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2022 Funding Priorities

2022 Funding Priorities

Opportunities to support our mission through your philanthropy.

Each day brings astounding new possibilities in health care, from clinical breakthroughs to innovative models of delivery. With continued donor support, Chilton Medical Center can sustain and grow its role as a leading provider of exceptional care, shaping the future of medicine, and bringing the most promising advancements to our hospital and community

Nursing Research

Transforming Intuition into Insight

Chilton’s nurses are among the best in the nation. Each day, they care for patients using science and soul, meeting the full range of medical and emotional needs.

Both at the bedside and beyond, they’re often in clinical situations that spark questions, ideas, and theories. These—together with their training and experience—create an intellectual space where innovation can flourish.

Chilton’s Nursing Research Program will provide a framework for bringing this type of creativity into practice through the rigors of academic inquiry. By engaging with doctoral-level researchers, up to 10 nurses per year will be empowered to test their own patient-care theories by experimenting, analyzing, and publishing.

They will build on a tradition of scholarship that began in 2019, when Chilton’s first nurse-researcher published a scholarly article on the calming effects of animal-assisted therapy in an inpatient setting. This project, and those that will follow, share the same core objective: to benefit patients through the discovery of new knowledge.

Funding is needed to support Nursing Research Program participants’ mentorship, materials, and academic instruction. Charitable gifts will also enable Chilton to augment its nursing team to balance clinical and research endeavors.

Peer Recovery

Transforming Survivors into Supporters

Growing an innovative program that puts behavioral health patients on the road to recovery. The Emergency Department (ED) at Chilton sees approximately 800 behavioral health patients each year. While the urgent care they receive is often lifesaving, it represents just one step on a long road to recovery. That’s why these patients frequently experience anxiety in connection with their discharge from the hospital and the corresponding transition to settings without intensive services. In fact, research shows that this anxiety can lead to relapse, readmission, and even attempted suicide.

What if there was a better way? Are there guardrails that can prevent these potentially catastrophic outcomes? Can Chilton support ongoing recovery after an acute crisis?

Chilton’s behavioral health leaders believe so, which is why they’re seeking philanthropic support for an innovative care team framework that includes Peer Recovery Specialists. These individuals, who—by definition—are living with a mental health condition themselves, have completed specialized training that equips them to support others using a unique and highly effective blend of education and lived experience. 

By leveraging their personal credibility as survivors, Peer Recovery Specialists are uniquely well-positioned to support those emerging from an acute mental health crisis. They are trained to help navigate the continuum of care, decipher clinical terminology, articulate plans for recovery, and develop a long-term wellness strategy. Peer Recovery Specialists also serve patients by monitoring their progress, modeling effective self-help techniques, providing vocational and housing assistance, linking them to educational opportunities, facilitating medication support, and coordinating social services that meet childcare, transportation, and nutritional needs.

Funds raised for Chilton’s Peer Recovery Specialists program will be directed to training, educational materials, and assistance for patients at the beginning of their own journey to recovery. 

Oncology Patient Assistance Fund

Helping our most vulnerable community members overcome financial barriers to cancer care.

Financial barriers to cancer care can have devastating consequences for patients, families, and communities. While government and nonprofit agencies aim to help, resources available to those in need are limited and narrowly defined, leading to lower rates of treatment compliance, completion, and recovery among underserved oncology patients. 

Averaging 40 needy cancer patients each year, Chilton Medical Center is seeking to combat this inequality by establishing an expanded Oncology Patient Assistance Fund, which will support the community’s most vulnerable.  

The COVID-19 pandemic brought these issues into sharper focus than ever before, as record-numbers of underserved cancer patients lost access to volunteer-based transportation programs that made it possible for them to access radiation, chemotherapy, and other forms of treatment delivered in a health care setting. At the same time, lost wages due to widespread economic fallout heightened food and medication insecurity, and put many at risk of disconnected household utilities and even homelessness. 

With well-established protocols already in place to assess patients’ financial circumstances in parallel with their clinical needs, Chilton is perfectly positioned to provide meaningful assistance to those who need it most, when they need it most. This has inspired the effort to develop a resource that reduces delays in care and ensures accountability.


Chilton Medical Center’s Oncology Patient Assistance Fund will support patients experiencing financial hardships that represent either direct or indirect barriers to care. A collaboration between the Chilton Medical Center Foundation and Cancer Center Executive Committee, this resource was created to meet the physical and emotional needs that enable patients to comply with and complete cancer treatment along the care continuum.

Funds are disbursed on the basis of need (as determined by social work and financial assessments) for:

  1. clinical purposes (medication, physical therapy, at-home medical supplies, specialized prosthetics and garments, etc.).
  2. to meet basic needs related to treatment (transportation, nutrition, child-care, utilities, clothing, etc.) that would impede care if unmet.