News

What’s Your Reason?

AMVETS Feature on Cystic Fibrosis & Sean’s PalsOhio ROTC – Dogs on Deployment
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Cancer Care
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Healthy Moms and Babies Fund
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Patient Assistance Fund
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital SeniorBeat
Sigma Phi Epsilon Honors the Legacy of Fallen Brother David Spyke
WellWorks Risk Reduction Program – Cathy Waller

 


RFAR Feature – Brandon Elliott and Amber Holler – Reason: Cancer Patient Fund

CancerCare

Brandon Elliott poses after completing his last Triathlon at Deercreek State Park in Mt. Sterling, Ohio

 

Brandon Elliott, MBA, Information Systems Financial Analyst and Amber Holler, RN for Oncology at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital have teamed up to help bring awareness to the hospital’s Cancer Patient fund. This fund provides the opportunity for patients to receive rides for treatment and assistance with the high cost of chemotherapy drugs, among other various needs.

“Amber and I are both participating in this year’s Sprint Triathlon. This will be Amber’s first Triathlon and my first attempt at the Race for a Reason course,” remarked Elliott. “Training for a triathlon takes dedication and effort to finish the task of swimming, biking and running the long distances. It is hard work, but it is nothing like the battle against cancer. It is much easier to beat the odds when you have a team supporting you to the finish. Our Cancer Support team is giving a hand to those who need it most.”

Elliot and Holler have been successful in reaching out to the O’Bleness family to help support this cause. Several members of the IT, surgery and lab teams at O’Bleness Hospital have signed up to support them in the 3k, 5k, and Mud run events. Through Race for a Reason, Elliott and Holler hope to achieve awareness of this fund throughout the Athens Community.

“We want the community to know O’Bleness cares about its patients and their families. Race for a Reason is an important part of our partnerships with Ohio University, the city of Athens, and the surrounding community. Together we can help each other live a better life.”

For inquiries into how your organization can participate in this year’s event please contact Brent Culver at ohioraceforareason@gmail.com or visit http://www.ohioraceforareason.com to register and get set up with a fundraising page.


AMVETS Feature on Cystic Fibrosis & Sean’s Pals

A Giant Veteran Inspired – Bill Squires

Bill Squires

 

Bill Squires is an icon among icons; a Giant among veterans whose success among the top echelons of professional sports management is only shadowed by his ‘lead-by-example’ ability to inspire others to give of themselves above and beyond.

Bill and wife Jodi can talk for hours about the inspirations in their life surrounding their son Sean. How tough he is and how he’s about as patriotic as they come. How he understands what this country is about, and what the armed services are all about. They can talk about all the famous people he’s met so far in his 17 years of life. And they can only imagine what will transpire for Sean from those he’ll meet in the years to come. Bill’s enviable network of high-powered personalities, and role models for Sean, come from decades-long friendships and associations with sports management colleagues. Among them Kevin Abrams, the Assistant General Manager of the New York Football Giants, and Pat Hanlon, the Giants’ Senior VP of Communications (and Sean’s Godfather).

“What’s important are not my dreams for Sean,” said Bill. “What’s important are his dreams for himself.” In a perfect world, with all the attributes, blessings and high-profile network afforded him, Sean would surely aspire to follow in his father’s footprints and matriculate to the Naval Academy. The painful twist of fate? Sean Squires has a life threatening disease that affects his lungs and digestive system… a somewhat rare disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U.S., yet it is the number one genetic killer of children.

Sean was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when he was five years old. Compounding the devastating news, Bill and Jodi were told that there was no cure. Fifty years ago, children born with cystic fibrosis rarely survived through elementary school.

CF is an ‘orphan disease’ (meaning it affects less than 200,000 people in the U.S.). It doesn’t get the attention of government researchers or the pharmaceutical industry. Any efforts to develop drugs and treatments in pursuit of a cure for CF fall on the shoulders of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), which depends very heavily on private donations of friends and families of those with CF.

