SMITH CENTER, Kan. – The employees from Smith County Memorial Hospital thank the public for their outpouring of support on Saturday evening at the annual dinner and auction fundraiser. The event raised more than $15,000 for lab equipment and furniture for the labor and delivery department.
“The fundraiser was a huge success,” said Julie Haresnape, who organized much of the event along with other SCMH employee volunteers. “Our communities are so generous. We come to them with a need and they do their best to help us achieve our fundraising goals.”
The hospital’s takeaway from the fundraiser should be enough to cover both needs this year.
“Last year we skipped the fundraiser thinking it was too close to the move to know exactly what our needs would be,” Haresnape said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout of attendees and auction item donations.”
This year the proceeds will be spent to purchase much-needed laboratory equipment and labor and delivery furniture.
A new Ortho workstation will benefit the hospital’s lab. The new workstation will allow the laboratory staff to continue providing support to obstetrics and emergency room patients without having to send away for blood products.
“This is an upgrade to existing equipment that is out-of-date and no longer serviceable,” said Allen Van Driel, CEO of the hospital. “We want our patients—especially our OB and ER patients—to have timely and accurate care and the Ortho workstation is part of that care.”
Families expecting newborns will soon find the OB rooms at the hospital even more accommodating. Sleeper sofas are intended to be used by family members of expecting mothers. Because new moms labor, deliver and recover in the same room at the new building, the nursing staff has recommended this as a benefit to their loved ones.
“The new building has rooms that will accommodate sleeper sofas for family members,” Van Driel said. “We didn’t have room for family members to comfortably stay with expecting mothers at the old facility and we’re pleased to be able to provide this extra care.”
Van Driel is pleased with the support from the community.
“We understand that this is a new, state-of-the-art facility and there could be the perception that we have all we need,” Van Driel said. “However, as with any major project, you build a budget and stick to it. This equipment and furniture will improve patient care. That is always our priority.”
From Van Driel’s perspective, the fundraiser in Smith County is a little different than that of other hospitals he’s worked at.
“There’s something special about this community,” Van Driel said. “Most of the places I’ve worked have fundraisers but don’t bring in nearly the amount of money that this one does. The businesses and community members that donate their goods and services as well as participate in the dinner and auction are simply outstanding.”