SANDPOINT – Bonner General Health is pleased to announce they are the recipient of a grant from the Sunderland Foundation. The grant award of $200,000 will fund portions of an Emergency Department renovation, to take place this fall.
The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as President of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years as a highly respected leader in the cement industry. Since its inception, the Foundation has focused on supporting construction projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and other markets traditionally served by the Ash Grove Cement Company. Grants are typically awarded for planning, design, construction, renovation, repairs, and restoration in areas of Higher Education, Human Services, Arts & Culture, Health Care & Hospitals.
The Bonner General Health Community Development Department began searching for grant opportunities after the previously scheduled Emergency Department renovation was put on indefinite hold due to a reduction in revenue as a result of COVID-19. The project was slated to begin in October of this year. Like most healthcare organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, resulting in forced closures of non-essential services, staff furloughs, unfortunate lay-offs, and a 70% loss of revenue. The funds allotted for the remodel were no longer available, but the need was just as essential, if not more so after community spread of COVID-19 arose in our area. Letters of support were written by Bonner County EMS and Emergency Department Medical Director and ED Physician Dr. Vince Huntsberger, expressing the urgent need for the remodel.
The Bonner General Health Emergency Department employs 26 staff members, services the communities of Northern Idaho and North-Western Montana, and provided 10,447 emergency visits in 2019. Established in 1949 and housed in its current location since 1973, the Emergency Department has not seen an update in 31 years. The renovation will include work stations for doctors and nurses, expansion of the paramedic entryway, patient room improvements, updated windows, flooring, lighting, and ceiling tiles. The changes in the Emergency Department will improve the patient flow and experience, protect the privacy of patients, and promote a safe and secure place to receive care.
“We are thankful to the Sunderland Foundation for selecting Bonner General Health as a recipient of this generous grant. A visit to the Emergency Department is generally unplanned and can be a frightening experience. This grant will enable us to improve our patients’ experiences and increase our ability to respond to our community’s needs.,” Sheryl Rickard, CEO, Bonner General Health.
Bonner General Health is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and healthcare network of outpatient clinics and services serving Sandpoint, Idaho, and the surrounding region. For more information visit www.bonnergeneral.org. For more information on the Sunderland Foundation visit www.sunderland.org.