October 3, 2008


COLUMBIA, Tenn.—Senior citizen Mary Oliver received repairs to her house’s wooden deck, including a much-needed new access ramp, thanks to the Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee (UCPMT). Oliver, a resident of Mount Pleasant, struggled with getting in and out of her home due to physical disabilities prior to receiving aid from these organizations.

The process began when Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Community Health Nurse Paula Streeter was conducting one of her regular visits to the Senior Citizen’s Center in Mount Pleasant. After administering free blood pressure tests to those present, Streeter began conversing with Oliver and recognized her need for special access ramp into her house. Oliver has suffered four strokes in the past twenty years and recently received vascular surgery at MRMC in addition to a previous heart bypass surgery. Her mobility is limited.

Streeter contacted John Pickett, director of the UCPMT Home Access Program, who coordinated the repair and construction of her back porch to include a new ramp access. With monies from the $600,000 grant from the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund bestowed upon UCPMT, necessary tools and materials were supplied for this endeavor. With the volunteered help of MRMC Nursing Transporter Shane Blocker, the construction was finished in just one day, giving Oliver easier access into her home.

“There are no words to express my gratitude for what Paula, John and Shane have done for me,” said Oliver. “I will always be grateful to them and their organizations for their kindness and consideration for building my ramp. Since I am unable to go up and down steps, this is truly a blessing from God.”

The community health nurse is a new position funded by The Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation and was created in an effort to better meet the health care needs of community members, especially those whose financial and personal challenges may prevent them from seeking adequate care.

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee focuses on services to individuals of all ages who have a variety of physical disabilities that primarily affect mobility. Working through a statewide partner network, the grant funds are allocated to meet specific home and community based housing needs of low income persons with disabilities in Tennessee who do not receive housing support through state Medicaid Waiver programs. The program is targeted to Tennessee rural communities.


© 2008 Maury Regional Medical Center