Milford Regional’s Community Benefits program strives to empower residents to maintain their health in the communities where they live, focusing not only on physical health, but their emotional and social well-being. Community Benefits offers education and resources at no cost to residents of all ages, including fitness programs for youth, job training and employment opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities, chronic disease management, maternal health and educational health programming specifically for senior citizens and many other valuable offerings. In FY 2019, Milford Regional continued to build upon its successfully established programs, including these…
Blood Donor Center
Milford Regional was recognized in 2019 by the American Red Cross for collecting over 1000 units of blood in 2018 at the Blood Donor Center located inside the hospital. In FY 2019, the Blood Donor Center held 46 blood drives and broke the 2018 record collecting 1,085 units of blood. The dedicated donor space at Milford Regional has since enabled the Red Cross to run scheduled blood drives three or four times a month, as well as additional drives when a special need for red cells has occurred on short notice.
PHOTO ABOVE: The American Red Cross (ARC) recognizes Milford Regional for great success in blood donations at our site in 2018. Pictured left to right: American Red Cross representatives Nancy Sullivan, senior account manager; Kaity Lawler, account executive, Ana Parrelli, district manager, donor recruitment and outreach, alongside Milford Regional President & CEO Ed Kelly; Nicole Heim, Executive VP and COO; Camille Williams, blood bank/hematology manager and Judy Barron, administrative laboratory director.
Project SEARCH is a national transitional program that provides internships and job training opportunities to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities entering their last year of high school. Program participants work with a teacher and an on-site job coach and rotate through three, 11-week internships in hospital departments, which have included sterile processing, environmental services, stock room, food services, pharmacy and facilities. In the eight years since its implementation, Milford Regional not only continues to sustain the program, but has hired five former Project SEARCH participants.
PHOTO ABOVE: Milford Regional recognizes Project Search graduates (pictured left to right): Elaine Willey, director of volunteer services; Tyler Campbell, Project SEARCH graduate; Mark Mancuso, Project SEARCH graduate; Claire Pessini, Project SEARCH graduate; Michele Santangelo, Project SEARCH teacher and job coach; Ed Kelly, President and CEO; Joshua Otlin, Principal at Milford High School.
Health Fairs and Community Presentations
The Maternity Department represented the hospital at the annual Milford Disability and Family Fun Fair to provide maternal health education. The maternity nursing staff purchased and donated a car seat for the event. Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine attended various school health fairs and community-based presentations regarding concussion.
Ongoing Community Programs
Youth Fitness The youth fitness program with the Milford Youth Center continued, with more than 100 Milford youth attending hospital-funded fitness programs throughout the school year such as Cardio Dance Jam and Pound! – an aerobic workout designed to bring out your inner rock star!
Healthy Living Luncheons Hospital medical staff, employees and personnel from various departments provided presentations at the Milford Senior Center during FY 2019. Drawing an average crowd of 50 senior citizens from Milford and the immediate surrounding area, the luncheons are held six times a year and feature topics that specifically address the needs of the community’s aging residents – including how to incorporate summer superfoods into your diet, the importance of vaccinations, fall prevention, how swallowing is impacted by age, and emergency preparedness. The program has proven to be an important tool in establishing a personal connection with area residents and recognition of the hospital as a preventative resource in addition to a clinical care and emergency service.
Conversation Ready This panel discussion was hosted by the Patient and Family Advisory Council featuring medical staff, clergy, social workers and a local attorney to discuss how to ensure your wishes for medical care are met and respected in a healthcare crisis. The panel was also videotaped and broadcast on local cable television.
Childbirth Education Milford Regional continues to offer free childbirth education to qualifying patients through Healthy Families of Milford.
Skin Cancer Awareness The annual skin screening took place at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Milford Regional. The dermatologists from Kuchnir Dermatology generously donated their time to examine the 47 patients registered for the event.
Diabetes Management Free monthly pre-diabetes classes are held at Milford Regional, as well as twice-monthly classes for newly diagnosed patients. In addition, a panel discussion was held by patient mentors to help diabetes patients.
Community Partners for Health/Community Health Network Area (CHNA 6) Outside of the hospital, Milford Regional continues to maintain a strong relationship with CHNA 6 to address the unmet health needs in our service area, with a particular focus on the uninsured, elders, adolescents and immigrants. A Medical Center representative serves on the Steering Committee, which helps provide programming to its membership. The organization’s guiding document is the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which is reviewed annually and is the basis for awarding grants targeting goals, objectives and strategies identified in the CHIP.
The Community Benefits Leadership Team and Advisory Committee
FY 2019 was a year that not only saw continued success in existing programs, but also built the foundation for programs to meet the community’s needs in the future. The Community Benefits Leadership Team and Advisory Committee worked to establish partnerships within the community to present programming to address emerging substance use and mental health issues identified in the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment. The most notable of these topics is the use of e-cigarettes and electronic vaping products which is an epidemic among youth, and increasing awareness of dementia in aging adults.
Milford Regional looks forward to bringing these programs, as well as others, to the community in the next fiscal year. In addition, Milford Regional will begin the initial phases of the FY 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment to help us gauge the progress we have made and chart our community benefits program for the next several years.