Major donation leads to digital inclusion for Loretto employees

Posted on April 25, 2021

Thanks to the generosity of the Parker Family of Portland, Oregon, Loretto will launch a new technical training program this spring to promote digital-inclusion with its employees.

With this half million dollar donation, the organization will begin training its diverse staff on new electronic medical records (EMR) that will significantly streamline how frontline healthcare workers provide care, as well as provide them with transferrable skills that will enable them to be successful in a digital, knowledge-based economy.

Through collaborations with lead EMR vendors, and because of financial support from a New York State grant and the Mother Cabrini Foundation, Loretto had been planning for initiatives around digital literacy for its workforce throughout 2020. Digital literacy, or the skill of being able to find, discern, analyze and use high quality data found on digital platforms, is a critical component of providing high quality, affordable health care.

Healthcare workers have faced roadblocks in growth around technology, though. “Digitally-literate knowledge workers have higher wages and lower unemployment rates than service and blue-collar workers, who are seeing persistently higher unemployment rates and wage stagnation,” said Dr. Kimberly Townsend, president and CEO at Loretto. For low income and rural populations, this disparity has a significant negative impact on the development of their regions and on their ability to participate in an increasingly digital economy.

Quick Facts:

·        As an employer, 65% of Loretto’s frontline employees are individuals coming from the most highly impoverished zip codes in the United States.

·        As a safety net provider, 70% of the individuals Loretto serves are Medicaid-eligible. Medicaid is the government sponsored health plan for low-income individuals, seniors, and chronically ill children.

Loretto is committed to providing the training and resources needed to allow each employee to fully participate in a digitally-driven, knowledge-based economy. But this training requires a significant financial investment. The Parker Family recognized the opportunity to effect change at both an organizational-level and personally for employees.

“In 2007, my parents became residents of the Loretto community. During frequent visits with them, I became acquainted with dozens of employees, who work diligently and with compassion.  Technical literacy has become imperative for all workplaces of today and tomorrow. My family is honored to help Loretto initiate the EMR Employee Training program, which will advance staff skills and allow them to enhance the service they provide," Kathy Parker shared in regard to what inspired this generosity.

The Parker Family, comprised of Mark and Kathy Parker, along with their three children, dedicated this support in honor of John and Shirley Mills, Kathy's parents. While Shirley still resides in her hometown of Syracuse, NY, this support helps to keep John's memory alive and at the forefront of their family's minds. John and Shirley spent their lives as humble, devoted community members of Central New York, known for their commitment to helping populations in need. The family values philanthropic investments that generate outcomes, particularly for those who are most marginalized. Kathy Parker still visits her hometown regularly to spend time with her mother.

Loretto relies in large part on the generosity of the community to support its operations and the care that its employees carry out daily to support thousands of Central New Yorkers each year.

“While many companies have had to lay off workers and close their doors, we are continuing to find ways to invest in our employees in ways that support their personal growth, support the mission of Loretto as in organization, and support our community as a whole,” Townsend said. “Words cannot express what this donation from the Parkers means to our employees and our organization. We hope this inspires others in the community to consider many of our initiatives that are still in need of financial support.”

About Loretto

Loretto is a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York. As the fourth largest healthcare provider and the sixth largest employer in the region, the 2,500 exceptional people at Loretto’s 19 locations deliver extraordinary care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties each year. From adult day programs and short-term rehabilitation, to the home-like settings in its assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities, Loretto is actively investing in its employees, in medical research, and in new technologies to improve care in our community, Making Every Day Extraordinary. Loretto: Exceptional people. Extraordinary care. For more information on Loretto, please visit

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