Donations healthy for Crown Point clinic, neonatal ICU

December 13th, 2010 - By Susan Erler

Donations have climbed to more than $4 million in an effort to fund both the St. Clare Health Clinic in Crown Point and a neonatal intensive care unit at St. Anthony Medical Center, fundraising campaign chairman Joe Allegretti said.

The hospital’s capital campaign is nearing its $4.5 million goal before an anonymous donor’s dollar-for-dollar contribution offer ends December 31, and comes despite a weakened economy, Allegretti said. “Most campaigns start at the top and get the people who give a lot and then work down from there,” Allegretti said. “We started with one large donation and then worked from the bottom up. There’ve been a lot of nickles and dimes.”

Support came from a variety of fronts, including from hospital employees and the St. Anthony Auxiliary, made up of more than 250 volunteers, he said. The Crown Point Redevelopment Commission also has agreed to a $25,000 donation, spread over five years, pending approval by the Crown Point City Council. The city’s donation, if approved, will be directed to the St. Clare Clinic, which opened in a new setting in May and where demands for service are on the rise from qualified uninsured and underprivileged residents.

“With the struggling economy, we continue to see more patients who have lost their jobs, their homes,” Clinic Manager Julie Mallers said recently. The clinic, at 1121 South Indiana Avenue, saw 213 new patients in 2009, compared to 164 a year earlier, and total visits grew by nearly 190 to 5,465 in the same time period, according to information from the hospital.

The St. Anthony Medical Center operated St. Clare Clinic moved into a new, approximately $2 million, 7,400-square-foot-plus building in May, in a project funded by the capital campaign. The clinic opened in 1996 and previously was housed in the former Crown Point Clinic. The clinic is a primary care provider of non-emergency services to clients aged 18 to 64, including prevention, health screenings and management of chronic illness.

The 12-bed neonatal intensive care unit also funded by the capital campaign is expected to be completed in February at St. Anthony Medical Center.

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