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Hospital gets big boost for new ICU project

 

By Michael Howell

After receiving an anonymous challenge donation of $800,000 for construction of a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital (MDMH) recently announced another $100,000 has been donated by the Jane S. Heman Foundation to help jump start the donations needed to match that challenge grant.

Ron Kullick, Director of Inspired Giving at the MDMH Foundation, was on hand at the hospital last week along with Bob Thomas who serves on the board of the Jane S. Heman Foundation to help boost the fund raising effort. Kullick said that the hospital recognized that the need for such facility improvements was so great that the decision was made to proceed with construction before the $3.2 million funds were in hand, and so far, contributions are keeping up with the contract schedule. Thanks to many contributors, including the Jane S. Heman Foundation, close to $367,000 has been raised to meet the $800,000 Challenge Grant. Overall, the hospital is a little over halfway to meeting the total projected cost, having raised $1,720,196.57 to date. The hope is to have raised the entire $3.2 million by the time construction is completed. The forecast for completion is late fall of 2014.

The new ICU will increase the number of beds from three to five. But more importantly, it will vastly increase the quality of care in the ICU. The current facility has three beds only separated by curtains. The new facility will provide private separate rooms for five patients. Kullick said the privacy afforded the patients and their families and friends was an immense improvement. The new facility will also have a private waiting room for visitors and a private consultation room. One of the rooms will meet special isolation requirements for especially infectious cases.

“This is going to help everybody, the patients, the patient’s family and the care givers,” said Kullick.

Thomas said that the mission of the Jane S. Heman Foundation was to serve education and health care needs in Ravalli and Missoula Counties, although they make regional donations as well. He said after taking a tour of the hospital and getting the lowdown on the ICU expansion plans, his board realized it fit their aims to a tee.

“This ICU expansion is critical to the overall success of their services and we felt it was very worthy of our help,” said Thomas. Thomas said that Jane Heman, originally from Pennsylvania, relocated to the Bitterroot Valley near Corvallis in the last years of her life.

“She was not a well-known person,” said Thomas, “but she loved the Bitterroot Valley and decided to place her estate in a foundation that would serve the education and health care needs of the citizens in the area.”

“It was easy for us to get behind this,” said Thomas. “We were hoping to be a catalyst in the attempt to meet the challenge grant and it seems to have helped. The validity and worthiness of this effort continues to snowball.”

Due to the project, the main entrance to the hospital will be closed during the construction process. The new temporary entrance is located just a bit to the east where the new MRI was temporarily housed. There are lots of signs directing visitors to the temporary entrance.

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