2012 Foundation Charity Ball & Auction
Community Hospital Foundation's Charity Ball returns, raises funds for telemetry units
By Shannon Harsh, The Review, Published February 27th, 2012
In its first year back since 2008, Alliance Community Hospital Foundation's Charity Ball and Auction brought "An Alliance of Teaching and Healing" on Saturday at the Alliance CountryThe hospital's annual fundraiser had been on a hiatus due to the difficult economy, but returned for its 19th year to raise funds for upgraded telemetry units used for monitoring patients.
"Our current cardiac monitoring system is about five years old and we need to update them," Dave Schroades, ACH's vice president of Professional Services and chief technology officer, explained.
Shroades said getting the system up to date will help ensure patient safety and will allow telemetry and patient monitoring to be interfaced into the electronic medical records system so the information won't have to be hand-entered as it is now.
"It's definitely about patient safety and making sure that all of our cardiac care is done at the highest level," he added.
To help raise the funds needed for the upgrade, guests made bids on 61 baskets and items during the silent auction that began the evening. Items included everything from accommodations for a night out or a day on the golf course to a high-tech gadget like an iPad or Kindle.
The live auction by auctioneer Rusty Kiko brought the big-ticket items. Six of the 18 packages sold for more than $2,000, including a new John Deere riding lawn mower, dinner for nine at the home of Gerard and Laura Mastroianni, a three-night stay in Las Vegas and a one-week trip to Colorado. The biggest money-makers of the evening were a three-night trip for two and a round of golf at Pebble Beach, which sold for $4,100, and a seven-night stay for up to four adults in a house at the Hale Mele Kohola on the island of Hawaii, which sold for $5,250.
All of the items up for auction were donated by hospital staff and colleagues, community members and area businesses.
In addition to the auctions, a surprise raffle was held, which contained a mixture of prizes for the winner including a Mount Union letterman jacket.
Stan Jonas, hospital CEO, spoke briefly before the meal, welcoming the crowd of nearly 190. In addition to expressing gratitude to those in attendance and those who worked to put on the event, he recognized the partnership the hospital has with the University of Mount Union.
"Tonight's program basically is about valued relationships between the hospital and our partners in the community and surrounding communities, but tonight we'd really like to celebrate our relationship with the University of Mount Union," Jonas said.
This year, the hospital and the university partnered to honor six people -- three from Mount Union and three from ACH -- who have gone above and beyond to give back to the community. Those chosen, who all received an engraved silver star paperweight, were Larry Kehres, UMU head football coach and director of athletics; Marci Higgins, UMU head athletic trainer; Morgan Cooper Bagley, UMU athletic training education program director; Dr. Debra Lehrer, leader of ACH's Planetree efforts; Dr. Dominick Catalano, head of ACH's Emergency Services and faculty member of UMU's Physician Assistant program; and Eric Murray, director of ACH's Therapy Services.
Much of the focus of the event surrounded the hospital's Planetree philosophy, which was featured in streaming videos found throughout the silent auction items. These videos, which can be found on the hospital's website, www.achosp.org, featured members of the ACH staff and patients that have been impacted by the hospital's patient-centered care programs.
"There's a lot of stories on the videos that really depict how we take care of individuals," Jonas said.
Jonas praised Lehrer as the Planetree "champion" of the organization and recalled the beginning stages in making ACH a Planetree facility and Mount Union's connection.
"Ten years ago in this very room we started our Planetree journey and when we were doing that we went around to many organizations around the country and we benchmarked in terms of service and teamwork," he said. "We actually decided to go next door and benchmark what had been done at Mount Union over the last 25 years in terms of the consistency, recruiting of students, recruiting student athletes, in terms of a program that helps build character, helps individuals learn to take responsibility and to help them serve as leaders in the future."
Jonas praised the university in its approach and ability to create responsibility in its students and future leaders.
Patricia Kimerer, ACH's director of PR/Foundation, said the hospital was thrilled by the turnout and success of the event. "We were so happy to have such a positive community event that will help with our patient services," she added.