MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ruby Memorial Hospital began with a donation from a notable member of the community, Hazel Ruby McQuain. Twenty-five years later, following the generous example of its main benefaRuby-25-logo.jpgctor, WVU Healthcare’s mission is to improve the health of all it serves. The institution does this not just through excellence in patient care, research and education but with organization-wide initiatives and through the efforts of individuals - starting in the local community.

A concerted effort to become more involved in the community began more than a decade ago with local trail development. Over the years, WVU Healthcare has provided more than a quarter-million dollars in total contributions. Trail development helped pave the path for perhaps the most unique WVU Healthcare partnership – Morgantown’s Board of Park and Recreation Commission (BOPARC). This partnership has strongly promoted healthy living within the community by establishing kids’ playgrounds and adult fitness stations around town.

Recreational opportunities have been enhanced for community members of all ages through the donation of $10,000 to the Send a Kid to Camp Scholarship Program and sponsorship of the Sprint, Splash and Spin Triathlon to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Expo-spine-(1).jpgTwo of the most popular events sponsored within the community are the WVU Healthcare Expo and the WVU Children’s Hospital Kids Fair. Each year, approximately 10,000 people are able to benefit from the Expo’s free health screenings, which are used to help promote prevention and early detection. The Kids Fair is the only event of its kind in the region. This fair provides a fun approach to learning about health, wellness, safety and the environment to more than 12,000 children and parents each year.

While people rely heavily on these long-standing annual events and sponsorships, exciting new partnerships are in their infancy.

In addition to sponsoring its own weekly Farmer’s Market, WVU Healthcare is working in collaboration with the Morgantown Market Place – a permanent covered, open-aired, lighted home for the local Farmer’s Market. A culinary station, where healthy cooking demonstrations and educational sessions will be held, is currently under construction at the Market Place.

Also in the name of new partnerships, WVU Healthcare’s Ruby Memorial and Monongalia General Hospital have partnered with the Monongalia County Health Department and other community groups to develop the “Choose Health” campaign. This campaign is helping to address six common community-wide health issues: obesity, diabetes, lung cancer, heart disease, low birth weight and motor vehicle accidents and fatalities.
Giving back to the community happens in many ways at WVU Healthcare – through donations of time, goods, services and dollars. The organization is currently gearing up for its annual United Way campaign. Over the years, WVU Healthcare and its employees have contributed more than a million dollars to local health and human service agencies through this campaign.

Hundreds of employees help run the United Way Campaign. Employees are also found leading and participating in local charity walks, organizing blood drives, fund drives and other various campaigns.

“Giving back to the community is part of our values at WVU Healthcare,” Stephanie Bock, director of community relations, said. “We want to be a good community partner and improve the health and quality of life of our patients in both the healthcare setting and in the communities we serve.”

Photo captions: (Top photo) A visitor to the WVU Spine Center's booth learns about the vertebrae at the WVU Health Expo. (Bottom photo) Kids learn about the importance of proper hand washing at the WVU Children's Hospital Kids Fair.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
cb: 07-29-13