The priority fund Meeting the Greatest Needs of Our Community

Meeting the Greatest Needs of our Community

Each year, one out of every two people in our community will need care at Sentara RMH. Every patient who walks through our doors benefits from the generosity of our donors, such as: 

  • The cancer survivor who beats the disease with help from the latest treatment options
  • The mom who holds her newborn comforted by a warm blanket
  • The heart attack victim saved with the newest surgical tools available
  • Or the thousands of other patients whose care was enhanced because generous friends such as you care about having the best medical services available in our hometown.

So, you ask, why is philanthropic support so important? It's simple. 

The quality of the care our patients receive depends on it. Gifts to the RMH Foundation's Priority Fund help bring the latest high-tech equipment, clinical advances, and compassionate programs to our community for everyone who needs them.

Supporting compassionate programs

Case in point: Betty McGahey of Harrisonburg. 

Betty has always been an active woman. She worked at Merck for 35 years, helped out with Meals on Wheels, and served on the board of a local social service agency, Elkton Area United Services. She lives alone, takes care of herself, and is active in her church in Elkton. 

But recently, Betty had been feeling more and more fatigued. She couldn't even walk through her home without stopping to rest. As she put it, "I thought it was age, but I was going downhill fast."

It turns out, she was suffering from serve aortic stenosis, a disorder that if left untreated has an average survival rate of only two to five years. 

Thankfully, she was quickly referred to our heart team at Sentara RMH. There, her physician determined Betty needed what's known as a TAVR - Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement. 

Traditionally, aortic valve replacements are performed surgically by going through the chest wall. While this method is considered the "gold standard," some patients are not healthy or strong enough to withstand this procedure. With TAVR, a specially-trained cardiologist can thread a new heart valve through a catheter placed in the femoral artery. This technology ultimately means shorter recovery times for the patient.

TAVR is not something that is widely available, though. In fact, out of the more than 100 hospitals in Virginia, Sentara RMH is one of only 10 that have this capability. And donations to the Priority Fund helped build the Hybrid Operating Room where TAVR is now performed. 

As for Betty, the procedure went well. After a few short weeks she was in cardiac rehabilitation and feeling well again. In her words, she thinks the cardiac tea at Sentara RMH is "blessed with superpowers." One of those superpowers is undeniably donor support of the Priority Fund. 

The Hybrid OR is only one of many examples of the importance of the Priority Fund. Each year, at the direction of the hospital's senior leadership team, and under the oversight of the RMH Foundation Advisory Board, this fund is used to help meet our community's highest needs for quality care.

Last year, more that $750,000 from the Priority Fund was used for new imaging equipment for cancer patients, new catheterization equipment for cardiac patients, equipment for COVID-19 patients and families, and new fetal monitor carts to watch over newborn babies - just to name a few!

Donations of every size to the Priority Fund make a lifesaving difference!

Our Impact

Help provide extraordinary care, close to home.

About The RMH Foundation

The RMH Foundation exists solely to support Sentara RMH Medical Center and enhance its mission to improve health and promote wellbeing. Sentara RMH has been able to significantly improve the care patients receive because of gifts from our caring and generous community. One hundred percent of donations directly benefit patients and our community through the purchase of new equipment and support of compassionate programs.