PITTSBURG — Each year the Mount Carmel Foundation hosts a gala to benefit the Ascension Via Christi Hospital.

The Ascension Via Christi Cancer Center becomes a home away from home for many of its patients, said Charlotte Russell, director of physician operations and the cancer center. Russell said the fundraiser has helped the center purchase equipment needed to keep patients comfortable. Funds have also helped raise money for 3D mammography, and although not in her department “patients benefit from it because it’s the best technology for early detection,” Russell said. 

Funds raised also help the department purchase nutritional supplements, travel, wheelchairs and so on. The Mount Carmel Foundation has been “a tremendous help,” Russell said.

The cancer center is working to kick-off a benefit fundraiser to update the center all around, including private chemotherapy. 

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to modernize the environment at the cancer center and meet the needs of today’s patients,” Russell said. 

The tiniest patients in the hospital have also been supported by the foundation’s fundraising efforts. 

“For the last couple years between gala money and the Dr. M.K. Parsi Fund we received a pulse oximeter,” said Janelle Wade, director of inpatient services and patient education.  

The funding has helped with state regulated tests on the “baby floor”, which included a cardiac screen for each newborn prior to discharge and is important to for catching heart defects. The floor also received a newborn hearing screener, a BiliBed for babies with jaundice and breast pumps for mothers whose babies can’t go home. On the gynecology side of the floor, they have received funding to purchase a bladder cancer scanner. 

“I’m always amazed by how supportive the community is and I’m very humbled by their support,” Wade said.

About the gala 

This year’s gala will be themed Moroccan Magic and will be from 6 p.m to midnight on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 at the Pittsburg State University Jack H. Overman Student Center Ballroom. 

There will be a live auction, silent auction, dinner, drinks, live music, raffle and more.  Tickets go on sale Dec. 26 at Eventbrite.com. 

In 2019, the Gala raised approximately $115,249. The foundation helps support a department grant program and other programs, services, projects, and education opportunities at the hospital.   

The foundation is currently searching for people, businesses or organizations who would like to provide auction prizes or cash donations which will be used to purchase auction items.  

People can contact Johnna Norton at johnna.norton@ascension.org or 620-235-3512 for information on donating or questions regarding the gala.