As we know, Bandon is a unique and special place. Not only do we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (#85 of 100, according to CNN) but we also have some of the most interesting, most community-minded people on the south coast. From our artists, farmers, educators, chefs, and cyclists, we see strong support for the arts, turnout at festivals and events, and in the patronizing of locally-owned restaurants and businesses. We can see also see the community’s strength in its insistence that its hospital, Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center (SCHC), stay community-owned and independent from larger systems.
In order to keep the SCHC community-owned, it must be able to support itself financially, and that’s where the Southern Coos Health Foundation comes in. Headed up by Executive Director Scott McEachern and a board comprised of community members, the Foundation’s primary charge is to raise money for high-quality patient care at SCHC, keeping it on the leading edge of medicine and technology, and seeing that it best fits the area population while helping it remain independent. They also use the money they raise for healthcare education programs that are geared to and open to the whole community.
Mr. McEachern and the Foundation have done great work to these ends. Recently, they were able to purchase an echo cardiogram for the medical imaging department and a state-of-the-art automated medication management system. They host the annual Women’s Health Day, and perhaps most exciting, in March of 2015, partially due to the Foundation’s fundraising, SCHC was able to open a new outpatient clinic which has already been a great service to the community as well as a new and relatively stable source of income for the hospital.
The outpatient clinic has been an exciting addition, and it is one that the hospital and the Foundation are quite proud of. Aligning with health care best practices, it has meant new providers and a place for people to get their services locally. It boasts a primary care doctor, nurses, attractive and bright exam rooms, a procedure room for its new general surgeon, Dr. Enrique Montaña, podiatry services with Dr. John DiMaggio, as well as a pharmacy, a welcoming and bright lobby, and a collection of mostly local art.
As Bandon is a unique and diverse community, the means of raising funds needs to also be unique and diverse. The majority of the Foundation’s contributions come in the form of donations from individuals, but it also works with Bandon’s businesses and non-profits to sponsor events and in-kind donations. A couple of fundraising events, the Women’s Health Day and the Golf for Health Classic, are critical to the Foundation as well. The proceeds from one year’s Golf for Health Classic helped purchase the hospital a bone density scanner for osteoporosis screening and supported a flu vaccination clinic and a disaster drill.
The Foundation is quite intentional about where it spends its hard-earned funds, wanting to meet the needs and adapt to the changing needs of the community. Mr. McEarchen works closely with the hospital to develop a list of their needs, and then works with the board to determine which are most fundable. In Spring of 2015, the board also developed a community survey to be distributed to all Bandon residents to gather information about their use of the hospital’s services, how they feel their needs are being met, and what services they would like to see.
The SCHC as well as the Southern Coos Health Foundation are always looking for help and support from community members. For those who are able, making a tax-deductable gift is very easy, and it helps make the Foundation’s continued good work possible. Volunteers are always needed in the SCHC Auxiliary which runs the gift shop, and volunteers are needed throughout the year to help with events.
Southern Coos Hospital and Health Care’s motto is “Health Care with a Personal Touch,” and it certainly appears that they and the Southern Coos Health Foundation keep this as their mantra as they plan events and raise and spend funds. All the activities they do are done with an eye to the community, paying attention to its input and its needs, as well as an eye to the future, keeping the community in the best and most up-to-date equipment as possible. It’s nice to know that Bandon is in good hands!