Sale of holiday greeting cards supports two HSC programs
By Rosanne Fohn
Two different areas of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio are selling holiday greeting cards designed by patients to support programs.
The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) of the UT Health Science Center is selling greeting cards designed by cancer patients and caregivers, as well as other holiday gift items, to support the CTRC Patient Assistance Fund, which provides direct financial assistance to patients in need.
The Department of Pediatrics is selling holiday cards featuring the artwork of children who were patients of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital (now Children’s Hospital of San Antonio) and University Hospital System. The proceeds support the Reach Out and Read program, which provides new books for young patients to encourage family reading.
Patient Assistance Fund
The CTRC Patient Assistance Fund directly supports cancer patients in need. “A cancer diagnosis can be very overwhelming and can affect many other parts of the person’s life besides just the physical part,” explained Mary Jackson, M.S.N., RN, OCN, director of Patient and Family Services.
“The Patient Assistance Fund is there to help with the day-to-day needs of patients based on their ability to pay. For example, some of our patients need to come to the CTRC every day for six weeks for treatments, which can become very overwhelming emotionally, physically and financially. Through the Patient Assistance Fund, we can help by providing a van to bring patients to the CTRC for doctor visits and treatments. We also can defray part of the cost of medications, and help pay for liquid nutritional supplements, food, utilities, rent, gasoline and medical equipment. For our patients with lower incomes, this can mean the difference between receiving cancer treatments and buying food. Your gift to the Patient Assistance Fund can truly make lives better for our cancer patients,” Jackson said.
Cards are sold for a $10 donation ($9 is tax deductible) as a way to honor a friend or family member during the holiday season. A variety of designs are available. Also for sale are CTRC tree ornaments, pen sets, photo coaster sets, mugs and snuggies. To purchase CTRC’s holiday cards and gift items, please contact Sheri Ortiz at 210-450-1152.
Reach Out and Read Program
Reach Out and Read is a national, nonprofit organization that prepares young children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors, who prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Sales from these holiday cards support the purchase of new books provided to children receiving care through four School of Medicine pediatric clinics. To date, more than 30,000 new books have been provided to children in San Antonio.
“At every well-child check-up between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, children who come to our pediatric clinics receive a beautiful, new book to take home and keep. This helps them start school with a home library of 10 beautiful children’s books, and their parents understand that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to prepare their children for school,” explained Rebecca Lea Huston, M.D., M.P.H., clinical professor of pediatrics.
“Families receiving books through the Reach Out and Read program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills and a six-month developmental edge,” Dr. Huston added.
A box of 20 cards sells for $10, with a choice of 10 different designs. All of the proceeds from the card sales will be used to purchase new children’s books for the Health Science Center’s Reach Out and Read program.
The holiday card project is made possible by a generous grant from the Semp Russ Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation.
To order cards, visit http://www.pediatrics.uthscsa.edu/generalpeds/reachout.asp, which includes the order form and mailing address.
Faculty, staff, students and residents of the UT Health Science Center can order cards by sending the order form and check made out to UTHSCSA through campus mail, using mail code 7808. For these internal customers, please do not include shipping charges because the cards will be sent to you via campus mail.
Contact Dr. Huston, 210-562-5344, for additional information.
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