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Memorial Medical Center Foundation Awards Record-Breaking $642,000 in Health-Related Grants


The Memorial Medical Center Foundation has awarded nearly $650,000 in health-related grants for community and health-system initiatives – a record-breaking total for the foundation's grant program.

Twenty-eight projects, totaling $642,251, received amounts ranging from $1,700 to $144,200. Eight grants were awarded to projects within Memorial Health System and 11 to Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine. The remaining nine grants went to community organizations, including Helping Hands of Springfield, MacMurray College in Jacksonville and the Springfield YMCA.

“These grants demonstrate Memorial’s continued support of the various aspects of healthcare – research, education, patient care and technology,” Melissa Hansen Schmadeke, the foundation’s executive director, said. “We are excited about the opportunity to assist so many local, not-for-profit organizations with health-related initiatives that impact members of our community, especially young people.”

The grant recipients are:                                         

Memorial Health System, Organization Development: $144,200 to build an Innovations Lab at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.

MacMurray College: $81,780 to buy an advanced multipurpose patient simulator, a video-assisted debriefing system and software for online and blended learning.

SIU School of Medicine, Surgery: $59,051 to perform a retrospective comparative study of open, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery for colorectal cancer at Memorial Medical Center.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing Springfield Regional Campus: $58,749 to buy two basic manikins, two central line dressing change simulators and two IV start simulators along with recording equipment.

Memorial Health System, Organization Development: $44,497 to buy equipment to provide hands-on training for critical care paramedics, EMT students, paramedics, emergency medicine residents and Emergency Department staff.

Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center: $36,100 to buy equipment and food for a hands-on teaching kitchen to be used with patients and community members.

SIU School of Medicine, Emergency Medicine: $28,700 to update point-of-care ultrasound training equipment at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.

Helping Hands of Springfield: $25,000 to cover rent and utility payments of three clients in the organization’s Permanent Supportive Housing program.

Springfield YMCA: $19,370 to provide summer camp and tutoring for 40 Matthew Project kids.

SIU School of Medicine, Surgery: $14,125 to assess the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the regenerative speed of nerve tissue.

SIU School of Medicine, Psychiatry: $13,003 to determine the predictors of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who initially visited the ER and were subsequently hospitalized versus those without an initial emergency room visit. 

SIU School of Medicine, Surgery: $12,890 to compare quality of life and cost data between patients receiving medical therapy and patients undergoing thoracoscopic lung volume reduction surgery for severe emphysema at SIU School of Medicine.

Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center: $12,400 to provide access to education and supplies for people with diabetes and services for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance: $12,000 to fund a symposium about patient safety with breakout simulation sessions.

SIU School of Medicine, Surgery: $10,790 to upgrade cell culture incubators used to grow cells in petri dishes at SIU’s Plastic Surgery Research Lab.

SIU School of Medicine, Emergency Medicine: $10,745 to fund the 2019 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Great Plains Regional Meeting at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.

SIU School of Medicine, Internal Medicine: $10,131 to identify the best antibiotic combinations for patients infected with difficult to treat multi-drug resistant/extensively drug resistant bacteria and have limited or no options for treatment.

Springfield Fire Department: $8,700 to buy 300 combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, which will be installed at no cost in the homes of Sangamon County residents through the Home Safety Visit program.

Memorial Medical Center, Wound Healing Center: $7,400 to have two employees become certified in lymphedema therapy.

Brother James Court: $6,335 to buy four mobile, vital signs monitors.

Compass for Kids: $5,758 to buy nutritious foods for Camp Care-A-Lot, provide medical supplies for the nurse and dental hygiene kits and laundry bags for camp attendees.

SIU School of Medicine, Surgery: $5,625 to study and provide an anatomic nerve map to the hand with treatment guidelines with the goal of preventing neuromas, chronic pain and opioid consumption.

Memorial Health System, Organization Development: $4,590 to implement an orientation process for individuals completing externships at Memorial Physician Services, Memorial ExpressCare locations or both for their certified medical assistant program.

SIU School of Medicine, Internal Medicine: $2,497 for portable equipment to assist with surgical procedures used in a collaborative study with the Department of Neurology.

Joy of Movement: $2,400 to support the participation in a one-hour adapted dance group for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. Each session is 12 weeks.

Memorial Medical Center Nursing Division: $1,915 to research which alcohol withdrawal assessment tool is the most sensitive to identifying alcohol withdrawal syndrome in order to provide the most effective and time-sensitive treatment.

Elkhart Public Library District: $1,800 to buy an automated external defibrillator.

SIU School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Education Center: $1,700 to provide a reception that includes presentation opportunities and an award ceremony for residents and fellows who develop a quality improvement project.

Since 1984, the foundation has distributed more than $10.2 million in health-related grants. The deadline for the next round of grant applications is Feb. 3, 2020.

"Our donors make these grants possible. It is because of their generosity that the foundation is able to make a significant investment in the health and well-being of our community,” Schmadeke said.

The foundation secures financial support and awards grants for health-related services that benefit people served by Memorial Health System and other nonprofit community organizations.

The foundation awards grants to central Illinois organizations with 501(c)(3) classifications or educational institutions in communities served by Memorial Health System. Grants are not awarded to individuals.

For more information about the foundation’s programs and services or its grant-application process, call 217-788-4700 or visit the foundation’s website at

The foundation’s officers are Bridget L. Lamont, chair; Rob Pietroburgo, vice chair; Cherrilyn Mayfield, treasurer; G. Virginia Conlee, secretary; Katie Keim, assistant treasurer; and Edgar J. Curtis, president.

Other board members are Tricia Nelson Becker, Susan Gleason, J. Martin Green, Dr. David L. Griffen, Jennifer Isringhausen, Cheryl Martin, James Walter Reed Jr., J. William Roberts, Henry Dale Smith Jr. and Valera Yazell.