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Grateful Patient gift supports Mount Nittany Health Endoscopy


Sara and Henry Parks at home

As you age, your priorities change. Your health and well-being become more important to you, and we want to help ensure that others have the opportunity for the same high-quality care we’ve received.”

Henry and Sara Parks have lived in the State College area for more than 40 years. In that time, they have witnessed tremendous change taking place in local healthcare. “The availability of good healthcare has always been important to us,” Henry states. “I’ve been very pleased to see the progress made by Mount Nittany Medical Center in years gone by.”

The Parks were so impressed by the progress locally that, in 2013, they became involved in fundraising efforts to improve the emergency department. “Our feeling at the time was that the emergency department is the first place you go if you have a need, and it made sense to help in that way,” Henry remembers. “It’s ironic that, when we had an acute need, we went to the emergency department at Mount Nittany Medical Center — and they were wonderful. They couldn’t have responded any quicker or better!”

In December 2015, Henry visited Dustin Case, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group Gastroenterology, for a routine colonoscopy. During the procedure, Dr. Case removed some normal polyps and also identified a large, flat polyp embedded in the lining of Henry’s colon. Due to the size and location of the polyp, Dr. Case recommended that it be removed at a facility specially equipped to handle such specific cases. So, in May 2016, Henry had the polyp removed during a procedure at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“All was well. There were no difficulties for two weeks,” Henry recalls. “Then, on May 26, I began experiencing bleeding. Needless to say, I was very frightened.”

“Henry presented to the emergency department with significant bleeding, and his vital signs were less than ideal,” says Dr. Case. “He was lightheaded and passing blood, so we took him to the operating room immediately, where we were able to stop the bleeding fairly quickly.”

Henry had suffered an arterial hemorrhage. He and Sara are still impressed by how quickly and competently his situation was handled. “The emergency department doctor and nurse were wonderful,” Henry says. “They quickly arranged for a blood transfusion due to the amount of blood I lost. Their skill and care saved my life.”

“The nurse in the emergency department was like an angel — caring, attentive, honest and smart,” Sara adds. “We are so fortunate that, within 20 minutes, we could be at the hospital and receive the outstanding, immediate care we needed.”

Henry has had no more side effects or difficulties since his visit to the emergency department, and follow-up tests have shown no further need for medical intervention. Henry and Sara decided they wanted to recognize Dr. Case and the fabulous team at the Medical Center who contributed to Henry’s care and positive outcome. They spoke with a friend, James Thomas, PhD, chair, Mount Nittany Health Board of Directors, and decided to make a gift through the Grateful Patient Program to support the endoscopy program at the Medical Center.

The Mount Nittany Health Foundation’s Grateful Patient Program is designed to offer patients like Henry and Sara, as well as friends and families, a way to say “thanks” while also making a difference for other patients. The Program allows individuals and/or their families to recognize the exceptional care they have received by honoring a specific doctor or nurse, a department or a clinical program that provided care.

“We think very highly of Dr. Case and hold him in such high regard,” says Henry. “He really cares about me as an individual, is easy to talk to and is very accessible and responsive. We wanted to provide resources to help them help others in the community as they had helped me.”

“We are so blessed to have Henry still alive after his medical issues, and we thought his wonderful care should be rewarded,” says Sara.

“We’re very proud of Mount Nittany Medical Center, and fortunate to live in Centre County with the care this hospital affords us, so we decided to make a donation to support the Medical Center’s work.”

Sara was able to utilize an IRA to make a tax-advantaged gift to the Foundation. The Parks discovered the PATH Act of 2015, which helps donors support their favorite charities. IRA owners over the age of 70 and a half may make a transfer to a qualified charity that is tax free and not included in adjusted gross income. This IRA charitable rollover may fulfill part or all of the required minimum distribution, and by transferring the qualified charitable deduction directly to charity — rather than taking a distribution and writing a check to charity — it results in lower adjusted income and may save both ordinary tax and alternative minimum tax.

The Parks’ gift was the first of its kind for the endoscopy department at the Medical Center. “I really appreciate what Henry and Sara did for me just doing my job. It was a total team effort. Everyone pulled together and did their part. It’s a great feeling to be part of a team that provides great care,” says Dr. Case. “I’m very appreciative that they were touched so much to make a donation. I’m just glad we could help in their time of need.”

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