OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Patient Assistance Fund

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.