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Hospital’s Elevator One seeks a lift from community

By Sue Sitter - | Nov 21, 2020

Submitted Photo An HAMC staffer takes a patient to the facility’s Elevator One.

Heart of America Medical Center’s elevator needs a lift and two organizations supporting health care services hope the community can help.

Rugby’s Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation kicked off a fundraising drive called “Give Elevator One a Lift” earlier this year to raise money for major renovations to the hospital’s main elevator, which staff and patients rely on every day.

Another health care charity, St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation of Minot joined GSHS Foundation to raise funds for the elevator through their Twice Blessed campaign. The Twice Blessed campaign, which began Nov. 16 and ends Dec. 31 matches donations up to $10,000 with a grant of their own to total up to $20,000 for projects such as the elevator.

GSHS Foundation Director Cathy Jelsing said in a written statement, “This is the fourth year St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation has invited HAMC to participate in this annual fundraising campaign.” Jelsing noted any contributions to the Twice Blessed campaign in excess of $10,000 “will be returned to HAMC as well.”

Jelsing added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed added demands on all philanthropic organizations and corporations, so our local response to Twice Blessed will be more important than ever to reach our fundraising goals.”

The hospital has received other donations toward the elevator project as well.

“GSHS Foundation kicked off the Give Elevator One a Lift campaign in July with the annual Charity Golf Classic, raising almost $21,000,” Jelsing noted in the statement. “Otto Bremer Trust recently awarded HAMC a $45,000 grant and Enbridge contributed $7.500 to the project.” Jelsing added, “As of November 16, we have close to $124,000 committed to Give Elevator one a lift and $61,000 in pending grant applications, which means we still have around $60,000 to raise.”

Jelsing explained the work needed on the hospital’s main elevator amounted to much more than a face-lift.

“The elevator’s controls date to 1972 and replacement parts are no longer available,” Jelsing wrote, adding, “After a series of breakdowns – a few of which led to emergency extractions and frightened occupants – renovating Elevator One became a top priority with a price tag of about $248,950.”

Jelsing said in a later phone call, “all of the electronics and internal parts,” the functional parts of the elevator, need replacing. “The shell of it will remain the same,” Jelsing said, “but everything else is bad,” she added with a slightly exasperated laugh.

Jelsing’s written statement said,” The GSHS Foundation has received grants for other projects as well, including a $10,000 grant from Avangrid Renewables to improve infection control by installing new flooring in Rugby’s Heart of America Johnson Clinic. About $33,000 in federal funding, administered by the North Dakota Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) and the North Dakota Hospital Association, has been approved for the flooring project as well.”

“We are deeply grateful to Otto Bremer Trust, Enbridge and Avangrid for their support,” Jelsing added. “I hope everyone sees St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation’s Twice Blessed campaign as an opportunity to express support for HAMC in these trying times.”

Jelsing noted, “In order to qualify for a Twice Blessed match, all contributions must pass through St. Joseph’s Community Health Services Foundation. Contributions may be made online or donation forms can be downloaded at sjchfnd.com/organizations/medical-rugby/. Checks should be mailed to St. Joseph’s Community Health Services Foundation, 308 2nd Ave. SW, Minot, ND 58701.”

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