For the Merkels, Giving is a Family Affair

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Photo courtesy Sarah Merkel

For over a decade, Greg and Sarah Merkel have been proud to call Venango County their home. Greg, an attorney with Dale Woodard Gent McFate Law Firm, and Sarah, a senior associate with an environmental consulting firm, keep busy raising their three kids and renovating their Victorian home in Franklin. Despite their full schedules, the Merkels always find a way to give back to the community they love.

Greg and Sarah first learned of the Northwest Hospital Foundation when they were invited to join the Foundation’s Corporation Board in 2014. Through their involvement with the Board, they became aware of the many hospital projects and programs funded by the Foundation. In 2019, Greg succeeded Sarah’s father Robert McFate, Esq. as the Foundation’s solicitor.

The Merkels are proud to support the Northwest Hospital Foundation because they see how the organization helps UPMC Northwest go above and beyond in providing healthcare for the people of our region. They see the Foundation as an invaluable asset to the hospital as well as the community. “We are blessed to have a regional hospital which is supported by such a caring and committed foundation,” they said.

They are particularly passionate about relieving the financial burden of patients with medical debt. Each year, the Northwest Hospital Foundation distributes charitable funds from private donors to assist local patients in need with paying their outstanding medical bills. Just this year, over $289,000 has been distributed in uncompensated care assistance for patients at UPMC Northwest.

Greg and Sarah donate annually to this fund because they know how much this assistance helps individuals struggling to pay their bills. “It is something we believe in. We wouldn’t want people not to be able to access quality healthcare because they have medical debt,” Sarah said. “Receiving this assistance is life-changing for people,” Greg added.

The Merkels are committed to raising their family in this area. “The hospital is the cornerstone of our community, and we must do everything we can to make sure it continues to thrive and provide people here with the care they need. Supporting the Northwest Hospital Foundation is one way we help make sure our family, friends, and neighbors have access to quality healthcare for many years to come.”

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