Williams Exploration donates $250,000 to St. Mary’s CareFlight
A $250,000 donation from Williams Exploration and Production will help fund St. Mary’s Hospital CareFlight program. The donation will go toward the cost of building a tarmac for the helicopter on top of the addition to the hospital.
President Ralph Hill of Williams presented the check Friday during a ceremony to hospital officials.
“We hope this gift from our foundation allows the CareFlight program to continue doing what it does best, saving lives,” Hill said.
“As you know, things are slow, but we have the ability to grow rapidly if the economy improves,” he added about the local reduction of natural gas extraction.
St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation has raised $13.5 million for its Century Project. Of that total, the hospital received a $500,000 donation recently from Exxon, said Penny Cowden, the foundation’s executive director.
The hospital addition is expected to be completed by the end of November and should be operational in the first quarter of the new year.
The Century Project is a new 434,000-square-foot patient tower and the remodeling of more than 75,000 square feet of existing space. The project’s total costs are expected to be $261 million.
St. Mary’s Hospital is the only Level II trauma center between Salt Lake City and Denver. Level II means it provides comprehensive trauma care and has 24-hour availability of all essential specialists and other personnel and equipment.
The CareFlight helicopter will take off and land on the hospital’s roof, and CareFlight health care professionals will have crew quarters near the helipad. An elevator designed only for CareFlight patients will whisk them to the hospital’s emergency room.
A system for fueling the helicopter will retract into the building once the helicopter has taken off, so fuel is never exposed. Takeoffs and landings on the hospital roof should be less noisy thant on the current helipad at ground level near the hospital.
CareFlight has one helicopter that can carry up to four patients and four medical professionals. It also has a twin-engine fixed-wing airplane that can carry two patients and four medical professionals.