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HERO Program Makes Big Impact at Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation

Todd: What is a hero? The common definition is a person who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. At Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation, it's also an acronym for Healthcare Employees Reaching Out. These HEROs are employee donors to our foundation.

Shawn: At Sauk Prairie Healthcare, our HERO employee giving program empowers our own internal team to go that extra mile to support our hospital, clinics, and the communities we serve. The number of employees participating in the HERO program is strong and continues to grow. I'm incredibly proud of our team. Their dedication, compassion, and unwavering hard work are what make Sauk Prairie Healthcare truly special.

Todd: We are extremely proud that half of our employees give back to the foundation through an annual gift or payroll deduction. That is a vote of support for what we do, not only for the hospital and clinics, but for the communities we all live in. When you see an employee wearing a badge reel like this, that signifies someone who gives. HERO dollars fund employee scholarships and employee equipment requests. Employees can request funds for additional training. Maria Dominguez requested and received funds for bilingual certification.

Maria: Well, we have a large Hispanic community here, and there would be times where, during my job, they're like, "Oh, how do you say this?" or, “Could you help, you know, with these Spanish speaking patients?" And healthcare is a different language in general no matter what language you speak. I reached out to Todd. I gave him all the information of what the cost was gonna be for the program and how it would benefit me and the community. I'm doing my same job. It's just I'm doing it in Spanish instead of in English. So it's just a easy transition for me to just do it all in Spanish.

Todd: Like most large organizations, Sauk Prairie Healthcare has an annual budget that takes care of most of the needs of the hospital and clinics. But sometimes there is a need outside of the usual budget cycle. That's where HERO funds come in. The Wispr digital otoscope is a good example.

Andrea: COVID-19 made drastic changes to how we take care of patients. Wearing PPE made it very difficult to get close to a child. There is an otoscope called the Wispr otoscope that allows you to take a digital picture of the eardrum and review it, share it with parents, upload it to the child's chart. This Wispr otoscope costs $1,500. This is where the foundation came to the rescue. They approved a HERO grant that allowed us to purchase this otoscope. The otoscope has been very helpful in taking care of children. We wanna say thank you, foundation, for your HERO grant. Thank you.

Todd: HERO funds have also made a significant difference in Sauk Prairie Healthcare's Birth Center. One recent purchase allows parents to take their babies home from the hospital sooner.

Sue: So 60% of newborns and 80% of preterm infants, their liver isn't mature enough to break down red blood cells, and it builds up bilirubin. Years ago, patients used to be in the hospital for three to five days under phototherapy. Now we have these high-intensity Biliblankets. The light helps break down the bilirubin and excrete it through the body. So the sooner we start breaking down that bilirubin, the sooner the infant can grow and be with their families. The foundation donated two Biliblankets so that our staff can send them home with families. This has allowed our team to expedite discharge so that families can be together in the comfort of their own home.

Todd: Clearly, the HERO program makes a difference in the lives of our employees, our patients, and the community. Employee participation in the HERO program has steadily increased over the past few years. And our team is passionate about their reasons for giving.

Janelle: I started contributing to the Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation shortly after I arrived here in 2004. It didn't take long to know that those monies that I was contributing were being used in very meaningful ways, both here in our hospital and in our clinics, but also in our outlying communities. I especially appreciate the fact that we have a wonderful community garden, the Wisconsin Heights Community Garden, right in my own community where my patients can go and garden and grow produce for themselves. And over 1,000 pounds of produce are generated from that garden alone. And those food items go to our food pantry as well. So patients and friends who don't have the resources to get good fresh produce can get it through our community garden.

Flora: I give to the foundation because they support our staff with scholarships and equipment. And I personally benefit from that equipment, being an environmental service technician. They bought us two ultraviolet disinfectant machines called Moonbeams. They're actually ultraviolet rays that kill germs that we might miss while we're cleaning in our rooms.

Todd: We are extremely proud that half of our team members supports Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation with their gifts. They see what we do firsthand, and their gifts are a vote of support and encouragement. By becoming a donor, you'll join our team of people who make a difference in the health and quality of life in our community. Thank you.

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