June 26, 2015

Continuity of Care

Continuity of care

GRANTEE: Covenant Healthcare
AMOUNT: $4,979.64

W-Covenant-Exercise-Class-for-Cancer-Patients-Jennifer-and-TeamAngela Dinninger, physical medicine and rehabilitation manager at Covenant HealthCare, had an idea and a vision. “I had an idea for an exercise program specific to our oncology patients. I was taking a class and had a project to write a grant. Upon completing the project, I was encouraged to submit the grant.”

Dinninger turned to Saginaw Community Foundation with her proposal. In 2014, her proposal was funded in-full by SCF’s Senior Citizen Enrichment Fund Committee for $4,679.64. The exercise program is focused on improving the quality of life for Covenant’s oncology patients and picks up where insurance companies are not providing coverage. This is the first such program in the area. Prior to this program, oncology patients were being forced to live with deficits that remain after a cancer diagnosis and treatment for the disease.

“It’s more than just an exercise class, it’s a support group,” says breast cancer survivor Jennifer Sannan of Saginaw.

The grant awarded helps offset costs for participants. The class meets twice a week for eight weeks for a cost of $20. Class sizes are limited to eight or less and ensures participants get the attention they need from the instructors.

Working in partnership with SVSU’s Exercise Science Program, students have an opportunity to intern with the program, gaining valuable on-the-job experience. For one intern, the classes are close to his heart. “I am a cancer survivor. When I was little, I had leukemia,” says Keaten Ruttinger. When Ruttinger graduates, he wants to continue working with cancer survivors to keep them active and living their best life.

One of the most important outcomes of the program is the camaraderie. Sannan sums it up best: “We cheer each other on, we support one another, we have a common bond and a place where people inspire us to get stronger. It’s been great for me and I look forward to the next session.”