Donations help add new defibrillator to TCMH emergency room

The Texas County Memorial Hospital Emergency Department recently received a new defibrillator thanks to partnership between three groups, including a grant from private foundation with local ties.

The Lifepak 12 defibrillator was purchased with a $9,000 grant from the Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation, a $2,100 donation from the TCMH Healthcare Foundation and $2,000 contribution from the TCMH Auxiliary. Jay Gentry, director of the healthcare foundation, applied for the grant from the Timmons Foundation and secured the additional funding needed by making requests to the healthcare foundation board and the auxiliary.

The Timmons Foundation is a private family foundation of the descendants of Bess Spiva Timmons. The late Dr. Joe L. Spears, a long-time family practice physician from the Cabool area, is a past president of the Timmons Foundation Board.

Tim Spears, son of Dr. Joe L. Spears, assisted in obtaining the funding for TCMH through his family’s foundation.

“We at the Timmons Foundation are proud of our involvement with the TCMH Healthcare Foundation and the healthcare foundation’s work toward updating the emergency room’s defibrillator,” Spears said. “We understand that this defibrillator will improve chances for survival when lives are at stake as well as being easier for staff to train for and to use. The Timmons Foundation looks forward to future opportunities to support TCMH and its mission in Texas County.”

The new defibrillator replaces an older model that needed to be updated.

“This defibrillator will help the emergency department as we move toward uniformity of defibrillators used throughout hospital departments,” said Charolette Horn, TCMH emergency department nurse manager.

Horn explained that using the same defibrillators in all departments helps especially in the transfer of care of patients from emergency medical services to emergency room. “Our medics, nurses and physicians are all trained to use the same machine,” Horn said.

The new defibrillator will be kept in the emergency room and used on patients that are in cardiac arrest or on patients that have unstable cardiac rhythms.

“This defibrillator keeps us on the cutting edge of technology available to emergency rooms,” explained Dr. Jeff Kerr, ER medical director.

“Following receipt of the Timmons Foundation grant, the hospital auxiliary and the healthcare foundation were happy to be included in helping to purchase a vital piece of equipment for the hospital,” Gentry said. “Both organizations work to raise money to further the mission of providing the best healthcare possible for the people of Texas County.”

The auxiliary operates a gift shop at the front entrance of the hospital, and proceeds from the gift shop are donated back to the hospital. The auxiliary works with the foundation to identify capital needs within the hospital, and the auxiliary directs their donations to meet those needs.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation is the non-profit organizational arm of the hospital that develops relationships and financial resources to support the healthcare programs, projects and services of the hospital.

For more information about donor programs at TCMH, contact Gentry at 417-967-1377 or 866-967-3311, ext. 377.

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