Feb 13 2017

Nearly 150 Friends of the Medical Educational and Development (MED) Foundation of Mercer Health were in attendance when VJ and Marilyn Westerheide of Coldwater were awarded the Outstanding Friend of the Year for 2016, at the annual dinner for the Friends on January 29th, 2017.  The Westerheides join the Mercer Health Volunteers Association, HCF Management, Inc., Coldwater Machine, Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Joan Pax, Mr. Richard (Red) Luken, Mr. Tom Sanderell and Remer Holdings, Inc. as the Outstanding Friends of the MED Foundation. 

“VJ and Marilyn exemplify the characteristics of what is considered an outstanding friend. Not only have they been a long-time friend of the MED Foundation by their annual gift, but they have generously stepped forward with a lead donation in the Building on a Promise campaign. Furthermore, with the instrumental foresight, fortitude and support from this couple, Mercer Health and the Community Sports and Therapy Center were able to offer a new, advanced program, the ReWalk training program, which supports the ReWalk wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to help individuals with spinal cord injuries to stand upright and walk again. This advanced and exciting program is offered in less than 200 certified centers worldwide. Because of their generosity and support, Mercer Health and the Community Sports and Therapy Center were able to bring this program to our community not only enhancing local healthcare services but forever changing the life of one of our own community members who can now, with the support of his ReWalk Exoskeleton and the training provided through the Community Sports and Therapy Center, walk again. It is the generosity of people like VJ and Marilyn Westerheide that we can build on a promise to provide local, quality healthcare to our community,” stated Mindy Kremer, Senior Director of Development, Marketing and Community Relations at Mercer Health.

During the dinner, the Friends of the MED Foundation, were  provided with an inspirational keynote address from Erin Walsh Hardesty of Lima, Ohio.  Bonnie Knapschaefer, President of the MED Foundation Board of Directors, also shared an overview of the activities of the MED Foundation over the past year including the Charity Ball, the Esmonde-Homan Memorial Golf Outing including the scholarships provided from funds generated at the golf outing, and the growth of the foundation over the past year. 

For more information about the MED Foundation of Mercer Health, contact Deb Hemmelgarn, MED Foundation Coordinator, at 419-678-5679 or Mindy Kremer, Senior Director of Development, Marketing and Community Relations at 419-678-5613