Inspired by family and community: Kosch family gives $1.2 million to Beaumont

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gift will support health care needs of older adults and improve the health of Dearborn residents

For more than 20 years, Donald and Mary Kosch have supported children in need through their philanthropic efforts. The Kosch family owned business, Dearborn Sausage, is a local and nationally known brand. They are now focusing on other at-risk populations: the elderly and those at risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

“My husband and I have been donors to Oakwood, and now Beaumont, for 23 years. Our hearts have always been with children in need and their families. Now, we need to focus on quality care for our elderly, another vulnerable population in our communities,” said Mary. “The need is great and speaking with friends and others in the community, we all want our loved ones to experience aging with dignity in this time of their lives.”

Mary was inspired by her 89-year-old mother, Naudean, who was diagnosed with dementia about seven years ago.  The health care needs of her mom and other elderly patients are what motivated the Koschs to fund, in part, a new memory care center at the Beaumont Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dearborn with a gift to the Beaumont Health Foundations. The remaining funds will support Healthy Dearborn programs.

Their gift of $1.2 million is being matched by a matching fund program, bringing the total investment to $2.4 million.

The new memory care center will receive significant remodeling of all of its patient care activity spaces.

“You’ll immediately feel the impact of warmth and friendliness as soon as you enter the building. The memory care unit will be transformed into a more open area, with natural lighting and an interactive kitchen that will give the sense of a home environment with improved wheelchair accessibility. There will also be small private areas for families to visit together,” said Mary.

The unit, named for Mary and Donald, will be a fully-functioning area for those diagnosed with memory-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. A structured schedule and a regular routine will help residents avoid confusion and become familiar with their surroundings.

The upgrade will also include:

  • day spaces with expanded views of the outdoors and exposure to natural light
  • an activity kitchen that will be more accommodating for residents in wheelchairs
  • a dedicated entrance for patients and staff
  • an expanded nursing station
  • a lobby refresh

As the founding philanthropic leader of the Healthy Dearborn initiative, the Kosch donation is expected to create numerous innovative programs and approaches to improve the health of the Dearborn community. Healthy Dearborn is a partnership between Beaumont, the City of Dearborn and Dearborn schools working together to promote healthy eating and active living. Recognizing that health and well-being are interconnected with social, cultural, physical, economic and other factors, a community coalition of over 200 residents and representatives from multiple sectors work together to improve health and quality of life in Dearborn. 

“I have lived here for the last 75 years and I am delighted to give back to the community by supporting Healthy Dearborn,” said Donald. “It’s about educating children in schools, to teach them a healthier way of life through diet and exercise along with expanding prevention and health promotion activities in the community.”

The Kosch donation will provide those who live in or visit Dearborn many opportunities to be physically active and eat healthy foods. A community-wide bike sharing program will be coming in 2017 along with a new, marked six-mile bike lane. Other activities to be funded for the next six years include:

  • CATCH Kids Club™ a physical activity and nutrition program for Dearborn schools
  • healthy cooking classes for both children and adults
  • innovative programs in the community to increase physical activity for all ages
  • support of biking and walking groups in the community
  • The Power of Produce program for children
  • healthy activities  at Dearborn’s annual Homecoming event

Donald added, “It feels good to give, but more importantly it does good. When you can do that, it’s a great combination.”

“The gift from Mary and Don will play a vital role in improving the health and well-being of individuals and families throughout the Dearborn community. We are so proud to partner with them in this initiative,” said Margaret Cooney Casey, senior vice president and chief development officer, Beaumont Health.