The Memorial Hospital Foundation: Making Craig a healthier community
Craig — Neatly situated in its new location on top of the hill, The Memorial Hospital boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a nearly brand new building. For that, it can thank The Memorial Hospital Foundation.
The Foundation is like the hospital’s benevolent fairy godmother, looking out for and anticipating its needs, then doing all it can to provide for them.
Organized in 2002, TMH Foundation helped raise funds to build the new hospital and has since assumed the role of keeping it equipped with the latest technology.
“Today, the Foundation’s focus is on continually raising the bar of quality at TMH by providing cutting-edge equipment for physicians and nurses to use — and vital services to the community,” according to a TMH Foundation newsletter.
The Foundation first earned its stripes during the capital campaign launched in 2005, during which it raised more than $1.2 million from corporations, businesses and individual donors in the community to fund the new hospital building.
“Because we had such tremendous support from the community and this capital campaign, it made us eligible for grants,” said TMH Foundation Director Eva Peroulis. “When you show you have community support of $1.2 million, it’s great. During that time we received over $600,000 in grants.”
In recent years, the Foundation has helped the hospital purchase a cardiac ultrasound machine for the Emergency Department, a digital mammography machine, surgical equipment for orthopedics, a new Picture Archiving Communication System for medical images, and to make improvements to its electronic medical records system.
“To be able to ask the Foundation for funding is a big relief to us because then it allows us to take our revenue and prioritize it elsewhere,” said TMH Chief of Marketing and Business Development Jennifer Riley. “It really makes a difference in a patient’s experience.”
Currently, the Foundation is putting its attention on pediatrics.
“Our services are growing in this area and we just want to make children more comfortable in the hospital,” Peroulis said.
One recently acquired grant will fund the remodel of an Emergency Department room to tailor it to younger patients’ needs, equipping it with a rocking chair and kid-friendly equipment and décor. Another grant will fund two media carts that can be wheeled into kids’ rooms, each boasting a 32-inch TV, DVD player, an Xbox with games, an iPad and movies.
“They help us as providers to work to the best of our ability, to have equipment and supplies that otherwise a critical access hospital may not be able to purchase,” said pediatrician and Foundation board physician representative Kristie Yarmer. “We want our patients to feel like if they could go to any pediatrician of their choice in any city, they could not get better care.”
The Foundation is also active within the community, sponsoring a bike helmet drive which provided helmets to more than 200 Moffat County kids in 2013, and the annual Missoula Children’s Theatre production.
“The Foundation is the place you can go to say, ‘Hey, this could be fantastic for the community. How can we work to make that happen?’” Peroulis said. “The Foundation really does support the health of the community by providing resources and services that we might have to wait a while to obtain otherwise.”
Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.
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