The purpose of the Cancer Treatment Endowment is to promote enhanced services and treatment at Bronson Methodist Hospital for cancer patients, provide equipment which will assist patients or family care providers, provide respite opportunities, support community-based research, and to support staff education and training.
Cancer patients affiliated with Bronson Methodist Hospital have a continuum of care that includes in-patient oncology services, as well as out-patient treatment provided by the West Michigan Cancer Center. Cancer knows no boundaries as to gender, race or age.
The items listed below were purchased for oncology patients and staff with funds raised during the annual Karl Kucab Memorial Golf Tournament.
Bronson is grateful to Dan Kucab and the entire Kucab family for their continued support of Bronson's Oncology patients.
Post-Op Breast Cancer Comfort Bags: Breast cancer patients undergoing a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or excisional biopsy at Bronson now have a little added comfort after surgery. Each patient receives a Bronson Comfort Bag. A former patient helped develop what content should be included. The pink tote includes medical items to support the patient in days following surgery including a pillow, lint roller, candy, a blanket, an apron or belt to hold drain bulbs, a tumbler, a journal with a pen, and lip balm. Patients also receive an inspirational letter from Crissy, a former patient. Each bag costs approximately $30. The program has expanded to include all breast cancer patients at Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek. This program benefits 500 patients annually.
“The comfort bags we will provide to our breast cancer surgery patients will give them a few things to help make their recovery easier and we are grateful for the chance to do this.” – Bronson Oncology Nurse Navigator
Drainage bulb holders: Newly purchased in 2015, the JP drain holder holds our mastectomy patients’ drains in place after surgery. Our patients were using safety pins to pin the drain to the inside of their shirt. Some patients have up to four drains, so it’s difficult and quite bulky to pin four separate bulbs to a shirt. The drain holder has alleviated a lot of the frustrations and complications our patients have in dealing with their drains. It allows the drains to always remain secure to the patient’s body while giving them the freedom to remove their clothing as needed. Having to unpin drains frequently can increase the risk of them accidentally getting pulled out. It also protects our patients’ clothing from getting holes due to the safety pins.
Massage Chair: A hospital grade massage chair has been purchased for use on Bronson’s Inpatient Oncology Unit.
“We believe our cancer patients are a very special population with complex needs. We have the opportunity to care for these patients during a very vulnerable time in their lives. Often times we are caring for these patients from the time of diagnosis, therapy, transition to home, or unfortunate death. Research studies have proven that massage therapy can be a nonpharmacological option to promote healing, reduce nausea, & pain. We hope the massage chair will be complementary in easing symptoms and coping with their illness.” –Nurse Manager, Oncology Unit
Educational Resources for Patients and Staff: Bronson’s Oncology Nurse Navigators chose 20 different books from the American Cancer Society to provide as resources for patients and families as they are coping with any type of cancer diagnosis. They also chose purchased two Colon Cancer models to use for patient education with colon cancer patients and their families.
“Finding out that you have cancer is such an overwhelming feeling. As navigators our role is to help our patients along the journey. Being able to provide resources to educate patients about their cancer diagnosis helps them feel that they are not alone.” – Bronson Oncology Nurse Navigator
Christoffersen Family Trauma and Emergency Endowment
35 years ago, Rachel Christoffersen was in a life-threatening automobile accident and received care from Bronson that saved her life. The family has come together to honor their daughter and the Bronson staff by creating the Christoffersen Family Trauma and Emergency Services Endowment. The endowment will allow generous support to projects across the Bronson system.
This support includes but is not limited to:
- New technologies
- Purchase and maintenance of new and existing equipment and/or services
- Education for nurses, physicians and other clinicians
- Facilities development
- Innovative models of care
Learn More Here
The DeNooyer Family Patients in Need Endowment
The purpose of The DeNooyer Family Patients in Need Endowment is to provide assistance for out-of-pocket needs that can devastate individuals or families when a medical crisis arises. This may include but is not limited to medical transportation, prescription needs, medical equipment, home health needs, and personal barriers to recovery.
The DeNooyer family cares deeply about the southwest Michigan community.
Through multiple generations of the DeNooyer family, their goal is to help others and make the greatest possible impact in the lives of Bronson’s patient and families.
Through their spirit of generosity, the Patients in Need Endowment creates a lasting legacy to provide support when needed most.
DiMarino Healing Through Culture Endowment
This fund was created in 2008 in memory of Alfred (Alfredo) T. DiMarino by his wife, Jean DiMarino. Jean, the daughter of Garret and Arline VanHaaften, and Alfredo have been life-long supporters of Bronson Methodist Hospital. Professor DiMarino was with Gonzaga University from 1974 to 2002 and represented that institution at its Florence, Italy, Campus. He also was associated with Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), from 1981 to 2003 at its Bologna, Italy, Campus.
Jean and Alfredo shared an interest in integrating the arts into Bronson’s healing environment. Proceeds are intended to promote a healing environment for both adult and pediatric patients, families and care givers. In recognition of Alfredo’s deeply held appreciation for classical music and his ability to communicate that appreciation to others, this fund will have a primary interest in utilizing the power of music to enhance the individual experience for patients throughout their continuum of care with Bronson. This fund may also be used to utilize other artistic forms in a similar fashion. Expenditures may include purchasing or commissioning music, musical recordings, performed music, music therapy program, devices to play music and/or purchasing artwork that is intended for patients.
Funds from this endowment are used to support Bronson's Pediatric Music Therapy and Art Therapy programs.
