We recently caught up with longtime Foundation supporter Mr. Rod Martin. Rod is a graduate of Clemson University and the current President of Atlantic Coast Foods, Inc. Mr. Martin is happily married to Patti Martin, and they have two sons together. He has served on numerous boards for local charities including the Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Eastern North Carolina, and the North Carolina Community Foundation. Philanthropy is very important to Rod and Patti, and they have a long history of giving back to the community.
Foundation: Describe your relationship with the OMH Foundation
Rod Martin: I joined the Board of Directors in 1999, and served as board member and Treasurer until 2013. Patti and I have contributed to the Foundation every year and are proud of the success it has made through the years.
Foundation: What inspires you to give to the Foundation?
Rod Martin: One of the pillars of a great place to live is a well-run regional hospital that has the confidence of the community that it serves. The Foundation provides a vehicle for those citizens to participate in making their hospital the best it can be.
Foundation: What is the most satisfying part of working with the Foundation?
Rod Martin: In 2001, we formed a Foundation endowment, made up of donations held in perpetuity, in order to give back earnings to the Foundation each year. These permanent funds are important to the long-term health of the hospital and say a lot about the commitment of the community to the Foundation.
Foundation: How does giving personally enrich your life?
Rod Martin: Giving allows you to help advance areas that you don’t personally have the time or skills to improve otherwise. The people that choose careers in healthcare have our blessing and deserve our help for what they do.
Foundation: Which Foundation projects have you found most fulfilling?
Rod Martin: All the projects have been worthwhile. I think helping fund the Oncology unit was a great addition to the community. All the annual fundraisers have been successful and have greatly increased the participation and awareness of the Foundation by the citizens of Onslow County.
Jackie Mitchell has a long-standing history in the medical field. She worked in Labor and Delivery in New Orleans and at Onslow Memorial Hospital, then worked for obstetrician and gynecologist Paul Williams for eight years at the Crist Clinic for Women. In 1993, Mitchell moved to the Health Department, and in 1996 she became a nurse practitioner. In 2013 Jackie Mitchell retired after working for the Health Department for 20 years.
Since her retirement, Mitchell, along with board members Melissa St. Clair and Angie Silance, has continued to work tirelessly with the Onslow Women’s Health Fund (OWHF). The OWHF started in 2007 after a concerned group of women came together to brainstorm ways to provide medical funding for women who fell between the cracks of available health screenings and treatment. To date, OWHF has helped over 60 women with diagnostic testing and medical services. Generous partners for this cause included organizations such as Onslow Memorial Hospital, Onslow County Health Department, and the Onslow County Department of Social Services.
Unfortunately, after serving the community for over a decade, the Onslow Women’s Health Fund dissolved its operations on October 25, 2018. Over the years, OWHF received fiduciary sponsorship by the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF), Onslow Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP), and has granted monies to cover the costs of mammograms, diagnostic screenings, and lab work for dozens of under/uninsured women in Onslow County. Additionally, the OWHF granted money to Onslow Memorial Hospital Radiology and Julie’s Pink Warrior Project.
Despite past success and strong collaboration from community partners, budget constraints and lack of infrastructure, the OWHF Advisory Committee voted to dissolve the organization. As a final order of business, Onslow Women's Health Fund presented grants to the following local organizations:
- Onslow Community Outreach toward their Capital Campaign debt reduction
- United Way of Onslow County toward their health track
- Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation - Julie's Pink Warrior Project
Julie’s Pink Warrior Project will continue the great work done by the Onslow Women’s Health Fund by providing free screening mammograms for the underinsured and uninsured women of Onslow County.
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with long time Foundation supporter Matt Ray. Ray Properties has been serving the greater Jacksonville and Onslow County area for over 30 years and is a faithful supporter of the Foundation and OMH. Ray Properties Inc. and ABA Rental Properties Inc. combine to create a full service Real Estate Brokerage.
Foundation: What inspires you to give to the Foundation?
Matt Ray: We’re inspired by our love for this community. The Hospital plays such an integral role in the daily lives of all the residents of this great community, and the impact of the Foundation and OMH has on the health and well-being of this area is just immeasurable.
