Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Dillon County, and for these patients, McLeod Cardiac Rehabilitation is a life-line which offers extensive education and a monitored exercise program to promote a full recovery. However, for many in this community who struggle financially every day, this life-line is out of reach.
In 2006, the physicians at Dillon Family Medicine established the Douglas Jenkins Scholarship Fund to help fund this vital program to assist those patients with limited financial resources.
Dr. Jenkins is remembered as a pioneer in the field of medicine in Dillon County and because of his great interest in heart disease, this fund is appropriately named for him. Dillon Family Medicine has recently made a multi-year commitment assisting with funding for the scholarships.
In recent years, the number of patients needing this service has dramatically increased as providers have urgently recommended that patients participate in this life-saving care. This increase has created a strain on available funding.
As the Dillon community was made aware of the urgent need they rallied around the effort to care for their heart patients through gifts to support this fund.
Charles O’Neal, of Blenheim, Cardiac Rehabilitation patient at McLeod Dillon since 2010, responded generously to the critical need for funding.
"I made this gift because I want to make sure that anyone who wants to participate to improve their health can do so. It is nice that when you are in the program no one is aware of who is receiving the assistance. We are all valued and are encouraged to stay healthy," he shares.
Annie Johnson and Naomi Thompson are recipients of the Dr. Jenkins Scholarships and you can read their story of their journey to improved health made possible by gifts to the McLeod Foundation.