faceattract and retain excellent nurses andsupport staff for the program.In the year ahead, the HealthCenter will be seeing a significantexpansion in its office space. Theadditional space will allow for morehealth empowerment workshops ontopics like Diabetes, Nutrition, andStress Management. The HealthCenter will also become host tothe new Washateria, where clientscan take showers and launder theirclothes. These projects are justgetting started in the spring, andwill become part of the HealthCenter work by early autumn. •Strengthening families,one baby at a timeWritten by: Bette Begleiter, MCC, Deputy Executive DirectorWhile there has been much in thenews about the uninsured and underinsured,little has been focused on theneeds of a very important group ofpeople – our region’s expectant Moms.With all the concerns new mothersmust manage, can you imaginealso having to worry about howyou will be able to pay for prenatalcare? Sadly, we have seen too manywomen postpone, and at times forgo,prenatal care because they lackedhealth insurance. With the generoussupport of Green Tree CommunityHealth Foundation, Maternity CareCoalition’s Northwest MOMobileprogram now works to ensure thatall pregnant women have early andadequate prenatal care by helpingthem to access the insurance thatmakes care possible. One such womanIn December 2008, Green TreeCommunity Health Foundationawarded scholarships to 17 nurses,pursuing advanced education,from the Elissa Messori NursingScholarship Fund. Since its firstawards in 2002, 64 scholarshipsto 43 nurses enrolled in nursingstudies have been made for a totaldistribution from the MessoriFund of $146,407. Not only is thisan investment in their education,it is an investment in nursingexcellence—clinical skill andcompassionate care—for thecommunity. To learn more aboutthe Scholarship Fund please visitwww.greentreecommunityhealth.org. If you are interested in makinga donation to support Scholarshipsawarded in the future please contactus, 215-438-8102 or updates@greentreecommunityhealth.org.helped was Lynn, a 31 year old womanwith a lovely smile. Lynn wanted thebest for her baby, so she applied forJavier Alexander Hall - son of WestPhiladelphia MOMobile clientDrexel UniversityMeredith Robison (Royersford)Harcum CollegeKathi Reilley (Ambler)Immaculata CollegeMary Ellen Bower (Ambler)Barbara Daulerio (Roxborough)Cecelia Ford (Mt. Airy)Natalie McGraw (West Oak Lane)Melissa Leach (Glenside)Bethanne Salamone (Horsham)Jennifer White (Roxborough)Gwynedd Mercy CollegeSusan Eberwine (Blue Bell)Susan Esquirell (Harleysville)Diane Lomas (North Wales)Joanne Markowitz (Horsham)Kathleen Morrione (Norristown)Lisa Reiss (Harleysville)LaSalle UniversityAnna Grasela (Port Richmond)Villanova UniversityGina Genesio (Wayne)Medicaid early in her pregnancy.To her dismay, she was deniedbenefits. Unable to understand whyher application was not approved,Lynn turned to the MOMobile.Maternity Care Coalition’s expertlytrained Advocates quickly connectedLynn to prenatal care at a Philadelphiacommunity health center while, at thesame time, working with the CountyAssistance Office to fix the “glitch”that had incorrectly rejected Lynn’sapplication. Within a few weekswe were thrilled to get Lynn’s call,expressing her excitement that shehad received insurance and couldnow see her own doctor for prenatalcare. We are privileged to play a partin stories of success like Lynn’s andto continue strengthening families,one baby at a time.Nursing Scholarships AwardedNusing Scholarship Awardees arejoined by (front row, left to right)Susan Hansen, Executive Directorand CEO; Tine Hansen-Turton,Board member and ScholarshipCommittee Chair; and Dr. DivoMessori at the presentation receptionin December 2008 at the homeCheryl Wade, Board member.Arthur ryan2 3 4


Love Story… Northwest Philly StyleWritten by: Rachel Falkove, NPIHN, Executive DirectorInterfaith Hospitality Network ofNorthwest Philadelphia (NPIHN), oneof the organizations that Green TreeCommunity Health Foundation supports,is celebrating an unexpected, sweetresult of its work.John Washington and Aislyn Lee, twograduates NPIHN’s shelter program, justrecently got married!John was a single father of twoteenager daughters, whom he raised onhis own since they were young. He andhis daughters lived with his sick, agingmother, for whom he provided care aswell. After his mother died, John, whoworked as a chef in a center city hospital,began looking for a two-bedroomapartment that he could afford on hissalary, without his mother’s monthlyincome. However, nothing was in his pricerange of about $450 a month.Aislyn was a newly-separated motherof three young children. She had just beenlaid off from her well-paid airline job andwas struggling to find work to pay for anapartment. Aislyn was thinking about acareer change to nursing. However, shecould not even afford a place to live, letalone college tuition.Neither John nor Aislyn