Challenge grant to fund local Johnson Memorial infusion center

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., May. 26, 2011
Johnson Memorial Hospital received a challenge grant of $150,000 from S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly's, to build a new Infusion Center in Enfield.
Johnson Memorial Hospital received a challenge grant of $150,000 from S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly's, to build a new Infusion Center in Enfield.

Johnson Memorial Hospital has received a challenge grant of $150,000 from S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly Ice Cream Corporation. The grant will be used to complete a new Infusion Center on the existing campus on Hazard Avenue, in Enfield.

Chemotherapy patients and others receiving treatments intravenously currently have to travel to Stafford Springs, Vernon, Manchester or Hartford to receive care.

“[Patients are] going to be able to receive services without having to leave the community,” said David Morgan, interim chief executive officer of Johnson Memorial Medical Center.

Morgan said the majority of the grant will be used to construct the facility, though a new structure is not in the plans. “We’re renovating two existing spaces within the cancer center on our campus,” he said. The hospital plans to combine the structures for infusion therapy and oncology services.

According to Morgan, the hospital identified the need for an infusion center in its clinical strategic planning at least two years ago. “It’s the culmination of a long-term planning effort to meet the needs of the community,” he said.

Currently, the Stafford Springs hospital has eight chairs for infusion therapy. The new Infusion Center will bring the total to 21 chairs, with 14 in Enfield and seven remaining in Stafford Springs.

Another expansion on the books is the addition of a Wound Care Center. Funds raised in excess of Blake’s challenge grant will be put toward that endeavor.

In regard to Blake’s donation, Morgan said, “[Blake is] a big supporter of the institution and believes strongly that the hospital is needed by the community.” Once Blake learned of the need for the Infusion Center, Morgan said he came forward and offered to help in any way possible.

The fundraising campaign began May 20 and runs until Aug. 1. Tax-deductible contributions will be matched up to $150,000, and gifts can be made in honor or memory of a loved one. Visit www.jmmc.com/Blake to make a donation, or contact Lisa Corriveau, JMMC capital campaign coordinator, at 860-684-8161.

 

Contact Jennifer Holloway at jholloway@remindernet.com with comments or story ideas.


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