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Salem Health provides 3,500 new backpacks to 31 schools

Aug 20, 2018

by: Capi Lynn, Statesman Journal

Other businesses and organizations conduct successful backpack and school supply drives.

But how many increase productivity more than 19,000 percent over five years?

Salem Health Medical Group has gone from giving 18 backpacks to a couple of local teachers to providing more than 3,500 for 31 area schools, astronomical growth even organizers have a tough time explaining.

“We really don’t know exactly how this is happening,” said Ralph Yates, chief medical officer for Salem Health. “We know that people feel an identity with what’s going on. We’ve had children and their families come to our meetings. We can see the results and get joy in doing it.”

Volunteers from the group, which includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, administrative leaders and office assistants, delivered the goods this week.

A load of 100 backpacks, filled with pencils, paper, crayons, scissors and pink erasers, went to Bush Elementary School, where principal Tara Baldridge said more than a third of her 300 or so students will arrive on the first day of school without the basic supplies needed.

Read the full Statesman Journal article here.
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