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MED

A Great Year for Make-A-Wish

Nov 27, 2018 12:00PM ● By Alyssa McGinnis

2018 has been a big year for the South Dakota chapter of Make-A-Wish. The organization got a new President and CEO in February and, by the end of its fiscal year in August, had achieved an 11 percent year-to-year  increase in the number of wishes granted to critically ill children in the state. MED spoke with CEO Sue Salter about this banner year and the new referral process that will be the icing on the cake.

MED: How many wishes did Make-A-Wish grant this year and what does it mean for the organization?

SS: By August, we had granted 80 wishes to South Dakota children with critical illnesses. The vision of Make-A-Wish is to grant a life changing wish to every eligible child. The Number of wishes granted is a key metric for us and we see the upward trend continuing.

MED: Why do you think it was such a successful year for wishes?

SS: I think a lot of it has to do with the clarity of our mission and vision. We grant life-changing wishes to critically ill children in our state. It is crystal clear and that clarity attracts donors and referrals. It is one of the things that impresses me most about Make-A-Wish.

MED: Tell us about the new referral process.

SS: We recently rolled out a new online referral and medical eligibility process.  It eliminates paper, saves time, and makes the process of referring a child to Make-A-Wish much more streamlined. In addition to these efficiencies, there are algorithms built into the site that can determine medical eligibility almost immediately.

MED: How will the site impact wish recipients?

SS: The streamlined process not only saves time for the person making the referral, but it will also cut down some of the time between when a wish is approved and when it is actually granted. There is naturally going to be some delay there, but we are always looking for ways to reduce it.

To refer to a child to Make-A-Wish South Dakota, visit MD.WISH.ORG.