Dollars at Work

The generosity of our SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis benefactors makes possible a variety of vital health care programs and initiatives. Through your gifts, people throughout the St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson County, and Metro East regions have access to a brighter – and healthier – future. Explore just some of the ways that your dollars are at work in our communities.

Dollars at Work

Food insecurity is one of the most difficult situations a parent or guardian can experience; not knowing where your family’s next meal will come from is extremely distressing, and 1 in 6 individuals lives in poverty and struggles with hunger in the greater St. Louis region. Thanks to your gifts, the SSM Health DePaul Hospital Food Pantry is bringing access to nutritious food to our community and will become the first hospital system in the St. Louis region to have a formal partnership with local food pantries. Read more about the SSM Health DePaul Hospital - St. Louis Food Pantry.

In partnership with the Raymond and Grace Harmon Charitable Foundation, SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis was able to purchase head coverings and professional cleaning/sanitization of wigs for patients undergoing chemotherapy and or radiation. For an estimated 240 patients, these wigs and hair coverings now bring much-needed comfort and confidence after treatment.

Inspired by the compassion of Ms. Jane Beckman, a local organ donor and passionate advocate for transplant patients, the SSM Health Foundation-Mid America Transplant and the SSM St. Louis University School of Medicine joined together in the creation of a new endowed chair to support groundbreaking work in the field of transplantation: The Mid-America Jane Beckman Endowed Chair. This endowment will support the work of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Transplant Center Director of Living Donation and Co-Director of Clinical Research, Dr. Krista Lentine.

For over 12 years, the SSM Health Weight Management Program at SSM Health DePaul Hospital—St. Louis has been the preeminent program in Missouri, offering holistic approaches to weight management utilizing both inpatient and outpatient wellness procedures. Read more about the Weight Management Program at SSM Health DePaul Hospital - St. Louis.

Interested in helping to fund an innovative health care program in your community? Make a gift today to see your dollars at work and impact the lives of people throughout our region.

When Tom Bushlack, Ph.D., Regional Director of Mission Integration for SSM Health St. Louis began researching moral distress prevalent among health care providers, he came across Schwartz Rounds—grand rounds style events that focus on a case or a theme related to the emotional impact of patient care that care team members experience. Recognizing that moral distress was a key component of caregiver burnout, and all-too-aware that health care crisis situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbate caregiver burnout, he felt compelled to bring the Schwartz Rounds concept to SSM healthcare system. “I wanted to support the caregivers during this time of extreme stress,” he shared.

The SSM Health Foundation’s Urgent Response Fund helped to provide 20 SSM employees system-wide to be trained in this method and one year of system-wide membership to allow the ministries to offer Schwartz Rounds. This unique methodology will contribute to the wellbeing of providers and allow for the processing of complex emotions during difficult times in health care.

With your help, SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis recently funded several safety and security cameras for the courtyard area for behavioral health patients. It has been proven that the outdoors can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression; it was limiting that behavioral health patients couldn’t experience this respite during their days. The outdoor areas are now open for business; the additional cameras allow for patient programming to take place in nature. The ministry anticipates increased use of the courtyard and enhanced patient experience scores as a result!

In August 2020, in response to an increase of patients in our communities going to emergency rooms to receive mental and behavioral health treatment, SSM Health opened the SSM Health Behavioral Health Urgent Care center. Located on the DePaul Hospital campus, this center provides a much-needed resource for patients living with chronic mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, as well as addition. Rather than relying on emergency rooms, whose limited behavioral health resources often result in long wait times and lack of access to follow-up treatment, now those living with mental illnesses in our communities can receive the thorough and personalized care they need.

Thanks to the generous support of benefactors and community leaders, the Grand New SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital opened its doors on September 1, 2020. A vital health care option for 2.4 million people across the St. Louis region, this new $50 million hospital and center for specialized medicine houses sophisticated technology and facilities designed to advance health care and training, elevating our academic medical partnership with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

As the largest Medicaid service provider in Missouri, SLU Hospital is committed to serving our most vulnerable populations, providing more than $80 million in charity care and community benefit programs, including prevention and wellness initiatives.

Your dollars helped the SSM Health Medical Group launch The Executive Health program, which provides wellness services to the area’s first responders. Currently, the program provides medical evaluations to over 2,000 fire fighters, paramedics, and police officers. In 2019, the program incorporated first responder-specific behavioral health assessments into the wellness program and brought on a therapist who identified that individual stress and trauma was affecting marriages and family life. SSM Health Foundation- St. Louis is honored to provide the funding for the continuing education of the program’s primary therapist. This additional knowledge base and skillset will help thousands of first responders continue the path towards holistic behavioral health and wellness.