Why I Give: 2015

Estate Planning: Giving Back To Your Community

Ed Long lived within walking distance of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital most of his life. He chaired the hospital’s Board of Directors Fundraising Committee in the 1970s and 80s. A page in the hospital’s 100-year anniversary book, “Celebrating a Century of Caring,” talks about Ed’s history with the hospital.

The Long family – Edward (Ed) and Agnes and their nine children lived just a five minute walk from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital beginning in 1946. The Longs had a successful laundry business, and believed in giving back to their community. Both in life, and in death as part of their estate planning, Edward and Agnes contributed to their neighborhood hospital. 

In the late 1970s, while serving on the hospital’s Board of Directors, Edward recognized the need for a larger hospital and became chairman of the fundraising committee for building a new facility. He zealously solicited funds and garnered public support to purchase land for building the new hospital. “When I was a teenager he was in the newspaper (in photographs) collecting checks every week,” said his son Ken Long, of Silver Spring. Edward met with countless people and helped raise millions for the hospital over his 92 years – passing on January 8, 2013. Agnes, also a hospital volunteer, passed away in 2010. “They took good care of him and her,” Ken said about the hospital staff.

Edward and Agnes bequeathed a generous donation to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation through a revocable trust. The Foundation received the gracious gift from the estate at the end of the year. “I feel very proud that my parents were a big part of their community and got involved,” Ken said.

William Edward Richardson also planned to show his gratitude to Hospice of St. Mary’s, which cared for his wife Beatrice for a few months before her death in 1999. “He was so impressed with the care that Hospice gave her, I think he went right out then and put it in his will,” said Rosalind Tyler, his personal representative. Rosalind recently presented the $15,000 check in William’s name. He was also cared for by Hospice the last week of his life. “William was just that kind of man. He was very generous,” she said.

Hospital Foundation Funds New GE Monitoring System

The St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation identified an area of need within the hospital and chose a major project to fund with the hope of providing more advanced care for patients, and in turn a more comprehensive medical record for physicians. The Foundation chose to fund a GE Health Care Patient Monitoring System for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Angiography Suite, a $150,000 project. The purchase of this particular monitoring system has increased the safety of patients by allowing all vital signs to be displayed in one central location for nurses to monitor. Centralized monitoring is also known to improve productivity and allows nurses to upload recorded vitals to Cerner, the database used to access patients’ electronic medical records.

“The interventional procedural areas within Imaging are very high-paced and unpredictable. This monitoring system provides a safety net for our nursing staff to monitor multiple patients and areas at the same time,” said Ethan Leeman, Director of Imaging, Cardiology, and Neurology Services. “Safety is the key here – the patients are the ones who will benefit from this system. The addition of the information collected from the new monitors will provide a more comprehensive clinical picture of each patient’s condition throughout these procedures.”

In addition, the Dynamaps and DataScope monitors previously used in Imaging will be transferred to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) in Perioperative Services. The recovery unit will use the added equipment for taking vitals and monitoring patients.

More than $120,000 Awarded to Healthcare Students

The St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation proudly awarded seven healthcare scholarships to students from St. Mary’s County who are pursuing a career in the medical industry. Since 2001, a total of 117 scholarships have been awarded and each helps pay for tuition, books and fees associated with the degree or certification.

“This is the 14th year the Foundation has been able to support the talented youth of Southern Maryland through continued education. Thank you for all of the generous donations from our community, and thank you to everyone who participated in Foundation fundraisers held throughout the year,” said Jennifer Blake Meyer, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Chair. “It’s a great feeling knowing our efforts can help even one person to follow their dreams.”

Annual Golf Tournament Raises $25,000

An early taste of summer welcomed the 73 golfers who participated in the 10th annual MedStar St. Mary’s Golf Tournament held Tuesday, May 19, at Breton Bay Country Club. A joint effort of the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary and the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, this year’s event raised approximately $25,000 for medical equipment and technological upgrades.

Bear Creek Barbeque of Callaway, Maryland, has catered the Golf Tournament every year as an in-kind donation for the cause. “We started our business to be a part of the community, and I thought it was such a great idea to give back to many in our own personal way,” said owner Angie Robertson, along with her partner Curtis Shreve.  “It’s always such a great group of people at the event.”

This year’s golf tournament was another well-run event that was enjoyed by all who participated,” said Thomas Clark, Vice President at the MIL Corporation – a defense contractor with a local presence providing engineering and technical services to the federal government for 35 years.  As a platinum sponsor for 10 years, Butch Long, the company’s president and co-founder, is committed to supporting the local community through sponsoring the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation’s annual golf tournament.  This year also marks the first time the MIL Team took first place!

Hospice Festival of Trees

Paul Ausley and Michelle Connolly

Paul Ausley wants to ensure that Hospice will always be around for all who need it. The president of Ausley Associates, Inc., is dedicated to providing support to the local community and serving as the main sponsor of the annual Festival of Trees is one way to do so. “This event helps build a sense of community,” said Paul. Having grown up in a military family, he understands the need to establish roots and make connections. “Hospice touches everyone,” he said, “and this holiday event helps to build awareness of Hospice across the county, encourages family participation and raises money for all the services Hospice provides.”

Ausley’s corporate communications specialist, Michelle Connolly, says that one of the reasons she was attracted to the company was because of its commitment to local charitable organizations, especially Hospice. She’s experienced first-hand how Hospice helps patients and family members cope during a critical time and loves helping with the festival. “Being the main sponsor since 2010 means more than just making a donation. We help to defray costs and raise money that would otherwise be required of families in their time of need. Sponsorships from companies like Ausley allow patients to continue to receive care when personal funds run dry. The best part is that all the funds raised go directly to caring for this community.”

“As the defense industry continues to face declining budgets, a lot of local charitable organizations are suffering,” said Paul “It is more important than ever to support Hospice over the long run. It’s good for the community, for families, and, ultimately, for your employees. Hospice helps everyone cope during a most difficult time.”

Jean and her daughters, Lynn (above) and Laura, are grateful for how Hospice helped their family during a critical time. The family’s support of the Festival of Trees helps keep Hospice care available for others in need.

Jean Loffler continues to be grateful for all Hospice did for her family during her late husband Buddy’s terminal illness. The Leonardtown High School teacher wants others to receive the same care when they go through a similar journey. As a result, she and her daughters sponsor a tree for the Hospice Festival of Trees.

“The first year my father passed away we chose to put together all the money my sister, Laura, mom and I would typically spend on Christmas gifts for our dad in order to be able to give to this event,” said Jean’s daughter, Lynn Baumann of Hollywood, Maryland.  “We started with a wreath and then added a tree. “It’s what our dad would have wanted. He was a very giving person.” 

“Giving to Hospice and the Festival of Trees feels like I’m getting a present,” said Jean. “We all love that after the event the tree will be donated to a family or an organization with a real need or can be auctioned off to bring in more support for all that Hospice does. “It is so important for us to help Hospice give to others.”

That sentiment is echoed by Jean’s granddaughter, Claire, who said it keeps her grandpa’s memory alive. “We want to help care for others the way they did for Pop-Pop.”