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Foundation Donation Helps Hospital Purchase New Equipment

Philanthropy ILLITS, CA  -- “It’s not every day that someone walks into your office and hands you an unsolicited donation,” shares President and CEO of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH), Rick Bockmann, when recalling the day when William Bowen, M.D., walked into his office with a grin and envelope in hand. “Imagine my surprise and elation as I opened the envelope and discovered a check for $346,500!”

The contribution came from the Howard Community Healthcare Foundation’s (HCHF) six year journey procuring a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to expand and improve the health care services provided in Willits. Craig Meyers, a key lobbyist for rural communities in Washington D.C., was approached by the HCHF to help find grants for rural communities. Meyers first initiated the HCHF’s interest in procuring the grant along with support from Congressman Mike Thompson, representative for California’s Fifth District.

Initially the HCHF was planning on using the grant to develop a wellness center. “Part of our mission is to improve the overall health care of our community and with a new campus we wanted to develop a wellness center where the community could learn about proper nutrition, exercise, and attend seminars,” shared Margie Handley, president of the Frank R. Howard Foundation, who continued, “As time progressed we realized that we could utilize the grant for a more immediate equipment need, a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.”

A new MRI machine would cost the hospital over $1,000,000, but is a purchase the executive team at HMH feels is well worth it to continue to provide high-quality state-of-the-art care to the Willits community.

According to Katie Hageman, interim director of medical imaging at HMH, “Our department was excited to hear about the contribution! We are so thankful for the support of the HCHF.  Our patients, especially people with claustrophobia will feel less restricted with the wider and shorter bore of the new MRI scanner. So if our patients have a problem with restricted and confined spaces this new MRI will help put them more at ease. Our physicians will enjoy the 90 percent achievable reduction in metal artifacts with the new MRI scanner in their joint replacement patients. This new technology will impact the way our physicians are able to diagnosis, stage and monitor the severity of disease in patients with previous joint replacement surgeries.  We are looking forward to provide faster imaging with better resolution to our community.”

In conclusion Bockmann shared, “Besides being known for superb patient care, we also have a thriving orthopedics program that boasts attracting patients from all over California and even abroad! This new MRI machine will allow us to continue the superb orthopedic care our community has come to expect from us at HMH. We are truly thankful to the HCHF for their contribution and continued support of the hospital.”

Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed acute care hospital recognized internationally for dedication to high quality patient-centered care. Services include the Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California, state-of-the-art radiology imaging, laboratory, in-patient and out-patient surgery, 24 hour emergency services, physical therapy, and soon to be full service restaurant. 

Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,600 includes more than 20,500 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,600 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 220 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. 


Photo Cutline: HMH’s executive team receives the check from Frank R. Howard Foundation officials; Margie Handley, president and Richard Willoughby, board member. The donation will help purchase a new MRI machine for the new hospital (From left to right, Katie Hageman, interim director, HMH medical imaging; Margie Handley; Richard Willoughby; Rick Bockmann, Karen Scott, VP for Patient Care; and Chris Sauder, Chief Financial Officer.