Foundation helps hospital keep equipment up to date

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

While the financially struggling LSU system works to get out of the health care business by privatizing its hospitals, medical centers across the state are forced to do without equipment that could greatly impact medical outcomes.

But thanks to a group of hard working backers, the Bogalusa Medical Center is not in that number.

The LSUBMC Foundation was formed approximately 10 years ago to support the hospital in order to meet the needs of the community. Thanks in part to its annual fundraiser, the foundation provided $71,220 worth of support in 2012 alone.

CEO Kurt Scott said that’s huge for BMC.

“I think the

foundation has done outstanding work,” he said. “They’ve helped us a tremendous amount in keeping our equipment up to date. They’ve provided equipment in almost every department in the hospital. They are an incredible resource.

“It shows the commitment of the community to support this hospital. We really appreciate it.”

If the CEO sounds enthusiastic, the people in the trenches are even more so. Rondlyn Houston is the RN manager for the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit.

She gathered some of the equipment that was purchased with foundation funding and beamed as she explained how each works and how it helps BMC patients.

The equipment includes an IV fluid management system that provides rapid transfusion for trauma and shock patients, two specially designed pediatric crash carts, an external pacemaker for cardiac intervention, two respiratory therapy CO2 monitors, an upper airway glide scope with a light and camera, three temporal thermometers and a Precor treadmill for cardiac rehabilitation.

Houston said the equipment is up to date and top of the line.

The previous pacemakers were “way outdated,” she said.

The pediatric Broselow carts meet the new American Heart Association standard, enable much quicker response and “are used a lot.”

The temporal thermometers also meet the latest standards and allow caregivers to get a temperature reading by simply touching one of the devices to a patient’s temple.

And the “rapid infuser” enables much faster fluid delivery.

“When a patient needs fluid, it normally takes an hour to (infuse) a bag,” Houston said. “With this, if someone is in trauma or really sick, we can infuse a third of a bag in one minute.”

The new system can also act as a blood or fluid warmer, she said.

The foundation “is a big plus for us,” Houston exclaimed.

“Our mission is caring for our community like family, and the foundation helps us to do that by giving us the opportunity to purchase such critical equipment,” she said.

“This equipment helps us take care of patients in the most critical situations like we’d want to take care of our families, and it’s the best and most up to date equipment.”

Beverly Sheridan, director of support services, education and more, echoed the appreciation. She said the foundation meets its mission by providing “critical equipment needs.”

“They help us purchase, for the hospital, items identified as necessary for patient care,” she said. “They’ve helped us get some really critical pieces of equipment, particularly in emergency and major trauma.”

Foundation President Tommie Jean Rayburn and Fundraiser Chair Ellie Massey were delighted to witness the in-hospital enthusiasm for the foundation.

“It feels good seeing how excited the people in the hospital are,” Massey said. “I hope people in the community feel very good, too. It’s important that they realize how important every little thing they do is, how much difference it makes.”

The next annual fundraiser is scheduled for Nov. 2. For additional information about the foundation, the fundraiser or sponsorship opportunities, call Massey at 732-2894.