St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Raises $716,000 From Annual Auction Funds Earmarked For Transformation Of Inpatient Behavioral Health Services Unit





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(L to R) Peter and Priscilla Flintoft, co-chairs of Denim and Diamonds 2018, welcome guests to the 33rd annual auction along with Nancy Graebner, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea president and CEO, and her husband Mark Sundling.

From Bobby Maldonado

St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea hosted its 33rd Annual Auction Denim and Diamonds 2018 on May 12 at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexter.  More than 350 people purchased tickets to the sold-out event, which raised more than $716,000 to benefit the transformation of the hospital’s inpatient Behavioral Health Services unit, far surpassing its goal of $500,000.

“Our annual auction event continues to grow and each year generous individual donors, businesses, and medical staff members engage as a community to support us so that we can meet the needs of those we serve,” said Nancy Graebner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.  “As a community we are committed to raising awareness of mental health with the goal of reducing the societal stigma that exists for those seeking treatment.  We are working together as a community to bring hope and healing to those in need of care.”

This year’s event featured the first-ever auction challenge sponsor.  Dudley Holmes, a new member of the Denim and Diamonds auction committee, put forth a challenge to match up to $100,000 for the first $100,000 raised in sponsorships.  That goal was reached in January, 2018.

Dudley and Dawn Holmes attend “Denim and Diamonds 2018”, an annual auction fundraiser to benefit the transformation of the inpatient Behavioral Health Services unit at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.

The transformation of the Behavioral Health Services unit involves renovations that include a modern design and more efficient use of space, while also adding to the comfort and care of patients.  Patients will have improved access to music therapy, fitness equipment, outdoor space and group classes, all of which help to heal mind, body and spirit.

“The outpouring of support displayed at this year’s auction was truly remarkable,” said Priscilla Flintoft, Denim and Diamonds event co-chair.  “We live in a community full of wonderful, caring friends and neighbors.  Funds raised this year will have a very real and meaningful impact on so many patients and so many families.”

St. Joe’s Chelsea has provided comprehensive Behavioral Health Services to the community for more than 40 years and has a 30-bed inpatient unit.  Its medical staff and multi-disciplinary team of social workers, therapists, psychologists and nurses skillfully treat and help patients manage diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, addiction and thought disorders such as schizophrenia.

To meet the community’s needs for specialized behavioral health services, St. Joe’s Chelsea also offers a full spectrum of outpatient care with clinics in both Chelsea and Dexter.  St. Joe’s Chelsea is distinguished for being the only hospital in Michigan with both a secured unit and an open voluntary admission unit in its inpatient Behavioral Health Services wing.

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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