MADISON — Boone Memorial Hospital is often known for its welcoming, family oriented atmosphere; one that embraces its community. The 25 bed Critical Access Hospital opened its doors in 1964 with the philosophy of serving its patients on a personal level while providing excellent care and community outreach.
“We treat each patient on an individual basis. We want to ensure that our patients and their families feel at ease and comfortable here and that they are not treated like just another number. We also try to offer various community service events, as we have for many years. I feel it’s vital to provide as many health outreach programs as possible to not only better our relationship and connection with the community but to improve the overall health of our citizens,” said Tommy Mullins, BMH CEO.
Boone Memorial Hospital continues to hold its annual health fair each October.
“Over 600 people came this year,” explained Mullins, “which is nearly triple the attendance we had when we held our first fair years ago. Many people in our community benefit from the discounted blood work, flu shots and health screenings,” he said.
The hospital holds Lunch and Learn sessions focusing on a number of topics such as heart health, diabetes, nutrition, cancer and more. They continue to partner with the American Heart Association to sponsor at least three blood drives per year, support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life while serving as a Community Network partner for the organization and also support the local food bank by organizing at least 2-3 food drives per year for the organization. BMH also held a 3-part Diabetic Class this year in partnership with the EDC (Everyone with Diabetes Counts) program. All programs and events are free to the public.
In addition, BMH is the founder of Boone County Ladie’s Night Out, an event dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, which is now organized by the local Julia Price Breast Cancer Support Group. The hospital continues to support the event and also attends the annual breast cancer awareness month kick-off event held at the Court House. The hospital offers ½ price mammograms each October and has for several years.
“Every patient who gets a mammogram in October also receives a free gift,” said Greg Zornes, Director of the BMH Radiology Program.
The hospital partners with the American Heart Association to celebrate and support the Go Red for Women Campaign and has participated in the United Way’s Day of Caring the past three years.
“We continue to hold our annual Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinic, which remains to be one of our most successful events,” said Karlie Belle Price, Public Relations and Marketing Director. “For the past two years we have combined our drive thru clinic with a tribute to our Veteran’s. The event was held on Veteran’s Day and open to the entire community; Veteran’s received free flu shots and a certificate of appreciation,” added Price.
A community task force known as All About Health, BMH Working for a Healthy Community, was developed several years ago and offers education programs across the county on both large and small scales such as health fairs, cooking shows and innovative health education events. The BMH Auxiliary group remains to be a pillar in the BMH Community.
“Our Auxiliary is instrumental in assisting in these events and many fundraising efforts to improve our hospital,” said Mullins. “They even provide scholarships to local youth,” he added.
“In addition to our volunteer groups, staff including BMH Nurses, Medical Staff and even our Board of Directors have volunteered to Read Aloud and attend career day among other programs in the schools, administer blood pressures and blood work or simply volunteer their time at various community events. We also give tours of the hospital,” he explained.
In April 2014 BMH will celebrate 50 years service to its community. The hospital’s most recent news, which will greatly benefit the community, is the fact that they will break ground on a new facility this year.
“I feel it has been a long time coming, but one that has been much needed. I’m very excited that we are closer to seeing a long-time dream come true, not for me, but for the community. The fact that it’s happening at our 50 year Anniversary is a great feeling,” said Mullins. “The Board of Directors is certain this new design will provide modern, quality medical health care to our citizens,” he added.
In addition to the new hospital project, BMH embarked on yet another new venture this year. It opened a new pulmonary rehabilitation center in November. The center is named in honor of Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, the wife of former ABC news “Nightline” anchor, Ted Koppel. BMH is one of three rural health organizations in West Virginia to receive financial support from the Dorney Koppel Family Charitable Foundation to open the center that will greatly impact the community.
“We feel this state-of-the-art rehabilitation program will greatly help patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other breathing problems. With such high rates of breathing disorders in our area we feel this is just another way we can positively impact the community at-large,” said William Carte, RRT, Director of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at BMH.
“We truly are a community hospital and have solid plans to serve it indefinitely,” said Mullins. “Without this community our hospital would not exist, nor would we be breaking ground on a new facility. We will continue our promise to provide quality healthcare while offering often limited resources and educational opportunities through community outreach. It’s the least we can do for a community who has done so much for us,” he concludes.