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Prevention and Wellness Fund designated to care for caregivers

NUMC Wellness Committee members Jen Maurer, Jeff Allerson and Tom Larsen stand on what will become a walking path along the ridge behind the Medical Center.

When the pandemic first hit, New Ulm Medical Center Foundation Director Missy Dreckman started to get checks from concerned community members that were simply marked “COVID-19 relief.” In a time when many people fear for their own safety, many also immediately thought of the safety and mental well-being of the healthcare workers in their own community.

“It is awesome that our community members know how much their healthcare workers give every day and they want to give something back,” Dreckman said. From these initial donations, the idea for the Prevention and Wellness Fund was developed. The fund is meant to take care of the caregivers at NUMC so they can take care of the community.

The idea was so well-received that donations to the virtual fund raiser that replaced this year’s Golf Tournament were earmarked for this fund, also. That fund raiser saw $9,200 raised for the Prevention and Wellness Fund. Another $4,500 in personal contributions from the NUMC Foundation Board members themselves were added to that fund, as well as $2,000 from the Physicians Group of New Ulm.

“The priorities that have been identified for this fund are an outdoor walking path, a relaxation room, and a gym space,” Dreckman said. While fund raising is ongoing for these projects and anyone can contribute, the cost for all three projects is estimated to be about $40,000 and funds from the Foundation’s unrestricted fund will be used to complete the projects, if necessary.

The walking path will be behind the hospital and clinic in a safe location where staff and providers can take some respite away from daily stressors. The relaxation room will involve converting the rarely-used chapel into a quiet space where staff can make use of a massage chair and a quiet, calming atmosphere. The gym space will mean renovating some open space in the hospital into a work-out space with yoga mats and some equipment.

Those wishing to donate to the Prevention and Wellness Fund can send a check to the NUMC Foundation and note that it is for this fund, or they can go to allinahealth.org/ numcfoundation, click on the “Donate Now” button and select “Prevention and Wellness.” Donors have the option of making it a one-time or recurring donation.

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