Hospital completes fundraising campaign with community support
Northern Light AR Gould Hospital recently announced it has successfully met its cardiac telemonitoring fundraising goal nine months earlier than planned thanks to tremendous community support.
“We are humbled by the generosity of the community,” said Greg LaFrancois, president of AR Gould Hospital. “This new equipment will improve and expand our patient care capabilities. Our donors saw the need for it and stepped up in a big way.”
The $220,000 raised is purchasing a state-of-the-art cardiac telemonitoring system to replace the one currently aging out at the hospital. It will also go toward expanding the system to cover more patients.
Cardiac telemonitoring constantly monitors a patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen level. It allows healthcare providers to better understand patients’ conditions and make treatment decisions. It also gives early warnings of complications and emergencies.
Patients of all ages require monitoring, from newborns failing to thrive to seniors with congestive heart failure. Heart attack, stroke, COVID-19, and many other conditions are watched via this technology.
“It’s a life changer in efficient patient care,” said Seleipiri Akobo, MD. “It gives us data in real-time and helps us respond to the dynamic nature of our patients’ care.”
The fundraising campaign began in the fall of 2020, when Beverly Silver Bachrach, gave $10,000 to the effort in memory of her father, Alex Silver. Bachrach now lives in Florida, but she grew up in Presque Isle and enjoys supporting her childhood community.
Soon after her gift, MMG Insurance came on-board with a $25,000 donation. Other companies joined in and made significant contributions, including Huber Engineered Woods, Walmart, Northeast Packaging, Columbia Forest Products, Machias Savings Bank, the KeyBank Foundation, and more.
Community members also donated gifts of all sizes. Two such contributions came on the heels of Bachrach’s gift. Bob and Donna Umphrey, who had already given through their company, decided to make a second donation to match Bachrach’s. Donna Umphrey and Bachrach had been childhood friends. Then Helen McConnell, Bachrach’s first grade teacher, was similarly moved and donated in memory of Bachrach’s parents, Alex and Edith Silver.
AR Gould Hospital board members, leaders, managers, providers, and staff supported the initiative as well. Several took the opportunity, like Bachrach, to honor or remember someone important in their own life through the gift.
At the end of 2021, the campaign came to a quick conclusion when AR Gould Hospital received several large grants from Davis Family Foundation, The Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, Robert Bruce and Beatrice Blacky Goodrich Trust, and The Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, as well as more individual gifts, including another from Bachrach.
A full listing of donors can be viewed at northernlighthealth.org/cardiacmonitoring
After honoring her father’s memory with these campaign contributions, Bachrach looked for an opportunity to do the same for her mother. She made a separate gift to pay for a specialized device that measures lung inflammation in asthmatics, as her mom had suffered from asthma her entire adult life.
“It is a great feeling to know that the hospital will be able to help more people,” Bachrach said. “I plan to continue giving to AR Gould. I think my parents would be pleased to see me supporting a place they cared so much about during their lifetimes.”
While the cardiac telemonitoring equipment will soon be in place serving patients, there are always more needs at the hospital. Fundraising continues for ongoing needs in Cancer Care, patient assistance, workforce development and other areas.
For more information on donating to AR Gould Hospital, please visit northernlighthealth.org/giveARGould
or contact Hollie Wolverton as 207-768-4250.