WILMINGTON, N.C. – On Tuesday, May 19 at 9 a.m., the Willie Stargell Foundation presented a check for two grants totaling $47,000 to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation. The presentation took place on the third floor in the Willie “Pops” Stargell Dialysis Unit at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
NHRMC President and CEO Jack Barto, accepted the grants from Margaret Weller-Stargell, president of the Willie Stargell Foundation. A $32,000 grant will fund the purchase of a new Prisma dialysis machine, which provides continuous renal replacement therapy to patients. A second $15,000 grant will establish the Kidney Disease Education Fund to provide informational materials to patients and fund continuing education for nephrology nurses.
“We continue to be grateful for the valuable work the Willie Stargell Foundation does to support kidney disease treatment and research. Margaret’s commitment to those who suffer from kidney disease and their families is remarkable, and we continue to be honored by her many years of dedication to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s mission to provide the highest quality healthcare right here in our community,” said Barto.
The Willie Stargell Foundation was established by Mr. Stargell’s widow, Margaret Weller-Stargell, after his death in 2001 following a lengthy battle with renal failure. Having spent the last five years of his life receiving dialysis treatments, it was Mr. Stargell’s desire that patients who need dialysis are able to receive it locally and that it be done in a comfortable and relaxed setting. In April 2006, the NHRMC dialysis unit was renamed The Willie “Pops” Stargell Dialysis Center in recognition of a generous gift made in his memory. Currently the unit treats more than 3,800 patients each year.
“The Willie Stargell Foundation is committed to raising funds to improve patient care. We are so pleased to partner with NHRMC, the Duke Transplant Program, UNC Chapel Hill Transplant Program, ECU and DaVita as we all work together to eradicate kidney disease. I have seen numerous dialysis centers across the country and the Willie Stargell Dialysis Center at NHRMC rivals any with their state of the art equipment, along with a very qualified and compassionate staff,” said Weller-Stargell.
Mr. Stargell was an All Star left-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1962-1982. His father-figure status on the team earned him the nickname “Pops” and his leadership helped the Pirates win World Championships in 1971 and in 1979, when he shared National League MVP honors. He was inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.