December 29, 2022 Memorial Hospital

Memorial Hospital Foundation announced the launch of the Grow Our Own Scholarship program, in May 2022. This scholarship fund will be available to Memorial Hospital, Medical Clinics, and Hancock County Senior & Childcare staff to assist with their pursuit of continuing education or completion of certifications beginning in 2024. This scholarship will serve as a recruitment and retention tool to maintain a 5-star healthcare resource in Hancock County. “If you had to pick a theme word in Hancock County, the word “grow” would seem fitting,” says Greta Wetzel, Executive Director of Memorial Hospital Foundation. “That’s just what Memorial Hospital Foundation has done since 2020. In addition to the Together We Grow Endowment, we want to help “Grow Our Own” healthcare team,” adds Wetzel.

Memorial Hospital Foundation board member Terry Pope was a driving force behind launching the scholarship campaign. “Giving to the Memorial Hospital Foundation scholarship fund for current and aspiring health professionals is a great way to support and enhance our community’s wonderful healthcare system. By investing in their education costs, we help area residents achieve their goals and provide an incentive for them to stay here and work in our community. Think of it this way: Greatness Requires Our Willingness – GROW! Your willingness to support this scholarship program will help us Grow Our Own and keep a great healthcare system in Hancock County,” says Pope.

Recognizing that continuing education can present challenges, especially financial burdens, the foundation felt the Grow Our Own campaign was fitting for 2022-2023. The recent addition of the Health & Wellness Center on the campus of Memorial Hospital provided the perfect launch for the campaign by offering naming opportunities for the office suites, health and wellness teaching kitchen, and conference rooms. The community and all staff were challenged to participate in fundraising.

In a massive show of support, over $20,000 was raised by staff across all entities which include Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Clinics, and Hancock County Senior & Childcare Services. These contributions, along with funds from two anonymous donors, were part of the naming opportunity for the conference rooms which are now named in honor of staff and Ada Bair, CEO.

The Health & Wellness Sleep Center is named in honor of “MORE Medical” Ryan Jacquot, MORE Medical owner/operator says, “sleep apnea doesn’t discriminate. It knows no race, age or sex and complicates millions of American’s sleep quality nightly. With millions of American’s diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, MORE Medical’s CPAP business has grown every year since it began in 2009 and we are not looking back. The future of sleep apnea will be getting patients diagnosed and treated as fast as possible. When COVID shut down sleep labs all across America, it created a back log of patients and long waiting times, sometimes months, to get in to have a sleep study done. When I was asked to donate to Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Center, it was a no brainer for us at MORE Medical. It is such an honor to have the sleep center named in honor of MORE Medical.”

According to the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, in 2020, Memorial Hospital’s economic and job impact in Hancock County was $62.8 million. This is money infused into the state’s economy. All organizations under the Memorial Hospital Association support over 460 jobs. When there is a large economic impact in the region, it is vital to retain healthcare workers. In the current economy, the cost of education presents a challenge for those wishing to return to school. Making a donation to the Grow Our own Scholarship Program can make a dream a reality.

Elaine Ferguson, Memorial Hospital Foundation Board President, supports the scholarship program for personal reasons. Ferguson states, “I never dreamed I would be able to get an education beyond high school. My high school counselor, Mr. Armstrong, encouraged me to dream! He spent hours helping me apply for scholarships, grants, and the work-study program. My dream to become a teacher of 34 years was realized because of his mentorship. I will make a donation to the Grow Our Own Scholarship Program because I believe in giving back. Someone helped me. Now it is time for me to help someone else.”

As the Memorial Hospital Foundation approaches the end of the year, there are still plenty of giving opportunities for the Grow Our Own Scholarship program. The recent Lights of Joy parade was also a fundraiser for the scholarship program. Memorial Hospital Foundation is excited to announce the return of the gala in 2023. The “Here’s to the Future” gala will be Friday, March 31, 2023, at Smokin’ Gun Hunting Lodge & Event Center in Hamilton, Illinois. You may reserve tickets by calling the foundation office at 217 – 357 – 8567.

Memorial Hospital Foundation is proud to state that 100% of funds raised are utilized for the endowment, scholarship program, or as directed by a memorial. Your donation can truly make a difference and have an impact on the healthcare services available to the residents of our region.

For more information about the Memorial Hospital Foundation, contact Executive Director Greta Wetzel at or call 217-357-8502 (work) or 309-221-7286 (cell), or

Administrative Assistant for Marketing and the Memorial Hospital Foundation Terri Twaddle at or call 217-357-8567.

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