September 19 marks a big day for Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) and the RHI Foundation. This day brings with it a fundraiser tailored to help fund the research efforts and therapy tools that doctors, nurses and therapists need to continue rehabilitation success. It brings the community inside the hospital and shows them exactly what goes on behind the automatic sliding doors. Today is the third annual Giving Day in RHI’s history.

Giving Day includes plenty of festivities and options to give back to the hospital that go above and beyond everyday. It starts with a chance in the morning for staff to grab a donut with any donation provided and can even include a raffle to win a basket filled with goodies and gift cards to your favorite coffee shop. The event is an all-day endeavor to kick off the month-long fundraiser that begins during National Rehabilitation Week and runs until October 19, 2019. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $120,000. Of that goal, $70,000 funds research efforts within the hospital and $50,000 for an online education platform service designed to help both clinicians and patients.

RHI looks to use a portion of the donations to fund a subscription-based online education platform called MedBridge. MedBridge uses an app that provides evidence-based courses and interactive learning assessments for clinicians and home exercise programs for patients. The service allows therapy clinicians to stay up to date and continue education on best practices, while allowing patients to stay on track with at-home instructions for therapy exercises. The service has become instrumental to physicians by allowing them to brush up on newer therapies and allowing patients to skip the headache of remembering what exercises they need to be doing.

The event is described by many as the new-age Telethon or “Videothon” because of the amount of coverage provided by the hospital on their social media. Throughout the day, the hospital conducted various livestreamed interviews with current and former patients, RHI Foundation members, staff from RHI’s Northwest Brain Injury Center, and more. The idea of these interviews is not only to keep followers posted on the donation goal, but also to give donors an inside look at what the foundation is using the money to fund and how it is affecting the community. Patients give insight into how the hospital is living through the mission they represent and how the equipment and research is being utilized.

Through events like this, RHI Foundation is able to fund a multitude of research projects and programs within the hospital. The foundation is essentially what brings the state-of-the-art equipment into the hospital and provides funding to pay research staff salaries to continue the innovative work they do. The money that is donated is added to an account called a “general mission fund,” described as an unrestricted fund that allows the hospital to supply patients and clinicians with the equipment they use. RHI’s famous Healing Garden, where patients can go to relax or get a breath of fresh air during their time at the hospital, is one of the many concepts brought to life through the foundation. Another example of these donations being shaped is the hospital's ability to provide shoes for patients who may live too far to easily grab their own or maybe cannot afford a pair to safely continue their therapy.