Mary Alford, The News-Enterprise
A majority of that amount came from Elizabethtown entrepreneur Kelly Emerine, who presented an $80,000 check to the foundation at the HMH Cancer Care Center. Her investment will be used to help bring 3-D mammography to HMH. Emerine made the donation after selling her medication management app, Mom’s MedMinder, to HMH for about $160,000.
Emerine first had the idea for the app when her twin daughters were sick at the same time and she had difficulty keeping track of when and how much medicine they were to receive.
HMH will update the app and make the new version and health management tool available to HMH patients in the coming months, Chief Operations Officer Tom Carrico said. He said 60 percent of all hospital readmissions occur as a result of improper instruction or improper ability to comprehend medications and when to administer them at the appropriate times.
“I developed the app to help moms like me,” Emerine said. “I wanted HMH patients to benefit from the technology if they could and I am thrilled my gift to the Foundation will help bring 3-D mammography to HMH and help even more women.”
Emerine said she knew she wanted to return some of the proceeds to the community when she sold her app and the HMH Foundation was a natural choice.
“I was born at HMH. My daughters were born at HMH. And when I had a breast health concern, HMH is where I turned to for care,” she said, noting she thought it was important to share some of her success with the community that has given so much to her. “I felt the need to give back and pay it forward.”
“This is what philanthropy looks like,” foundation board member Mike Bowers said. “A young mother of two and entrepreneur in the heartland of America is setting a generous example that all of us should follow.”
Bowers, an entrepreneur and member of the Lincoln Trail Venture Group, who also invested in Mom’s MedMinder, issued a challenge to other community entrepreneurs to follow Emerine’s lead and give to the foundation.
Bowers, on behalf of those entrepreneurs who accepted the challenge, also presented a $20,000 check Thursday to the HMH Foundation.
Foundation Chairman Joe Prather said residents in Hardin County and the surrounding area, understand the importance of a strong HMH and providing the best health care for central Kentucky families.
“We cannot take our strong and growing health system for granted,” he said. “We have to do our part to make it viable long into the future and that is exactly what Kelly and other local entrepreneurs are doing here today. We encourage others to give to the foundation so that patients can continue to have access to the most advanced care.”
HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson said Thursday was another “wonderful day” at HMH, in the community, Hardin County and surrounding counties.
“Today is a celebration,’’ he said. “It’s a celebration of community leaders. It’s a celebration of generosity. And it’s really a celebration of patients and patient care. Our mission is to provide advanced care close to home.”
To add to the momentum, Johnson discussed the Cancer Care Center’s newest addition, the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. The system uses what is called a cold cap to reduce the scalp temperature before, during and after chemotherapy. The cooling reduces the blood flow to hair follicles which helps to minimize hair loss.
Breast cancer patient Jamie Owen, the first at HMH to utilize the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, attended the event. To her surprise, when the event came to an end, she was greeted by more than 50 of her family and friends, who came in celebration of the donations, wearing “Join Jamie’s Journey” T-shirts.
Prather said he knows not everyone can afford the caps, which the patients have to pay for themselves, and insurance does not cover the cost. Since many patients worry about hair loss, Prather, on behalf of the foundation, presented a $15,000 check to the HMH Cancer Care Center.
“Now more patients can have more access to this device,” he said.