Submitted by Teton Valley Hospital Foundation
This piece was originally published in the May 19, 2016 issue of the Teton Valley News as part of the weekly Nonprofit Spotlight presented by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley.
At the core of everyone’s existence in Teton Valley, there’s a common need. If you like to hunt, fish, hike, bike, walk, read, knit, ski, cook, or whatever, you need to have the health required to enjoy what you love to do. For those of us who are aware of our mortality and respectful of the surprise element of medical emergencies, there’s also a need for round the clock emergency care that’s accessible within minutes.
Not every town our size has a local hospital and emergency room. There are a lot of people from rural places who have to drive a minimum of an hour or more to reach basic clinical care. For a child with a burst appendix, a hiker hit with a stroke, or a skier with a fractured femur, that’s a very, very long drive; too long for recovery in some cases.
Given the nationwide shortage of family physicians and nurses, it’s also true that not every rural community has the ability to recruit and keep top-notch medical professionals.
We don’t have those issues in Teton Valley. We have a hospital that manages a full-time emergency room. Our hospital offers – onsite- some of the best specialists in our region, and has a formal affiliation agreement with University of Utah Health Care telemedicine services. We have great physicians, nurses, and medical technicians who come here for the same reasons as the rest of us: to enjoy the quality of life in Teton Valley.
In fact, in terms of quality medical care, our valley is a bright spot among many darkening lights. Since 2010, 68 rural hospitals across America have closed with hundreds more in danger of closing. (March 6, 2016, Rural U.S. Hospitals in Critical Condition, Henry J. Cordes World-Herald News Service).
Our Hospital Foundation is the fundraising arm of Teton Valley Health Care. We’re an IRS-designated nonprofit and our sole responsibility is to raise funds to help our community hospital stay open and responsive forever. We even have a new logo with a new slogan “Hospital forever” to make sure that everyone knows why we have a Hospital Foundation, and why it matters.
Contributions and grants have paid for a new X-ray and mammography suite, lab equipment, patient room renovations, a free mammogram program, ultrasound units, a new nurse call system, cardiac monitors, boiler replacement and much more, including the construction of the original hospital in 1938 and its expansion in 1999.
For our present population and for future generations, there will be a need for ongoing charitable giving to support local primary and emergency care. Next time you’re enjoying your favorite sports and hobbies in Teton Valley, think about your health and the health of your community and remember: our doors are always open for you and because of you.
For more information about Teton Valley Hospital Foundation or to tour our facility, contact Ann Loyola at (208) 354-6301 or [email protected]. Interested in the impact of hospital closures in small towns? Take a look at the online video http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/small-towns-watch-aging-hospitals-shutter/
If you are affiliated with a Teton Valley nonprofit, we want to hear from you! Help us share why Teton Valley nonprofits matter. Each week, the Community Foundation will highlight a local nonprofit in the pages of the Teton Valley News. Email Dawn Banks, Marketing and Programs Director, at [email protected] or call 208.354.0230. We look forward to helping share your story!