Gifts MHI Outreach Patient Clothing



Speech by Dr. Cecilia Norris, Medical Director, Iowa City Free Medical & Dental Clinic, Iowa City, Iowa. At Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, Iowa City,
on April 7, 2019. Co-authored by Marcia A. Murphy and Dr. Norris.

“Good morning. I am here to ask for your support for an ongoing Mental Health Initiatives project. MHI is an outreach ministry of Saint Andrew which promotes the dignity, value, and inherent worth of people who live with mental illness.  It was founded by Marcia Murphy, who is herself a person in recovery from mental illness. Marcia is a strong advocate for people – either abled or disabled. She acts in response to this great need in our society by identifying and promoting the role of hope in improving relationships in family, in society, in self-care, and in wellness.

For several years [in the past], Marcia has been spearheading clothing drives to collect sweat pants for psychiatric in-patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics [UIHC]. The nursing staff had identified this need for suitable, comfortable clothing as sometimes the medications can cause weight gain and better physical comfort allows patients to focus on improving their mental health. Many patients are low-income, come from out of state and/or lack family support. This caring program has been well-received but the need outweighed the supply and practical considerations of storage, moving clothing, and matching sizes complicated the process.

In an effort to more efficiently reach more patients, Marcia worked with UI Center for Advancement to set up a fund within the UI Psychiatry Department to allow for the purchase of apparel items, mainly sweatpants, for inpatients who the nurses identify as needing this service.

MHI would like to thank the congregation for past support and request that you prayerfully consider supporting this urgent need with a monetary donation. Most people know of someone who suffers from a mental illness. The disruptions to all segments of society are costly, not only monetarily, but emotionally and socially. Helping the psychiatric patients gain a stronger foothold once again in a hospital setting can often be life-saving as many patients are suicidal.

If you would like to contribute to bringing these patients much needed hope, healing, and comfort, please make your checks payable to Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church and be sure to put in the memo line MHI Patients’ Apparel, so the donation can be directed appropriately. A check donation can be placed in the offering or put in the black box outside the church office.”


                  Any size monetary gift would be deeply appreciated. Questions can be directed to Marcia Murphy:

Please see the information below. Thank you

Folks would make checks payable to:

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Memo: MHI Patients’ Apparel

Mail check to:
Finance Administrator
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
140 Gathering Place Lane
Iowa City, IA 52246

                              Or contact:

Morgan Shea, Assistant Vice President, Health Science Development

The University of Iowa Center for Advancement

                                               One West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242

                                                    Office: 319-467-3505 Mobile: 224-203-4778