Labette Health Foundation: Giving Back to the Community It Serves

Ever since the inception of the Labette Health Foundation in 1985 by Mrs. Jane Ellis Hett, its mission has always been to help Labette Health provide the best care and quality, cost-effective services to the people of Southeast Kansas–and that mission still holds true today.

Meet Anthony Vaughan

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Anthony Vaughan, who serves dual roles as the Labette Health Foundation Executive Director and Vice President of Business Development. After just a short time of talking with Anthony, it was apparent that his desire and compassion to serve his local community continues that mission set forth by the Foundation, the charitable entity for Labette Health. Being able to give back to the community it serves is what keeps him motivated every day.

All about Labette Health Foundation

The Labette Health Foundation is the sole supporter of Labette Health, a not-for-profit hospital serving nine communities in Southeast Kansas. Since the Foundation began some 37 years ago, it has disbursed more than $5.7 million to fund numerous projects for the Labette Health system.

For instance, on March 1st of this year, the Parsons main hospital opened a new state-of-the-art OB center as part of a $23 million expansion project that includes a new patient orthopedic unit, expansion of a fifth operating room, three new boiler units, a complete renovation of its ICU, and a complete renovation of its med-surge floor that includes private rooms.

In 2017, Labette Health opened its first rural emergency health care facility in Independence, Kansas. And now they’re preparing for a 10,000-to-12,000-square-foot expansion at this facility. None of this would be possible without the ongoing fundraising efforts of the Labette Health Foundation.  

How Women’s Health Fund grants help

Continuing with its successful fundraising efforts, during the past several years, Labette Health Foundation has applied for and received grants through the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund (WHF). In 2018 the Foundation received a grant for an Emergency Room Gynecological Response Project that provided a gynecological cart to deal more rapidly and effectively with acute women’s health issues.

Then in 2020, the Foundation was awarded a grant for a QCPR resuscitation baby and birthing stools. The QCPR resuscitation baby is a life-like mannequin used for high-performance training for infant resuscitation, and the birthing stools allow women to be more comfortable during labor and delivery.

Labette Health’s nursery.
Labette Health’s QCPR Resuscitation Baby helps train staff, and its birthing stools help keep women more comfortable during labor and delivery.

In 2021 the Foundation received a grant for Labette Health’s OB/GYN expansion, which helped provide for a birthing center with a new, portable birthing cart. That cart goes into the delivery rooms with the medical staff to ensure they have everything needed for every delivery at the patient’s bedside.

With the help of the grants received from the Women’s Health Fund since 2018, Labette Health has successfully delivered 865 babies–and counting!

Labette Health’s OB/GYN Expansion is named in honor of the Beachner family, long-time residents of Southeast Kansas and supporters of Labette Health.
This portable birthing cart provides staff with everything they need during delivery.

Closing thoughts

Labette Health can give back to the surrounding communities in so many different ways, whether through the numerous women’s health services it offers or various humanitarian needs in the hospital. The grants that the Labette Health Foundation receives truly help the hospital purchase much-needed equipment, install new service lines, or initiate construction projects, among other things.

As Anthony noted, the Foundation would not be able to do and accomplish all it has if it weren’t for the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund and other such organizations, along with private donors. He said he could not thank the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas and their participating organizations enough for the grants they have received to help improve lives for Southeast Kansas residents!

Last updated July 27, 2022