Employees find personal ways to put MCG First

When Allen Edmunds looked for a way to honor the passing of his grandparents, he went no further than his office chair.

“They received great nursing care when they were hospitalized, and the nurses were alumna of MCG,” he said.

Edmunds is a business operations specialist for the MCG School of Nursing who was very close to his grandparents. Last year he created an endowment. The Otto and Marguerite Martins Memorial Scholarship Fund for nursing students was formed in their memory.

Edmunds is just one example of MCG employees finding ways to give to the health sciences university and clinics that provide world-class care and economic support to Augusta and the surrounding counties.

“Of course I am involved in a lot of different organizations and provide charitable donations, but to actually see the scholarship be awarded and see it go to a student, I get to see my dollars at work,” Edmunds said.

Another place to see the impact of employee giving is in the Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Clinic, where children with cancer and other disorders were previously treated in a darkly institutional facility. The only cheer provided came from family, friends and the nurses on duty, who didn’t even have a nursing station in the suite from which to monitor patients and maintain records.

Rebecca Bruni, philanthropy coordinator at MCGHealth, said that the importance of atmosphere cannot be underestimated when treating children.

“They might spend up to eight hours a day in the infusion chairs,” she said.

Now, funded completely through donations and grants, the clinic has undergone a total renovation. Designed by patient advisors and clinicians, it radiates color and light, has seating for patients and their parents, and each top-of-the-line infusion chair is also outfitted with its own television.

“There may be kids from 2 to 18 being treated at the same time, and they need to remain still much of that time,” Bruni said, not to mention the nausea and discomfort that can come from chemotherapy. “Watching television is one of the best things for them to do.”

In support of the new enterprise-wide goals, MCG, MCGHealth and the Physicians Practice Group are working together this year on an employee campaign called MCG-First. This single campaign calls upon all employees to show support for the mission and values of the work we do through financial contributions.

“The dollars they give come back to go to work here on campus. These contributions allow numerous things to take place that may not be able to happen without their gifts,” said Director of Annual Fund Debby Kalliokoski.

Less than 25 percent of the university’s operating budget comes from state funds. The remainder must be earned through donations, merchandise sales, clinical practices and grants.

“I think it’s an obligation to the community,” Edmunds said. “Whether you give dollars or you give time, it’s all philanthropy to me. Wherever we can be useful, I think it’s a duty.”

All money collected will go to the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation, the official foundation for the Medical College of Georgia and the MCG Health System. This foundation was formed under the direction and guidance of the Board of Regents and is here to support the education, research and clinical care of our operations.

For more information, visit mcg. edu/mcg-first, contact Debby Kalliokoski at 706-721-3397 or e-mail mcg-first@mcg.edu.

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