Donor Connect

Every day your gifts make good happen, from providing care to the uninsured to purchasing a specially equipped vehicle to save lives.  Here are a few examples of the impact your gifts have had on our community.



"If it wasn’t for Care-A-Van, I don’t know where I’d be."

Most of us never imagine the possibility of having to seek out free health care. Patricia Pierce was no different. Then the unthinkable happened. Patricia found herself sick, unemployed and without health insurance. And for the first time in her 51 years, she was dependent on free health care in order to survive.

After being hospitalized for a serious thrombus condition two years ago, Patricia learned that in addition to the need for lifelong treatment for her condition, she also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure. The good news was that the conditions were treatable; the bad news was that treatment required regular and frequent medical visits, as well as follow-up care and medications. Such a diagnosis would be overwhelming for anyone, but with no health insurance and no regular income, Patricia was devastated.

"If it wasn’t for the Care-A-Van, I don’t know where I’d be," said Pierce, recalling the relief she felt when she learned that the Care-A-Van would take care of her needs. "I would not have been able to afford the doctor visits or the medications. Treatment for my conditions may not have been possible." Pierce visits the Care-A-Van every three months. In addition to medical treatment, she has also received educational materials about her illnesses and discusses healthy living and wellness with her physicians, who, she says, are always encouraging and patient.

"I cannot say enough about the Care-A-Van’s physician and nursing staff. I never expected that kind of attention, care and respect from a free health service," said Pierce. "The Care-A-Van has been a godsend for me."

Medicine is forever changing.

Meriam Rucker, RN, BSN, a 24-year veteran nurse at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, agrees and credits Bon Secours for recognizing the importance of education and making it possible for her to continue her training.

Now a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) nurse, Rucker works with patients who need IVs for long periods of time or who have difficulty getting reliable IV access. But that wasn’t always the case. Before becoming a PICC nurse, Rucker first had to become specially trained and certified, something she did not think was possible given the cost of certification. As a mother of two, with one of her children already in college, advancing her own education was not an option in the immediate future.

That all changed when Rucker mentioned her interest to her nurse manager, Jill Russell, RN, BSN, CNE, an administrative director in the Emergency Department at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center. Russell immediately took action to help secure the funding for Rucker’s certification.

"It’s important that our nurses grow and evolve into areas of nursing in which they have an interest. It’s better for the employee and ultimately better for our patients," said Russell. 

Educating and engaging our nursing team is a priority for Bon Secours, and to have the resources to help employees with the financial aspect of training makes a huge difference."

With more than six months of independent study, Rucker completed her certification and has now added Certified Registered Nurse Infusion® (CRNI) to her credentials. Financial support for her effort came from the Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation. Continuing education is just one of the ways the foundation assists nurses in advancing their professional careers. Other assistance includes funding for advanced practice accreditation and original nursing research. Also available are scholarship opportunities for nursing students in the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, as well as annual support to send our nurses to ANCC's Magnet Conference to ensure that they can provide the best, most compassionate care.

Bon Secours Critical Care transports triplets to St. Mary’s.

The Bon Secours Critical Care Transport is designed for exactly what Yolonda and David Vines and their three tiny newborns needed it to do — to make certain the infants made it safely and securely to their destination at the St. Mary’s Hospital NICU, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit that would be the babies’ home for the next several months.

The triplets were born nearly three months premature at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, where advanced NICU services are not available. And in this case, like many others, the transport service was a critical component to the babies’ survival.

The Critical Care Transport is staffed by a dedicated NICU team, a service unlike any other in the community. In addition to the NICU team, there are specialized pediatric, maternal fetal and adult transport teams available for patients.  It’s a team that is available 24/7 — traveling within a 200-mile radius of St. Mary’s or farther, if necessary.

"We see cases like the Vines’ regularly from hospitals across the commonwealth," said Dr. Sara Gay, a pediatric intensivist at St. Mary’s Hospital and medical director of the pediatric critical care transport program.

Transport clinicians serve as the conduit between referring and receiving hospitals. Once deployed, the team is in immediate remote communication with the referring hospital staff, the family of the patient and the medical staff at St. Mary’s.

"It was nerve-racking at first, but the transport team left us very confident that our children were in good hands," said David Vines, father of triplets Eliana, Hannah and Ariel. "I was very impressed by their fast work and professionalism. They did an excellent job."

In 2010 alone, the Pediatric Transport brought 327 pediatric patients and 47 NICU patients to St. Mary’s. The majority of the transports came from within the metropolitan Richmond area, demonstrating the community’s need for such a service.

Bon Secours has a deep commitment to Hospice.

When you ask Sister Vicky about her passion for the hospice house, she smiles. A driving force behind plans for the facility, Sister Vicky Segura, MD, a Sister of Bon Secours and Hospice medical director, sees a home-like place for families, one filled with warmth, water features and plants for all seasons — the signature elements of Bon Secours’ holistic, spiritual approach to medicine, healing and end-of-life care. She would like patients and families to see and feel nature around them and to heal emotionally, together.

"It is a natural extension of the ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours and of what Bon Secours Hospice has meant to patients and families in Richmond for nearly 30 years," said Sister Vicky.

A hospice house for the community has long been on the drawing board for Bon Secours, and now the plan is beginning to come to fruition. The vision is for a 16-bed facility for the entire community — a place that can be shared by all Richmond-area health systems and physicians. The goal is for the community at large and the medical community to come together — with the sole purpose of providing end-of-life care.

"It will be a place for the community and of the community – a place without barriers and outside the competitive health care marketplace," said Sister Vicky, who cares for hospice and palliative patients and their families.