For more information about the dangers and conditions that Cystic Fibrosis patients face with their disease, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website at http://www.cff.org/

For more information about Sean Squires and opportunities to help Sean’s Pals change the future of those with CF, visit Sean’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seans-Pals/140257362711731 and http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/SeansPals.

For the full magazine, Click Here and turn to Page 14!


Ohio University ROTC Raises Money To Help Support Military Pets Left Stateside

Group Devoting Race for a Reason Fundraising to Dogs on Deployment, Folds of Honor

ATHENS, OHIO – Imagine having no other option but leaving your pet at a shelter when you go to serve overseas. No home, no family, and for the military member, no peace of mind.

Far too often, this is the case when a military member is assigned to work overseas. In 2011, military members Shawn and Alisa Johnson looked to solve this problem.

Enter Dogs on Deployment.

Founded by the Johnson’s, the organization provides military members with a network to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed. After learning about the organization last fall, Ohio University ROTC member Alexandra Hambilton became adamant about finding a way to help these military pets.

Enter Race for a Reason.

“I saw a video for Dogs on Deployment on Facebook and I was instantly drawn in, “ said Hambilton. “When we were deciding what to do for Race for a Reason this year the battalion was immediately on board for adding the organization to our fundraising efforts.”

In years past, the group used Race for a Reason to raise money solely for Folds of Honor, an organization that provides financial assistance and scholarship programs for families of those who had members hurt or killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. This year, the battalion split the efforts between the Alpha and Bravo companies, with the Alpha Company raising money for Dogs on Deployment and Bravo fundraising for Folds of Honor. The battalion’s goal is to fundraise $2,500 for each organization.

Alpha company member and dog owner Melinda Leen is excited to do her part to get the Dogs on Deployment name out there to the local community.

“One of the biggest comforts we have as military people are our pets,” claimed Leen. “I have had my black lab Lilly for five years and am a single soldier. Eventually, I might have to have someone else take care of her and there’s no way I could leave knowing she might not be in good hands.”

Leen is also excited about the opportunity to promote Dogs on Deployment in future events outside Race for a Reason.

“After Race for a Reason, we want to continue to have a chance help out these pets,” said Leen. “We want to eventually run our own 5k in the fall, invite families to run with their dogs and give people the opportunity to even volunteer themselves for pet foster homes.”

Finally, Leen invites the rest of the Campus community to find their reason and get involved in the event on April 25.

“I think Race for a Reason is a chance for the students to give back to charities themselves without any pressure. This is truly an event that acts as a big avenue that bonds us all together through individual investment.” said Leen.

For more information on Dogs on Deployment, visit http://dogsondeployment.org/

For more information on Folds of Honor, visit https://www.foldsofhonor.org/

The 2015 OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Race for a Reason will be held on April 25, 2015 and $10 of every registration fee automatically goes to the charity of the participant’s choice. For more information on the event and how to join, visit http://ohioraceforareason.com/


Sigma Phi Epsilon Honors the Legacy of Fallen Brother David Spyke Through Race for a Reason

Chapter Raised $3,400 for Brain Trauma in 2014, Looks to Increase Mark in 2015

ATHENS, Ohio — On May 13, 2013, Ohio University’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon lost a brother.

David Spyke tragically lost his life when he crashed and struck his head while skateboarding with friends outside of Cincinnati on the afternoon of May 12, 2013. Spyke was airlifted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died the next morning due to a traumatic brain injury.

At the time of his passing, Spyke had just completed his sophomore year at Ohio University as a Biological Sciences major. He was the recipient of the Gateway Excellence Scholarship, an award given to a student whose goal is to become a neurological science researcher. Above all else, according to Sigma Phi Epsilon member Alex France, David was a selfless individual who made a daily effort to better the lives of others.

“David was such a genuine, good person,” said France. “He was someone who strove to help others, academically or personally. We knew we wanted to do something for him. It was just a question of what.”

With the help of current MBA/MSA student and Ohio State Sigma Phi Epsilon alum Eric Mayer, Race for a Reason became that “what.”

