News

My Fight with Breast Cancer by Sharmon Moxley

Earlier this year I received life-changing, scary news that I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Being from Chinook, Montana, a rural town on the Hi-Line, I am over two hours away from where I would be receiving my cancer treatment. The stress of fighting cancer alone is enormous, but the added complications of travel and lodging took my diagnosis to a new level.

Sharmon Moxley

I started radiation on September 1st, 2020 and that was when I heard about the Legacy Foundation, and how they could help patients like me with long commutes. I knew that I wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of housing while receiving treatment, because the Legacy Foundation would be providing a hotel for me since their housing facility is still in progress.

However, staying in a hotel room isn’t perfect. I would have liked to stay at a place where I could have cooked my food and had room to spread out to do my office work. In the Legacy Foundation’s future facility, this will not be a problem for patients. Every room will have their own kitchenette, as well as a communal kitchen and food pantry. There will also be plenty of room to spread out to get work done.

That is why I fully support the future Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing facility. Please consider giving to this important project.

Donor of the Month – Amanda Murray!

Amanda Murray works as a Wound Care Nurse Practitioner at the Great Falls Clinic. She has been with the Clinic for six years. She was attracted to the Clinic by its family-like atmosphere, the providers and she was impressed with the quality of care that the patients received.

Amanda Murray

Amanda first heard about the Legacy Foundation through the Executive Director, Samantha Shinaberger. “About three to four years ago, I asked Sam what we were raising money for, and how the Legacy Foundation was founded. I started donating about two years ago.” Amanda now donates via the simple employee payroll deduction method.

Her personal beliefs were what led her to donate to the Legacy Foundation, “I am an advocate for patients and I strongly believe they need more than just healthcare in terms of medication to treat their illness. I believe healthcare should be caring for an individual as a whole: mind, body and spirit. Patients who are undergoing cancer treatment need to be relieved of the burden of travel. It can be a stressor that impacts their ability to heal.

When asking Amanda about a personal experience that ties her to our mission, she shared a very personal journey, “Two years ago I took care of my mom who had a terminal illness. It was trying and there were many aspects that made it tough day-to-day. Fortunately, we didn’t stress about a place for her to stay. I honestly can’t imagine if we had one more thing to add to our heavy burden at that time.”

“Being able to give to the Legacy Foundation allows members of the Great Falls Clinic and the community feel like they are part of something that will be meaningful to patients for many years to come. It feels awesome to give and be a part of something greater than yourself. It’s the best feeling in the world and the reason people work in healthcare.” Amanda said, “If you feel like you are part of the reason someone doesn’t have to stress about money on top of being sick, well that’s something to be passionate about.”

From all of us at the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation, thank you Amanda for your generosity and continued support!

How to Utilize Prime Day and Amazon Smile

This year, Prime Day is being held on October 13th-14th. We hope you are able to enjoy the savings and get a head start on holiday shopping! If you would choose the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation as your recipient for donations made from your purchases we would greatly appreciate it. 0.5% of all purchases made through Amazon Smile are given to the user’s selected charity at no additional cost to the user. Simply shop as normal and know that your contributions will go towards helping us assist outpatients that come to the Great Falls Clinic for treatment. If you haven’t heard of or are unsure of what Prime day is or Amazon Smile, read below to learn more.

Image saying 'Prime Day is here'

Prime Day is a 2-day sales event held annually for Amazon Prime account holders. Hundreds of items are put on sale, and if you have an Amazon Prime Account, you are eligible to participate in the sales event. It’s Amazon’s version of Black Friday.

Amazon Smile is an easy way for people to give to their favorite charities when they shop from Amazon. 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to the charity of your choice at no cost to you! This means that money you spend on Amazon will return to the Great Falls community if you select us. To shop there, go to smile.amazon.com on your web browser, or activate it on your mobile app for Androids and iPhones. However, the items have to be eligible to purchase from Amazon Prime. If they are, you’ll see that the item is marked as eligible:

Image says: Eligible for Amazon Smile donation

To make sure you have the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation selected as your charity, you should see Supporting: Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation.

Image showing Amazon Smile Legacy Foundation as selected charity on Amazon Smile

If you have a different charity selected and want to change to the Great Falls Clinic, click on the drop down arrow (seen after ‘Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation’ above) and click the blue ‘Change’ text.

