Clayton News-Star

Gift lifts Patient Assistance Fund

Tammy Thurman, center, community relations director for Piedmont Natual Gas’ eastern region, presents a ceremonial check to Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliott, to her left, and Johnston Health Foundation board member Jim Jenkins, to her right. At far left is Alison Drain, director of the Johnston Health Foundation. At far right is April Culver, vice president of planning and external affairs for Johnston Health.
Tammy Thurman, center, community relations director for Piedmont Natual Gas’ eastern region, presents a ceremonial check to Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliott, to her left, and Johnston Health Foundation board member Jim Jenkins, to her right. At far left is Alison Drain, director of the Johnston Health Foundation. At far right is April Culver, vice president of planning and external affairs for Johnston Health. JOHNSTON HEALTH

The Johnston Health Foundation has received its first corporate gift for a fund aimed at removing some of the most basic obstacles to a patient’s treatment and recovery.

A $9,000 gift from the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation doubles the size of the newly established Johnston Health Patient Assistance Fund, which will begin disbursements this month. Eligible expenses include medications, medical equipment and transportation to and from doctors’ offices.

Alison Drain, director of the Johnston Health Foundation, says patients sometimes miss their medical appointments because they don’t have a ride. In other cases, they might not recover as quickly because they can’t afford their pain medications.

“A lack of financial resources can lead to expensive readmissions to hospitals,” Drain said. “Another effect is that patients arrive sicker, and it takes longer for them to get well.”

Drain says the foundation is thankful for corporate foundations such as Piedmont Natural Gas. “They have provided the seed money we need to begin helping patients right away and throughout their care here at Johnston Health,” she said.

“Piedmont Natural Gas is proud to support the Johnston Health Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund,” said Tammy Thurman, community relations manager for the eastern region of North Carolina. “Piedmont will continue partnering with organizations such as the Johnston Health Foundation to support the health and well-being of our communities.”

The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation was formed in 2004 to support nonprofits in communities throughout its service territory. Since its beginning, the foundation has invested more than $8 million in those communities.

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