“We are extremely thankful that Eric brought Race for a Reason to our attention,” explained France. “After hearing about that event, we immediately thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for brain trauma and honor David.”

The fraternity ramped up its fundraising efforts for the Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the outcomes for patients of traumatic brain injuries by improving practices, conducting research and further educating medical professionals. The end result was over $3,400 raised in just four weeks.

“I had little doubt that the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon would run a successful fundraising campaign,” said Mayer. “But I did not anticipate the passion in which the brothers wanted to raise money in memory of David. It was incredible.”

For the 2015 version of the event in April, France expects the chapter to go beyond the $3,400 mark.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to raise more than last year and continue to honor David’s legacy,” said France. “We are getting our new brothers involved and making them passionate about this event and its connection to our fraternity.”

Finally, France urges all Ohio University students to find their reason to participate in the event this April.

“I really hope to see more people out this year,” said France. “Race for a Reason is great because it gives everyone an outlet to get involved for their own cause. You don’t have to subscribe to some predetermined cause to get involved. You get to raise money for something you care about and get connected to the campus community as a whole.”

On May 13, 2013, Ohio University’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon lost a brother.

On April 26, 2014, they honored him.

On April 25, 2015, they will again.

For more information about the Brain Trauma Foundation, visit https://www.braintrauma.org/

The 2015 OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Race for a Reason will be held on April 25, 2015 and $10 of every registration fee automatically goes to the charity of the participant’s choice. For more information on the event and how to join, visit http://ohioraceforareason.com/



RFAR Feature – Alice Hawthorne – Reason: Patient Assistance Fund

As a social worker at O’Bleness Hospital, Alice Hawthorne goes to work everyday with a mission to improve the lives of others. Possessing the kind of selfless attitude and desire to help people that inspires many, Hawthorne was determined to find additional ways to help improve the lives of the patients she cares so much about.

When presented with the chance to spearhead a fundraising initiative through O’Bleness through Race for a Reason this spring, Hawthorne jumped at the opportunity. Hawthorne has taken on the role of Team Captain for the Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital Patient Assistance Fund in this year’s race. The fund raised over $350 during the 2014 race, and she is determined to beat that number this year.

Established in 2014, the Patient Assistance Fund relies solely on charitable contributions to help support patients in need. The program serves to provide support to patients in the form of things they may need such as co-pays for medical care, prescription assistance, grocery gift cards, among many others.

As we continue a series featuring the various reasons supported through Race for a Reason, we took some time to catch up with Alice Hawthorne. We asked Alice to share in her own words, a little about the Athens Community, her work with O’Bleness Hospital, and how funding secured through Race for a Reason has impacted the patients that she cares so much about.

Patient Assistance Fund

Here’s Alice’s Story:

What’s your reason?

My reason is the Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital Patient Assistance Fund. This program is relatively new with last years race for a reason being our first effort at raising funds for the program. The fund is designed to provide for patients with needs that cannot reasonably be met by the patient/family or within the community.

Why is funding through charitable events like Race for a Reason important for this program?

The program is solely supported by charitable donations to the fund, including contributions through Race for a Reason. Before funds are utilized, the hospital social workers complete an assessment and consider other alternatives for meeting a patients needs. I believe the fund is another way we demonstrate our commitment to making quality healthcare available to all. Examples of how funds may be used include, co-pay assistance for medical equipment; a home care visit; purchase of grocery store gift card; or prescription assistance.

Why did you specifically want to be a captain?

Last year was my first time to participate in race for a reason and it was fun, positive and family centered event and I didn’t hesitate once when the hospital ask me if I was interested in serving as a captain again this year. I enjoy positive, competitive events. Not only are we at OhioHealth participating in Race for a Reason, but we also have teams within the hospital competing to generate support for our own “team reasons”. It’s a nice time to come out and support the hospital and community with your family and friends and others within the community.

How are recruiting efforts going? Any fun things you’re doing to encourage participation?

We here at the hospital are just starting to brainstorm on recruitment efforts and building our teams. Of course there will be competition within the hospital by all team captains to encourage other associates to join their cause. Each team will be choosing their t-shirt color that the hospital associates will be wearing on race day.

