“They save lives.”
So one voter in our giveaway contest put it, plainly but profoundly, when explaining her choice to support the Baton Rouge General Foundation. Indeed, saving lives and providing “exceptional health care” has been the focus of the affiliated medical center since it opened its doors in 1900 as the city’s first hospital.
The foundation, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to support the hospital’s efforts, was founded in 1976. Since then, donors have enabled the not-for-profit hospital to establish new programs, purchase equipment, and support research efforts. Foundation contributions have helped to provide high-tech devices for the pediatric intensive care unit, created an exercise course for employees and community members, and granted scholarships to nursing students.
One giveaway voter noted that “the General,” as locals have called the medical center for generations, is the city’s only full-service hospital with an A rating for patient safety for three years running. Another mentioned that the hospital’s Regional Burn Center is the only facility of its kind within a 300-mile radius. As still another pointed out, $5,000 could send five former pediatric burn patients to the “I’m Still Me” Summer Burn Camp, which offers children therapeutic rehabilitation and an opportunity to interact with other burn survivors.
Community events take place throughout the year to support the foundation’s efforts, from the Father/Daughter Sweetheart Dance each February to a fall gala and the Gingerbread Tea in December. Volunteers are also welcome to share their time and talent at the hospital’s Mid City and Bluebonnet campuses.
“The Baton Rouge General Foundation has a heart,” wrote one voter. “It supports every function of hospital life with a spirit of caring and generosity.”