Foundation: What’s the most satisfying part of working with the Foundation?
Matt Ray: We love listening to the patient and family stories. We get to hear the difference the Foundation makes in all our citizens’ lives.
Foundation: How does giving personally enrich your life?
Matt Ray: I am a firm believer that it is God’s Will for all of us to give–when and where we can. We are blessed to be able to give! We have the pleasure of giving to others out of our compassion to contribute.
Foundation: This year's fundraiser will benefit Project 317 Bistro, a campaign to renovate the kitchen and grill areas of the hospital cafeteria.
Matt Ray: It’s a great cause! I experienced the impact of the Bistro firsthand when my wife gave birth to our second child at OMH this year. The Bistro and their services nutritionally supplemented our time during our stay at OMH. The quality food made our lives comfortable and allowed us to keep going at the pace a newborn requires!
Project 317 Bistro
Employee Fundraisers are underway to support Project 317 Bistro. We held a Derby Hat Contest in October. We had 8 hats entered in the contest. The winning hat was the Breast Cancer Awareness Hat submitted by Kimberly McClusky and Patient Financial Services. Thanks to all the employees that participated in this event. We also held a Mock Derby Race during Carnival Day during OMH Spirit week. Employees took a chance to win $100 Grand (candy bar) by racing horses. Many employee fundraisers are still to come!
We would like to give a special thank you to the Onslow Kiwanis Club for their generous $5,000 donation to help us purchase new Panda Infant Warmers. Panda Infant Warmers help keep babies born here at OMH warm and get them back into their mom's arms faster. Thanks to this donation, our Cannon Foundation Grant, and all the sponsors/donors at this year's Disco Fever event, we were able to purchase 11 new Infant Warmers for our Nursery and Labor & Delivery Departments! Thank you to everyone's hard work and contributions, we couldn't have done it without you!
We are delighted to name Mr. Louis William Sewell Jr. this year’s honorary chair of our 2015 OMH Foundation fundraiser, Disco Fever! Mr. Sewell became involved with our Foundation fundraising events seven years ago as a major contributor to MASH BASH, a fundraiser in support of Onslow Radiation Oncology.
LaRue Hambrick, the Radiation Oncology Project Chair, fondly remembers asking Louis to pledge $100,000 over a 10 year period. She remembers Louis saying, “Well, LaRue, you don’t come in lightly do you?”
Mr. Sewell didn’t “come in lightly” either. He took his pledge seriously and fulfilled it ahead of schedule. It was this pledge that paved the way for a new radiation oncology building – and paved the way for a series of successful annual fundraisers for the OMH Foundation.
Over the years, Mr. Sewell has always found a way to give back to his community. He has given freely of his time, money, and resources to many organizations without expecting any recognition.
Mr. Sewell has passed on his community spirit to his children. His son Billy says, “Dad taught me the meaning of giving back. He has passed this down through generations and I hope that Julie and I will continue doing that with Charles William.”
Perhaps Mr. Sewell’s passion for supporting the community stems from the family’s humble beginnings. As a boy, Mr. Sewell worked on his family’s cattle farm, ran a paper route and worked as a sales clerk for Paul Caps while in high school.
Mr. Sewell attended East Carolina University and obtained his teaching degree. While teaching, he went back to ECU to obtain his masters degree and then became principal at Northwood Park Middle School. It was during this time that he met his lovely wife, Doris. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married and two years later blessed with twins, Billy and Paula. After serving the school system for 14 years, two high school classmates asked him to join them in a business venture which ultimately became Golden Corral.
Although Mr. Sewell is now retired from his business ventures, he continues to stay close to home in support of his community – and his growing number of grandchildren. Family is important to Mr. Sewell and we would like to thank him for being an integral part of our OMH Foundation Family. We truly appreciate his generosity! Thank you, Mr. Louis Sewell, for your support of the OMH Foundation.
