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Philanthropic Priorities

The Mercy Health Foundation is proud to work with the community to support important initiatives to live out Jesus's healing ministry with special emphasis on serving the poor and vulnerable.

The key projects where philanthropic support will have the greatest impact are

  • Cancer Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatrics
  • Fitness for the Physically Challenged Program
  • Serving the Poor

Read below about each priority area and how your donor support is making a difference to those in our community.

Spring Grants

8 departments received more than $130,000 during the Spring 2016 grant round to support a variety of needs for AMG South Clinics and Mercy Medical Center. From medical equipment, to program support and supplies - our patients will benefit from the generosity of our donors who support the foundation. Your support, whether an associate supporting the foundation through our Associate Giving Campaign or a donor through a gift to a specific funds, makes it possible to fulfill our mission of serving the poor and underserved in our community. Thank you for your generous support.

Affinity Medical Group

  • Cardiology, $4,745.80 Stryker Stretcher Chair which can be easily maneuvered in the exam room to transfer a patient to the hospital
  • Koeller St. Optometry, $8,900.14 Full power tilt chair and stand for wheelchair patients allowing for a more accurate eye exam

Mercy Medical Center

  • Cancer, $24,700.00 "For Your Well Being". Survivorship programming including nutritional counseling, exercise, yoga, art therapy and health psychology services
  • Birthplace, $1,792.28 Purchase of a portable water birth tub which will be in addition to the free standing tub allowing additional women the option of a water birth
  • Inpatient Behavioral Health , $4,398. 00 Blanket warmer, which will not only allow staff to offer warm blankets to patients on cold nights, but will provide a basic comfort helping patients feel less vulnerable.
  • Cancer, $6,000.00 Purchase a ice machine and wheelchair scale as part of the renovation of the medical oncology space
  • Cancer, $50,000. 00 To support the Oasis project, the hair studio which will provide wig fittings, make-up consultations and other services for cancer patients.
  • Respiratory Therapy, $29,992.00 Two Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machines to support a patient's airway to avoid respiratory distress for very acute patients or patients with a chronic condition including sleep apnea and heart failure.

Mercy Health Foundation's mission is to raise and steward funds to support Mercy Medical Center and the Affinity Medical Group clinics in the Oshkosh area in their efforts to provide exceptional, person-centered health care to our community. Strategic planning in conjunction with Mercy and AMG leadership helps us identify key projects where philanthropic support will have the greatest impact. Read below to see highlights of current projects.

Cancer Care

Mercy Medical Center's cancer program recently received renewal of Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. This is confirmation that Mercy's program meets the highest standards of care. However, there is always more that can be done to assist patients physically, mentally and spiritually. Our Foundation donors have always generously supported technology updates and enhanced support services?all of which have contributed to the current level of excellence. Click here to learn more about cancer services in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center at Mercy.

A new project this year is an updated, full-service Wig Boutique for women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Cancer survivor, Nancy Wilms, lost her hair after just one chemotherapy treatment and is now committed to making Mercy's wig "room" into a "boutique" where women with cancer can find the materials, expertise and support they need to feel good about themselves. Click here to read Nancy's full story. As a Mercy volunteer, Nancy is working hard improve what she can in the wig room for now and support the Foundation's fundraising efforts to transform it into a welcoming refuge. Your gift can make a difference in someone's cancer journey.

In the spring of 2014, Mercy was able to hire its first Cancer Coordinator through donor support of the MercyStrong initiative which included funding the position for the first three years. Donna Rogers, RN, has owned this position from the beginning and has become a valuable asset to patients and to the cancer program at Mercy. She is with patients from diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship to help them navigate and understand their care options and find resources to smooth their cancer journey.

The PEACE Exercise and Relaxation Program, established in 2011 and fully funded by Foundation donors, continues to grow with approximately 25 cancer patients and survivors participating at any given time. For two hours, two days a week, participants gather for guided exercise with a Physical Therapy Assistant followed by training in relaxation and meditation techniques such as guided imagery. Each individual works at their own pace to regain strength, endurance and peace of mind. As one member said, "The PEACE Program is the one thing that gets me going."

Palliative Care

Ministry Health Care has launched a new high-priority initiative to provide comprehensive palliative care services in all Ministry Hospitals including Mercy Medical Center. It involves new protocols for identifying and caring for patients who are appropriate for palliative care. Click here to learn more about Palliative Care at Mercy.

