Hospital quilt

Madison Memorial Hospital lab staff holding a quilt made by the wife and mother in law of one of the hospital's medical technologists to celebrate the hospital's lab week. The quilt has the text "Avengers of the Laboratory" displayed on it to fit with the “Real Heroes Give Back” theme for lab week.

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Madison Memorial Hospital’s lab department has raised nearly $3,000 to help Madison Memorial Foundation match a grant for the hospital’s new Behavioral Health Unit.

“Our mission is really trying to give back to the community and to help Madison Memorial grow and be here for everyone to enjoy while serving our area,” said Casey Dye, hospital director of diagnostic services.

For the hospital’s lab week 2021, lab department staff decided they would raise money for the behavioral health unit as a way to give back for all the donations they were given during the pandemic, Dye said.

The theme for lab week was “The Avengers” and it was called “Real Heroes Give Back,” to play off of the superhero theme.

“With the hospital behavioral health unit opening up, they thought that’d be an excellent way to give back to the community,” Dye said.

Lab staff put on a raffle for the rest of the hospital to fundraise for the new unit and got donations from some local businesses in Rexburg. The lab ended up raising $1,281 dollars from local businesses. Combined with the money collected from the raffle, $2,937 was raised by the lab. That money will be given to the foundation to help match a $600,000 grant for the Behavioral Health Unit.

Dye said the hospital was appreciative of the community support that has been given to the hospital since the pandemic started. One medical technologist, after a long and exhausting day, walked out to her car to see it covered in sticky notes showing with written thank you notes and was brought to tears knowing that someone was thinking about her. Many people have donated meals to hospital staff as well, he said.

“Our community family is important, everyone has shown an outpouring of love,” Dye said. “This is a way our (lab department) can give that love back.”

Kaelie Nielsen, hospital marketing graphic designer, said the lab department also reached out to local businesses to see if they were interested in supporting the fundraiser. They got support from 14 businesses and display each businesses’ logo on their “Real Heroes Give Back” flyer posted outside of the lab.

Sharon Pirente, executive director of the foundation, said it was important for the foundation to support the behavioral health unit to address a much-needed resource for the area.

“Mental health is in a crisis all throughout the U.S. and our community is not immune from it,” Pirente said. “We see it coming into our emergency department constantly and we have to send those patients out of our community to get in in-patient help.”

The grand opening of the Behavioral Health Unit is expected for September 2021, according to the hospital’s website. The 12-bed facility will have two psychiatrists attending the unit, Drs. James Morris and Jim McCoy, both from the University of Utah Medical School Psychiatric Residency program.

If people would like to donate to the Behavioral Health Unit or other areas of the hospital, they can reach out to Pirente or visit Madison Memorial Hospital Foundation’s website.