Caring Spirit Program
Give a gift in honor of an employee
The doctors, nurses, employees, and volunteers of Onslow Memorial Hospital play a critical role in patients' healing—both physically and emotionally. The Caring Spirit program gives you the opportunity to express your gratitude for an employee by making a gift in his or her honor. When making a gift, you can write a personal note of appreciation that will be delivered to the employee along with a special Caring Spirit lapel pin. Making a gift through the Caring Spirit program is a heartfelt, meaningful way to say thank you to an employee who has made a difference in your life. If you are interested in making a Caring Spirit gift, contact Lee Ann Thomas at (910) 577-2651 or by email at Leeann.Thomas@onslow.org.
The Purple Heart is the oldest decoration in present day use and was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington in 1782. The Purple Heart was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier and is specifically awarded to any member of the United States Armed Forces wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States. The Military Order of the Purple Heart was chartered by Congress with a mission to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives and most importantly – make sure we never forget. After meeting with the Beirut Memorial Chapter 642 , Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation signed the Purple Heart Proclamation and pledged to support those who served through which together, we will build strong businesses and communities. The OMH Foundation proudly proclaims it our honor to be recognized as a Purple Heart Organization in the City of Jacksonville.
Lee Ann Thomas, OMH Foundation Executive Director
Onslow Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome Mrs. Lee Ann Thomas into her new role as Executive Director of the OMH Foundation beginning April 14. While previously serving on the foundation board for the past six years, Lee Ann helped organize the annual fund-raising event. Lee Ann has also volunteered with many other nonprofits, including the Onslow County Medical Society Alliance, Arendell Parrott Academy and the Parkwood Elementary PTO. She is a graduate of the Wake Forest/Bowman Gray School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and practiced at Family Health Center in Edmore, Mich., before moving to North Carolina with her husband and children.
The Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation Board unanimously voted to name LaRue Hambrick as the Honorary Event Chair for its upcoming Biker Bash on February 22, 2014.
“LaRue has been an integral part of the Foundation’s success since 2007,” said Jeff Clark, chairman of the foundation board. “She was a major part of the success in raising funds to build our new Onslow Radiation Oncology. She’s taught us a lot about what it means to do fund-raising and friend-raising.”
Mrs. Hambrick has served in many leadership roles, including Sponsorship Chair and Event Committee Chair, for Mash Bash, Key West Island Fest, Cowboy Up, Hippie Hippie Shake, and last year’s Mardi Gras.
Mrs. Hambrick said she was humbled and honored to serve as this year’s Honorary Chair of Biker Bash. “I am seldom speechless. I really thought everyone was joking with me. I arrived a few minutes late to the November meeting because I had come from another meeting earlier that morning. I am truly honored,” she said at the December events committee meeting.
In addition to serving on the foundation board, Mrs. Hambrick is also actively involved in the hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council and many other community charities. “It is so important for us to have the number one hospital and I sincerely feel we do,” said Mrs. Hambrick, owner of LaRue Hambrick Realty.
“The doctors, nurses and staff reflect their concern and care for patients as well as each other. Being involved in the foundation is so important. It is my hope that we can continue to fulfill our mission to support Onslow Memorial Hospital,” she said.
Sponsors now on display
The Onslow Radiation Oncology Wall of Honor is now complete. Thank you to all who sponsored M*A*S*H Bash, Key West Island Fest, and Cowboy Up! in support of the new Radiation Oncology Center. Because of your dedication and compassion, local cancer patients and their families now have the necessary services close to home.
Please feel free to stop by the Lobby of Onslow Radiation Oncology to view your sponsorship recognition today. If there are changes or additions, please contact Lee Ann Thomas at (910) 577-2651.
On May 18th, renovations began at Onslow Memorial Hospital to fulfill the necessary requirements to accept a mobile PET scanner. The project is expected to reach completion by the end of July.
The mobile PET scanner allows oncologists to determine if a patient's tumor has metastasized, which simple means to see if the cancer cells have spread to other organs of the body. The unit will provide services to six patients every other Sunday.
The sponsors from Cowboy Up! helped to provide these necessary renovations that are needed to bring this advanced technology to Onslow county to better serve our local cancer patients and their families! Thank you again for your support.