Any plans to make your group stand out on Race Day?

Even though all four Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital teams will be gathering support for their cause, come race day I am sure we will all, as we did last year, come together as one team for our community.

Can you describe specifics of your work with O’Bleness?

This team will have co-captains, Channing Olbers and myself. We are both hospital social workers. Every day we work with patients and families and try to identify needs and then resources to meet those needs.

What is the most rewarding part of your work with O’Bleness?

Helping patient and families through a difficult time. I find it rewarding to help others finds answers in difficult times when they may be feeling overwhelmed and are having trouble meeting needs or knowing what to do next. It’s helpful to have someone with a fresh set of eyes to look at a situation and help prioritize needs.

What does the Athens community mean to you?

I appreciate that Athens County is a rural community with Ohio University right here in Athens. The two come together and offer a nice mix of people. You have some who may have lived in the area for generations and others who come to work or attend Ohio University and are new to the area.

For inquiries into how your organization can participate in this year’s event please contact Brent Culver at ohioraceforareason@gmail.com or visit http://www.ohioraceforareason.com to register and get set up with a fundraising page.



RFAR Feature – Cathy Waller – Reason: WellWorks Risk Reduction Program

Cathy Waller and her Reason were brought together by her need to make a change. After her mother passed away from chronic health problems in 2013, Cathy made a commitment. That commitment was to work towards a happier and healthier life.

That decision eventually led to the WellWorks Risk Reduction Program. One year after Risk Reduction helped Cathy transform her life and achieve her goal of completing the OU HCOM Medicine Run 5k, Cathy is utilizing Race for a Reason to give back to the program.

WellWorks Risk Reduction program is a comprehensive approach to wellness, focused primarily on the prevention and rehabilitation of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The program focuses on healthy living habits that reduce the risk factors that can contribute to those diseases. WellWorks Risk Reduction empowers amazing people like Cathy to take ownership of their wellness by getting active, eating healthier and managing stress so that they may enjoy a higher quality of life.

DSCF7092

We asked Cathy to share her story in her own words, and why Race for a Reason is a special event for her:

What impact did the Well Works Risk Reduction program have on your life?

How about – it gave me a life?? My life is so much bigger and brighter… (and dangerous) since I became part of the Risk Reduction family. Instead of thinking of all the reasons I can’t do something – I think, why not? Which has resulted in zip-lining, white water rafting, a trophy winning kickball team and coming up this summer…..skydiving!!

“Dreams don’t happen because we dream them… they happen because we do something about them.”

The odd thing was that I did not even know what my dream was until I was living it. Due to the extremely poor health and resulting poor quality of life in the months before she passed away, it became my goal to NOT have my sons have to experience that with me.

I was on seven medications for diabetes, and high blood pressure . I now am only on very small dosages of two!

What most people see is the physical change – I have lost 120 lbs- I often to speak to people who have known me for years and they don’t recognize me. But it is not the weight loss that is the most important to me. It is what happened in my head and in my heart.

In my head- I have learned that just breaking things down to the NOW – makes it possible to do what was once the impossible. I work out every day and I love it! I set small goals like – “Hmmm, I would like to be able to do one real push up” and now with the encouragement of my trainer, the marvelous Morgan Mitchell, I can do at least 10 in a row!

In my heart – I know that if you have the hope or dream of a better life, and take one small step forward there are all these people at WellWorks Risk Reduction, who have their hands out, just waiting to help you find that better life.

I have made so many new friends, who all shared in the celebration of my journey – the individuals who were in my cohort – we call ourselves the Super 7 – because there were 7 in our group – have become my very dearest friends. We are almost 2 years out from completion and we still do things together and provide support to each other in many ways.

Can you share a Race For A Reason story that highlights why you enjoy participating?

Race For A Reason in 2014 came near the end of my year in the Risk Reduction program. In my head, I thought “If I can actually walk a 5k that means I have really truly changed my life. I asked family and friends to walk with me – many of them were new friends who had known me less than a year – they ALL said YES!! And we ALL finished!

