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2008 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Hospital Library Offers Information, Comfort for Cancer Patients, Families

Family’s Donation Funds Renovation of Oncology Resource Library

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., (October 29, 2008) - The Mease Countryside Hospital cancer resource library, newly named the Evelyn R. Simmers Oncology Resource Library is now a warm, inviting environment for cancer patients and their families. A contribution of $250,000 from the estate of Evelyn Simmers to the Auxiliary of Mease Health Care has funded the renovation of the library.

“Cancer patients and their families may spend many days, even weeks at the hospital. We wanted to create a space that felt less like a hospital and more like home for them. They can visit the library and research cancer topics while relaxing in soft, comfortable chairs, surrounded by warm lighting and wood flooring,” said Henry Loscher, president of the Auxiliary of Mease Health Care.

The library is conveniently located on the oncology floor of the Shaffer Tower at Mease Countryside Hospital. In addition to the renovation of the library, the Simmers contribution has assisted with the purchase of books, videotapes and DVDs that provide information about cancer research and treatments. Patients and their families also have access to the internet and web information about Morton Plant Mease Health Care cancer services. The room also provides an environment for Morton Plant Mease cancer support group meetings. Access to all library resources is free.

Prior to their deaths, Evelyn Simmers and her husband Wallace Simmers, natives of Chicago, battled cancer and were well known for their support of hospital activities and programs.

“As a cancer patient, Evelyn understood the importance of having a place, away from other patients, where she or her family could talk with physicians and receive information about cancer care. I think Evelyn and Wallace would be very pleased with this contribution and the creation of such a place benefiting cancer patients and their families,” said Simmers estate co-trustees Antoinette Kuberski and Jerry Hartlaub, also a Simmers family friend and Mease Countryside Hospital volunteer.

A portion of the Simmers family contribution will also fund for one year the Morton Plant Mease Mammography Voucher Program – a program providing free mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies to women who do not have health insurance and meet income requirements. Additionally, the contribution has paid for the purchase of a CareLift van. CareLift vans annually provide more than 13,000 free transports for patients to and from Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin hospitals and facilities.

The Auxiliary of Mease Health Care is a volunteer organization benefiting Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin hospitals.

Established in 1985, Mease Countryside Hospital is a 300-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. Since 1997 Mease Countryside has been awarded nine Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of stroke, orthopaedic, intensive care and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care are part of the first group of hospitals nationally to have earned re-certification of the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Mease Countryside Hospital is located at 3231 McMullen Booth Rd., Safety Harbor, Fla., (727) 725-6111.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone or (727) 402-5975 Pager