Image of where to change Amazon Smile charity

Ground Breaking Update

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce our groundbreaking event took place on September 18th, 2020. The Foundation’s groundbreaking was for the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing Facility. The facility will provide free, temporary patient housing facility, a project which has been in the works since 2017. With this exciting news, construction has now officially begun and is slated to conclude summer 2021.

At the groundbreaking event, CEO of the Great Falls Clinic and board member of the Legacy Foundation, Vicki Newmiller, recognized the journey of the capital campaign, which was first created in 2015. The Legacy Foundation initially launched its capital campaign in July 2017 due to a generous $1 million donation from Carmen Poulsen in memory of her husband Harold Poulsen. Ms. Newmiller thanked Josh Devos with Dick Anderson Construction, who has helped the Foundation prepare for construction. She also thanked David Cantley with LPW Architecture, who has worked tirelessly with the Great Falls Clinic on facility projects in the past, and now on this new facility. Mary Willmarth was also recognized for her service to the Foundation as their capital campaign consultant. Ms. Newmiller recognized Chairman, Ed Venetz for his guidance and also thanked and addressed board members: Vice Chair Tim Peterson, Treasurer Amy Byrd, Secretary Wyman Taylor, Reed Bassett, Greg Schwandt, Brad Livingston, Dr. Thomas Warr, Dr. Karl Guter, and Dr. Robert Henderson. Ms. Newmiller gave special thanks to the Foundation’s Executive Director, Samantha Shinaberger, “She’s been here since day one with us. She is such a leader and is so passionate. Any of you who know her, know her tenacity, know her passion, and we are so thrilled to have her with us.”

Dr. Karl Guter, long-time oncologist with the Great Falls Clinic, recognized the past and current board presidents: past chair Wyman Taylor and current chair Ed Venetz, for their wisdom and leadership. “I embrace this project and I expect more positive changes on the campus and Clinic going forward,” shared Dr. Guter, before thanking all donors, both large and small. “[I] view the facility as a logical extension of our ongoing patient care, and it provides a unique service to our community and region.”

Chairman Ed Venetz added, he first heard of the Legacy Foundation when he was receiving radiation treatment at the Great Falls Clinic. His radiation oncologist, Dr. Kelly Underhill, approached him about the Foundation, and soon after he joined the board, later becoming its second chair/president. While Mr. Venetz lived in Great Falls while receiving his cancer treatment, he had heard stories from other patients about how they were struggling to find and pay for lodging. He would later experience what it was like to live in a separate town a couple of years later, when his granddaughter received a cancer diagnosis at 2 months old. Mr. Venetz and his wife packed up and lived in Denver for two months in motels to stay close to family. “I know how [cancer] affects families and patients. I couldn’t be happier that we are able to [start the groundbreaking today]. We have a great board, [and] we have great donors.”

After speeches concluded, the board, Executive Director and Carmen Poulsen gathered to break ground.

The Legacy Foundation thanks their event sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Dick Anderson Construction, Great Falls Clinic and Stockman Bank.

TO VIEW THE EVENT GALLERY, CLICK ON THIS LINK.

Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation’s ‘My Viola Mini Flower Shop’

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is excited to announce we have partnered with My Viola to add a Flower Shop in the Great Falls Clinic Hospital lobby at 3010 15th Ave South, Great Falls. A portion of your flower purchase will benefit the Foundation directly.

You can visit our Flower Shop page to view our options here: https://gfclegacy.square.site and you can also purchase online. We will deliver any flowers to Hospital patients, while all other flower orders will need to be picked up at the front desk. You can also purchase in person at any time by asking the Hospital front desk for assistance.

For phone order, please call (406) 216-8057 or you may call (406) 216-8000.

You can also visit our Flower Shop by going to our homepage and clicking ‘Gift Shop’ in our banner

If you do not see an arrangement available that you like in the cooler, My Viola will deliver for free to the Great Falls Clinic Hospital Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of each week. Just call (406) 771-6828 to order and be sure to mention the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation to receive free delivery.

We intend to grow the gift shop and add more items over time, including cards, phone chargers and commonly requested items. We appreciate your patience as we continue to grow!

Legacy Foundation Receives $258,000 Grant from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce they are recipients of a major grant in the amount of $258,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. This grant will help fund the construction of the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing, a free, temporary patient housing facility, which has been in the works since 2017. With this exciting news, the Foundation has scheduled their facility groundbreaking event for Friday, September 18th. For more information on the groundbreaking, please visit our website at gfclegacy.org or contact Audrey at 406-216-8057.

