An new endowed fund has been created at the McPherson Healthcare Foundation to assistance local residents with transportation to medical treatment.
Mark and Melissa Tipton, life-long residents of McPherson, recently pledged $10,000 toward the creation of the fund.
The Mark and Melissa Tipton Fund will provide financial assistance for transportation to medical facilities for treatment and/or stabilization of patients health conditions. In addition, this fund will support projects dedicated to enhancement of health-care transportation for residents of McPherson County.
In addition to providing funds for travel by individuals to ongoing appointments or emergency transport to a trauma center, the found would seek to match funds for community projects. This could include a van for a senior living center, for example.
The couple has a personal story behind their donation.
Seven years ago Mark waged a battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He underwent six months of chemotherapy in Salina and 15 weeks of daily radiation in Hutchinson.
“We talked about it. We felt lucky. What if you did not have the money (to drive to appointments),”
Melissa said. “Plus doctor’s appointments and tests in the meantime.”
Several of the couple’s family members have also struggled with cancer and Melissa herself is struggling with her own health problems.
Mark had a scare late last year during which he thought the cancer had returned. Fortunately, he remains cancer free.
The couple said they felt blessed and wish to make some sort of donation in the community.
Melissa received a card in the mail from the foundation right before Christmas. Melissa said it was a blessing to receive that card in the mail. She did not know much about the organization, but she thought she and Mark had found a perfect opportunity to fulfill their wish.
The couple contacted Chad Clark, the foundation’s director, who happened to be their neighbor of 14 years. Clark facilitated the creation of the fund by the end of the year.
“We have spent all our lives in McPherson,” she said, “and we wanted to give something back.”
Clark said the need for the funds is great. Because McPherson is a rural community, many residents must travel out of town to receive medical treatment.
For example, McPherson does not have a dialysis center. Clark said he hoped to someday be able to offer some sort of shuttle service for these patients.
Full funds will not be available through the Tipton Fund until July 1, 2014. At that time, residents can make applications to the fund based on a set of criteria established by the foundation. A list of these criteria will be posted on the foundation’s website at www.machealthfound.info/.
Page 2 of 2 - However, the couple wished to make some funds available immediately. Local residents can apply for emergency funds of up to $100 until the first full allocations are available in 2014.