The first million-dollar gift in Mount Desert Island Hospital’s 108-year history will enhance patient care, provide technology upgrades, and support professional development for nursing staff. Bar Harbor summer residents Tris and Ruth Colket recently donated $500,000 and have pledged another $500,000, challenging the community to provide the Hospital with a matching sum.
The million-dollar pledge and matching community funds will allow the Hospital to meet a recently revised capital campaign goal of $3.5 million. The goal for the campaign, begun last year, was originally set at $2.5 million and targeted the modernization of inpatient care units to ensure greater privacy and efficiency. “The Colket’s extremely generous gift allows us to expand the campaign to include two additional components that are crucial to the hospital and our patients,” said Hospital President and CEO Art Blank.
The Hospital will use the additional funds to support the purchase of technology, including a Picture Archiving and Communications System. The system will allow filmless or electronic interpretation and review of medical images such as X-rays and CAT scans. The Hospital will be able to transfer medical images electronically to referral hospitals and consulting providers. “This technology greatly streamlines and improves the management of patient health information,” said John Benson, MD, Director of the Hospital’s Medical Imaging Department. “It also helps us take a big step toward the development of electronic medical records,” added Dr. Benson.
Also planned for the future is acquisition of an upgraded nuclear medicine camera, known as a Gamma Camera. The imaging device will allow radiologists to observe images of the functioning of patient’s organs. Particularly helpful in the diagnosis of heart disease, this technology allows doctors to non-invasively evaluate blood flow to the heart muscle
The funds for nursing education will be added to the Hospital’s endowment and will be available for nurses who want to advance their education. “By supporting the professional growth of our staff, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to quality care for our patients,” explained Jeanne Fortier, Vice President of Clinical Services.
“Not only are we grateful to the Colkets,” said Mr. Blank, “we are also thrilled with the commitment and generosity of our staff and Board.” Mr. Blank pointed out that 100 percent of the Hospital’s medical staff, Board of Trustees, management and many departments in the Hospital have participated in the campaign.
“We ‘re also thankful for the opportunity the Colket’s challenge presents,” added Mr. Blank. “Because we’re confident that our community also recognizes the importance of investing in quality local care. While this is the first gift of its size, the philanthropic support we’ve received over the years has allowed us to overcome many financial challenges that threaten to reduce or eliminate services. Today, thanks to the Colkets, we can continue making improvements that benefit the health of our friends and neighbors.”