MOUNT VERNON — Knox Community Hospital will receive $190,000 as part of the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 1105).
The bill — which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in February and the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, and which will provide more than $3.7 million to Ohio health facilities — is awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature.
The KCH funds will be used to purchase an Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy system that treats head, neck, lung, breast and prostate cancers. U.S. Rep. Zack Space said in a press release that the new equipment will also “put people to work. With our economy suffering through a very difficult time, it is necessary to support our local industry. This funding, along with the Recovery Act recently passed, will continue to inject some much-needed capital into our region.”
The IMRT, explained Bruce White, chief executive officer of KCH, will allow KCH to do treatments it can’t do right now.
“It’s not for every cancer patient, but it provides a higher dose of radiation to a more specific area ... with less damage to the surrounding tissue,” he said. “It’s a much more advanced delivery system for radiation.”
Meghan Dubyak, press secretary for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, said, “These funds are meeting an important community need and improving the delivery of radiation therapy at Knox Community Hospital.”
Dubyak said organizations in need of project funding submit a request for federal appropriations to an area’s representatives to Congress.
“The hospital [KCH] submits a request for funding to our office,” said Dubyak. “Sen. Brown receives thousands of requests, but he can only request funds for a limited amount of projects. The hospital documented their need and how it will help the community. Then the senator submits requests for funds that will serve the community in the best way possible.”
Stacey Beal, director of KCH marketing and community relations, said the hospital’s submission was made in February 2008.
“We completed a project summary and that helps identify the project and the need, and that gave us a chance to talk about our community ... the support for this goes beyond the four walls of the hospital. We got the community involved to write several hundred letters,” said Beal.
“The first wave of letters came from our politicians and leaders in the corporate community,” said Carol Garner, KCH director of development. “Those were delivered with the proposal. Then we followed up with a mass letter-writing campaign by the commnunity.”
Garner said every week KCH sends a batch of letters as they are received from the public.
Other organizations to receive funding from the Omnibus Appropriations Act include $95,000 to The Mission Nutrition program of the Children’s Hunger Alliance and $95,000 to the Ready Seniors Senior Citizen Safety and Emergency Preparedness Program for its programs in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Lorain, Lake, Stark, Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull, Richland, Athens, Washington and Meigs counties.
The Biorepository for Children’s and Women’s Cancers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute will receive $808,625 to digitize a national archive of children’s and women’s cancer tissues that will advance research and treatment; patient safety programs of the Ohio Patient Safety Institute in Franklin County will receive $190,000 to improve delivery hospital intensive care as well as ICU research and best-practice interventions.
Funding will also go to the OSU’s James Cancer Hospital expansion, a regional mobile mammography unit in Franklin County, the AIDS resource center in Dayton, diabetes education through the Appalachian Rural Health Institute, the Rich Center for Autism and autism awareness by Youngstown State University, and several other Ohio projects.