Palliative care is person-centered, respectful, supportive, comforting, caring, thoughtful, and meaningful care for individuals with chronic, debilitating illnesses or life-threatening illnesses. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient and family and assure appropriate care. It does so by providing:

  • specialized, highly personalized inter-disciplinary care that includes medicine, nursing, social work and spiritual care for patients and families coping with a serious or life-threatening illness;
  • relief from the physical symptoms, pain and the stress of a serious illness; and
  • assistance with establishing clear and meaningful goals for care/life.

Hospice is a form of palliative care but palliative care is not limited to patients who are dying. Palliative care can, and often is, provided along with curative treatments. Training staff and physicians is the first step and this is where philanthropy can help. Click here to read about Sue Neabling's experience with the new palliative care services at Mercy.


Mercy Health Foundation is committed to making sure children in our local communities have the best possible chance at a full and healthy life by supporting the BirthPlace and Pediatric Unit within Mercy Medical Center and the Oshkosh Affinity Medical Group Pediatric Clinic in Mercy Oakwood. Two new projects were launched this year through the support of Foundation donors.

Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between pediatricians and parents to develop early reading skills in young children. Each child receives a new, age-appropriate book at every well-child visit between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Pediatricians are trained to talk with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children for school readiness. Books at home, parents reading aloud and early language skills have long been demonstrated to be vital building blocks for learning to read. Help us share the Joy of Reading!

Newborn Withdrawal Project: A baby born to a mother who is addicted to narcotics may be addicted as well and show signs of withdrawal after birth. The BirthPlace at Mercy Medical Center is seeing more and more newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. A grant from Mercy Health Foundation will provide specialty items for the BirthPlace nursery that will help staff and parents reduce the discomfort for addicted newborns. Addiction to heroin and painkillers is a growing problem in the Fox Valley that is expected to also increase the number of infants born with NAS. Help us help them get off to the best start possible.

Fitness for the Physically Challenged Program

Physical activity is important to everyone's health, but for people with disabilities fitness is critical to maintaining mobility and independence. Foundation donors have been generously supporting the Fitness for the Physically Challenged Program for community members with disabilities since 1993. Over that time, it has provided thousands of individuals with the opportunity to exercise using specialized equipment and under the guidance of trained instructors without cost. It has helped them live as independently as possible and some have made incredible changes in their lives. Hear June and Donna talk about their experience in the Fitness for the Physically Challenged program. Fitness for the Physically Challenged would not exist without your help!

Serving the Poor

Mercy Medical Center is living out the healing ministry of Christ with special emphasis on those in need by serving as a safety-net hospital and the Foundation by raising funds to support these efforts as well as community health projects.

The Foundation's Patient Emergency Fund is used to meet a variety of needs for low income patients. Sometimes this fund provides a gas card to a cancer patient so they can get to daily radiation treatments. Other times, it may cover the cost of a one-time prescription when a patient is released from the hospital. It is a vital resource that helps patients get the care they need to get well or prevent future hospitalizations.

MercyStrong Success!

We are very grateful to all our donors who supported our 5-year MercyStrong initiative to update aging technology at Mercy Medical Center, initiate innovative cancer care programming and support critical community health needs through the Living Healthy Community Clinic for the uninsured and the Tri County Community Dental Clinic. Thank you to all who helped us raise $4,649,589 for important projects including:

  • A new cardiac catheterization lab;
  • A new angiography suite;
  • A state-of-the-art TrueBeam Linear Accelerator for the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center;
  • A wide-bore CT scanner simulator for the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center;
  • A 64-slice CT scanner; and
  • Mercy's first cancer navigator position.

The impact of these projects on patient care in the key service areas of heart and lung, diagnostics and cancer is immeasurable. They provide patients with many more care options right here, close to home. Thank you!

Projects We Fund

Your donations help fund vital projects and programs that improve the health of our patients and communities. Twice a year, departments within our hospitals and clinics submit grant requests for special initiatives that would not otherwise be possible without your support. These requests include everything from quality of life programming to life-saving equipment. Every dollar awarded makes a tangible impact on those who matter most—our patients!

Our most recent grant cycle concluded at the end of 2016. Because of you, over $90,890 in grants were awarded to support Mercy Medical Center and our local Affinity Medical Group Clinics.

For a complete list of the most recent projects and programs supported click here.

Fitness for the Physically Challenged Program $20,671.17
A physical therapy assistant provides personalized programs for people with physically debilitating diseases through the Mercy outpatient rehab gym.

PEACE Exercise and Relaxation Program $16,888.67
A specialized exercise program led by a physical therapist to help cancer patients and survivors regain strength and mobility and cope with this life threatening disease.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy $161,500
This grant will replace outdated technology in the Phyllis Leach Breast Center to assure that a full continuum of care is available for breast cancer patients at Mercy.

