To Your Health

100 years of care and so­lu­tions at Lee Memo­rial

RSWLiving - - Guest Editorial - BY SKIP LEONARD Skip Leonard Skip Leonard Chief Foun­da­tion Of­fi­cer Lee Memo­rial Health Sys­tem Foun­da­tion

For 100 years, Lee Memo­rial Health Sys­tem, soon to be called Lee Health, has been de­voted to car­ing for our com­mu­nity, and as South­west Florida grows, so do the health care needs of those en­trusted to our care. In ad­di­tion to car­ing for more than 1 mil­lion pa­tients ev­ery year, Lee Memo­rial Health Sys­tem, or LMHS, is con­tin­u­ally as­sess­ing and proac­tively ad­dress­ing the re­gion’s most com­pelling health is­sues.

Health care through­out our coun­try is in a sig­nif­i­cant state of change and tran­si­tion―our chal­lenge at LMHS is to con­tinue to en­hance our cul­ture of out­stand­ing qual­ity of care to all we serve, while rec­og­niz­ing our fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal re­al­i­ties.

LMHS has iden­ti­fied five pri­or­i­ties that fo­cus on en­hanc­ing the com­mu­nity’s health. How­ever, in or­der to do so, we must fo­cus on phil­an­thropic in­vest­ment in our health. Phi­lan­thropy and gen­eros­ity live in a world of clar­ity and im­pact―clar­ity in mis­sion and un­der­stand­ing the im­pact of phil­an­thropic in­vest­ment in our com­mu­nity. I can­not think of a more im­pact­ful mis­sion than in­vest­ing in the health and well­ness of South­west Florida.

To this end, LMHS and LMHS Foun­da­tion over the next five years will fo­cus on rais­ing aware­ness and phil­an­thropic sup­port in these strate­gic ar­eas:

Bonita and Es­tero Life Vil­lage

This area is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tremen­dous growth, and the new med­i­cal vil­lage will have a 24/7 free­stand­ing emer­gency room, a surgery cen­ter, spe­cialty- and pri­mary-care physi­cians, well­ness and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive pro­grams.

Golisano Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of South­west Florida

When Amer­ica’s new­est chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal opens in 2017, it will quickly fill with our youngest, most vul­ner­a­ble pa­tients. En­vi­sion chil­dren be­ing pulled in lit­tle red wag­ons be­tween pro­ce­dures and their hos­pi­tal rooms. The fund­ing needs a shift from bricks and mor­tar to an an­nual phil­an­thropic sup­port. We call it the “Lit­tle Red Wagon Cam­paign,” be­cause every­thing we do and ev­ery dol­lar raised and spent is for our chil­dren and for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Health and Well­ness

Through pro­grams such as Healthy Lee and our part­ner­ships with physi­cians groups, lo­cal schools, so­cial-ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions and our var­ied neigh­bor­hoods, we are tak­ing a grass-roots ap­proach to ed­u­cate and ini­ti­ate healthy liv­ing pro­grams to ar­eas that may have been cir­cum­vented in the past.

Re­gional Cancer Cen­ter (RCC)

The RCC each year since 2008 has ex­pe­ri­enced dou­ble-digit growth. Our five-year suc­cess rate for can­cers di­ag­nosed and man­aged ex­ceeds na­tional av­er­ages, yet is a great “un­told” suc­cess story. LMHS will be­gin a multimillion-dol­lar ex­pan­sion of the RCC, in­clud­ing a 24,000-square-foot ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing health cen­ter on Colo­nial Boule­vard near I-75 in Fort My­ers.

The Ship­ley Cen­ter for Car­dio­tho­racic Surgery In­no­va­tion, Ed­u­ca­tion & Re­search

Heart dis­ease con­tin­ues to be the lead­ing cause of death in the U.S. To ad­dress the man­age­ment and care of heart and lung dis­eases, LMHS in 2015 cre­ated the Ship­ley Cen­ter. By us­ing a for­mal­ized pro­gram to im­prove a pa­tient’s health be­fore surgery, out­comes vastly im­proved. We are at the fore­front of de­vel­op­ing tech­niques to sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove pa­tient health and vi­tal­ity.

Over the next year, you’ll be hear­ing more about these pri­or­i­ties and learn­ing how each one im­pacts South­west Florida; and we’ll present many dif­fer­ent ways to sup­port our re­gion’s health. Many peo­ple have al­ready given for their own unique rea­sons, or as we la­bel it “your why.” We want to know your “why” and do all we can to in­spire com­mu­nity phi­lan­thropy that en­hances the over­all health of the South­west Florid­i­ans we serve.

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