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BMHS to host 15th annual gala

  • One of newly-renovated rooms at the Gnaden Huetten campus
    CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS One of newly-renovated rooms at the Gnaden Huetten campus of Blue Mountain Health System. Money to improve the rooms at Gnaden Huetten, Palmerton and The Summit at Blue Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center came from BMHS's annual fundraising galas.
Published April 02. 2012 08:58AM

A fun-filled, high-energy black tie event will lead to cozy, colorful rooms for patients at Blue Mountain Health System hospitals and guests at The Summit at Blue Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Proceeds from the 15th annual Casino Night II Gala, to be held Saturday, April 14, at the elegant Woodstone Country Club in Danielsville, Northampton County, will be used for an ongoing project to redecorate rooms in the facilities.

"Surroundings make a big difference in outcomes for our patients," said director of Fund Development Joseph Guardiani. "To have a pleasant environment while you are in a stressful situation always helps."

One recently renovated room at Blue Mountain's Gnaden Huetten campus features two flat-screen televisions, warm wooden wainscoting with matching cabinets, and light, cheery colors on the walls.

The gala promises to be memorable.

"We'll have a champagne reception with hors d'oeuvres. We'll have a magnificent meal, and then we'll have a casino night, all night long, with table games of every kind, horse racing, and slot machines," Guardiani said.

The night will also feature a silent auction. At the end of the night, patrons will exchange their chips for raffle tickets.

"It's time for people to get their RSVPs in," he said. To reserve tickets, call Guardiani at (610) 377-7183.

Organizers are hoping to hit $100,000 from the event. Last year, it raised about $95,000, and 2010s proceeds came to $89,000.

This year, the gala event will honor Blue Mountain Health Systems' imaging department, which has completed the transition from analog to digital systems.

The change saves time because records are immediately available electronically, and allows patients to avoid additional exposures to radiation because images can be adjusted digitally, said Imaging Department director Lois Richards.

The department has been the recipient of past year's galas, which allowed it to purchase new digital equipment, including an upgraded CT scanner, ultrasound and mammography machines. The proceeds helped train staff on the new equipment as well, Richards said.

"The Imaging Department set a goal for radiation protection in lower doses. In order to do that, we had to replace a lot of our equipment, because our older equipment gave off more radiation," Richards said.

"We started with the digital mammography unit, and that saved radiation to the patient in that, with the analog film, if it was too light or too dark, a technologist would have to repeat it. Now, with the digital systems, the doctors can adjust the contrast and density so that the images don't have to be repeated."

Then, the CT scan units at both Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton hospitals were upgraded.

"From there, we went with our ultrasound units to be able to do 3-D imaging and color Doppler," she said. "Currently, we are going to replace our MRI unit within the next two months."

The order was placed on Tuesday.

The Imaging Department also now has its own RIS/PAC system a storage system for all the digital units.

"Before, we stored our film in jackets," she said.

"You can only imagine the massive room that was needed for film," said Blue Mountain spokeswoman Lisa Johnson.

"Whenever a patient or physician wanted to see the films, they'd have to go into storage and find the film. Now, you type in the patient's name or medical record number, and within seconds, they are there."

The new system also allows the digital image to be sent instantly to physicians or other hospitals.

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