Sentara Health Foundation invites community to support life-saving aircraft
Norfolk, VA (June 2011) – Leslie Peterfeso, a Sentara employee, sees the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance launch and land every day at its home base at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Last December, though, Peterfeso became a Nightingale patient in a freak accident at her Suffolk home when a heavy tree limb her husband was sawing fell the wrong way and landed on her head, knocking her to her driveway where she then struck her forehead. Faced with bleeding head wounds and possible brain damage, Suffolk paramedics called Nightingale, which took her to Sentara Norfolk General in a way she never expected.
“It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime,” Peterfeso says. “I believe in Nightingale and I’m supporting it through payroll deduction here at work.”
The Saving Minutes, Saving Lives campaign is asking for community support to replace the 25 year-old helicopter that has served the Nightingale program since 1996.
Major Donors have helped propel the campaign
The public appeal to support a new Nightingale follows a two-year effort by the Sentara Health Foundation to engage area governments, corporations and foundations to help Sentara purchase a state-of-the-art Eurocopter EC-145, which carries a price tag of $7.2 million. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $3.5 million of that cost through philanthropic and community support.
“We especially hoped the communities that use Nightingale the most would
recognize the value of the program to their citizens and visitors,” says Meril Amdursky, Director of the Sentara Health Foundation. “They really came through for us and we
appreciate their generosity and example in supporting our campaign.”
Some of the major gift donors include:
Towne Bank Foundation
Currituck County, North Carolina
Pasquotank and Camden Counties, NC Emergency Medical Services
City of Hampton
City of Newport News
Sun Trust Bank
Newport News Shipbuilding
Obici Healthcare Foundation
Why Nightingale is worthy of your financial support
Sentara Healthcare has operated Nightingale for almost 30 years as part of its
not-for-profit community mission. The program operates at a deficit of as much as $650,000 per year because Sentara takes care of every Nightingale patient, 24 hours per day, regardless of health insurance or ability to pay.
“There is no doubt that the lives of Eastern Shore residents are enhanced by this air ambulance,” says Lucius Kellam, a business and community leader on the remote
Eastern Shore of Virginia. “It is a resource that links our community with the most advanced trauma care.”
Every year, Nightingale touches the lives of almost 700 critically ill and injured patients at accident scenes and outlying community hospitals. When minutes count, Nightingale can change an hour-long ambulance ride to a rapid flight that can mean the difference between life and death.
Be part of the Nightingale legacy
“We are close to our fundraising goal, but we’re not there yet,” says Meril Amdursky of the Sentara Health Foundation. “We have more than $3 million committed to the program, but we’re asking the community to help us get to the finish line.”
Every dollar you donate to Nightingale will help continue the legacy of this lifesaving program and maintain its availability to residents as far away as Ocracoke Island, North Carolina to the south, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Charlottesville, Virginia to the west.
You can contribute to Nightingale and learn more about the program by logging onto www.sentara.com/foundation and following the online prompts to donate.
Sentara Health Foundation
Nightingale Air Ambulance
Saving Minutes Saving Lives
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
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