28 May Tuomey Foundation donations have huge impact on health care
BY TRACI QUINN
Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital
When you donate to the Prisma Health Tuomey Foundation, you’re making a tremendous impact on patient care all across Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties.
The foundation has allocated nearly $1 million already this year, funding new equipment, educational materials, public health initiatives, department upgrades and scholarships. That money has been spread across the hospital, used to pay for everything from a bacteria incubator to a bone density scanner, from new recliners for patients to materials to combat childhood obesity.
Historically, the Tuomey Foundation allocated about $500,000 each year to cover the costs of things like dental and eye exams through Care Reach, prevention education programs created by Safe Kids, scholarships for employees and nursing students and Camp SCAMP for asthma sufferers.
Being a part of Palmetto Health and now Prisma Health has been a boon to this philanthropic arm of Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital.
“This year, we will allocate more than $1.5 million to projects at the hospital,” Foundation Director Jeff Faw said. “We have already paid for cafeteria upgrades, new task chairs for nursing stations, renovations at our Outpatient Rehab facility, new recliners and bedside tables, diabetes wellness and education programs, new equipment for Radiology and Cardiac Rehab, ventilators for Respiratory Therapy, laboratory upgrades, communication boards in all patient rooms and more.”
Included in this year’s allocations:
– A DEXA bone density scanner. “There’s already a scanner in the Outpatient Imaging Center, so having one on campus will be a big benefit to our patients,” Angie Gilley, radiology manager, said.
– An IABP intra-aortic balloon pump. This device is a required piece of equipment during invasive cardiac procedures. It’s used when a patient’s heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. Cameron Thomasson, a nurse practitioner with Palmetto Heart-Sumter, said, “It can help patients who have severe chest pain, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure or heart defects. The pump is a short-term device until the heart improves or until more permanent treatment becomes available.” Stacy Jordan, manager of the Cardiac Cath Lab, said the foundation’s gift allowed the department to have no interruptions in service. “The new IABP is small enough to go on the helicopter with the patient, and it’s the same one they use at the Prisma Health Heart Hospital, which creates a smoother transition when the patient is transported.”
– Incubators for the Microbiology Lab. “Microbiology’s main job is to set up cultures from possible infected sites, identify the bacteria, yeast or fungal organisms, and perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing on these organisms,” said microbiology clinical supervisor Maree Hicks. “Basically, we identify the bacteria and test it against different dilutions of antibiotics to see what will work in treatment for the patient. The incubators are vital, because they provide the optimal environment for the bacteria to grow.”
– Mopec Maestro Lab station. “During one of the hurricanes that came through Sumter last year, our pathology grossing station was knocked out,” Robin Davis, supervisor of pathology, said. She explained why the station was important. “We receive specimens from surgery and doctors’ offices in formalin, a preservative whose fumes are poisonous and carcinogenic. The pathologists were having to gown up with protective gear every day to do routine work with them. Mopec Maestro pulls the formalin fumes away from the pathologist and histotechnologists, keeping them safe.”
The foundation also has approved $2 million for the purchase of a da Vinci robotic surgery system. The hospital has submitted an application for a Certificate of Need, and the system will be purchased as soon as it has been approved.