Helping fund new medical complex
By Stephanie Norman
Farmer Staff Writer
Dress up or dress down for the annual 2014 Benefit Fund of the McKenzie County Healthcare System’s Boots & Bling Gala. This shindig will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at Outlaws’ Bar & Grill Ballroom in Watford City.
There will only be 250 tickets sold for this ravishing event and Kristin Bolken, director of the Benefit Fund, said there are less than 50 tickets left, which will sell quickly. All proceeds from the gala will be donated directly to the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems to assist with funding for the new $55 million Medical Complex Facility, which will break ground this summer.
Tickets cost $150 each and can be purchased from Julie Morris at the Connie Wold Wellness Center.
This year’s event will feature Dueling Pianos from Minneapolis, Minn., with two comedians who are known to put a spring in your step. Bolken said the pianists played at the gala a few years ago and the crowd absolutely loved them. Along with the annual live auction, there will also be a silent auction this year. Between the two auctions, nearly 60 packages will be offered including vacations, jewelry, desserts, theme baskets and much more.
What’s a party without the food? Outlaws’ Bar & Grill will prepare a special four-course dinner made to perfection, and in honor of Lent, there will also be a special meal offered.
“This event is about being comfortable, all while celebrating and raising money for the healthcare system,” Bolken said. “It’s important to us that the guests have a wonderful time and enjoy the evening. Some come in cowboy boots and jeans while other come in cocktail dresses and their favorite bling. The event is geared toward comfort and having a great time while raising needed funds for a charitable cause.”
Last year, funds raised were used to purchase “movable” upgrades for the clinic, in hopes that the healthcare system would soon be embarking on a new Medical Complex, which is where funds will go to this year.
Thus far, event sponsors have already donated $117,500, which does not include ticket sales or auction profits.
“The people of McKenzie County have a long history of giving,” Myra Anderson, president of the Benefit Fund Board, said. “Sixty years ago, the people saw a need for a hospital, clinic and nursing home. They stepped forward with their monetary gifts to see that the need was met. Today we see a need for a new medical facility. We are confident that once again our citizens and businesses will step forward to see that we meet this most urgent need.”
There are five facilities that make up the local healthcare system, including the hospital, the clinic, the Connie Wold Wellness Center, the Good Shepherd Home, and The Horizons. As it sits now, all facilities are separated. However, the new Medical Complex will bring the five buildings together. The new hospital will be built just north of the wellness center on top of the hill, which happens to be right next to the Good Shepherd Home and The Horizons.
“It’s time to go from the current mix of services in disjointed and inadequate buildings to the collaborative facility of the 21st Century,” Dan Kelly, CEO of the healthcare system, said.
The new facility will have 12 emergency treatment bays; 24 hospital beds; 30 outpatient, clinic-based beds; some private resident rooms for individuals needing nursing care; a full scale laboratory; x-ray bay; 32 slice CT scan capability; ultrasound; outpatient surgery services; and room for development of future innovations within the healthcare system.
“The new medical facility will be able to support the number of staff needed to provide care for McKenzie County and it will afford us the opportunity for specialists’ work space and increasing additions to our repertoire,” Dr. Gary Ramage, Medical director, said. “It will be an all-inclusive single campus clinic, ER and hospital, which is the ideal way to provide service to our community.”
When the original facility was built, it was designed to handle a community of 1,100 people. Today, there are roughly 15,000 in Watford City which the hospital services – that’s not including the remainder of the county. From here, the community is projected to grow even more.
“The expansion of our healthcare facilities is of upmost importance for our community’s future,” Brent Sanford, mayor of Watford City, said. “The clinic and ER are inadequate for the size our community has grown into. Longtime and new residents alike are frustrated with the undersized and outdated facilities.”
Sanford is sure that the new Medical Center will solve some of the problems and not only attract, but retain families.
“The only way to do any of this is to build the right-sized facilities,” Sanford said. “The time is now. We need to act. Our future economic growth and quality of life are dependent on it.”
Dakota West Credit Union, Gary and Patsy Levang, E & M Services, First International Bank & Trust, Heggen Equipment, Spring Capital Group and McKenzie County Bank have each made a $10,000 Platinum sponsor donation to help make this Medical Complex project possible.
The Gold sponsors donated $5,000 each which include Basin Brokers, Missouri Basin, Meyer’s Department Store/Ron and Myra Anderson, Monjores Studio & Hair Design, together - Ross and Tricia Sundeen, Doug and Kristin Bolken, Brent and Sandra Sanford, and Kent and Kathy Taylor, along with Linda Mogen and family, Q.E.P. Resources, and Sanford Health in Bismarck.
Silver sponsors include McKennett, Forsberg, Voll and Gjovig, PC, and the Vogel Law Firm.
“We are passionate about getting as much funding as possible for the McKenzie County Healthcare System,” Bolken said. “The sponsors play a huge role and we couldn’t do it without their support.”