On Monday, Jan. 18, the Mott area community braved the sub-zero temperatures and the blowing snow, to show their unending support for local health care. Over 50 brave souls came out to the Mott Playhouse Theatre, including Family Nurse Practitioner Lori Hill and her staff at the WRHS Mott Clinic, WRHS CEO Jim Long, WRHS Dr.
By TED UECKER | For The Herald
Brian Willoughby (on time!), Dr. Josh Ranum (with 3 kids in tow), and Dr. Tracy Boschee (who stayed after seeing patients at the Mott Clinic all day!); plus we had the President of the Mott City Council, Troy Mosbrucker; a representative from the M.O.T.T. group, Bruce Colgrove; local WRHS Board of Director Ervin Schneider with the Eido Connect and local WRHSF Board of Director and former Economic Development leader for Hettinger County, Mark Resner. Yes, we had most all of the local dignitaries attend. Thankfully, Donald Trump and Hillary could not make it! The presentation itself, from West River Health Services, included a history of the organization from its beginnings in 1950 to the present day. The presentation hit high gear when the “Mott Area Community Matching Challenge” was discussed.
Of course, everyone who attended the event was offered complimentary popcorn donated by the Mott Playhouse Theatre and free pop via the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Dickinson. As attendees entered the renovated Playhouse Theatre, they were welcomed by signage from West River Health Services throughout the building. Everyone signed up for amazing door prizes (including Mott-Regent Wildfire sweatshirts and t-shirts, West River Recipe Books, a Playhouse Theatre fleece jacket, selfie extendable sticks, cell phone holders, and giant tootsie rolls for the few children in attendance).
The power point presentation, developed by Cindy Ham and Kim Schalesky at West River Health Services and presented by Ted Uecker, Fund Development officer at WRHS, was quite a joy to see on the giant theatre screen. Photos from the early days in 1950 all the way up to present day photos of the Hettinger plant, the physicians, the satellite clinics and especially, the before and after photos of the patient room renovations at the WRHS Mott Clinic.
As most everyone attending knew, about a year ago an anonymous Mott area citizen gifted $10,000 to WRHS Foundation, earmarked specifically for the WRHS Mott Clinic. After reviewing the most important needs for the clinic with Lori Hill and her staff, it was determined that WRHS would renovate two of the patient exam rooms at the Mott Clinic. WRHS added $5,000 to the $10,000 anonymous gift, and the first two patient exam rooms were remodeled beautifully into the 21st century!
Then a few months ago, this same Anonymous person said they would give another $5,000 if the Foundation could raise half a match – or $7,500 – from the Mott area community to renovate the remaining two patient exam rooms. This is what started the “Mott Area Matching Challenge.” And our Foundation hit the streets immediately. With help from Mark Resner and Aryn Dangerud, numerous businesses, organizations and families joined the campaign. The Mott City Council, spearheaded by Troy Mosbrucker, led the way with a dollar for dollar match up to $5,000! Derek Mayer with Wilbur-Ellis gifted $2,000. The Board of Directors at the Commercial bank of Mott stepped up with $1,000. As did a physician’s family at West River!
On this particular town meeting night, once WRHS CEO Jim Long, who has quite a 33 year history with WRHS, gave a short talk on the importance of the cutting edge technology at West River; and Dr. Brian Willoughby, esteemed MD Internal Medicine/Geriatrics, and long-time family doctor to many residents from the Mott area, gave a short talk on his love and respect for the Mott area community (with mention of the needs of laboratory equipment at the Mott Clinic so simple lab tests could be completed the same day, instead of sending them to Hettinger’s Lab); the discussion was opened up to the Mott area attendees for any questions.
Believe me, there were many! Ranging from how Bruce Kallis, Director of the local Good Sam’s Nursing Home, is proud to have local healthcare for his residents and how much of a hassle it would be if they had to travel 40 miles every time with 60-100 year old residents, and how he is applying for grants to help the Mott Matching Challenge campaign; the question of how much has been raised to date was raised and was answered as follows from Ted Uecker: “We are going to raise enough funds to renovate the remaining two patient exam rooms. But if we raise more, every cent will go into the Mott Clinic – nowhere else! We will prioritize the needs of the clinic and make further renovations or equipment purchases as funds will allow. If you utilize the Mott Clinic and can afford to give a little ($5, $10, $25, $100, $1000), then why not? Let’s try to keep our local healthcare as top-notch as possible.”
And the gifts – oh my! One local family stepped up and gave $2,500 to the campaign; Sherry Friedt with Mott Equity Exchange presented a check for $1,500; another Mott area family gave $750; the Mott Ambulance Squad gave $500 (you talk about selfless giving, this is amazing!); and yet another Mott famil;y gave $500; Farm Credit Services called and gifted $250; and numerous others in attendance gave $50-$200. We are most grateful for any and all gifts. At the end of the night, $6,850 had been gifted – on this night alone! With previous gifts for this campaign, including the anonymous match and the Mott City Council’s match, we currently are at $25,095!!!! But we’re not done yet. Remember: every cent stays in Mott at the WRHS Mott Clinic. So every gift is still welcome.
Our Foundation at WRHS is quite clear in our principles: 1) not telling people what to give, 2) it’s not the amount of the gift that matters – rather it’s the commitment it shows to our future, and 3) every gift is important. We want to be more involved in our area communities. By building “Partnerships for the Future” with area businesses, organizations, and families, we believe we can continue to provide top-quality healthcare to our rural Western Dakota citizens.
Thank you Mott area businesses, organizations, and families. You’ve welcomed us into your community. We appreciate your unending support for local healthcare. We will be back on a more regular basis – to support your functions and ours. Until next time, we have work to do.