2018 Partner Grant Awards Double Support for Grief Centers and Donor Families

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Mid-America Transplant Foundation Pledges $450,000 to Partner Organizations to Save and Heal Lives

Supporting donor families through grief services and bereavement support is a priority at Mid-America Transplant, which hosts several donor family-focused events throughout the year.

With a mission statement aimed at saving and healing lives in the communities it serves, the Mid-America Transplant Foundation doubled its support of grief services at its Board of Directors meeting in May. The board approved about $450,000 in funding through seven partner grants – five to organizations providing grief services – in giving back to the communities through responsible stewardship of the Foundation’s resources.

The Foundation awarded $300,000 to grief programs this year, nearly doubling its commitment since 2016. “As the Foundation continues to seek opportunities to better serve our region, we’ve identified the need to help donor families heal through professional counseling services delivered by grief centers,” said Kevin Lee, Executive Director of the Foundation. “This commitment by the Board of Directors represents a significant increase in support of grief programs that serve donor families throughout the region.”

The grant recipients providing grief services include:

  • Annie's Hope in St. Louis has provided comprehensive support services since the 1990s for children, teens and their families who are grieving a death. The grant will support several programs serving the families of organ donors, including the Horizon’s program, teen retreats, Camp Courage, and Camp Erin.
  • Heartlinks Grief Center in Belleville, IL is a program of Family Hospice, and it assists grieving children, individuals, families, and groups through counseling, peer support groups, and other community programs. Serving southern Illinois, Heartlinks will increase its capacity to serve more than 1,500 families annually with the grant funding.
  • Infant Loss Resources serves St. Louis and southeast Missouri as a not-for-profit network that connects families directly affected by infant loss to programs, services and information related to grief support. The grant will support grief programs offered by Infant Loss Resources, which served 219 individuals in 2017.
  • Lost & Found Grief Center in Springfield, MO provides grief support services in a safe and supportive environment for children, young adults, and their families grieving the death of a loved one. With the grant funding, Lost & Found will continue to provide therapeutic grief support groups and develop commemorative activities to honor loved ones and increase awareness of organ and tissue donation.
  • The NEA Baptist Center for Good Grief opened in Jonesboro in October of 2017. In its first 120 days, it provided individual grief services to 59 clients and therapeutic grief support groups to 54 clients. Through the grant award, Good Grief will continue to serve children, teens and adults who face the loss of a loved one and are trying to cope with the ensuing grief.

“Our work is not possible without the generosity of donors and donor families,” said Diane Brockmeier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mid-America Transplant. “We’re inspired by their gracious decision to help others, especially in a moment of unimaginable grief. We understand grief can be ongoing and unpredictable, and we are thankful these five grief centers are providing essential services to help families across our service area heal from the loss of a loved one.”

In addition, the Foundation Board of Directors approved grant funding requests from Jordan Valley Community Health Center and iFM Community Medicine. Both programs seek to reduce the need for kidney transplants, which aligns with the Foundation’s mission to save and heal lives through programs that impact organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

  • Jordan Valley Family Health Foundation is providing care to indigent patients with uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypertension. The program is expected to improve the health and quality of life for 2,450 patients in and around Springfield, MO.
  • The iFM Community Medicine is seeking to screen and educate 650 young people for kidney disease through its Kidney TLC (Test, Learn, and Change) program. IFM’s program is designed to achieve early diagnosis of patients with risk factors for chronic renal disease in north St. Louis city and county.

“As an organization, we remain committed to finding a way to decrease the need for transplants through preventative health measures with partners in our community,” Lee said. “In this cycle, we’re proud to partner with iFM Community Medicine and Jordan Valley to proactively help citizens understand their kidney health, which we know has long term benefits including decreasing the need for dialysis and ultimately the need for a transplant.”

The Foundation’s partner grants are awarded to organizations aligned to the Foundation’s mission. Organizations are invited to submit an application. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $900,000 in grants to partner organizations.

About Mid-America Transplant Foundation
In support of Mid-America Transplant, the Foundation seeks to reduce the need for organ and tissue transplantation; increase the availability of organs and tissues for those who need them; and to improve the lives of recipients and donor families. It strives to save and heal lives in the communities we serve through programs and partnerships that impact organ and tissue donation. For more information, visit http://www.midamericatransplant.org.

About Mid-America Transplant
Mid-America Transplant enables adults and children to receive lifesaving gifts through organ and tissue donations. For more than 40 years, it has facilitated and coordinated organ and tissue donation, and now serves 84 counties covering eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas that together are home to 4.7 million people. It saves lives by providing expert and compassionate care for organ and tissue donors, recipients and families, and transforms the clinical processes required to recover and transplant organs and tissues. Mid-America Transplant was the first such organization in the U.S. to use an in-house operating room for organ recovery and pioneered innovative models of increasing donor registry enrollment to provide more organs and tissues to those in need. It is federally designated as one of 58 such organizations in the U.S., and is the first organ procurement organization to be recognized as a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence.

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Justin Phelps
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