Monday, May 20, 2024

New education fund established


LEAVENWORTH - In a heartwarming tribute to the memory of a dedicated healthcare leader, the Cascade Medical Foundation has introduced the Mark Judy Memorial Caregiver Education Fund. This initiative aims to provide ongoing support to Cascade Medical employees in their pursuit of further education and the enhancement of job-related skills.

The Mark Judy Memorial Caregiver Education Fund is dedicated to the late Mark Judy, a former Cascade Medical CEO and a devoted volunteer on the Cascade Medical Foundation board. Following his unexpected passing in March, the Foundation board, in collaboration with Mark's family and Cascade Medical administrators, decided to honor his legacy through this innovative fund.

The primary objective of the fund is to grant financial resources to Cascade Medical employees seeking to broaden their knowledge and capabilities. These grants will cover a range of educational opportunities, including certifications, training for new programs or services, as well as ongoing coursework to embark on new career paths. This investment in staff development is expected to benefit both Cascade Medical and the broader community.

Diane Blake, CEO of Cascade Medical, emphasized the positive impact of this initiative on the organization. "It means more opportunity to grow our workforce and, ultimately, ensure we have the right resources to provide the best care for our community over the long term. To be able to have a tool to help development be attainable for people who are already valued team members is very exciting. There's a big benefit to the organization to have a stable, rooted team for so many reasons," she stated.

The Mark Judy Memorial Caregiver Education Fund was established in the fall of 2023 to honor Mark Judy's legacy. Mark served as Cascade Medical CEO from 2009 through 2011 and remained an active member of the Cascade Medical Foundation board. The Foundation board's proposal to use donations made in his memory to initiate and perpetually add to the fund was warmly embraced by Mark's family and Cascade Medical administrators.

Rachel Avery, Cascade Medical's director of quality, expressed her gratitude for this new opportunity, saying, "This is such a great opportunity for staff to obtain education that will help them to reach their career goals. Many staff want to have more education, but it is costly. I am so grateful to see this opportunity for them!"

Mark Judy's dedication to education and empowerment of individuals inspired this initiative. Diane Blake reflected on Mark's vision, stating, "He believed in education and giving people the space and lift to make the most of themselves. I'm sure that was because he could see and want both the best for the person and then also the ripple of good things that extended to others around that person. It's a lovely way of consistently making the world a better place. This is a great way to honor him, to have financial lift available in perpetuity, for helping individuals and thus the world."

Historically, the Cascade Medical Foundation focused on capital projects to benefit Cascade Medical. Since its establishment in 1992, the Foundation has contributed more than $1.8 million to various projects, including lab and radiology equipment, a new ambulance, and a mobile health clinic. Their commitment to enhancing healthcare services continues with their recent achievement of raising $87,000 for a new cardiac rehabilitation center, set to open in January 2024.

The Mark Judy Memorial Caregiver Education Fund represents a new direction for the Foundation, adding a meaningful dimension to their mission. The first application period for scholarships from the education fund is expected to open in the spring, with potential benefits for Cascade Medical and the wider community. The Foundation's dedication to advancing healthcare and education remains unwavering.



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