Over the next year, about 15 women in the Ada area will be able to better control their diabetes during pregnancy, improving the health of both mother and baby, thanks to a grant from the Mercy Health Foundation Ada.
Women on Medicaid in Oklahoma who have gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, no longer receive reimbursements for expensive diabetes testing supplies and education. The Mercy grant will provide these diabetic testing supplies and in-depth diabetes education and follow-up from a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian for women who are uninsured or underinsured.
Gestational diabetes must be diagnosed and treated to prevent serious outcomes for the baby, including fetal distress, jaundice, breathing problems and possible fetal death. If left untreated, the mother may develop high blood pressure and bladder infections, and may go into early labor.
“In Pontotoc County, about one in five people are uninsured and unable to see a doctor due to high health care costs,” said Connie Christy, diabetes coordinator at Mercy Hospital Ada. “We are excited to offer this program to help women have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies by equipping them with the supplies and education they need.”
This summer, the Mercy Health Foundation Ada awarded grant funding to 12 hospital projects, totaling $160,600, including the project to fund diabetes testing supplies and education.
“There are many capital and patient service needs the basic hospital budget cannot support because of limited funds,” said Todd Essary, director of the Mercy Health Foundation Ada. “Through this grant program, we are ensuring our community hospital stays up-to-date with state-of-the-art, lifesaving equipment and innovative patient services.”
Other hospital grants
The foundation grant program, which started in 2011, is funded through general donations; co-worker and community fundraising efforts; events, like the Mercy Golf Classic and Poker Championship and the bi-annual Mercy Black and White Ball; and funding through the Valley View Health and Wellness Foundation.
In addition to the gestational diabetes project, other projects funded this year include:
“The foundation wants the best health care for our community,” said Essary. “Through these projects, we are making care safer, improving our patients’ comfort and helping those in need get the health care they deserve.”
To donate to Mercy’s internal grants program or other hospital needs, contact Todd Essary at 580-421-1403 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.