Discover the Joy of Giving
When you make a donation to Children’s Mercy, you are not just giving money to an organization; you are investing in healthier futures and improved outcomes for kids.
Pictured above: Tristyn Washington, a patient at Children’s Mercy.
For the past 123 years, Children’s Mercy has been extraordinarily advanced through the continued and overwhelming generosity of the community. From the early days when its founding sisters wrote the needs of the hospital on a chalkboard outside its front doors and community members responded to those requests by leaving donated goods on the lawn as needed, Children’s Mercy still graciously relies upon the giving hearts of the city and surrounding areas that support it.
Voted as one of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report, and continually ranking in the top 10 in pediatric specialties annually, Children’s Mercy operates 14 locations across Kansas and throughout Western Missouri. The hospital sees patients from all 50 states, as well as internationally. Without continued support from the surrounding communities, however, the hospital would not be in a position to provide the world-class care, equipment and treatments for which it is known.
“We are only able to provide the expert level of care we give because of philanthropy,” expressed Jenea Oliver, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy at Children’s Mercy. “Even though the hospital does have reimbursements to maintain financial integrity, about 50% of families who come to us are on Medicaid. As such, reimbursements are lower. Families also have needs in addition to health care, such as medicine and transportation to get to their appointments. The health of the child will only improve when they are able to maintain treatment as directed by the doctor.”
The doors at Children’s Mercy are always open. About one in five kids in the metro area will be treated here in a given year, and it sees nearly 600,000 patient encounters a year across all of its locations. As a general rule, hospitals typically stand at the forefront of health care and are regarded as the solution for health problems. With such truths come expenses: staff, maintenance, research, equipment, and more. As a result, fundraising campaigns are a critical component to keep these institutions operating as well-oiled machines so they can focus on what they are designed to do: serve patients and their families by administering a variety of clinical and other services to treat certain diseases and conditions, as well as provide emergency services and discover better treatments.
The Critical and Urgent Need for Fundraising Dollars
Through philanthropy, Children’s Mercy is able to provide the latest medical treatments, recruit the best healthcare professionals, improve the physical state of the hospital, and engage in further research, which is a huge component of its mission. That research is what allows for more answers and the opportunity to try one more thing in the hopes of achieving favorable outcomes.
“We have to provide hope and the next treatment,” reflected Oliver. “It is sad to have to tell families there are no other options. Families come to us as they want their child to go home healthier.”
With locations as far away as Wichita, Children’s Mercy has expanded its reach to serve those beyond the metro area.
“We are trying to bring health care closer to the patients so they will be more likely to continue with the protocol of care,” stated Oliver. “If we can provide treatment in Wichita, and they only have to drive an hour, they will be more likely to continue treatments and follow up appointments.”
The Driving Force Behind the Dollars that Come In
“We are blessed to have such an amazing hospital in Kansas City and accessible in the region,” continued Oliver. “Our donors – Friends of Children’s Mercy – give to make sure the care that is needed and required for kids is always available. You may not need it today, and we hope you never do, but if a time comes when a child you know needs specialized medical care for trauma or disease, philanthropy helps ensure Children’s Mercy has the most expert and innovative care available for you.”
While the hospital receives donations from myriad foundations and corporations, the majority of funds come from individuals who care about Children’s Mercy and realize it is the best pediatric facility in the region.
“The Kansas City region is a very generous, and even though some of our fundraising events have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus epidemic, we are hopeful to receive the same level of generosity as we have in the past. Kids are still getting sick, some really sick, and they are counting on Children’s Mercy to help them get better,” emphasized Oliver.
Ways to Give: Love Will Find Answers
No matter the size of your donation, each dollar has a purpose: training a new nurse; supporting continued or new research; purchasing new equipment; or simply providing a young patient with a cuddly blanket. Each dollar provides support when patients and their families need it most.
“We accept all gifts from the heart which come in all sizes,” noted Oliver. “One $10 donation when combined with many other donations of that amount adds up.”
Oliver indicated interested donors can set up their donations on a monthly basis via the Children’s Mercy website, which can be automatically assessed to a credit or debit card.
“At just $10 a month for 12 months, that is $120 a year, which can really add up when many people do the same,” she emphasized.
Urgent Needs: Navigating the Covid-19 Crisis
Even during the COVID-19 crisis, Children’s Mercy continues to provide the world-class care for which it is known, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yes, the financial impact of COVID-19 is strong and apparent at Children’s Mercy, but that has not stopped them from providing excellent care and treatment when needed.
“Philanthropic gifts allow us to be prepared to serve at this time, as kids continue to get sick and hurt, even during this virus,” she noted. “We have to be ready for every child who walks in our door. The main patient areas and emergency departments are staffed for these situations.”
Donations to the hospital are thus critical at this time more than ever.
“We have an emergency response fund regarding the COVID-19 virus to assist our patients, families, and employees who are facing hardship,” indicated Oliver. “We are also focused on elevating telemedicine. Prior to COVID-19, about five percent of clinic visits were telemedicine. Now, it’s closer to 50%.”
However, telemedicine is not reimbursed at the same level as an in-person visit, which is why the donations are essential to maintaining this form of communication between patients, families and health care providers. Every dollar counts, and you can be a champion for patients and families while responding to needs during this time of crisis and throughout every single day of the year. Expert care never takes a day off. Kids are counting on Children’s Mercy and our donors.
“Our goal is to obtain positive outcomes for patients. Families come to us seeking hope. Philanthropy is hope,” expressed Oliver.
For more information childrensmercy.org