Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Golfing "Fore" A Cause

I doubt that anyone had as much fun as we did this weekend. Really, you didn't.

We hosted the CommuniTEE Golf Benefit in Mound City for the hospital. We raised money, we witnessed some good golf and some REALLY bad golf and we laughed until our stomachs hurt. We learned that our cardiologists are better heart surgeons than golfers, that 66 teams of golfers in two days can consume 239 hotdogs and brats and that some things, like community golf tournaments, do not get old even after 22 consecutive years.

Twenty-two years of golf. That means that some of our committee members were not even born when the tournament started. Some of our teams have played every year and many have introduced second generations into this great tradition.

The fact that this tournament is a family affair is one of its best attributes. Just a quick count reveals 21 families that were playing with more than one generation. Many tee off beside their brothers, cousins, sons and daughters. Others come from great distances to be reunited for a great cause and for a few fun rounds of golf.

And if you are a golfer who can't have fun, than this is not the tournament for you. Many of our golfers play less than five times a year, but endure the sore back for a great cause. We also have an equal number of avid golfers who are incredibly patient and happy to switch to the role of teacher when needed. There is a common understanding that everyone comes together for the hospital first and golf second. Really, it's a winning combination, don't you think?

You'll see your fair share of medical personnel trade in the stethoscope for a golf club. Nurses, radiology techs, cardiologists and administrators alike hit the course in support of local healthcare. Golfers or not, they love their community and are happy to spend a day in support of the patients they care about.

Of course, it is not all fun and games. There is a more serious side to our tournament-The side that involves the dollars that we raise. This year, we set out to purchase a new anesthesia machine for our surgery department. When given a goal, you can bet our community will meet and exceed it, and of course they did. From volunteers that sold $1,600 in raffle tickets, to selling brats and hotdogs to the sponsor who graciously contributed $2,000. It was a team effort and one that we can be proud of.

So next year, do not be the one sitting at home while we're out having all the fun. Come play with us Aug. 22 and 23 in Tarkio.

Really, you won't regret it!

To view the list of winners and meet our amazing sponsorings, visit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skilled Care at Community Hospital-Fairfax is "Priceless"

Blu Dow never anticipated what she would do in the event of an emergency. She’s too busy being a mother, teacher, wife and business owner with her husband, Tommy.

But then the Tarkio family was faced with one of the scariest situations of their lives: Tommy was seriously injured in a work accident. After hearing the news that her husband had suffered six fractured ribs, crushed and sheared vertebrae, severely sprained ankles and extensive internal bruising, Blu knew only one thing was clear when asked where her husband would receive skilled care after surgery.

“I was on the phone with Dr. Burke before Tommy even had surgery, trying to figure out how we could get him to back Community Hospital-Fairfax as soon as possible,” Blu said.

After Community Hospital-Fairfax Emergency Room doctors determined Tommy’s injuries required extensive treatment, he spent several days in the ICU at Creighton University Medical Center and underwent back surgery. After seven days, Blu was handed a list of over 20 hospitals to choose from for Tommy’s skilled care where he would receive around the clock care and therapy.

“When they gave me the list, there was no question I wanted Tommy to come home to Community Hospital. It’s much better to be where you know everyone. I knew we could walk in and the people would know our story,” Blu explained.

For the next 3 weeks, the halls of Community Hospital-Fairfax were filled with the sounds of Blu and Tommy’s young children as they visited their dad, played video games and entertained the nursing staff.

Tommy and his biggest fan, son River, in the halls of Community Hospital-Fairfax during Tommy's recovery.

Making them feel at home was a priority for the staff, who knew that being in the hospital for an extended period was challenging, especially over a holiday. Together, the nursing and dietary staff planned for the cafeteria to be left open for the Dow family over Easter weekend.

“We were able to have our whole family come and bring in food for Easter dinner in the hospital cafeteria. We didn’t even ask, they just did it for us and it meant so much. They were so good to us,” Blu said.

Blu and Tommy appreciated the one-on-one attention they received from Dr. Aron Burke, pharmacist Harold Lawrence and the therapy staff, all of whom played a vital role in explaining medication, treatment options and safety concerns with Blu.

“I hope everyone in our community knows that after receiving care at another facility, coming back to Fairfax for skilled care is an option. It was amazing to be with Tommy and also be just a short drive away when I needed to be home with our kids. Overall, I just can’t say enough about how much it meant to me. We had a connection with the staff that you can only find in small, close knit communities. Our experience with Tommy’s skilled care at Community Hospital-Fairfax was priceless.”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Community Hospital-Fairfax has Good Friends and Great Support in its Auxiliary

 If you ask Gerry Tohill of Tarkio why she chose to spend close to 200 hours volunteering for the Auxiliary and Community Hospital-Fairfax this year, she’d give you a long list of reasons.

“Mainly, I chose be an Auxiliary volunteer because I wanted to meet new people, but it has become much more than that. It gives me a great outlet to help others and there is a lot of satisfaction in helping somebody else and giving back to your community,” Gerry said.

Auxiliary members visit during the 2013 Auxiliary Appreciation Luncheon,
 held on July 18, 2013 .

The Annual Auxiliary Luncheon, hosted by the hospital, honors
our wonderful volunteers.

Gerry’s opportunity to help patients while working at the gift shop is something she looks forward to as well.

“We know the staff and we can help direct patients if they need help. Plus, I like the feeling that we are a connection between the public and the hospital. I love to answer questions for people if I can help,” Gerry said.

Gerry’s fellow Auxiliary member, Ann Martin, shares a lot of the same sentiments.

 Ann, who was named the 2013 Auxiliain of the Year and has served as committee Treasurer for many years, says that fundraising for the hospital is rewarding as a volunteer, but as a patient as well.

“Both my husband and I have benefited from equipment the Auxiliary has helped to purchase. I am proud to be a part of that and I am proud of our hospital for serving our community in so many ways.

Ann Martin accepts her award.
In the past 3 years, the Auxiliary has given over $35,000 towards medical equipment for the hospital, including a cystoscope for the Urology Clinic, equipment for the OB/GYN clinic, new exam tables and they also donated money towards a digital mammogram machine in 2011. The Auxiliary also awards scholarships to students in healthcare programs and runs the hospital’s Sunshine Corner Gift Shop. On Thursday, September 19th, the Auxiliary will be hosting a “Bring a Friend” meeting, which would be the perfect time to learn more about joining this worthwhile organization. For more information about the Community Hospital-Fairfax Auxiliary call the hospital at (660) 686-2330 or visit www.