WCA Foundation Gives Record Grants Total

WCA Foundation, Inc. has set another record of support for the healthcare of the City of Jamestown and the Chautauqua Region.

“I am very proud, as are our foundation’s board members, to be able to support the hospital to the extent we are this year.  We are providing $585,044 to the hospital – the most ever given in a single year,” Peter Stark, chair of the WCA Foundation board of directors, said at a ceremony for the presentation of the 2019 grants to UPMC Chautauqua. “Each of the last three years we have met record setting goals of support for our hospital.

“The many, many donors who have contributed since the beginning of the foundation should be proud and gratified by that as well.  That type of community support is why the best days of local health care are in front of us,” he added. “Three years in a row we have been able to donate a record setting contribution. It is an impressive testament to our community’s support of local health care.”

Betsy Wright accepted the gift to the hospital on behalf of the hospital’s board of directors prior to her retirement as CEO and president of UPMC Chautauqua. “This major gift allows us to accelerate our investment in our hospital and illustrates the foundation’s passion and commitment to protect and preserve local health care,” said Betsy T. Wright, FACHE. “These vital grants keep UPMC Chautauqua on the cutting edge of technology; recruit and retain talented health care professionals; and maintain the highest levels of patient care in the region. The community’s generosity in supporting the foundation has an extraordinary impact on our hospital and we are truly grateful to our donors who make our work possible.”

Interim President of UPMC Chautauqua Brian Durnoik said, “I am excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with WCA Foundation. The Foundation has a wonderful legacy of supporting the hospital and this year their generosity will enhance the hospital in multiple ways. The long history of support from the WCA Foundation speaks volumes about their continued commitment for high quality healthcare at UPMC Chautauqua.”
As chairman of the board of WCA Foundation, Peter Stark offers assurances regarding donations contributed by community members and organizations.

“I also want to emphasize that, if you as a donor create a fund at the foundation, those dollars will be used in the manner that you direct at the time you set up the fund.  So, by establishing a fund, you can control the purpose that the fund will support.  That is also true if you donate to an existing fund or give to the foundation for an immediate need or campaign of the hospital.  Those monies will be used to support the specific purpose of the fund, such as breast cancer or medical education.  I think it’s important that the community understands that and I hope that they do,” concluded Stark.

Betsy added, “There is something wonderfully fulfilling about doing something you are passionate about. When donors bestow their names to an endowment fund or donate unrestricted funds, they create an enduring legacy that will influence future generations.”
The 2019 WCA Foundation gifts to the local hospital include $110,409 in grants restricted by their donors for specific uses in the various departments of the hospital. Scholarships for UPMC Chautauqua employees and students of the UPMC Chautauqua School of Radiologic Technology and the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program total $7,254.  In addition, $2,084 will support equipment to care for patients in the Starflight helicopters. $463,339 will be used by the hospital to educationally advance its employees, for a security system in the nursery and the purchasing of medical equipment and services for the hospital at the discretion of its administration. These grants are created by the allowable capital gains of the foundation’s endowment in accordance with regulatory guidelines of the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act – NYMPIFA.

The foundation and supporters of specific funds accomplish fund raising in a variety of ways. The annual Donation Days campaign fulfills the wishes of community donors who contribute to the funds of their choice including The Fund for the Hospital, which gives general grants to the hospital to support its greatest needs. Special events by the Rapaport Fund called Boo! to Breast Cancer, Framed in Pink – Strike out Breast Cancer Fund’s bowling event and the Vincent Messina Memorial Golf Tournament are a few reoccurring opportunities offered to support Jamestown’s world class health care hospital, UPMC Chautauqua, and WCA Foundation. “Rosie’s Run” was added in 2018 as a fundraising activity to enhance the Rosemary Billquist Scholarship Fund.

2018 brought the initiation for five new funds at WCA Foundation.  They included Anne Sischo’s Shades of Pink Fund which assists underserved women to receive mammograms and those who are working to achieve navigator certification to serve patients with breast cancer. The fund will also support the purchase of equipment and treatments for breast cancer. The Brad and Becky Van Riper Digestive System Cancer Fund will help with earlier diagnosis of digestive system cancers. The Doctors Laha Fund will give grants for the purchase of medical equipment used on medical flights by the Starflight, Inc. helicopters. Dr. Lyndon and Melanie Gritters have initiated the Healthy Life Fund to encourage UPMC Chautauqua staff members to achieve wellness through activities and programs in the healthy pursuit for the mind, body, and soul.

The Rosemary Billquist Scholarship Fund was initiated to encourage employees of UPMC Chautauqua to pursue or upgrade their education in the areas of medical records or transcription where “Rosie” worked at the hospital.

The Jamestown Mattress Pullan Family Fund, the first fund created by a corporation at WCA Foundation, was begun for the purpose of giving general grants for the purchase of medical equipment for UPMC Chautauqua.

The foundation has 46 funds which support the specific interest of their initial donors. Areas of support include robotics, cancer and cardiology services, education of employees, medical equipment, pediatric and neonatal care, obstetrics, surgery and the many other areas of service at the hospital such as the Emergency Department. WCA Foundation, Inc. was created 36 years ago as a 501 (c3) supporting foundation to the Women’s Christian Association Hospital now operating as UPMC Chautauqua. The foundation’s sole purpose is to support and promote the hospital with grants for charitable, scientific and educational purposes as long as the hospital exists in Jamestown, N.Y. To do that the foundation board and staff solicit, receive, hold, maintain, invest and reinvest money and other real and personal property received at the discretion of the board of directors of WCA Foundation.

Donors may receive more information about WCA Foundation by contacting Brigetta Overcash, executive director of the foundation at 716.664.5461, or Overcashbe@upmc.edu or Megan Barone, director of development at 716.664-8423 or Baroneme3@upmc.edu. Tax deductible donations in support of the hospital may be sent to WCA Foundation, 300 Foote Ave., P.O. Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702 or made on-line at the WCA Foundation website: www.wcafoundationjamestown.org

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