Local entrepreneur’s $80,000 gift to the HMH Foundation is catalyst; inspires more philanthropy

Local entrepreneur Kelly Emerine presented an $80,000 gift to the HMH Foundation at an event today at the HMH Cancer Care Center. Her investment will be used to help bring 3D mammography to HMH. Emerine is making the gift after selling her medication management app, Mom’s MedMinder, to HMH.

Emerine first had the idea for her app when her twin daughters were sick at the same time, and she had a hard time keeping track of when and how much medicine they needed. HMH will update the app and make the new version and health management tool available to HMH patients in the coming months.

“I developed the app to help moms like me,” said Emerine. “I wanted HMH patients to benefit from the technology if they could and I am thrilled my gift to the Foundation will help bring 3D mammography to HMH and help even more women.”

Emerine said she knew she wanted to share some of the proceeds when she sold her app and that the HMH Foundation was the natural choice.

“I was born at HMH. My daughters were born at HMH. And when I had a breast health concern, HMH is where I turned for care” said Emerine.

Emerine added it was also important to share some of her success in a community that has given so much to her.

“From my family to the local innovation center to my investors and now this healthcare system, everyone has encouraged me,” said Emerine. “That is why I wanted my app and my gift to advance care for patients right here at home at HMH.”

HMHF board member Mike Bowers was on hand for the announcement. He called the gift tremendous.

“This is what philanthropy looks like,” said Bowers. “A young mother of two and entrepreneur in the heartland of America is setting a generous example that all of us should follow.”

Bowers, a successful entrepreneur and a member of the Lincoln Trail Venture Group, who also invested in Mom’s MedMinder, issued a challenge to other entrepreneurs and the community to follow Emerine’s lead and give to the HMH Foundation.

Bowers, on behalf of other entrepreneurs, presented a $20,000 check to the HMH Foundation.

“I hope this is just a start to raising more money for 3D Mammography and cancer care,” said Bowers. “Gifts of every size make a difference for patients and cancer patients.”

HMHF Chairman Joe Prather expressed his pride in our community explaining that people here understand the importance of a strong HMH and of providing the best healthcare for Central Kentucky families.

“We cannot take our strong and growing health system for granted,” said Prather. “We have to do our part to make it viable long into the future and that is exactly what Kelly and other local entrepreneurs are doing here today. We encourage others to give to the Foundation so that patients can continue to have access to the most advanced care.”

HMH CEO Dennis Johnson shared news of another new technology available to help HMH Cancer Care Center patients. Those undergoing chemotherapy treatments can now use cooling caps to help prevent hair loss. Johnson thanked the HMH Foundation for covering the costs to help HMH be the first in Kentucky to bring the Paxman® Scalp Cooling System to patients.

The system uses what is called a cold cap to reduce the scalp temperature immediately before, during and after a chemotherapy treatment. The cooling reduces the blood flow to hair follicles which helps to prevent or minimize hair loss.

Johnson welcomed Jamie Owen and her family to the event. Owen is battling breast cancer and is the first patient to use the new cooling cap technology.

Owen, a mother of two young children, said her first priority is to save her life but she knew losing her hair may scare her children.

“Being able to keep life as normal as possible for my kids is such a blessing,” said Owen.

To use the system, Owen had to purchase a cooling cap specially designed for her head.

“We know not everyone can afford the caps and insurance doesn’t cover the costs. We also know that taking care of patients spiritually and emotionally helps healing,” said Prather. “Since many cancer patients worry about hair loss, the HMH Foundation is thrilled to present a $15,000 gift to the HMH Cancer Care Center.”

“Now more patients can have access to this device,” Prather said.

Prather said proceeds from the Purses, Pumps and Prevention Cancer Awareness event this past spring made the gift possible. More than 250 women attended the annual dinner and fashion show. Donors from the event were on hand for the announcement.