Keeping Us Well
If the game show Family Feud were to ask one hundred people to name a common expression using the word “hospital”, most likely the answers would be “go to the hospital,” “take me to the hospital,” or “Quick! Baby coming! Hospital! NOW!” Interestingly enough, all of those answers assume that the hospital is somewhere else, not necessarily close by, and that it is up to the patient to get to there. That certainly is not true of Beebe Medical Center, based out of Lewes, Delaware. Beebe has made it its business to be a part of the community, and for the past decade, that effort has included a collaboration with CAMP Rehoboth.
That collaboration started thanks to the initiative of local resident Keith Henry. Keith has volunteered for the past eighteen years with the Beebe Medical Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital. “I talked with Marsha Marvel and with Jeffrey Fried, Beebe’s President and CEO,” explains Keith. “I told them about the good work of CAMP Rehoboth, and as a result Beebe had a display table at Sundance that year, more than ten years ago.” And that was just the beginning. Subsequent years the Sundance goody bags sometimes contained pictorial directories of Beebe’s physicians, information about new satellite offices throughout the area, even bottles of suntan lotion or small first aid kits as part of a preventative health project, and much more.
Beebe Medical Center has provided financial support to CAMP Rehoboth activities for many years, but their commitment to health services to the gay and lesbian community goes far beyond that. For the past several years, Beebe has partnered with CAMP Rehoboth to offer semi-annual health screening days at the CAMP offices. The idea is, instead of people going to the hospital, is to let the hospital go to them. “For many people, it is the first time they have had a screening for cholesterol, blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and so on,” says CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director Steve Elkins. “In fact, it was last year at the Beebe/CAMP screening day that I first found out that I needed to monitor my own blood sugar. I followed up with a doctor’s appointment, changed my diet accordingly, and brought my sugar count into normal range.” The next Health Day at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center will be Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Beebe Medical Center had faced its own medical challenges in the past year, when information about the activities of local pediatrician Earl Bradley became public. Bradley had previously been employed by the hospital. “Our thoughts and prayers are, and will remain, with the families and the children who have been victimized by Earl Bradley,” says Wally Hudson, Beebe’s Vice-President for Corporate Affairs.” While the lawsuits are understandably adversarial, the community must recognize that we are all on the same team—we want to do whatever we can to support the parents and children in our community. For the past 94 years, Beebe Medical Center had a singular mission of providing safe and quality healthcare to the community, and today we remain as committed as ever to our mission.”
Beebe’s role in bringing quality healthcare to the community continues today, and so do the fundraising events of the Beebe Medical Foundation. On June 12, the Foundation will host its 21st annual “Best of the Beach Art Auction and Dance.” The event will be held at the Tunnel Cancer Center, at Beebe’s Health Campus on Route 24 between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. The evening includes a silent and a live auction, food by Big Fish Grill, and the musical entertainment of local band Love Seed Mama Jump. “The theme for this year’s event is ‘Hats Off to America’ and it is sure to be a lot of fun,” adds Keith Henry, who is one of the benefit co-chairs. “It is our way of celebrating that quality health care should be available to all Americans, to every part of the community.” That idea is not a new one for Beebe Medical Center, and their decade-long collaboration with CAMP Rehoboth is just one example of it.