Margaret H. Varney Endowment
Mrs. Margaret H. Varney, a graduate of the Bronson School of Nursing and employee of Bronson Methodist Hospital, bequeathed upon her death in 1997, a generous gift with the intent that the Margaret H. Varney Endowment be established to perpetuate the Bronson Health Foundation.
In addition to the Endowment, the Bronson Health Foundation recognizes Margaret's contribution to the health of our community through the Margaret Varney Legacy Society. The society recognizes individual donors who provide a lasting legacy to advance the mission of Bronson Healthcare at any level.
Margaret H. Varney Scholarship Endowment
In 1998, the Margaret H. Varney Scholarship Endowment Fund was established from the Margaret Varney Endowment to honor Edna Gates Wildermuth and Alton F. and Helen E. Weber. This Endowment Fund was established for the purpose of supporting health education programs in the communities serviced by Bronson Healthcare.
Since 2008, money from this endowment provided scholarships to Bronson employee attending Kalamazoo Valley Community College. It also provides scholarships for the KRESA Health Career Scholarship Allied Health Program, Kalamazoo College HOSA, and WMU Bronson School of Nursing Scholarship.
In 2014, a new scholarship opportunity for Bronson nurses was announced. A Nursing Scholarship available for application submission for RN’s in our Bronson Healthcare System. For example, in 2015, we provided five BSN students with $3,000 and three MSN students with $5,000 in scholarships.
To recognize or donate in honor of a nurse, please visit www.bronsonthankanurse.com.
Nattaly Brown Child Life and Expressive Arts Endowment
Nattaly Brown and her family received life-altering news when she was just four-years-old. She had cancer. The Battle Creek family’s new routine included hospital stays and trips to the Bronson Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic. Those visits were made easier thanks to the pediatric specialists, nurses and child life team members who provide physical and emotional comfort along the way. Nattaly passed away at age 7 on Sunday, September 24, 2017 as a courageous, intuitive, sassy, loving, strong, and beautiful little girl. Nattaly’s life was filled with inspiration, hope, bold actions, and above all else a binding love that always left you thankful she was in your life. Click here to read more.
The Nattaly Brown Child Life and Expressive Arts Endowment was created in 2018 with a purpose to support the needs of the Child Life and Expressive Arts programs.
Funding needs for the Child Life and Expressive Arts program include but are not limited to:
- Staffing needs
- Supplies including toys, art supplies, and musical instruments
- Programmatic support including the Journey Beads program
- Staff and patient education
Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. They also provide information, support, and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. Bronson’s program is designed to help children feel a sense of normalcy during a challenging time.
Expressive Arts includes both Art and Music therapy. Art therapy is a way for a child to express his or her feelings through creativity. These activities can lower stress and pain levels to help improve healing and quality of life. Music therapy addresses the physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual needs of a child and family.
Pastoral Care Endowment
The Pastoral Care Endowment supports pastoral education at Bronson, pastoral services, pastoral patient assistance and continuing education for regional clergy.
Bronson’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program trains chaplains to be vital members of a multi-disciplinary care team. Chaplains play an important role in healing by helping patients draw on their spirituality. They work with the medical team to ensure spirituality is addressed in the holistic care of patients and families. Bronson is one of few hospitals to have chaplains in the hospital 24/7 where they:
- Respond to all traumas and life-threatening emergencies
- Support interdisciplinary teams, patients and visitors on every unit
- Provide walk-in pastoral counseling for employees
- Connect patients and families with their religious communities
- Provide memorial services, weddings, baptisms, funeral arrangements
- Offer assistance for meals, transportation, prescriptions and community health contacts
Click here to learn more about Bronson's Pastoral Education program
Funds spent from this endowment are used to send chaplains to multiple conferences throughout the year including a Perinatal Bereavement Conference and a Caregiver Conference.
Starbuck Guardianship Endowment
From time to time, patients who receive services from Bronson Methodist Hospital and its affiliates are unable to make informed decisions on their own behalf.
This may arise due to an array of circumstances including but not limited to:
- Surgeries and procedures for which the patient is not capable of providing consent.
- Discharge of patient when there is no one to consent to the discharge.
- Families who are destitute and unable to serve as guardians for their loved ones.
The constant in these situations is the need for guardianship services to ensure that patients receive optimal and timely care. Guardianship provides for the legal authority to make decisions about medical needs and treatment. These guardianship services are increasingly necessary and the need is expected to grow in coming years, particularly as the population matures.
The Starbuck Guardianship Endowment was established in recognition of Mr. Charles E. Starbuck and its purpose is to safeguard guardianship services for those in need.
Steven Michael Hanson Pediatric Specialists Endowment
The Bronson Health Foundation launched the Pediatric Specialists Endowment in 2014 to secure and sustain the future for children’s health in southwest Michigan. The purpose of this endowment is to recruit and sustain pediatric sub-specialists to Bronson Children’s Hospital allowing pediatric patients who need specialized treatment, and their families, to stay close to home while receiving the best possible care right at Bronson.
Steven Michael Hanson was born on July 13, 1983. He served in the Michigan National Guard and went on to earn his MBA. Steven was an avid reader, with a fondness for history. A good writer, he described things with a clarity and attention to detail. This trait also translated to his preference for organization. Steve enjoyed sports, traveling, Comic-Con, movies, theater, video games, motorcycles and was always ready for a new adventure. He loved his family and his dog Jake.
Steven was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. During Steve’s treatment for cancer, he saw children in treatment as well, and that experience made him want to help children who were battling cancer and other illnesses. It was his wish that with his passing, his parents would find a way to help these children.
It is with great love that the Steven Michael Hanson Pediatric Specialists Endowment was created in October of 2019. The support from the Hanson family will go on to support excellent care for children and families in perpetuity.