All Posts tagged Teton Valley Hospital Foundation

Diapers, allergy pills, condoms and more now available via medical vending machine at Teton Valley Hospital

Medical Vending Machine

Access this medical vending machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Teton Valley Hospital.

A new type of vending machine has been installed in the public entry way of Teton Valley Hospital. It doesn’t contain the usual fare of candy and soda pop. Instead, people can push the buttons to get Infant Tylenol, oxygen tank nasal cannulas, over-the-counter allergy pills and much more.

After tallying between 10 to 15 requests per month for urgent (but non-emergency) medications and supplies every month, the nursing staff at Teton Valley Hospital recognized a community need for a 24/7 dispenser. The Community Foundation of Teton Valley agreed and contributed a grant award of $2,500 toward the purchase of the $4,300 unit. Teton Valley Hospital Foundation kicked in an additional $1,500 with Teton Valley Hospital paying for inventory and installation.

One local mother shared the story of her one-year old awakening at 2 a.m. with an ear infection. After discovering that she didn’t have any infant pain relievers, she ended up driving to a friend’s home to get the medication. Other people have stories that include night-time drives to pick up diapers, stretch bandages, teething medications, and wound dressings from friends and neighbors.

“Our current selection is based on what people seem to ask for the most, usually in the middle of the night. By law, our nursing and medical staff aren’t permitted to give over-the-counter supplies, yet we want to help people avoid checking into the ER for a condition that’s relatively simple to fix,” says Angela Booker, TVHC chief nursing officer.

Inventory items include:

  • Oxygen tank tubing
  • Anbesol
  • Children’s diapers
  • Anti-acids
  • Bandaging
  • Condoms
  • Contact lens rinse
  • Adult incontinence pads
  • A selection of pain relievers

More items will be added or replaced based on demand. The machine accepts cash and credit cards.

“It can be frustrating to realize that a vital item is missing from your medicine cabinet, especially at a time when all of the stores are closed,” said Booker.

We appreciate the financial support from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and our hospital foundation. People have already made purchases from our machine and have given us good feedback.

If you have a suggestion for a vending machine item, send an email to Teton Valley Health Care at info@tvhcare.org.

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Help us keep broken hearts beating

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Do you prefer to have a heart that keeps beating? If not, keep surfing because what I have to say is of no interest to you.

Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter: warm-hearted people joined our Hospital Foundation campaign to raise over $38,000 for a new Zoll defibrillator for our local ambulance service. This is a vitally important unit to support emergency cardiac care. Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this portion of our Keep it Beating fundraiser. You are truly and I don’t mean the candy.

If you have a soft spot in your heart for Emergency Rooms (and really, who doesn’t? Especially if you have young children) you can shore up your investment in life by donating toward the purchase of an additional cardiac monitor for our ER. Different from the Zoll defibrillator that rides in the ambulance, the cardiac monitor hums along right next to our ER patient, transmitting vitals to the central nurses’ station for continual supervision. It’s a good thing. It follows your heart, among other essential organs like lungs.

Our goal is to have this type of monitor next to each ER exam bed and we just need one more to reach the goal, so we’re coming to you with heart in hand. Consider making a donation of any amount to help us heal broken hearts.

Well, this is kind of a fun exercise using the word “heart” in multiple ways but if I go too far with this, you may get heartsick and exit in a heartbeat, which would be heartless of you.

Instead, open your heart and join in the kind of campaign that everyone with a heart should care about: Keep it Beating.

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Good Choice, Bad Choice: Things that go THUMP in the night

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Anyone can come up with at least one thing that wakes them up in the middle of the night. Barking dogs, thunderstorms, nightmares and so on.

I recently had an unusual wake-up call at 5:15 a.m. when I opened my eyes to a sudden painful scrunching in my left chest area. Not wanting to disturb the peaceful slumber of the two cats and husband beside me, I told myself to breathe calmly, deeply, and (hopefully) continuously. I soon felt a mighty thump in my chest, a release of the squeezing feeling and a burst of warmth flowing to the ends of my toes and fingertips.

So I rested there for about an hour, telling myself to relax relax relax, there was nothing to be concerned about, no need to elbow my husband or nudge the drooling cats off the side of the bed. After all, it was highly unlikely that I was having a heart attack of any type because – well – because I don’t have heart attacks. Then I started ticking off the facts of my basic profile:

  1. I’m 54. Certainly old enough.
  2. Overweight? Check.
  3. Exercise regularly? No.
  4. Family history of heart disease? Yes.
  5. Any chronic issues that could negatively impact my heart? Yes, lupus can affect heart tissue.

That’s five out of five. What would an intelligent person do at this point of realization?

I decided to ignore all of the medical information about heart attack symptoms that I know very well because I’m a healthcare marketer so it’s my job to tell people to get immediate medical assistance if there’s even a miniscule chance that they’re having a heart attack. I fell into the high percentage pool of people who think that it would be terribly embarrassing to call 911 or be driven to the ER, only to discover that the problem was a panic attack or heartburn. After all, what could be worse: dying of a heart attack or having a doctor tell you that you’re not having a heart attack? Ummm …

Anna Gunderson PA-C chastised me gently but thoroughly during my clinic appointment at 10am that morning, reminded me that “time is muscle” and that I should have come to the ER via driver or ambulance, and by the way, shouldn’t I know better?

At the end of the day, my lab tests, an EKG and chest X-ray indicated that I hadn’t suffered a cardiac event. My rheumatologist suspected pericarditis brought on by systemic lupus. While I felt somewhat relieved, I was also smacked with the reality that I could have a heart attack and that in fact, many of my friends and acquaintances could have a heart attack at any moment and need to have their lives saved by the very people with whom I work.

I’m making a donation today to our hospital foundation’s campaign to raise funds to buy a Zoll defibrillator unit for our ambulance and a cardiopulmonary DASH monitor for our E.R. I discovered that last year alone, our current E.R. DASH monitor system assisted 126 people in cardiac distress and almost 500 people with respiratory ailments.

Please consider supporting this campaign for acquiring this essential equipment and who knows? It just might save your life.

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