When it comes to supporting the Northwest Hospital Foundation, it is a slam dunk for The Honorable H. William (Bill) White and former Pennsylvania State Senator Mary Jo White of Oil City, PA.
Married for 55 years the two share a love for college basketball and are supporters of the Northwest Hospital Foundation – two interests that met midcourt during a NCAA basketball tournament.
While Mary Jo was being treated at UPMC Northwest, she planned to make the best of a hospital stay watching the NCAA championship tournament. But an unreliable television set in her room made that difficult. After discharge, she and her husband contacted Theresa Edder, Northwest Hospital Foundation Executive Director, to ask about donating new televisions for every room.
When they learned the TVs were already being replaced, they still wanted to help the Foundation. So their donation was used to fund telemedicine technology enhancements. With their generosity, the use of telemedicine at UPMC Northwest helps bridge the gaps of time and distance for patients who need a critical-care specialist but might not be able to leave their beds in the UPMC Northwest Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“Telemedicine allowed for easier and better communications. This enables specialists from other hospitals to communicate with UPMC Northwest for improved patient care,” said Bill.
Mary Jo’s connection to UPMC Northwest goes beyond being a patient. She also has served on the Northwest Corporation Hospital Board. Their son, David White, currently is on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
According to Mary Jo, it is essential that the Foundation have funds to meet urgent needs and secure opportunities for local patients in crisis situations. That is why the Whites have also supported the Northwest Hospital Foundation Patient Hardship Fund, which helps to better meet the needs of vulnerable community members and assist them in regaining their health.
“There are things you sometimes don’t think about that the patients might need. Someone in a house fire may have had their clothes cut off when being treated. Volunteers purchase items to ensure they have warm and comfortable clothes to wear home,” said Mary Jo.
According to the Whites, there are many ways to give support, you just need to ask. “Theresa Edder is excellent at letting you know what’s needed, large and small, and how to facilitate it.”