SOURCE: HealthEast Care System

HealthEast Care System

December 15, 2009 01:30 ET

$800K Charitable Gift to HealthEast Will Help Uninsured

Largest Gift in the Mental Health Program's History

ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - HealthEast Mental Health and Addiction Services premier program is the beneficiary of an $800,000 charitable gift by V.K. Arrigoni Foundation. This generous gift gives chemically dependent patients, without insurance or who are underinsured, access to the HealthEast inpatient services at St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown St. Paul and outpatient services at both St. Joseph's Hospital and St. John's Hospital in Maplewood.

"The generous donation is the largest gift to a HealthEast program," said John S. Swanholm, Vice President and Executive Director, HealthEast Foundation. "It helps us further our mission by expanding service to a population disproportionately composed of people who are often relegated to society's margins. Just as we are grateful for this gift, we are proud of the program that inspired the Arrigoni Foundation's generosity."

The HealthEast Mental Health and Addiction Services is one of few programs in the nation to focus on simultaneously treating mental health disorders and addiction. The HealthEast Mental Health and Addiction Services served 2,179 individuals for addiction last year. St. John's and Joseph's Hospitals provide at least two million dollars in charity care for patients without resources and a significant portion of that goes towards mental health and addiction needs.

"We are continually concerned about the large numbers of individuals who are turned away from treatment because either they do not have private insurance or do not qualify at the low poverty level for government support," said Joseph Clubb, Group Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services for HealthEast. "We have a long history of committing substantial resources to reducing such barriers to care." The Virginia Arrigoni Recovery Fund will expand the number of individuals served in Ramsey County by eliminating the barrier of costs, and provide the inpatient or outpatient services needed.

In 1973, Virginia Arrigoni began housing chemically dependent adults in her home in St. Paul shortly after completing treatment herself. By the early 1980's, Virginia Arrigoni had founded and operated two supportive living facilities for chemically dependent clients in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Virginia Arrigoni passed away in 1988. Her legacy lives on, as her family continues to operate seven facilities serving hundreds of clients located in both Ramsey and Hennepin Counties; and the Arrigoni Foundation's gift will now help the uninsured or underinsured patients in Ramsey County seeking help through the HealthEast Mental Health and Addiction Services.

HealthEast Care System is a community-focused, non-profit health care organization that provides innovative technology, compassionate care and a full spectrum of family health services. HealthEast includes Bethesda Hospital, St. John's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and Woodwinds Health Campus as well as outpatient services, clinics, home care, pharmacies and medical transportation services. Practicing financial responsibility, HealthEast is the largest, locally-owned health care organization in the Twin Cities' East Metro with 7,300 employees, 1,200 volunteers and 1,400 physicians on staff.

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