The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is pleased to welcome two new board members, Suzanne Porter and Amy Pennington. The two new members are well-known members of the Great Falls community and have helped contribute to the Foundation’s success with the capital campaign by also serving on the Leadership Cabinet.
Suzanne’s family moved from her home state of Arkansas to California’s Bay Area when she was a child. After graduating college, she began her career in San Francisco managing a law firm. Suzanne moved to Livingston, MT in 1983 where she was partner in a retail and wholesale art business. She relocated to Great Falls 21 years ago to pursue further education at UGF, leading to a position as the first executive director of CASA-CAN and later as a paralegal for Smith Walsh Clarke & Gregoire. Suzanne retired from the State of Montana as a paralegal/accountant in 2015. She has served on the boards of the Livingston Depot Foundation, Livingston Art Council, Cascade Co. Food Bank, YWCA, and CASA-CAN. She loves being retired, spending as much time as possible with her two children, and going to the gym as much as time allows. Suzanne has been a long-time dedicated patient of the Great Falls Clinic and remains dedicated to helping the Great Falls Clinic succeed as well as the community of Great Falls.
Amy is originally from Valdosta, Georgia and moved to Helena, Montana in 2009. Amy and her family made the final move to Great Falls, Montana in late 2009 where she has successfully built her career in finance and accounting. Amy currently serves as the Controller at Pacific Steel & Recycling and has been with the company since 2012. Throughout her time in Great Falls, Amy has remained active in various community organizations and events including Leadership Great Falls, United Way and serving on her company’s donation committee. She has also served as Treasurer on the Family Connections MT board since 2014. She is a long-time dedicated Great Falls Clinic patient and is passionate about helping patients throughout Montana in need.
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.