Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hospital operating with solid budget

Second state-of-the-art operating room to be added


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo The St. Luke?s Wood River Foundation Board tours an integrated operating room at the hospital. This year, board members are working to raise funds for a second state-of-the-art room.

The St. Luke's Wood River Foundation board of directors has voted to provide more than $800,000 to enhance hospital and community health care services. This will enable patients a level of health care that is unusual for such a small community.

"We so appreciate the generous philanthropic support, which allows St. Luke's Wood River to provide services that are exceptional for a small hospital," said Martha Reed, president of the foundation board.

The foundation on Sept. 21 gave $92,500, which represents the first installment of funds raised as part of a campaign to raise $448,000 for a second state-of-the-art operating room at St. Luke's Wood River. Foundation members continue to work to raise the remaining funds.

The state-of-the-art operating room will have a voice activation system and high-definition monitors that display vital signs, x-rays and other important digital images on screens just above the operating table.

"This operating room provides the optimal operating environment for the surgeon, staff and patient," said St. Luke's Wood River CEO Bruce Jensen. "A goal of this technology is to help reduce the time a patient is in surgery, which in turn reduces complication and infection rates. This is one of many enhancements we are making in our journey to 'Be America's Finest Community Hospital.'"

Another planned enhancement is the expansion of the hospital's labor and delivery department. With the increase in the number of babies being born in the valley, two maternity suites will be added. The foundation agreed to fund $466,000 for this expansion project, which has also received support from the St. Luke's Wood River Volunteer Core's annual fund-raising events.

"The maternity suites expansion is one example of the higher level of services and quality of care provided at St. Luke's Wood River," said Dr. Joseph Rodriguez, an obstetrician/gynecologist.

To upgrade cardiac services, the foundation granted $50,000 to purchase new EKG equipment. This new equipment will help clinical staff, provide immediate access to test results, and eliminate the loss or corruption of data. Over 1,200 EKG tests are conducted each year by the St. Luke's cardiopulmonary department.

In addition, the board agreed to grant funds to undertake an integrative medicine feasibility study. The feasibility study will determine the viability of integrating conventional Western medicine with complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, wellness coaching and stress reduction within the hospital.

Other disbursements were made to enhance laboratory equipment, emergency department services, mammography services, and medical imaging equipment.

While the majority of the funds granted will benefit the hospital, the foundation also granted $37,000 to several local health-related organizations.

The foundation made grants to the Hospice of the Wood River Valley, the Sun Club, to the Annual Laura Evans Memorial Breast Cancer Symposium, to National Alliance on Mental Illness-Wood River Chapter, the St. Luke's Center for Community Health in Hailey and to the Blaine County Senior Connection.

Within the last seven years, the foundation has granted an additional $5 million to support the hospital and other community health-care partners.

In excess of $20 million in community donations and a $16 million contribution from St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise funded the cost of building and equipping the hospital. There was no debt financing, and no taxpayer dollars were used.




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