A donation from the Berklund Foundation towards the purchase of a newborn bilirubin assessment tool for St. Mary’s Hospital was supplemented with an additional donation from Dave and Mary Berklund.
“Foundations are like any other organization because they are also impacted when there is an economic downturn. When the Berklund Foundation had to lessen their donation Dave and Mary Berklund personally contributed $1500 so our OB department could purchase the Bilichek to help ensure a healthy start for our newborns,” said Pam McBride, SMHC Chief Grants Officer. “The Berklund Foundation has made annual awards to St. Mary’s Hospital since 2002.”
Dave Berklund is originally from the area. He was born at the Cottonwood facility. The family foundation is based in Greenacres, Washington. The foundation donations have included funds to purchase two newborn cribs, a newborn warmer, radiology viewing screens, cryotherapy equipment, a patient exam table and reception area furniture for the new clinic. Dave and Mary attended the dedication of the Cottonwood clinic in 2003.
“The new Bilichek is a noninvasive bilirubin assessment tool. There is no heel stick, no lab test, and no waiting for lab result since it measures levels with light thru the skin rather than a needlestick. The BiliChek eliminates the costs and time associated with blood draws and laboratory services. There is less risk of infection, less trauma, and no pain while enabling a faster time to discharge or a decision toward treatment,” said Barb Michels, RN, OB Manager. “We really appreciate the generosity of the Berklunds. It’s allowed us to purchase items and equipment to provide a safe and secure place for infants and their families. We provide a close, personal touch for our families, but it’s nice to also have the necessary equipment, if and when it’s ever needed.”
“I can remember when my older son was born 30 years ago in Boise. He arrived a bit early and I thought the slight yellow tint to his skin was a beatific glow until the nurses told me he had a high bilirubin level and needed to be tested until it reached an acceptable level. Each day for a week I brought him back to the hospital where they withdrew blood from the heels of his tiny feet. Of course, as a new mother it was so painful to see his discomfort,” said Jeanette Gorman, SMHC Community Relations Coordinator. “I am so thankful they now have an electronic means of doing that check and I am thankful that the Berklund family provided the funds to purchase that state-of-the-art equipment.”
The SMH doctors deliver about 65 to 70 babies each year. Prenatal care is available through each of the five satellite medical clinics. Childbirth education classes are taught by Sr. Janet Barnard, a trained OB nurse, and Lisa Halligan, RN, certified childbirth educator and lactation consultant. The four session series is offered the first and third Thursday in Cottonwood and the second and fourth Thursday in Kamiah. The classes are free and there is a different topic for each including a class on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and postpartum care. More information is available on www.facebook.com/SMH Childbirth Education. To register for the series or an individual class call SMH, 962-3251 or the Kamiah Clinic, 935-2588.