June 26, 2008 17:27 ET

VHA Foundation Helps Indiana Hospital Employees Recover From Flooding Trauma

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - There's a saying in health care, "The hospital's lights are always on." It's indicative of the fact that hospital doors are always open, even in crisis, and the people working in hospitals are always on duty to serve. But what happens when hospital personnel are impacted by disaster, such as the flooding in Indiana? Who serves them?

VHA Inc. and the VHA Foundation have for the past 16 years distributed nearly $7 million to hospital employees nationwide who have been impacted by floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. In response to the flooding in Indiana, the VHA Foundation has distributed nearly $60,000 to almost 240 employees at eight hospitals in the state:

--  Bloomington Hospital, Bloomington
--  Columbus Regional Hospital, Columbus
--  Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes
--  Johnson Memorial Hospital, Franklin
--  Major Hospital, Shelbyville
--  Morgan Hospital & Medical Center, Martinsville
--  Schneck Medical Center, Seymour
--  Union Hospital, Terre Haute

"We greatly appreciate the support of the VHA Foundation and VHA in the aftermath of this disaster. We used the $25,000 donated to our hospital to purchase Wal-Mart gift cards for employees who were directly impacted by the flooding," said Jim Bickel, the president of Columbus Regional Hospital.

"We are very appreciative of the assistance and support we have received from VHA and the VHA Foundation for our employees affected by the recent flooding," says Steve Deckard, vice president of Human Resources at Bloomington Hospital. "This assistance supplements the help we are able to provide employees through our own internal assistance fund. Making sure our employees know they are cared for and will be supported during tough times is a priority for us. The assistance VHA provided has only helped further our ability to do this."

Patti Sweeney, senior vice president of VHA's regional office in Indianapolis, says, "The flooding has had a devastating impact on the lives and economy in southern Indiana, and I'm thrilled to work for an organization that is reaching out to help health care workers."

Linda DeWolf, president of the VHA Foundation, says, "We anticipate providing additional support to hospital employees in the region as the true impact of the flooding becomes clearer."

VHA's Indianapolis office serves nearly 60 hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, acting as a hub for the delivery and development of VHA programs to help hospitals improve supply chain management and clinical performance. Through the regional office, VHA members in the region also come together to collaborate and develop solutions to operational and clinical challenges they have in common.

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