Generous contributions, mostly from individuals and local businesses, helped the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) Foundation provide more than $1 million in support to the hospital in the fiscal year just ended.
SNMH Foundation Executive Director Kimberly Parker announced the total, noting that disbursement of funds has exceeded the million-dollar mark for a number of years.
“Philanthropic support from the community continues to be really essential as the hospital’s needs continue to increase,” Parker said.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, the SNMH Foundation supported a wide variety of hospital needs that will have a direct bearing on patient services and quality of care, she added.
Of the total distribution of $1,036,840, nearly $780,000 was used for the hospital’s capital needs, with the remainder devoted to program support, Parker said.
Hospital President and CEO Katherine A. Medeiros said community support received through the SNMH Foundation is vital to the hospital’s continuing ability to care for patients.
“Our Foundation support is crucial,” Medeiros said. “Those gifts help us purchase equipment, and maintain a number of patient support activities that we might otherwise not be able to continue. Also, each philanthropic dollar we receive frees a budget dollar for another important need. The hospital is truly grateful for the support of our community and the hard work done by the Foundation and its wonderful volunteer board.”
Parker noted that individual and business support accounts for 75 to 80 percent of the gift income raised by the foundation each year, and grants account for the rest.
Among the capital projects funded in the past year:
• Equipment for cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation
• Surgical equipment
• Additional equipment to make the hospital’s MRI scanner more effective in diagnosing breast cancer
• Telemetry units
• Neonatal card monitors and sleep sacs for the Women & Infant Care Unit
• Support for the hospital’s ongoing conversion to electronic health records
• Patient care boards throughout the hospital
• Remodeling of the Inpatient Lobby.
Tim Stephens, vice president for professional services, explained the importance of the MRI scanning support.
“The MRI computer aided detection system (CAD) allows for more precision and accurate targeting of potential cancerous tissue,” he said. “The software can identify tissue that could potentially be cancer based on how it responds to an injection during the MRI. If the tissue is suspicious, we obtain a sample for analysis by a pathologist.”
Funds used for patient support included:
• Costs for Cancer Center support groups
• Funding of the Barbara Schmidt Millar Fund for mammograms for men and women.
“We would not be able to do a lot of the things we do for patients without the Foundation’s help,” said Chris Cidonio, radiation oncology manager. “They help with our patient and family support groups, and are always there to help us with equipment needs. Our patients greatly appreciate the current technology.”
“We’re proud of our history of support for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital,” Parker stated. “SNMH is part of the Dignity Health system of nonprofit hospitals, and in the past five years Foundations affiliated with those hospitals have provided approximately half a billion dollars in their support. That’s a significant indication of the importance of philanthropy.”
Parker praised her Foundation’s 17-member volunteer board, led by President Allison Jones-Pomatto.
“These are all local people, committed to improving the quality of life here by assuring the best possible health care through support of the hospital,” she said. “By their participation they demonstrate leadership and inspire others to give.”
For more information, the SNMH Foundation office can be reached at (530) 477-9700.
All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.