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BGH receives $354K grant

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | November 4, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Bonner General Health has received a $354,500 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in order to purchase a second CT scanner.

Having a second scanner will help the Sandpoint-based hospital better serve patients by allowing quicker diagnoses of strokes and acute trauma, among other health crises, BGH officials said.

"A CT scanner is a critical tool in diagnosing time-sensitive issues such as strokes and trauma,” said Sheryl Rickard, CEO of Bonner General Health.

The hospital has seen patient volume increase 73% since 2014. Only having one CT machine to serve both in-patient and out-patient needs in their coverage area can be challenging, BGH officials said.

“The volume increases that we have experienced in the last few years make it an ongoing challenge to provide timely care to our most critical patients,” Rickard said. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have been granted these funds from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. We value their partnership in improving the care that we provide in our community.”

A 25-bed critical access hospital, Bonner General serves a 3,000-square-mile geographic region in North Idaho and the surrounding area. It currently only has one CT machine to serve its in-patient and out-patient needs across northern Idaho and beyond.

The grant award is part of the trust’s commitment to investing in health care in the region, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust officials said.

“Rural health care access is an ongoing challenge in communities across our region with many residents living extended distances from the nearest medical facility,”said Kim Newman, program director, Murdock Trust. “Given this proximity, it is important that these facilities have the necessary equipment to treat patients when they arrive.”

Newman said the new equipment will help Bonner General provide the best possible service to the community, adding that trust officials are grateful to play a small role in supporting the hospital.

Bonner General officials said the hospital is highly dependent on diagnostic equipment, such as CT machines, because most of its time-sensitive emergency patients are seen at their ER and then transported to more extensive facilities equipped for life-saving intervention. CT machines offer the ability to speed up the diagnosis, which is essential in determining where to send patients within a short window of time, they said.

The grant to Bonner General Health reflects the Murdock Trust’s continued investment in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. To date, the trust has contributed nearly $63.2 million to nonprofits in Idaho through 445 grants and more than $1.2 billion across the Northwest since 1975.

The Murdock Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. "Jack" Murdock, provides grants to organizations in the Pacific Northwest that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the trust has awarded more than 7,800 grants totaling more than $1.2 billion.

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(Courtesy photo)

Bonner General Health has received a $354,500 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in order to purchase a second CT scanner.

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