RUMFORD – A trio of operating room nurses and other Rumford Hospital employees kicked off the 2004-05 Annual Appeal by submitting their payroll deduction forms before the first appeal letter was mailed.

Kim Akers, Marie Charleston and Becky Hall are regular donors to the hospital’s annual appeal through payroll deduction.

As “early birds,” they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to high quality care close to home for their friends and neighbors. “We wanted to give the appeal an early boost,” said Hall, the nurse manager of the OR. They were joined at the early sign-up by Pharmacist Gus Carlson and Social Worker Mindy Worthley.

This year’s annual appeal is particularly important to the OR nurses. A portion of the $50,000 the appeal aims to raise will purchase medical equipment for the new and renovated day surgery unit.

Among that equipment are datascope monitors. “It’s vital that every surgical patient be monitored both before and after surgery,” said Hall. “These monitors continuously check heart rate and oxygen saturation in patients’ blood.”

In 1990 outpatient surgery accounted for 43 percent of Rumford Hospital OR cases. In fiscal year 2004 day surgery made up 83 percent, which explains why the number of beds in day surgery is being doubled.

“This new space will give our patients more privacy and comfort – the kind of environment they deserve,” said Hall.

Other funds from the appeal will be used to buy equipment for the new and renovated Emergency Department. Work is scheduled to begin soon on the day surgery space, followed by renovations to and expansion of the ED. Work should be completed in late spring, near the time annual appeal closes at the end of June.

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