Munson Health
Our Needs

We coordinate and disperse funds to cover a wide range of needs. We’re involved in everything from multi-million dollar capital campaigns for major building projects, to making small grants to provide scales for heart failure patients or to pay a utility bill for a cancer patient who has been unable to work.  Here are some of the funds we support with donor dollars.


Clinical Education

Health care is constantly evolving. Support for ongoing education is vital to ensure that our clinical staff has access to professional development to update their skills, learn new technology and techniques, and stay current with best practices. Providing quality nursing care to hospitalized patients is critical to achieving positive patient outcomes and high levels of patient satisfaction. Additional education for nurses and clinical staff ensures safe, competent, high quality, and the most up-to-date care is provided. It is becoming more difficult to meet this growing need due to the tighter economic realities in health care.


Cowell Family Cancer Center

We expect to break ground in 2014 on a new cancer center that will bring all cancer diagnostic and treatment services under one roof for better coordination of care and patient convenience. The Cowell Family Cancer Center, named for lead donor Casey Cowell and his family, will be northern Michigan's most comprehensive resource for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related disorders. The cancer center will include the most advanced treatment options, including stereotactic radiosurgery. The cancer center is an integral part of a regional plan for cancer services. Patients will leave the cancer center with a multidisciplinary, coordinated treatment plan and may receive some of their services as close to home as possible at infusion clinics in communities throughout northern Michigan. 


Elizabeth C. Hosick Dialysis Center at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital

The new Elizabeth C. Hosick Dialysis Center opened in its short-term location on the second floor of the hospital in 2012. This temporary dialysis unit includes six patient treatment chairs to accommodate Benzie County residents who previously had to travel to Traverse City three times a week for life-saving treatment. During recent years, the need for dialysis services has grown 13 percent. The number of patients requiring dialysis increases with summer residents and visitors. A permanent, expanded home for dialysis services is planned.

"The crew that works here, they’re almost like family. They just make you feel so good. This unit makes all the difference - it’s two miles from my home. If you have to have dialysis, it’s a nice place to be."
- Crystal Smeltzer, Elberta dialysis patient



Healthy Futures

Healthy Futures is a free service that has been available to all families in the area since 1998. Every family who delivers a baby at Munson Medical Center, Mercy Hospital Cadillac, and West Shore Medical Center receive a series of 16 newsletters to provide information about important developmental milestones, health tips, and reminders about immunizations (birth - age 5 years). In addition, families can sign up for Registered Nurse services that include home visits and phone calls. In 2012, Foundation grants to Healthy Futures assisted 19 families in need with lodging costs while their infants were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.



Mammography Assistance Fund

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent; when found in a more advanced stage, the five -year survival drops to 23 percent.  The Mammography Assistance Fund helps pay for mammograms for patients who do not have insurance or the ability to pay for these important screenings. The average cost per exam is about $70. In 2011, we helped 358 women pay for their mammograms.  We expect the need for assistance to continue to grow.

"Even though I know I am at high risk, I thought about skipping my follow-up mammograms because when you get a bill you can’t pay, that adds stress upon stress. Because my follow-up mammogram discovered cancer at a very early stage, my treatment the second time was much easier and so much faster. Obviously, it saved my life."
- Jennie Minard, cancer survivor


Munson Hospice

Each year, we attempt to raise $350,000 for Munson Hospice Immediate Needs to help balance operational budgets for hospice programs and Munson Hospice House. Donor contributions keep Munson Hospice strong and help provide compassionate end-of-life care to all who need it. Munson Healthcare employees traditionally are strong supporters of Munson Hospice, typically giving $35,000 or more each year toward hospice care for patients.  Hospice care is provided at home, or at the eight-bed Hospice House on the Munson Medical Center campus. In addition, bereavement services, including grief support groups and our children's art therapy program, all depend on the generosity of community members.

Donations to Munson Hospice may be eligible for a matching contribution from your current or former employers. All gifts are acknowledged promptly with a letter, and if designated, the family is notified of your contribution in honor of their loved one.

"Having Munson Hospice workers involved in Charly’s final days made an enormous difference. They came when they were needed, stayed as long as they were needed, and they did what was needed. They had a welcome, calming effect on all of us."
- Alice Hansen

Munson Manor

As a regional referral center, Munson Medical Center serves patients who travel a great distance for quality health care. Since 2000, Munson Manor Hospitality House has been a "home away from home" for family members of out-of-town patients who face the added stress of traveling during a loved one's hospitalization. The facility also is available for patients and their caregivers who must find lodging during outpatient treatments and procedures. Munson Manor offers 30 comfortable rooms and two RV pads with connections. It is located directly behind Munson Medical Center. The 110-year-old building requires constant upkeep. In 2012, a $38,550 Foundation grant paid for 32 pieces of furniture for the Hospitality House.

"I can’t imagine what this turn of events would have been like without the Manor. My husband has been here in the hospital 85 days so far and we live three hours away. Bless this place, and all the wonderful people who keep it so nice."

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Munson Medical Center has the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in northern Michigan. More than 300 fragile infants are cared for in the unit each year, and additional infants are transported by air to DeVos Children’s Hospital or University of Michigan. Munson is expecting an upward trend toward an average of 350 admissions annually. Nearly 60 percent of babies served in the NICU are insured through Medicaid. Each year, the NICU loses approximately $370,000. As demand increases, the NICU will need to serve more families with fewer resources.

The NICU identifies at least $50,000 in small equipment needs annually. Some items include new glider rockers, bedside milk warmers, scales, and monitoring equipment. Charitable gifts help meet the equipment needs for the program, and positively impact the experience of families who use the services.

Pediatric Specialty Clinics

We would like to expand pediatric specialty services in northern Michigan for local diagnosis, management, and treatment of more complex or chronic pediatric medical needs. Some pediatric specialty services are available, but many pediatric patients who need specialty care must travel with their families to other communities. The additional time, effort, and travel expense adds significantly to the family’s burden. Clinics could be added as funding becomes available.

Pediatric Therapy Services and Programs

A growing demand for Pediatric Therapy Services is occurring at a time when reimbursement for services is being cut. Pediatric Therapy Services include: feeding programs, therapeutic listening programs, cognitive development programming, ENT-evaluation for hearing aides, sensory motor therapy, special equipment and home assessments, as well as our bereavement program for children who have lost a loved one. Approximately 225 children are served annually.

Women’s Cancer Fund

The Women’s Cancer Fund is dedicated to helping women diagnosed with cancer who are members of the communities served by Munson Medical Center. The fund is used to provide financial assistance for supportive care when other means have been exhausted. Care includes such things as prosthetics, and transportation childcare, and utilities during treatment. The Women’s Cancer Fund is not intended to provide funding for specific treatments.