Donors make it possible for Baxter Regional Medical Center to provide quality
care and to continue giving that care to the community. Thatand#39;s the
message given Thursday night as BRMC honored its supporters and announced
$3 million in gifts to the hospital.
"You," said BRMC President and CEO Ron Peterson, "are the
people who brighten the future of Baxter Regional Medical Center."
Peterson noted how 65 people attended the first appreciation banquet 10
years ago, and how Thursday night more than 400 people were gathered at
the Vada Sheid Community Development Center.
Randall Drake, who chairs the BRMC Foundationand#39;s Planned Giving Committee,
introduced Rick and Pam Fairlamb, who have made a $1.2 million gift to
the hospital. The Fairlambs are hospital volunteers and have been active
in many community activities. He is a former chief of the Clarkridge Volunteer
In a news release, the Fairlambs said having good medical care available
was a factor in their decision to move to the Twin Lakes Area in 1998.
As they volunteered at BRMC, they saw firsthand the quality of the employees
and leadership there, according to the release.
The couple received a standing ovation as they came forward for a presentation
recognizing their gift. The BRMC Auxiliary -- 630 volunteers strong, according
to Barney Larry, executive director of the BRMC Foundation -- provided
another million dollars for the hospital. Larry said that in 2005, the
auxiliary launched a drive to create a $1 million endowment to BRMC. Now
established, the endowment contains $1,152,000.33, said Larry.
Members of the 2005 Auxiliary board and subsequent boards took the stage
as the Auxiliary was honored for reaching its goal. The gift will remain
in perpetuity, and the interest will continue to fund BRMC needs each
year through the Auxiliary.
"This will last forever," Larry told the audience. John Dyess,
chairman of the BRMC Foundation's Major Gifts Committee, presented
$750,000 to Peterson and BRMC Board Chairman Clark Fletcher. The money
was raised through the Adopt-A-Room campaign to remodel the 2 West wing
of the hospital. A similar campaign had financed remodeling of 3 West.
Peterson praised the donors and the community for supporting BRMC. Itand#39;s
due to such support that BRMC has been able to do $2.5 million in recent
remodeling and improvements. Thanks to them, said Peterson, the hospital
has helped 500 people through scholarships and financial support to earn
degrees and advanced degrees. In other words, he said, they provided jobs
and careers for 500 people. Despite facing Medicare cuts -- $40 million
through 10 years -- BRMC is able to continue providing quality medical
care and service, said Peterson. "There is more work to be done,
more people to be treated, and more people to be saved," Peterson said.
Fletcher told the audience that among Arkansas hospitals, BRMC ranks in
the upper quadrant for the quality of care, yet is in the lowest quadrant
in Medicare reimbursement. Theoretically, a hospital canand#39;t provide
such care on Medicare, Medicaid and other reimbursements alone, he said.
But BRMC does, and Fletcher cited three factors:
- A medical community that works hard and efficiently.
- A volunteer organization he dubbed "the yellow-shirt army." "There's
nothing as strong as the heart and spirit of a volunteer," said Fletcher.
- Donors who entrust their assets to BRMC, "and they expect good things
to be done with them."
"Even with the cuts in Medicare, we are providing quality medicine,"
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction
or distribution is prohibited without permission.