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Grant for Skyline X-ray gear hinges on local support

$12,000 needed over next few months

With a chance to gain a grant of $180,000, the Skyline Foundation is hoping to raise approximately $12,000 over the next few months.

According to Mike Madden, administrator of Skyline Hospital, the grant is contingent upon local financial support. If that support can be demonstrated, Skyline plans to upgrade its X-ray capabilities, which Madden believes is a critical need for the medical facility.

"We've applied for a grant to replace radiographic and fluoroscope X-ray room equipment that dates from the 1990s," Madden said. "That's really old for electronics equipment. We've been having difficulty getting parts for it."

The grant would be provided by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, a Vancouver organization.

Madden said the hospital needs to come up with approximately $15,000 in local matching funds, but already has about $3,000 in hand.

"If we can raise about $12,000 as a community, our $12,000 turns into $330,000 worth of equipment. That's pretty good leverage for $12,000," Madden said.

Hospital officials are optimistic the grant will be forthcoming -- provided the local community supports the project with donations sufficient to reach the needed amount.

"The Murdock Trust wants to see wide community support before issuing grants. They look at, not necessarily just getting the amount, but support from a broad cross-section of the community," Madden pointed out. "If we get the grant from the Murdock Trust, it would be for approximately $180,000. We would make up the rest with the Rural Hospital Access Fund program."

Specifically, the hospital wants to purchase a "C-arm" X-ray machine, which is used primarily for orthopedics, laproscope surgery, and gall bladder surgeries. The total cost of the C-arm is $87,000.

"The C-arm is real time X-ray equipment," Madden said.

Madden explained that the C-arm provides live pictures, a significant advantage over traditional X-rays, which are recorded on static film.

Replacing the hospital's aging radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment would cost another $360,000.

"With the growth of the hospital's level of services, it requires us to step up our commitment to equipment too," Madden said.

The deadline to raise the $12,000 in matching funds is late fall.

Skyline Foundation will be the vehicle through which the matching funds will be raised. The Foundation is designed to improve community health programs and hospital services for western Klickitat and eastern Skamania counties via private donations.

"We're asking the community for help," Madden said, adding that all contributions to the fund are tax deductible.

If the campaign is successful, Skyline could have the equipment installed by the end of November.


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