Willis Family
Bayhealth Foundation

The Importance of Quality Community Healthcare

Healthcare plays a significant role in the lives of everyone in the community. Quality care is critical in the good times like a birth or traumatic times such as an illness or injury – it’s the reason why Smyrna residents Bill and Mary Jane Willis have shown their support of Bayhealth with generous contributions for more than 40 years. “Our local hospitals and staff have been there for my family my whole life,” Bill said. “I was born in Milford Memorial and our children and grandchildren were born in Kent General.”

Mary Jane said she’s thankful for top-notch care close to home. “We believe in Bayhealth and the quality healthcare they provide for the community,” Mary Jane said. “I am a patient, and I trust them completely with my health and the health of my family.”

In 2012, Mary Jane was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's follicular lymphoma. She was referred to Bayhealth Hematologist Oncologist Rishi Sawhney, MD, for treatment. Mary Jane said while a cancer diagnosis is terrifying, she felt confident she was in good hands with Dr. Sawhney. Today she’s in remission and said she’s grateful to Dr. Sawhney and the entire staff at the Cancer Center at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus. “They were very good to my wife,” Bill said. “We feel good knowing our contributions help them to continue to provide advanced quality care to the community, especially for those with serious health conditions.”

The couple has four children and six grandchildren who were born at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus. In 2009 their granddaughter, Savannah Jane Snow, was born two months early weighing a fragile 3 pounds, 11 ounces. Less than a year later, Savannah was a healthy, happy 18-pound baby. The Willis family credits the Special Care Nursery at the Kent Campus. “They were wonderful and we wanted to show our gratitude,” Bill said. “We made a donation to have a pod in the NICU named after Savannah.”

Bill and Mary Jane have both served on the Bayhealth, Inc. Board and on the board of directors for the Bayhealth Foundation and are involved in the Campaign for Bayhealth – Phase III, a capital fundraising campaign that primarily supports the health campus project in southern Delaware. The 440,000-square-foot health campus is slated to open in 2019 just off Route 1 in Milford. “It is going to be a state-of-the-art facility and a game changer,” Bill said. “No one wants to go to the hospital, but when it’s necessary, it’s a comfort to know you don’t have to go far for the best care.”

Visit Bayhealth.org/Sussex-Campus for more information about the new health campus in southern Delaware. Contact the Bayhealth Foundation at 302-744-7015 to learn how you can support this exciting project.

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