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Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation recently awarded five grants totaling more than $266,000. Four of the grants, totaling $216,200, will help Sarasota Memorial purchase new technology to enhance care provided during gastrointestinal and ear, nose and throat surgeries. Funds will also be used to support patient care programs including breast cancer screenings and pharmacy vouchers for diabetes patients who are underinsured. An additional $50,000 grant will provide support to First Step of Sarasota.

$132,900 was provided for the purchase of five Olympus HQ190 colonoscopes for use by gastrointestinal surgeons. The new colonoscopes feature true-to-life HD technology and will improve patient imaging and decrease down time between procedures.

$33,300 was granted for the purchase of five facial nerve monitors. Used by ear, nose and throat surgeons, the monitors provide early identification of the facial nerve reducing the chance of facial nerve damage during surgery.

$25,000 was granted to continue providing screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies and other diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured residents of Sarasota County who meet the program criteria.

$25,000 was also awarded to provide uninsured and underinsured diabetes patients with vouchers for diabetes medications and supplies from specific Walgreens Pharmacies. Better access to insulin, diabetes medications (oral), and diabetes supplies will help eligible patients avoid complications and readmission to the health system.

$50,000 was awarded to First Step of Sarasota to help support the Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT). The team provides around-the-clock intervention to Sarasota residents and families experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis, resulting in fewer ER visits and/or hospitalizations.

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