SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation announced it exceeded the fundraising goal for Project Heartbeat, a campaign to purchase new cardiac equipment that kicked off in September, during the SMH Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

Project Heartbeat set a $300,000 campaign goal after the William F. and Lorene W. Welch Foundation made a $150,000 challenge donation to the hospital foundation earlier this year. The Foundation plans to use funds from the campaign to purchase an IntraSight 5, a piece of imaging technology that gives cardiologists clearer and more complete pictures of the heart, and two Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps, which helps the heart maintain a regular rhythm and can be especially important for patients undergoing surgery or being transported to the hospital, for SMH. SMH Chief Development Officer Cody Sinclair said the campaign received donations from 580 contributors.

“(The hospital’s) team is absolutely amazing,” Sinclair said. “You can tell this team takes care of their patients, and it showed in the response we got from our donors.”


Transitional care needs

SMH CEO Mike McCafferty discussed plans to explore opportunities to provide more transitional care at the hospital. He said there is a growing demand for transitional care in the community that SMH has not met because it does not have the space.

“We seem to be turning people away for transitional care, which is essentially a rehab stay in the hospital,” McCafferty said. “And then when we get really busy, our capacity drops because we have to use those beds for medical purposes.”

McCafferty said SMH is going to look at rearranging, and potentially expanding, hospital facilities to create more room for transitional care.

“It’s a pretty big deal for our future,” McCafferty said. “As our population continues to get older and older, this is really a service line that can provide a lot of value to patients after they have an acute care stay in our hospital, or other hospitals as well.”


Hospital finances

Despite seeing a drop in patient volume compared to a year ago, SMH Chief Financial Officer Nathan Stutte said the hospital posted a positive return on operations in November.

Two factors have bolstered SMH’s finances this year, Stutte said. The first is a drop in the number of uninsured patients seeking treatment, which has allowed the hospital to collect more revenue on the treatments it delivers.

The second factor has been a reduction in the hospital’s operating costs, which Stutte attributed to the efforts of SMH’s management team.

“(In November,) we saw for the second month in a row an overall decrease in our costs, year over year,” Stutte said.