Medical Center campaign complete thanks to donation from former SL doctor Petty
A doctor who practiced in Storm Lake in the 1970s has cured Buena Vista Medical Center's fundraising growing pains.
A substantial pledge from Dr. W.M. Petty and Nancy Petty of Grand Junction, Colorado has put the medical center's long campaign to raise $2 million over the top, BVRMC Foundation Director Brad Strader announced Thursday.
In return, BVRMC plans to name the conference center/ auditorium that is part of the upcoming expansion of the facility in honor of the Pettys.
The couple became involved late in the campaign, after foundation officials admit that the momentum had stalled in the effort to raise the last few hundred thousand dollars needed. The donation campaign is intended to cover part of the major expansion project that will get underway with a public groundbreaking event April 12. The project includes the new Center for Women's Health, rehabilitation department, a physical connection with the nearby clinic, and major renovations to the emergency, labs, office and shops elements of the medical center.
The auditorium was in danger of being possibly deleted from the project if enough funds had not been raised.
"Through the Petty gift, the construction of the conference center recently approved by the BVRMC Trustees will now become a reality and will be dedicated as the 'Petty Educational Institute,'" Strader said. "It will serve as the focal point for many professional conferences we can now host, along with community and regional meeting designed to enhance the lives of the people served. BVRMC will truly be a regional center with the fulfillment of this plan."
Petty practiced at the local hospital in the 1970s as an MD, and through a unique career, added veterinary medicine and psychiatry practices to his resume. A native of the Newell area, he remains active in many interests into his 70s.
Although he has lived in Colorado for some time, Petty has closely followed progress in Storm Lake, and expressed special appreciation for the advances in education and multiculturalism he has seen, Strader said.
Petty also owns the Harbor House site in Storm Lake and the Cobblestone Inn at Lakeside, two sites of considerable interest for community developments.
With help from Petty's local representatives, BVRMC wrote him a proposal about the campaign, and the response was quick and positive, Strader said. "We are very grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Petty for their commitment to the future of BVRMC," Strader said.
The campaign's roots run back more than five years, as the Schaller family helped to orchestrate a major land gift hoping to spur development of a Women's Health Center for Storm Lake. The public fund drive started a year ago, running well beyond its original finish date as the September 11 tragedies and economic worries made the effort difficult.
"There were times when we really wondered if we could make it to the $2 million," Strader said. "We found that it takes time, but the support of the community has been wonderful. We still have a few situations out there that could raise the total a little higher, and there are certainly good uses for any additional money as we start to equip the new areas."
The auditorium will be located in a new construction area near the northeast corner of the structure. It will seat 80 people, and be flexible enough to divide into three smaller meeting rooms in a matter of minutes. It will feature a separate entrance and restroom facilities.
The auditorium can help attract visitors to the community in the form of medical seminars, educational events, and a variety of community gathering opportunities, Strader said. "It can be a magnet. Normally, a hospital is a place you only come in a traumatic situation for yourself and a loved one. It will be wonderful to attract many people into our city and facility for proactive experiences, when they can really appreciate what we are doing and what we have to offer. As our facility grows, there becomes an element that is not just for medical needs."
When the facility changed its name from a hospital to a "regional medical center," it was more than a change in terminology, becoming a vision of a full-service medical, health education and preventative care facility for the whole family and the whole region surrounding the Buena Vista County area, Strader said.
The campaign was lead b a dedicated group of area leaders with strong beliefs in the importance of quality, local health care services. It is the largest, single fundraising effort for BVRMC achieved solely from private donations. "The campaign team deserves tremendous thanks for the success of this campaign. They are responsible for telling the BVRMC story to many in the region and obtaining the financial support needed to make this building project a reality," said Strader. We cannot thank them enough." The campaign leaders are Dr. Paul Barber, David Dvergsten, Grace Ivey, Dale Carver, Deb Baschke, Becki Drahota, Tracee Dierenfield, Dr. Don Crouch, Dr. Rick and Kim Martin, Ron Ellefson and Jim Treat of Storm Lake, Reverend Henry Kuhn, Tom Huseman and Sue and Jerry Kleymann of Alta, Dr. Velma Boston of Schaller, Steve and Kolesa Kier an Willard and Edna Schuler of Newell, and Darwin and Dolores Johnson, Walter Wilkens and Mary Ann Diehl of Albert City. Serving as advisors to the campaign are Reverend Clarence Richardson and Wayne Forbes of Storm Lake.
BVRMC CEO Jim Sinek adds, "We are very appreciative to Dr. and Mrs. Petty and to everyone in the region who made an investment in the mission of BVRMC. To have this campaign surpass its goal, despite many economic obstacles and national tragedies, speaks very highly of the commitment people have for the future of health care right here at home. The vision of BVRMC to set the standard for innovation and excellence in northwest Iowa will be achieved through this support."
Petty is equally complementary about the local leaders.
"It is only by the foresight, creativity, discipline and leadership displayed by Mr. Jim Sinek and Mr. Brad Strader that a project of this importance to the area could be achieved," concludes Dr. Petty.
In other project news, medical center officials this week discussed the addition of a valet parking service at the main entry, which should assist patients and visitors as construction compromises some parking areas. That service will probably continue after the project if the public wishes, Strader said. Also, a three-dimensional historical display of the hospital's first 50 years is under discussion for the new development area, as well as a display recognizing donors who made the project possible. A permanent display utilizing a "quilt" design is also being discussed to allow families to add "blocks" with their newborns names, while raising funds for the birthing department's needs. Former OB Director Jean Divad is assisting to make the latter project possible.
Everyone is welcome to the groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for April 12, at 4:30 p.m.