St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation kicks off 2022 campaign to advance surgical services

BUCKHANNON – It’s their vision, but it’s our health, and that’s why St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation is hopeful that businesses, organizations and individual residents themselves will give a little green to enhance and advance surgical services.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation members want to raise $100,000 through this year’s fundraising campaign, Our Vision – Your Health: Advancing Surgical Services at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which has, since 2015, operated under the umbrella of WVU Medicine.

Hospital and Foundation officials hosted a kickoff event for their 2022 fundraising effort June 23 at the Event Center at Brushy Fork, where Foundation chair John Haskins explained the money will be earmarked to purchase new sterilization equipment used during surgeries. That critically important equipment is kept in the hospital’s Central Sterile Department, where high-temperature steam applied at a maximum pressure over a designated time period eliminates micro-organisms and other viruses and bacteria.

“It’s really to ensure the quality of surgical services at St. Joe’s with the purchase of some new equipment that’s needed as backup support equipment and just really, to improve safety at the hospital during surgery,” Haskins said Thursday evening. “We already provide the best patient care by decreasing the risk of infection with our surgical patients. What this new equipment [will do] is really provide for proper care and maintenance of surgical tools.”

St. Joseph’s Foundation chair John Haskins introduces the Foundation’s 2022 campaign, “Our Vision — Your Health: Advancing Surgical Services at St. Joseph’s Hospital. / Photo by Katie Kuba

Haskins said the hospital’s steel-hardened surgical tools are obviously reused time and again, so they must be meticulously sanitized.

“These tools are reused after surgery; they don’t get thrown away each time, so they have to be properly taken care of to create an atmosphere of no infections,” he said. “So, the surgical sterilization of these steel-hardened surgical instruments – there’s scalpels, forceps, retractors, all of those kinds of things used in surgery – is really important. This is kind of a quick way to say, they really have to be cleaned up and taken great care of for all of you, and really, for anyone who comes into the hospital for surgery.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital president and chief executive officer Skip Gjolberg said the hospital has encountered some glitches with how certain pieces of its sterilization equipment work together as a whole.

“We’ve had some issues with the sterilizer – not with the sterilizer itself, but with the boiler and how that whole system works together,” Gjolberg said. “And so, one of the reasons for the fundraiser this year is to help improve that system, so we don’t have this problem in the future. We have backup plans in place.”

Haskins said Dusty Zickefoose and Lisa Cain are serving as co-chairs of the 2022 campaign, and there are several ways to the cause, including through Amazon Smile and the Foundation’s PayPal account.

Haskins also delivered an overview of how funds generated through the hospital Foundation’s efforts have benefitted patients and the larger community. Some of those projects include the installation of a Hugs and Kisses security system for infants; upgrades to the nursing care facility’s security system; renovation of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Chapel; the purchase of new recliners with heat and massage elements for patients in the chemotherapy suite; the purchase of equipment for cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation; and the installation of a new nursing call bell system, among others.

“Raising money is just part of what we do,” he said. “Another big part of what we do is [cultivating] relationships, probably more so than the money part of it, even though the money part of it is important, and we advocate and promote the hospital and the mission of the hospital in the community. That’s really what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

One of the ways the Foundation raises money is through a charity golf tournament that takes place annually in August at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 4 at the resort’s Raven Golf Club.

To learn more about the campaign or how to donate, visit the Foundation’s website. Donations may be mailed to St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, One Amalia Drive, Buckhannon, WV 26201, and anyone with questions may call the Foundation at 304-473-6819.

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