Help Washington School District Students Graduate!

Washington Health System Teen Outreach program and Washington School District have launched the Washington ECHO (Educate Children for Healthy Outcomes) Mentoring Program to improve the graduation rate.  In 2014, 1 out of every 3 Washington High School seniors did not graduate!


Washington ECHO also empowers families to communicate well with each other, helps children avoid risky behavior during their adolescent years, and strengthens the family unit as a whole.  In this project, Teen Outreach will train 40 community members as ECHO mentors and match them with 40 8th grade students at risk for high school dropout.  Mentors will meet with their students and families over 5 years.  The ultimate goal is to increase graduation rate among these youth by 20%. 


ECHO Case Manager, Marjorie Ruschel, a social worker and Washington County Children and Youth Services retiree, coordinates the program and oversees our mentors.  ECHO Community Mobilizer, David Gatling, Wash High Graduate and Vice President of the NAACP Washington Branch, promotes the program in the community.


Washington School District is funding Washington ECHO along with individual donors, Community Action Southwest, The Grable Foundation, Jack Buncher Foundation, Observer Publishing Company, Southwest Training Services, Vernon C. and Alvina B. Neal Fund, Washington County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and Washington Financial Charitable Foundation.


Over $85,000 has been raised for next school year.  We still need another $50,000 to continue Washington ECHO for the 2016-2017 year, and we need donors committed to fund all five years of the project.  Can you help?  No donation is too small. Every donation counts.


Yes, I want to help Washington students graduate and donate to the Washington ECHO Program.


Read the Washington ECHO Program Overview and the article featuring the Washington ECHO Program from the Observer-Reporter.  For more information about Washington ECHO, contact ECHO Community Mobilizer David Gatling at (7240 554-0876 or ECHO Case Manager Marjorie Ruschel at (724) 809-5174.



How can I help?

  • Become an ECHO Mentor!  Contact Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski, Teen Outreach Director, at or 412-877-4906.
  • Become an ECHO Supporter and donate!  ECHO needs funds. We're looking for at least 10 individuals, businesses or agencies willing to commit $5,000 a year for five years to ECHO and to our community. No donation is too small, however. Every donation counts.

I would like to learn more about the Washington School District ECHO Program.


Thanks to Donors Rice Energy Family Simulation Center Opens

Funded exclusively through charitable donations, the Rice Energy Family Simulation Center opened in November 2015. Washington Health System’s new Simulation Center uses new life-like wireless mannequins to provide hands-on training for core skills in a safe, controlled environment.  Mannequins include a portable adult male, a pregnant adult female which delivers a simulator baby, and a young child. The project also created new spaces that are designed to simulate realistic environments that will help with obstetrics, pediatrics, disaster training, emergency room, and operating room scenarios.


The Simulation Center will be used by Washington Health System School of Nursing students, WHS School of Radiology students, Family Medicine Residents, Health System staff, other healthcare professionals, community organizations, and emergency services.


The Simulation Center was funded by contributions from individuals, businesses, proceeds from special events, the Washington Health System School of Nursing, The Washington Hospital Auxiliary, and grants from the Babcock Charitable Trust and Snee-Reinhardt Foundation.


Read more about the Rice Energy Family Simulation Center in this Observer-Reporter article.


Washington Health System Foundation publishes the Washington Health System Donor Report and The Journey newsletter.


The Journey is the Hospice Care donor newsletter containing a listing of gifts to Hospice Care made in memory or honor of others.


2015 Garden Map Index

Garden Bricks Map (Sect I-II)

Garden Bricks Map (Sect III-V)

Both the Washington Health System Donor Report and The Journey are posted to this page after they have been published.