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Hospital lands donation of $500,000

A longtime Nevada County couple has given a $500,000 challenge gift to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation for the new outpatient imaging and women’s center.

“It will help the hospital and people in general,” said donor Frank Amaral, a county resident for 55 years. He said his son, Lance Amaral of Nevada County, was instrumental in setting the gift up. “I knew they were needing something like that and we rose to the occasion,” Frank said.

“We wanted to help get their fundraising going,” said LaVonne Amaral. “We’re not looking for any publicity on this.”



The money takes the foundation a long way toward its goal of gathering $1.2 million in donations for the new building in Grass Valley, according to Executive Director Kimberly Parker. The $17 million center is currently under construction on a site below the hospital with its own parking, and will mostly be paid for from a reserve account.

“Their intent is to get others to give, or give a second time to the project,” Parker said of the Amarals.




“It will have $5 million in state-of-the-art equipment,” Parker said. “There will no longer be x-rays, everything is digital.

“Within minutes your physician can look at the image (x-ray, or any other body scan) through a password protected Web site,” Parker said. That means doctors will not have to come see an x-ray or have one brought to them.

Parker said the equipment will also allow other experts and specialists to look at images on computers to make quicker and, hopefully, better diagnoses.

“One machine will do what three used to do,” said hospital imaging department manager Chris Braun. “For the patient, it will be faster.”

The new building will have a separate entrance for the women’s center. It will also have three blood drawing stations. That means outpatients can get imaging and blood work done outside of the hospital and not be mixed with emergency room or bed patients, Braun said.

Current good weather has helped Turner Construction get a good jump on the center and the hospital is shooting for an October grand opening, Parker said.

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To contact senior staff writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@theunion.com or call 477-4237.


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