With medical treatment reaching into Scotland County all the way from Pennsylvania, one could say the Clinic for Special Children definitely has a strong outreach program.
On Saturday, August 22nd area residents will received the opportunity to return the favor. A benefit auction and lunch is being hosted at Ed’s Machinery on the west edge of Memphis to help raise funds for the clinic, which is located in Strasburg, PA.
A barbecue chicken meal will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Carry outs are available and the menu will also feature French fries, soft-served ice cream and homemade doughnuts for a free-will offering.
The meal will follow a benefit auction, which will feature indoor and outdoor furniture, quilts and crafts, theme blankets, commodities, meal certificates, toys and much more. Donations may be left at the auction site the week of the sale. For more information contact Bryan Burkholder (660.342.2733), Harlan Burkholder (660.341.4113), Ed Lynn Good (660.341.3040), Matt Witmer (660.342.0130) or Nevin Horning (660.216.0196).
Proceeds from the meal and auction will benefit local special needs children and the Clinic for Special Children.
“For 25 years, the Clinic for Special Children has been a leader in the application of genetics to medical care,” said Adam D. Heaps, MS, administrative director for the clinic. “By breaking down the barriers between primary clinical care and state-of-the-art laboratory methods, CSC has been able to provide the highest quality clinical, laboratory, and research services to a group of patients who would otherwise struggle to overcome the obstacles inherent to our modern healthcare system.
The program helps save communities tens of millions of dollars annually by increasing diagnostic efficiency, reducing hospitalization rates, and preventing severe disabilities in children.
“Our success depends on a network of many talented and generous friends and collaborators,” said Kevin A. Strauss, MD, the clinic’s medical director.
He highlighted contributions from diverse institutions such as Lancaster General Health, Franklin & Marshall College, Nemours Children’s Health System, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Temple University, and Columbia University, who have aided the clinical research mission.
“We also thank the many individuals, foundations, and organizations that support the clinic,” said Strauss. “Support from five annual benefit auctions reflects the extraordinary generosity of the communities who depend on our services. Thousands of individuals donate their time, effort, and commitment to make the auctions successful year after year. We are moreover continually humbled by the outpouring of support from private donors, many of whom have supported the clinic since its inception.”
Heaps noted that more than two thirds of the clinic’s annual revenue comes from charitable sources.
“Those resources provide a vital foundation that supports exceptional services at a reasonable cost,” said Heaps. “There are many challenges ahead. As the number of patients served by the clinic grows, we feel the strain on our budget and professional resources, but stand committed to respond to the increased need for CSC services.”
One of the major financial requirements for the facility are salaries and benefits for CSC staff.
“We have started an initiative to build sustainable funds to insure that key staff positions are secure in perpetuity,” said Heaps.
To demonstrate how the clinics resources are utilized, the group recently issued a publicly accessible annual report.
“We want to share our successes, challenges, and opportunities, while making our finances and needs transparent,” said Heaps. “We recognize trust is the bedrock of the clinic’s future – Trust between patients and staff, trust between supporters and the institution, and trust between those who need care and those willing and able to offer it. This report, and ones to follow, is intended to cultivate that trust.”
In 2014, the clinic’s 16 staff members served 1,119 patients, managing 160 diseases. That care involved nearly 3,000 biochemical tests, and more than 1,800 genetic tests across roughly 1,600 patient visits across 34 states and 17 countries.
In 25 years the clinic has grown from three staff members serving 100 active patients managing two diseases to the current levels, in the process expanding an operating budget of $163,000 a year to the current $2.5 million level.
“The clinic has grown in every way – staffing, services offered, patient population, diseases managed, collaborative relationships, and scientific research,” said Heaps. “Despite our growth and progress, our model for patient care that was established by Holmes and Caroline Morton has remained the same. We continue to provide medical home services to the most vulnerable children among us at an affordable cost.”