Texas County Memorial Hospital recently received a new piece of equipment to help improve patient care.

A VitaScan bladder scanner has arrived and is already in full use, thanks to a special joint effort from two local organizations. The Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation awarded Texas County Memorial Hospital with a $6,000 grant and additional funding support of $2,180 was donated by the TCMH Auxiliary.

“Generous support from both organizations has been a tremendous help to the hospital and has given us the ability to replace the former broken equipment much quicker than we had originally anticipated,” said Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer.

Nurses in the emergency department and the intensive care unit have already familiarized themselves with the new bladder scanner and are excited to have it readily available for patients. 

“The new bladder scanner tells us exactly how much fluid a patient has in their bladder, which our emergency department doctors need to know very quickly sometimes,” said Jerri Sue Crump, TCMH emergency department director.

The emergency department staff said the new bladder scanner is user-friendly, but the most important feature is that it can help reduce patient infections.

“The bladder scanner allows us to quickly check a patient’s bladder for fullness rather than inserting a foley catheter,” said Amy Mills, intensive care unit registered nurse.  “The use of the bladder scanner helps patients feel at ease because it is not as invasive as the alternative method.”

Mills said the new bladder scanner takes the “guess work” out of the equation because the new equipment can easily show clinical staff whether or not a patient’s discomfort could be coming from their bladder, or if there could be a more serious cause.

“We are so thankful for the support that the Timmons Foundation and the TCMH Auxiliary haven given to the hospital,” Mills said. “Providing excellent patient care is our No. 1 priority and any piece of equipment that can help reduce discomfort for our patients and help us rule out other potential problems more efficiently, is a win for them and a win for us.”

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. 

“The healthcare foundation was pleased to partner with the Timmons Foundation and the TCMH Auxiliary to provide another tool for our staff to use to improve patient healthcare and outcomes at TCMH,” said Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director.

The TCMH Auxiliary operates a gift shop at the front entrance of the hospital. Proceeds from the gift shop are donated back to the hospital. 

The auxiliary works with the TCMH Healthcare Foundation to identify capital needs within the hospital. The group directs their donations to meet those needs. Since its inception in 1980, the auxiliary has donated $194,780 to TCMH to help purchase items such as waiting room furniture and equipment for use throughout the hospital.

The TCMH Auxiliary is open to all adults, male and female, that would enjoy volunteering some time at the hospital. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Renina Pearce, volunteer services coordinator, at 417-967-1236.

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