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Dr. Francis and Mrs. Martha Handwerk Donate $20K to Campaign

Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation Announces $20K Major Campaign Gift

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce a major donation to its capital campaign to build future patient housing for cancer patients and others traveling to Great Falls for treatment.

Dr. Francis and Mrs. Martha Handwerk, longtime friends of the Great Falls Clinic, have donated $20,000 to the Foundation’s “Building Hope” Campaign. Dr. Francis Handwerk joined the Great Falls Clinic in 1983 as an OBGYN and retired in 2007. He and his wife fell in love with Great Falls and decided to make it their forever home.

“We have been blessed with our association with the Great Falls Clinic and are pleased to be able to assist in this much needed endeavor,” shared Dr. Handwerk on why he believes in and supports the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation.

Dr. Francis and Mrs. Handwerk proudly support the Great Falls community and patients traveling to Great Falls for treatment. Both remaining active in the community participating in various events and activities within the Clinic and Great Falls.

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), announced its plans for future patient housing last June. The Great Falls Clinic sees an average of 650 surgical and 400 cancer care patients per month, with approximately 42 percent of those patients traveling from out of town. Helping those patients and families from around Montana, seeking treatment at the Great Falls Clinic was part of the vision of the Foundation. Patient care and comfort is of the utmost importance to the Foundation, and patient housing is now their top priority.

“Our patients are our number one priority and helping to relieve some of the financial burden of medical care, as well as, housing and travel costs associated with out-of-town visits is important,” said Samantha Shinaberger, Executive Director. “The housing facility will reduce the amount of stress placed on our patients seeking medical care.  Knowing their housing and travel is taken care of for the duration of their treatment is meaningful to them,” she added.

The patient housing facility will feature 12 patient guest rooms, including double queen rooms and single king rooms to accommodate large and small families. The rooms will be handicap- accessible and patient-friendly. To accommodate all lengths of patient treatments, all rooms will have a kitchenette and other hotel amenities. Along with patient rooms, the facility will feature an entry atrium displaying a donor recognition tree, a self-serve kitchen and dining area, family gathering areas, a laundry room, and an exterior gathering area with a fire pit.

“The community of Great Falls and surrounding areas would benefit greatly from the proposed housing project, especially knowing they are helping some very ill, financially burdened patients. In some patient cancer cases, a course of radiotherapy may take as long as eight weeks to complete, with treatments given daily,” said Vicki Newmiller, CEO of the Great Falls Clinic and board member of the GFC Legacy Foundation. “Without patient housing available for these patients, they would be required to stay in a hotel, sometimes far away from their treatment center, which only adds to their financial burden,” added Newmiller.

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation, started in 2016, was created to help patients seeking treatment at the Great Falls Clinic. The Foundation’s mission is to bring hope and healing to Great Falls and surrounding communities, by providing the best access to healthcare possible. The Foundation seeks to achieve its mission of hope and healing through funding approaches that will result in: providing affordable housing and travel options for patients and families in need, increasing the level of care for all patients, promoting patient health and wellness, expanding opportunities beyond just housing and travel assistance that will bring hope and healing to the Great Falls community.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.gfclegacy.org or call (406) 771-3107.