“We couldn’t be more thankful that the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust chose to support the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing project out of the many grant proposals it receives each year. Patient housing is so valuable to Central Montana and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust recognized and acknowledged this with their generous gift and support,” stated Executive Director, Samantha Shinaberger.

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to nonprofit organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, social, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Learn more about the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust at murdocktrust.org.

The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c) (3), announced its plans for future patient housing in 2017. 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.

About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, who was a co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon, and a resident of Vancouver, Washington. Since its establishment on June 30, 1975, with a bequest of about $90 million, the Trust has focused its grantmaking efforts primarily in five states of the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Trust’s current assets are valued at over $1 billion, and over the life of the Trust, more than $1 billion has been distributed through more than 7,000 grants.

The Trust’s mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, social, cultural, and spiritual base in creative and sustainable ways. Grants are awarded to a wide variety of organizations, including those that serve the arts, public affairs, education, scientific research, health and medicine, human services, and people with disabilities.

The Trust’s staff brings a wide range of experiences in the subject areas and activities necessary for thoughtful grantmaking and the investment of Trust assets. In addition to grantmaking activities, it is common Trust practice to convene groups of people to discuss issues of mutual interest. This practice is of great assistance to the Trust in exploring ways of responding to new grantmaking opportunities consistent with its mission, promoting a sharing of ideas and networking among participants, and understanding new developments and best practices in the various sectors in which the Trust works.

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

About the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation

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 IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 09.08.2020
CONTACT: Samantha Shinaberger | Executive Director
Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation
T: (406) 771-3107
samantha.shinaberger@gfclinic.com

Donor of the Month – Brian Allison!

Brian Allison works as a Medical Scheduler for the Ophthalmology and Optometry Department at the Great Falls Clinic. He moved to Great Falls in 2014 from Missoula for work and found an opportunity with the Great Falls Clinic.

Brian Allison donor of the month
Brian Allison

Brian first heard about the Legacy Foundation through the Executive Director, Samantha Shinaberger. “She has been very good about getting the word out to all the Clinic employees about the Legacy Foundation. I asked her about the programs and immediately hopped on board with a payroll deduction.”

Brian started donating a little less than a year ago. Although he hasn’t lived in Great Falls or worked at the Clinic for very long, he immediately understood the importance of giving back to the community.

“My inspiration for donating has been the times where I myself have benefited from donations given to me and my family. I try to donate a little each paycheck because of that. The Legacy Foundation makes it easy to give because, as a Clinic employee, I have access to automatic payroll deductions. I don’t even see the money. It’s also important because my donations are going to several good causes,” Brian shares.

Brian currently donates to the Legacy Foundation’s three primary funds: the free patient housing project, the pediatric medical fund, and the cancer travel fund. Brian is the only employee at the Clinic to donate to all three and the first employee to ask if this was even a possibility.

“I think it’s important to help those that are less fortunate or in positions that no one should be in. Especially in Central and Eastern Montana, we have patients that travel hours one-way for our services and in some instances they have too much on their mind so if this donation can help them in any way I’m all for it. I know that people with cancer or other medical conditions have a lot more to think about than how they are going to get to their appointments or where they are going to stay while here.”

Brian adds that it’s really easy to get involved at the Clinic with various projects and he wishes more employees would get involved with the payroll deduction. “It goes to wonderful causes and all you have to do is set it up with Samantha and forget about it. Every little bit helps reach the goals of the programs!”

From all of us at the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation, thank you Brian for your generosity and continued support!

Welcome Audrey Phillips!

We are pleased to welcome Audrey Phillips as our new Foundation Assistant at the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation. Audrey is new to Great Falls and looks forward to learning and growing in her new role with the Foundation.

Audrey is originally from Kansas, but moved to Montana in June 2020 with her husband, Jackson. Audrey attended Kansas State University in Manhattan KS where she earned her Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Geography in 2020. Audrey and Jackson then moved to Great Falls for his work at General Mills. Audrey is excited to have a position which will connect her more to the community of Great Falls and surrounding areas and for the ability to help vulnerable patients across Montana.

In her free time, Audrey enjoys spending time with her husband and making new friends. Her hobbies include reading, knitting, and studying history. Audrey and Jackson both enjoy the beautiful scenery around Great Falls and look forward to getting to know the area more. 

If you need to contact Audrey, her phone number is 406-216-8057 and her email is Audrey.Phillips@gfclinic.com. 

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