Behavioral Health Unit: Visitor Lockers $578/Wireless Patient Call System $4,917.85/Video Cameras $3,500
These grants provide enhanced security and safety for patients on the Behavioral Health Unit.

Reach Out and Read $14,000
This grant will allow the Oshkosh AMG Pediatric Clinic to provide a new book to every child at every well-child visit between ages 6 months and 5 years to encourage family reading.

Body Armor $7,205
Additional protection to security staff responding to crisis situations.

Readmission Reduction Project $156,496
This grant will allow Mercy to hire registered nurses to make follow-up calls to all discharged patients within 24-48hours to be sure they are recovering as expected.

Cardiac Rehabilitation NuStep Recumbent Stepper $5,603/Exercise Bike $2,960/Patient Educati0n DVDs/TV $2,809
Equipment and training upgrades for this growing department.

Cancer Navigator Patient Materials $28,352
Informational materials for a patient guidebook to be distributed by the new cancer navigator in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center.

Cardiac/Pulmonary Holter Monitors $3,565
These new monitors will replace older models and are an important diagnostic tool.

Pulsara Communication Application $13,000
This mobile app will allow EMT's to communication sooner and more fully with Emergency Department staff prior to arrivals via ambulance. As a result, staff will be better prepared to care for the patient immediately upon arrival.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Project $2,560.43
Specialized comfort items will help BirthPlace staff provide optimal care for the growing number of infants born to mothers addicted to herion or narcotic painkillers.

Phlebotomy Chair $4,000
The chair will be used by patients when staff are doing blood draws in the lab. The reclining chairs are an extra step to ensure patient safety.

Stroke Education Books $3,400
This grant will allow staff to update the handbook for patients and families affected by stroke.

ICU Waiting Room Update $8,300
Furnishing and amenities in the waiting room will be updated for the comfort of families.

Wound Clinic Bariatric Chair $9,835

Provides extra comfort for patients and enables staff to perform their duties efficiently, enhancing patient care.

MMC Gift Shop Flower Cooler and Security Camera $3,569.34
Both items will benefit the gift shop which donates proceeds to support Mercy Health Foundation projects.

Fetal Monitors (6) for the Birthplace $76,636.68
Replaces all current models with updated technology.

Portable Ultrasound $49,364
An additional unit to enhance access to services for the ICU.

Bariatric Chair for the Wound Clinic at Mercy $9,835.53
The specialized chair will provide greater comfort and access for patients.

Hi/LoPower Exam Tables (9) $45,116.19
The tables will be installed in the Family Medicine and Internal Medicine Departments at AMG Koeller Street to provide easier and safer access to exam tables for patients with mobility issues.

Mercy Health Foundation's mission is to raise and steward funds to support Mercy Medical Center and the Affinity Medical Group clinics in the Oshkosh area in their efforts to provide exceptional, person-centered healthcare to our community.

As we recognize the ever changing landscape of healthcare and look to future needs, the Foundations' Board of Directors, along with regional leadership, have laid five foundation strategies that will bring us through the next 3 to 5 years. These strategies are:

  1. Live Our Mission
  2. Operate Best in Class
  3. Lead Innovation to Meet Community Health Needs
  4. Inspire a Culture of Giving
  5. Fund Strategic Initiatives

Strategic planning in conjunction with Mercy Medical Center and Affinity Medical Group leadership helps us identify key projects where philanthropic support will have the greatest impact.

These initiatives, along with addressing annual funding needs of serving the poor, capital equipment and program support as well as the educational needs of our associates all offer great opportunity for philanthropy and donor engagement in our mission.

Mercy Medical Center (where the need is greatest)

Unrestricted gifts to Mercy Health Foundation are dispersed as needed to sustain and advance Mercy Medical Center through innovative programs and services including health care for those who are uninsured or have low income. Among the services these funds may support are:
  • Emergency, trauma, and intensive care
  • Cancer Care
  • Heart & LungCare
  • Inpatient and outpatient care
  • Palliative care
  • Women's Services
  • BirthPlace
  • Pediatrics
  • Orthopaedics and rehabilitation programs
  • Surgery needs
  • Behavioral health
  • Patient amenities

Affinity Medical Group Clinics (Southern Region)

Mercy Health Foundation also supports programming and services at the Affinity Medical Group clinics in Oshkosh and Winneconne. Philanthropy can help move a project forward when equipment or materials are needed beyond what departmental budgets can provide.
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