expected tobe homeless. They were hard-workingpeople, devoted to taking care of theirchildren. But they were unable to do sowithout subsidized housing, which hadwaiting lists of many years.Both ended up at NPIHN in 2006,Aislyn first and John several monthslater, when their families moved intoGermantown Mennonite Church,one of NPIHN’s participating hostcongregations. After having spent twoweeks in Philadelphia’s shelter for women,the only option for John to stay with hisdaughters, John, especially, was relievedto be in a quiet, calm environment, witha private room, home-cooked meals, andcaring congregational volunteers.He and Aislyn became friends duringtheir stay, and the friendship continuedpost-shelter, when they found themselvesliving in the same neighborhood. Afterhelping out with each other’s children for5Aislyn Lee and John Washington enjoy a welldeserved eveningabout a year, they decided that they werereally “in a relationship.”On March 21, 2009, John and Aislynexchanged their vows in the churchwhere they met, surrounded by family,friends, and NPIHN staff and volunteers,many of whom held their hands and gavethem encouragement throughout andbeyond their shelter stay. A sweet touch... Amy Yoder McLaughlin, the NPIHNvolunteer coordinator who welcomed Johnand Aislyn to Germantown MennoniteChurch, is now a pastoral student atLutheran Theological Seminary andofficiated at the wedding.John and Aislyn currently participatein NPIHN’s Transformational HousingProgram. Their blended family, whichincludes six children, resides comfortablyin a congregational parsonage inGermantown that was rehabilitated byNPIHN volunteers. John survived a jobloss after 16 years of service and is nowworking for another hospital, thanks toemployment connections through NPIHN.He has testified before the PennsylvaniaHouse of Representatives Urban AffairsCommittee and met with Senators Caseyand Specter’s office concerning theneed for more affordable housing in safeneighborhoods. Aislyn has been in a prenursingprogram and has started a fulltimejob this week. She also serves as amember of NPIHN’s Board and is a strongadvocate for the housing needs of workingfamilies. Says Aislyn, “Even when timesare dark, one can find community, loveand hope. John and I are proof of that.”FY 08-09 GrantsAid for FriendsFor services in NorthwestPhiladelphiaAwbury ArboretumEast GermantownBreastfeedingResources CenterGlenside & Chestnut HillCARIEFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaCrossing the Finish LineBlue BellDragonfly Forest, Inc.For services in Northwest PhiladelphiaEpiscopal Community ServicesFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaFamily Services ofMontgomery CountyWest NorritonFUMCOGGermantownThe Food TrustNorristown & Chestnut HillJewish EmploymentVocational ServicesFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaJourney’s WayRoxboroughKardon Institute for Arts TherapyFor services in FlourtownKeystone HospiceWyndmoor & Chestnut HillLegal Aid of Southeastern PANorristownMaternal Wellness CenterMt. AiryMercy Neighborhood Ministriesof Philadelphia, Inc.NicetownMANNAFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaNIMMt. Airy & Chestnut HillNorth Light Community CenterManayunkPenn Asian Senior ServicesFor services in Eastern Montgomery CountyPhiladelphia Children’s AllianceFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia Early ChildhoodCollaborativeMt. AiryPhiladelphia OutwardBound CenterFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia Senior Center, Inc.NicetownRSVP of Montgomery CountyBlue BellSt. Catherine LaboureMedical ClinicGermantownSupport Center for ChildAdvocatesFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaSupportive Older Women’sNetworkManayunkTemple’s Time Out Respite ProgramFor services in Northwest PhiladelphiaVisiting Nurse AssociationFor services in Norristown& Eastern Montgomery CountyWomen of Faith and HopeEast GermantownYMCA of GermantownGermantownDesign by Amy T. D’AmicoJoin us...6023 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19144www.greentreecommunityhealth.orgSusan M. Hansen, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEOAmy T. D’Amico, EditorBoard of TrusteesCraig Johnson, PresidentCharlotte Betancourt, Vice PresidentFrancis Ballard, SecretaryJohn Friedman, TreasurerC. Richard Cox | Anita S. CriellyTine Hansen-Turton | John Kimberly, Ph.D.Joan Mattoon | Maitlon RussellBeth Thorp | Walter Tsou, M.D.Cheryl Wade | English Willis, M.D.Would you like to be on our mailing list?215-438-8109 or visit us atwww.greentreecommunityhealth.orgReturn Service RequestedDonor Code 160836CommitteeTine Hansen-Turton,ChairErin O’Connor,Food ChairPam AltmanJudith ButenLynn ClinefelterJulie CoxAnita CriellyAmy D’AmicoMegan DoyleJoy HarbesonGail LozenskiMona MargaritaLinda McAleerEileen RojasRhonda RossLisa StatesBeth ThorpMarian Uhlman

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