In my old life, I don’t think I could have walked 3 blocks without needing to stop and rest – this was proof positive that I was not that person any more. Everyone can walk, run, or as my friend & mentor Josh Christen says, “wog” (which is walking and jogging) at their own pace – it is not about beating others, it is about being your best for you

For inquiries into how your organization can participate in this year’s event please contact Brent Culver at ohioraceforareason@gmail.com or visit http://www.ohioraceforareason.com to register and get set up with a fundraising page.


OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Healthy Moms and Babies Fund

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Race for a Reason prides itself on bringing the Athens community together to help make a difference in people’s lives but the real work takes place through the daily efforts of numerous dedicated individuals throughout the Athens community.

Pam Born, this year’s team race captain for the Healthy Moms and Babies Fund, is one of these individuals. Pam takes pride in making a difference in people’s lives through her work as RN and Practice Manager of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Athens Medical Associates Obstetrics and Gynecology (AMA OB/GYN).

Focused on meeting the emotional, physical, and financial needs of women and their children throughout the Southern Ohio region, the Healthy Moms and Babies Fund raised over $430 last year through Race for a Reason. With Pam’s leadership, the group is well on it’s way to surpassing that total this year.

As we continue a series focusing on the various reasons supported by Race for a Reason, we took some time to catch up with Pam Born. Pam gave us some insight into what the Athens community means to her and how Race for a Reason has helped secure funding for her cause.

Pam Born (Far Right) poses with co-workers and one of their patients.

Pam Born (Far Right) poses with co-workers and one of their patients.

Q&A with Healthy Moms & Healthy Babies Team Captain Pam Born

What’s your reason?

My reason is the Healthy Moms and Babies Fund at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital

What’s the background on why you chose to raise for it?

The reason I chose to raise funds for this cause is because as a nurse and Practice Manager of AMA OB/GYN, we often see women and children with needs that aren’t able to be met by other resources.  Clothing, diapers, swaddling blankets, cribs, pack-n-plays, and car seats/baby carriers are often unavailable through other sources and are expensive to purchase.  Expenses related to transportation are another area of concern for women trying to get to appointments for both mother and child.  While not that expensive using Athens County transit systems it is an additional financial burden on already stretched incomes.  Our goal is to be able to provide these necessary items for women unable to afford them by other means.  Being warm, wearing clean diapers, having a safe place to sleep, and having safe transportation should be available to each child and mother.

Why did you specifically want to be a captain?

I wanted to be a Captain of this team so that I can feel I have made a difference in someone’s life – if even for a day.

How are recruiting efforts going?  Any fun things you’re doing to encourage participation?

Recruiting efforts are going well – we were the largest O’Bleness team last year!  I think this is a reason that many people can get behind.  We haven’t decided on additional fund raisers yet but I have a few ideas.

Any plans to make your group stand out on race day?

Plans to stand out on race day- have the largest and rowdiest 🙂 group at the event!  Wear our Race Shirts with pride and represent our reason well!

Describe specifics of your work with O’Bleness.

My work at O’Bleness involves being the Practice Manager of AMA OB/GYN office group (as stated above).  I am also a Registered Nurse.  My staff and I pride ourselves on the respectful, courteous, and professional services we provide to women of Athens County and the surrounding counties.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work with O’Bleness?

My most rewarding work is being a part of AMA OB/GYN.  I am proud of the physicians and staff that I work with.  They are terrific people that always make the patient the center of all we do!  We try to meet the needs of our patients – not just physical needs but also mental and emotional.  These things go hand-in-hand – women often skip taking care of themselves when other needs haven’t been met or others need taken care of.  We want to make sure our women are taken care of!

For inquires into how your organization can participate in this year’s event please contact Brent Culver at ohioraceforareason@gmail.com or visit http://www.ohioraceforareason.com to register for an event!


OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital SeniorBeat

The more than 800 SeniorBEAT and “Be Educated and Active Together!” members share in fun, fellowship and education programs sponsored by OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital. With inconsistent weather and a large student population, being active and social in Athens can sometimes be challenging for seniors. Programs that provide these opportunities, along with education, offer an invaluable service to seniors within the Athens community.

One such program has led the charge to provide these services to the elderly within the Athens Community. Spearheaded by Program Director Joy Miller Upton, the SeniorBeat program through OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital is a free program for citizens of the Athens community over the age of 60.

As we unveil a new series focusing on the various reasons supported by the OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Race for a Reason, we took some time to catch up with SeniorBeat Program Director Joy Miller Upton to gain some insight into what the Athens community means to her and how Race for a Reason has helped secure funding for her cause.

SeniorBeat Program Director Joy Miller Upton (left) talks with Rosemary Huntsman(right), at the 2014 Race for a Reason event.  Rosemary walked in the event and was 89 at the time of the race.

SeniorBeat Program Director Joy Miller Upton (left) talks with Rosemary Huntsman(right), at the 2014 Race for a Reason event. Rosemary walked in the event and was 89 at the time of the race.

Q&A with SeniorBeat Program Director Joy Miller Upton

What’s your reason for participating in Race for a Reason?

Our Reason is the SeniorBEAT (Be Educated and Active Together), a free program for Athens community members over the age of 60, which provides educational, social and physical activities each week of every month.

Why did you choose to raise money in this way and how has the race helped your funding?

We want to provide extra opportunities and resources for members of SeniorBEAT. For example, we used part of our 2014 RFAR funds to purchase 12 beach balls used for our chair volleyball teams, fund travel expenses for a speaker and purchase a new sound system so our members can hear speakers better.

Why did you specifically want to be a captain?

Because it is fun and inspiring!

How are recruiting efforts going towards participation towards your cause?

We are just getting started but as word gets out I know members and their friends will sign up.

Any fun things you’re doing to encourage participation?

We are talking about the event at all our meetings and publicizing it in our monthly newsletter.

Are there any plans to make your group stand out on race day?

Well, we make sure our members know they will have someone to walk with, no matter if they are turtle-slow or rather quick. (Last year we had walkers who ranged in age from about 60 to 90 years old.) Maybe I can find a turtle hat and a road runner hat for some of our walk leaders!

Describe specifics of your work with O’Bleness.

As program director of SeniorBEAT I arrange for speakers for our monthly meetings and history group and arrange for other events. I also work with volunteers who assist with researching books for our book club and restaurants for our lunch group, as well as members who play instruments for our singing group. We also have a volunteer who sends email reminders for all our activities and who coordinates our involvement in the annual chair volleyball tournament. I coordinate nine volunteers who lead our three times weekly exercise classes and arrange to keep them up-to-date with training and CPR classes (I am also an exercise class leader). I meet monthly with a 12-member board to discuss activities and policies. And I write stories, take photos and design the monthly newsletter.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work with O’Bleness?

Working with all kinds of people from the community who appreciate the resources we can offer them. I love seeing lively book club discussions, going to meetings where peoples’ hands shoot up to ask question after question of a doctor or history group presenter, lunching with people who love to socialize, joining members singing all kinds of songs at our singing group, and playing chair volleyball, walking and exercising with people who will never be couch potatoes!

What does the Athens community mean to you?

As an Ohio University graduate, I feel a special connection to both the university and the community. Athens means “home” to me. Although I haven’t always lived in Athens, it is my soulmate of places, and the people who populate it are extremely special in my life. I feel as if I’ve grown up there, and now I am privileged to grow older there.

Like many other organizations, fundraising through Race for a Reason was very successful for Joy and her team in 2014. After raising nearly $900 for their cause, Joy was able to provide additional resources to help make the SeniorBeat program even more impactful in the lives of senior citizens and she looks forward to making this year just as successful.

For inquires into how your organization can participate in this year’s event please contact Brent Culver at ohioraceforareason@gmail.com or visit http://www.ohioraceforareason.com to register for an event!

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