Dense fog

Community aids Healdsburg hospital

  • Guests at a fundraising for Healdsburg District Hospital held Sunday July 29 at Lambert Bridge Winery on West Dry Creek Road watch a demonstration by Healdsburg ambulance, police and firefighters Robert Salisbury and Captain Jason Boaz, Healdsburg Fire Department; Danny Workman, Bell's Ambulance paramedic; Laura Villarreal, Healdsburg Fire Department and Susan Jones, Healdsburg police chief on the winery lawn. Mark Blankenship, hospital operating room manager at Healdsburg District Hospital, plays the victim.(press democrat/ mark aronoff)

Healdsburg Police Chief Susan Jones yelled out that she had established a heartbeat.

The patient, Mark Blankenship, lay sprawled on the lawn Sunday evening outside Lambert Bridge Winery with his shirt torn open and a defibrillator at his side.

Dr. Doug Pile, a family practitioner in Healdsburg, sipped casually from his glass of cabernet. Then he nodded approvingly.

Blankenship and Jones were taking part in a demonstration to highlight the importance of new medical technology.

The staged spectacle was part of a fund-raising event at the winery to help Healdsburg District Hospital shore up its finances and continue with renovations and expansions. About 150 attendees paid $1,000 a plate for Sunday's catered dinner at the winery.

"I think we have a community that is really behind our hospital," Pile said.

Northern Sonoma County voters raised taxes in 2004 to fund the hospital, boosting an annual parcel tax from $85 to $150, and private donors have chipped in more than $9.3 million since 2006. The funding has allowed the hospital to build a new emergency room, update the intensive care unit and replace outdated medical equipment said Evan Rayner, chief executive officer of the hospital.

It recently purchased a medical robot that allows specialists from around the world to examine patients in Healdsburg.

"The community's generosity empowers us to provide higher power health care," Rayner said. "We are very, very thankful."

Rayner said the parcel tax increase and the donations have helped the hospital staunch its losses and end 2006 with $1 million in net income. The hospital is on pace to end 2007 with a net income of $2 million, Rayner said.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View