By Grace Usher
Milemarkers absorbed fellow nonprofit, Norona Effect in early June.
The transition was made in response to the success of the Norona Effect’s main mission: to develop a youth blood-transfusion center in Lake Havasu City. Once that goal was met, it was time to rework the mission of the organization and Milemarkers was eager to assist in that effort.
“Our mission aligned with Nicole’s mission. Once the blood transfusion center was achieved, she changed her mission to help support families travel out of the area for medical needs. She wanted to see the program expand.” said Catie Sondrol, Co-Founder and CEO of Milemarkers.
The Norona Effect had restructured into the Travel-For-Treatment program. Milemarkers had contact with many of the individuals who were eligible for travel assistance so the group decided to bring the two resources together, according to Sondrol.
Children in need throughout Mohave and La Paz counties are eligible for assistance through the program. The intent is to provide up to $1,500 a year for travel costs for those seeking medical attention outside of their counties. The grant can help with bills and other financial burdens that may occur associated with the medical need.
Under Milemarkers, the program is operated by a volunteer committee board. The five-member board is comprised of: Nicole Norona, Breanna Snyder, Vijette Saari, Rebecca Pehling and Mandy Connelly. The board reviews applications, determines funding amount and ensures all other funding opportunities have been exhausted.
In addition to Travel-for-Treatment, two new programs have been established from previous Norona Effect funding: No Place Like Home and the Compass Scholarship.
The mission of No Place Like Home is to bring vital medical resources to the local area to deter the need to travel for medical attention by either relocating professionals to the area or furthering the education of current professionals in the area.
“[With No Place Like Home] we can keep kids where they learn, live and grow. We want them to be able to get medical professionals, support service professionals, and teachers to this area,” Sondrol said.
The key to the program is to request that professionals stay within the area for an allotted amount of time for retainment of their talents and rain other professionals to continue the support. The committee is open to suggestions of areas in need for this type of service in Mohave and La Paz counties.
The second newly established program is the Compass Scholarship. The mission of the scholarship is to “gain access to necessary equipment and materials that are not covered by traditional sources such a medical or state insurance programs.”
Eligible recipients of the scholarship are recommended by a member of their treatment team. The medical professional would fill out the application on behalf of the family including the requested amount and for what items the requested funds would be used.
After services are provided to families in need, the group gives those families a resource guide to be able to utilize moving forward.
“Anybody outside of Milemarkers is encouraged to apply they don’t have to be a MileMarkers patient in order to apply. This is for all of Mohave and La Paz county kids.”
Under the Milemarkers umbrella, the positive mission established by The Norona Effect can continue with support.
Lake Havasu North
1515 N. Lake Havasu Ave #100
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86404
All resource information and applications for the services can be found, here.
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