The residents of Blaine County, as well as those visiting our beautiful valley, have high expectations when it comes to health care services. This fact coupled with the reality that we live in a relatively remote environment has led the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation to commit to raising $10 million for an Emergency Services Endowment. This endowment will ensure that the hospital’s Emergency Services Department is able to continue staffing the emergency room with all board-certified physicians and nurses with advanced training 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center is the only hospital of its size in Idaho, and one of few in the nation, to provide this level of emergency expertise and service. However, with the seasonal nature of a resort community, the St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center patient volumes fluctuate dramatically and do not reach the critical level necessary to offset the cost of providing such high quality, 24-hour emergency services. The approximate annual cost of operating the Emergency Department at the present level of excellence is $650,000. Few hospitals serving a community this size are able to dedicate such a significant amount of their resources to one department.
To this end, the Foundation is focusing a major portion of its fundraising efforts on building the Emergency Department Endowment so that it will sustain our community’s state-of-the-art emergency service network in perpetuity.