"There is a need for a hospice house in this community, and the time is right. The notion of a hospice house is embraced by patients and families across Richmond. They are eager to know that plans are moving forward."

The initiative is grounded in Bon Secours Richmond’s deep commitment to hospice care — a founding element of the Sisters’ ministry which began in 1824. Since 1983, Richmond’s Bon Secours Hospice has provided medical and emotional care to terminally ill patients and their families, along with the daily living assistance that ensures their comfort and dignity. Support services for families through bereavement also are available.

In addition to the long-standing services of Bon Secours Hospice, the health system also is home to Noah’s Children, the only not-for-profit pediatric hospice in central Virginia.

Thank you for sending our nurses to annual Magnet Conferences

Receiving Magnet® Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) represents a commitment to the best possible patient care, world-class service and constant improvement. Your donations to the Nursing Excellence CARE Fund send nurses to the National Magnet Conference where they received information on the latest and best practices.

"Having a Nursing Excellence CARE Fund ensures our nurses have professional development opportunities. Opportunities like the Magnet Conference not only allows our professional nursing staff to learn and grow professionally but allows them to network with nurses from across the country,” said Beth Nease, administrative director of Education and Magnet program director for Memorial Regional and Richmond Community. “Conferences such as this give them access to the most up-to-date, evidence-based information to ensure world-class care for our patients.”

Hope for Haiti

“Men anpil chey pa lou” is a Haitian saying that means, “Many hands lighten the load.”

Following the massive January 2010 earthquake, the Salva Vida CARE Fund provided emergency relief and assisted in sending medical teams to Haiti. You can see the impact that your gifts had.  Your generosity exceeded our goal to match $25,000 provided by Bon Secours Health System Inc.  The need in Haiti has not decreased and neither has our efforts.  Two trips have already been made in 2011 and more are necessary.

“There’s been such an outpouring of goodwill from all sorts of sources,” said Dr. Fred McGlynn, one of the founders of the Salva Vida Fund and an orthopedic surgeon who went on the Haiti trips after the earthquake.

Before heading out for the February trip, McGlynn shared, “This isn’t a hit-and-run situation. There’s such devastation and such a need. Our goal going this time is to take care of injuries and to help those who are there, but also to really work with the staff who are there to set up support systems….they essentially have no supplies, equipment or medications.”

To see a video of our February 2010 trip on youtube click here.  Click here to provide assistance for our next trip.

The Maryview Foundation Health Care Center

The Maryview Foundation Health Care Center (MFHC) offers primary and preventive health care to low-income adult residents of Portsmouth who lack medical insurance and provides assistance to patients needing free or low-cost medications. In 2009, the center saw nearly 9,000 patients and provided $1.8 million in pharmaceutical help.

MFHC was born from Bon Secours’ Maryview Medical Center and is located nearby. MFHC provides quality health care to those in need, working with volunteers and the community to evaluate what services are currently available within the city of Portsmouth for its residents.

Equipping Volunteer Rescue Squads

Your donations to the Heart CARE Fund provided more than $10,000 for the purchase of field-based electrocardiogram (EKG) transmission equipment for local volunteer rescue squads. These EKG machines ensure that emergency personnel have the necessary tools to assess patients who may be in the midst of a cardiac episode. An EKG is a simple test that records the heart's electrical activity, which provides crucial information.

“The majority of our providers are volunteer-based and your contribution has been vital to providing them the capability to perform 12-lead EKGs in the field. Contributions such as this are considered rare and are received with gratitude,” said Heidi M. Hooker, executive director of the Old Dominion EMS Alliance.

With field-based EKGs, we elevate the care of those in need and help to promote better outcomes.

Improving Care for Women in our Community 

Through your generous gifts, Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center was able to add a second digital mammography machine to the cancer-fighting arsenal at the Millie Lancaster Women’s Center, located in the Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View. The new ergonomic design of the digital equipment offers women easy positioning, reduced exam time, and ultra-fast imaging with superior clarity and accuracy in a comfortable, non-institutional setting.

Safe Transport for Critically Ill Patients

Moving a critically ill patient presents numerous dangers. As life hangs in the balance, decisions must be made quickly for the patient to receive the best and most appropriate care.

Getting the patient to care with speed and safety often requires specialized equipment.

That’s where your giving to the Emergency Services CARE Fund has made such a difference. Through this fund, a uniquely equipped critical care transport vehicle was purchased and put into operation. Read about how this vehicle helped to save the life of baby Leila.

Bon Secours DePaul's Life Coaches Program

The new Life Coaches Program helps those in difficult economic situations to find a medical home. Created to connect individuals coming to the emergency department (ED) for routine care with primary care physicians, the Life Coaches Program serves the economically poor with respect and dignity.

In the first year of the program (September 2008-September 2009), life coaches assisted 1,000 patients. Of those, only 12 returned to the ED for the same condition. For instance, one uninsured gentleman working two jobs came to the ED every month to check his blood pressure. Through Life Coaches, he now has a primary care home.

State-of-the Art Hospice Care

About 70 percent of the more than 2,000 individuals that Bon Secours Hospice serves each year live across a 60-mile radius, making mobility a critical factor for caregivers.

Your gift to the Hospice and Palliative Care CARE Fund provided laptops for nurses, social workers and chaplains giving end-of-life care. These mobile information centers now allow caregivers to log directly into Bon Secours’ new electronic medical records system.

As families are facing their final days with a loved one, the laptops enable our hospice caregivers to have up-to-the-minute information right at the bedside so they can provide the best and most compassionate care possible.

"Thank God we have the Foundation to help us,” said Bon Secours Hospice and Palliative Care Administrative Director Nancy Capocy. “I would hate to think any of our patients wouldn’t get what they need or deserve.”