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BGH Foundation raises $235,000 for trauma radiology

by PATTY HUTCHENS Contributing Writer
| March 15, 2022 1:00 AM

It was another record-setting Heart Ball fundraiser for the Bonner General Health Foundation, and those involved could not be more grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.

“The fact we were able to raise $235,000 during a virtual fundraiser and economically uncertain times is a tribute to our incredible supporters,” Georgia Simmons, foundation member and Heart Ball chairperson, said.

The February 12 Virtual Heart Ball raised funds for trauma radiology; a cause that the foundation recognized as a great need at the hometown hospital.

The proceeds will fund a state-of-the-art X-ray machine designed specifically for trauma patients. Funds received from a separate grant will be used to construct the additional radiology room that will house the new piece of equipment.

Over the last seven years, the volume of CT scans at Bonner General Health has increased by 73 percent, and the X-ray volume has increased by 50 percent making it difficult to always provide immediate imaging in trauma situations. According to Daniel Holland, director of Diagnostic Imaging at Bonner General Health, imaging for time-sensitive emergencies, which include stroke, heart attack, and trauma, has grown by 30 percent since 2018.

“Expediting a diagnosis is essential in determining where to send patients within the windows where lifesaving intervention can produce positive outcomes,” said Erin Binnall, Bonner General Health’s director of Marketing and Community Development for both Bonner General Health and Bonner General Health Foundation. “Adding this Trauma Radiology room and additional high-tech equipment is crucial in providing timely care.”

Holland said he is beyond grateful for the outpouring of support as well as the work the Bonner General Health Foundation board has put into making the Heart Ball as successful as it was this year.

“The new trauma radiography room and X-ray machine at BGH will have a positive impact on the efficiency, quality of exams, and the patient's experience,” Holland said. “As our population has grown in North Idaho, the volume of patients seen at BGH has increased. This is especially true when looking at trauma patients coming from the Emergency Department. This new X-ray machine designed specifically for trauma will allow BGH to continue to meet the needs of our growing community.”

Holland stated that the Trauma Radiology room will be up and running this year.

“We are pulling in an architect and will need plans signed off from the City,” said Holland who anticipates that planning, engineering, and permitting will take somewhere around 90 to 120 days. “Once construction starts, it shouldn't take more than 90 days. So, the earliest would be September and probably more realistically either October or November for completion given the inevitability of delays along the way.”

The Bonner General Health Foundation has played an integral part in allowing Sandpoint’s nonprofit Hometown Hospital to expand its services. Since the Foundation was revived in 2007, it has raised well over one million dollars, a majority of which was in the past few years.

If you would like to donate to its mission, there are many ways to make a lasting impact. Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit the Foundation after your lifetime, you can find a charitable plan that works for you, including monthly giving.

Information: BonnerGeneral.org/foundation; or Erin Binnall or Molly Behrens, at 208-265-1005

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