New campaign helps UMMC employees support institutional programs
By Bruce Coleman
University of Mississippi Medical Center employees now have an opportunity to give back to the institution like never before, thanks to a new initiative from the Office of Development.
The Employee Giving Campaign (EGC) will allow UMMC faculty and staff to choose which specific programs they would like to support through pledges of single or bi-weekly payroll deductions.
Starting with a weeklong kick-off promotion Nov. 11-15, the EGC will help UMMC employees begin to foster a culture of philanthropy at the Medical Center, according to Sara Merrick, executive director of development and alumni affairs.
“When our employees feel so strongly about our missions that they choose to give back to the institution, it sends a strong message to the community,” Merrick said. “When we ask people in the community for philanthropic support, we can say, ‘UMMC employees give, won’t you join us?’
“Mississippi is a giving state and philanthropic support from employees says a lot about who we are. When people see that we choose to donate to UMMC, they will be more likely to support us because they know we’re not just asking them to give: we believe in what we do and are giving ourselves.”
What makes the EGC unique among all other giving campaigns at the Medical Center is its customization. By logging onto the EGC website umc.edu/givingstartshere
, employees can select from among 11 general services to support or they can indicate which specific areas should receive their donations.
Travis Bradburn, associate executive director in the Office of Development, said employees will be recognized for their giving.
“We’re going to hand out pins that employees can wear on their ID badges so everyone will know they not only give of their time and expertise, but they give their own money to help make this a healthier Mississippi,” Bradburn said.
“Our hope would be that visitors to our campus will notice the pins and ask, ‘What do these pins that everybody’s wearing mean?’
“Employees could be proud to say, ‘They mean we personally give to help support our mission.’ And we would hope that feeling would continue to grow.”
The EGC enjoys the full support of Medical Center leadership as well. Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs, said the effort can make a real difference in the lives of Mississippians.
“We hope our employees will consider this an additional way to help us serve the people of Mississippi,” Keeton said. “Regardless of the role they play at the Medical Center, everybody now has an opportunity to help support our mission.
“I’m giving to the campaign, and I’ve asked the leadership team to give as well. By participating in the campaign as a group, we can make a tremendous impact on the lives of our fellow citizens.”
A booth will be set up outside of the entrance to the Methodist Medical Center and McDonald’s to provide information about the campaign. Employees who register their pledges at the booth or on the EGC website will become eligible to participate in a daily drawing for a number of prizes, including UMMC backpacks, T-shirts and other promotional items. Winners will be announced each morning on UMMC’s new intranet.
The promotion will culminate with an ice cream party in the University Hospital cafeteria at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. Medical Center faculty and members of the leadership team will serve the tasty treats as a “thank you” to participating employees. Signs recognizing those who choose to give to the EGC will be posted in high-traffic areas of the Medical Center after the campaign has completed.
Lori Beth Duperier, development liaison, said the campaign won’t end with the ice cream social, however.
“This giving campaign will continue to grow year-round,” Duperier said. “It will become a part of new employee orientation. And of course, UMMC employees can register a pledge on the EGC website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The most important aspect to the campaign is that you can choose where you want your donation to go. Any one of the areas that is near and dear to your heart is what will benefit from your donation.”
Bradburn regards a storied quote that has been attributed to Winston Churchill as another incentive to participate in the campaign: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”
“Having the chance to give back is what makes life truly meaningful,” Bradburn said.
“Each of us as individuals can give back through our profession, and we can give back by our volunteer service.
“This EGC is an additional way that we can make a difference.”
Areas of Support
The ECG website makes it easy for Medical Center employees to designate where their respective donations are to be applied.
Those wishing to pledge gifts of one-time or biweekly payroll deductions can select from any of the following recipients: • The School of Dentistry
• The School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences
• The School of Health Related Professions
• The School of Medicine
• The School of Nursing
• The School of Pharmacy
• Children’s of Mississippi
• The Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants
• University Hospital
• The MIND Center
• University Heart
Or employees may choose a specific institutional area to support.