Advancing Health Care Technology Through Philanthropy – The Union

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Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation recently announced that the board of directors voted to approve new technology purchases for Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital from its Area of Greatest Need Fund.
New and advanced technology to support patient care has been a priority of SNMH. Donations from community members to SNMH Foundation are supporting these efforts.
Donations to the Area of Greatest Need Fund at SNMH Foundation this year will provide a new Infant Alarm System for the Family Birth Center, a neonatal ventilator, a new ambulance, a new vital signs machine, and new chairs for patient rooms.
“Donations made to our Area of Greatest Need Fund are incredibly valuable because it allows our board and the hospital to work together to fund the most pressing needs this year that will directly improve patient care,” said Sandra Barrington, Executive Director of SNMH Foundation.
Additionally, last year donors raised $350,000 for the Surgery Department at SNMH and that technology and equipment is now being implemented. Donor support is providing new and upgraded technology for the surgery department including: a new warming cabinet unit, a C-Arm for imaging during surgeries, a vital signs machine, a new orthopedic operating table, a specimen radiography system for breast cancer surgeries, urology cameras, electrosurgical generators, and a hysteroscope for hysterectomies.
Community support also recently helped purchase a new 3D mammography machine for the Women’s Imaging Center. SNMH performs thousands of screening mammograms each year, making it vital that the hospital has access to the most up-to-date imaging capabilities.
“The new imaging equipment can detect smaller and smaller cancers so that breast cancer is caught in the earliest stage possible which saves lives.” said Barrington. “Having access to the latest technology and equipment helps fulfill our promise to increase access to health care locally. Improving access to health care happens in a variety of ways. Part of access is having the tools and resources, such as equipment, so that patients don’t have to go out of the area. Just because we live in a rural community, doesn’t mean that we can’t have excellent health care services right here.”
There are 57 million Americans living in rural areas. The Health and Human Resources Administration reports that rural communities continue to face a number of systemic and long-standing health care challenges.
Rural areas often have fewer primary and specialty care physicians and mental health professionals as well as fewer home and community-based service providers compared to urban areas. They face a range of health disparities, including greater obesity and disease burden in children and adults, higher mortality rates, and shorter life expectancy compared to urban areas.
Furthermore, rural communities can face particular social risk factors, such as limited employment and education opportunities. In combination, these challenges can worsen (or be caused by) population health crises, such as the opioid crisis.
“Philanthropy can be a solution to the challenges rural communities face,” Barrington says. “We are lucky to have a nonprofit hospital in our community that will treat anyone who walks in the doors regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. We live in a community with a high Medi-Cal and Medicare population where reimbursement for services under this model does not cover the cost of care.”
The hospital’s most recent Community Benefit Report shows in fiscal year 2021 (FY21), SNMH provided $4,505,751 in patient financial assistance, unreimbursed costs of Medicaid, community health improvement services and other community benefits. The hospital also incurred $36,393,673 in unreimbursed costs of caring for patients covered by Medicare.
“Donations from community members, grants, business support, and fundraising from special events helps fill these gaps and ensures that our hospital has access to funding to make these technology purchases and improve patient care close to home,” said Barrington. “We are incredibly grateful for the support from our community and every single donor and donation makes a difference.”
How You Can Help
SNMH Foundation will continue to raise funds to support the Area of Greatest Need for new equipment and technology. The current focus of the organization is to raise $300,000 for the Sierra Nevada Family Medicine Residency Program to create a residency program of excellence and train new physicians in our community. For more information, including how you can help, visit or call 530.477.9700.

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation recently announced that the board of directors voted to approve new technology purchases for Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital from its Area of Greatest Need Fund.

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