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

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.

Learn more about our SSM Health Cancer Care efforts.

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.

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.

Learn more about about our SSM Health Behavioral Health fund.

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!

Learn more about about our SSM Health Behavioral Health fund and how you can support.

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.