The saying “what goes around comes around” is true at Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston.

Donations by employees and medical staff amounted to nearly half the funds raised in 2011 by the Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation, which used the money to purchase equipment to further the center’s health care mission.

“Employees and medical staff donate funds through the employee payroll deduction plan or as a one-time donation,” Martha Airth-Kindree, executive director of the foundation, said Tuesday. “It is astounding that in the first year of donations, which began January of 2011, $35,522 was given. About one-half of the donations are from the employee payroll deductions, and it also is from small fundraisers, such as bake sales, the chili cookoff and raffles that are held here.”

Large fundraisers, such as an annual golf outing and Women’s Night Out, which are supported by businesses and the public, also contributed to the cause, according to the foundation’s annual report.

Airth-Kindree said department heads applied for the money, which led to recent purchases of a $3,000 automatic external defibrillator for the respiratory care department. The lifesaving device is used in cardiac emergencies to restore a regular heart rhythm.

“It came from our own employees and shows support from our co-workers,” said Ann Meicher, director of respiratory care. “Everyone’s goal here is to improve the quality of care.”

Meicher said it was important to obtain the AED to benefit patient safety during procedures in the stress testing laboratory within the department.

“Having an AED in the department improves response time,” she said. “Some patients have had an irregular heart rhythm and have converted [changed back to a normal heart beat] on their own. Those that hadn’t converted on their own were taken to emergency room for treatment. Now, they will have immediate treatment in the stress testing lab.”

There are different forms of physical stress tests, some involving use of a treadmill and others that use chemicals, according to Dr. David Hoffmann. It’s important that the AED is on hand during testing in case of emergencies. Other purchases made by the center included a monitor in the dialysis department at a cost of nearly $22,000. The monitor tracks pressure in the heart and blood vessels during dialysis and will help more than 250 patients, Airth-Kindree said. The third purchase was a wheelchair scale for the Alzheimer’s and dementia patients at Crest View Nursing Home in New Lisbon.

“It can go from room to room in that wing and provides less disruption and anxiety for the patients,” Airth-Kindree said.

Airth-Kindree said the three purchases were about improving existing services.

“The three things we got are not items that will bring reimbursement or financial returns to the business,” Airth-Kindree said. “It improves patients’ quality care, safety and comfort, like peace of mind.”

For more information about the foundation, visit Contact Airth-Kindree at or call 608-847-1495.

847-7341, ext. 225

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