PRMS Gives a Hoot: Supporting Mental Health Organizations, Initiatives and Community

The Minnesota Mental Health Community Foundation – the charitable arm of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society – is just a few years old, but its worthy goals have made it a standout choice for continued PRMS support.

The Foundation’s mission is to build broad-based awareness about mental illness by educating the public and making connections to support the mental health profession.

Less than a decade old, the Foundation has an impressive list of projects that includes scholarship funds for students pursuing mental health careers, an oral history project documenting the evolution of psychiatry in the state, a television series on depression, and a web-based tool that makes it easy to find mental health providers.

PRMS recognizes all the group is doing. As one of the Foundation’s founding supporters, PRMS has contributed $1,500 and recently was a sponsor of the Foundation’s first fundraising gala – which raised more than $6,000 to continue to grow the Foundation. The event was held in conjunction with the Minnesota Psychiatric Society’s annual spring continuing medical education meeting.

“PRMS has supported the Minnesota Mental Health Community Foundation since its inception, and is definitely one of our most consistent supporters,” Foundation President Renee Koronkowski, MD said.  “We could not have made this much progress without PRMS – one of the vital, yet often unrecognized supporters contributing to our success!”

Here’s a quick look at some of the Foundation’s completed projects:

Minnesota Psychiatry Oral History Project. The Foundation provided information and resources for a permanent exhibition at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul that documents the history of psychiatry in the state. It includes recorded interviews with psychiatric leaders and historical documents.

Television Series About Depression. The Foundation donors designated contributions to help produce “Understanding Depression, Hope Through Treatment,” a five-part series that aired on public and cable television and was distributed to libraries, colleges and universities. It was taped at KSTP TV, an ABC network affiliate in St. Paul, and cohosted by James Jordan, MD, a psychiatrist and past president of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society.

And here are some ongoing projects:

Bob Baumer, MD Community Psychiatry Scholarship Fund. This memorial fund is designed to help a psychiatry resident or fellow interested in community psychiatry to attend educational events. Dr. Baumer, a psychiatrist devoted to outpatient care, helped create the Family Life Mental Health Center in Coon Rapids and later worked as psychiatrist and medical director of the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center.

Fast-Tracker Online Resource Search Tool Development Fund. Working with partners, the Foundation helped develop Fast-Tracker, a web-based link to mental health services in Minnesota. It gives providers, care coordinators, and patients a real-time, searchable directory of providers and resources.

Other Funds. A Trainee Scholarship Fund will provide money for students in mental health disciplines (not just psychiatry) to pursue organized medicine, educational, and scientific and community projects. The Foundation also has plans for a Community Grant Fund, open to anyone interested in helping Minnesotans know more about mental health.

“The idea is to offer an incubator to provide seed money for anything from research to lunch-and-learns to printing information about screening,” explained Linda Vukelich, executive director of the Foundation. “We really don’t want to put any limitations on it. We want to see what people want to do.”

For more information on the Foundation, please contact Ms. Vukelich at l.vukelich@comcast.net.

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