Union Bank has always prioritized giving back to the communities we serve. In fact, last year we provided meaningful support to over 175 non-profit organizations throughout northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire. From food shelfs and Meals on Wheels, to community health care providers and cancer research, to low & moderate-income housing projects, to performing arts and youth sports, trail organizations and more. We understand what a difference generosity can make to our towns, it’s in our DNA — because we live here, too. Each season we’ll dedicate an article that will focus on some of the great work our non-profit partners have been up to. In this piece, we highlight Copley Hospital and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.
Copley Hospital in Morrisville, VT
Situated just a mile or so from Union Bank’s headquarters in Morrisville, VT, Copley Hospital is a not-for-profit critical access hospital that provides a unique blend of quality, compassionate, personalized, state-of-the-art medical care in a small, warm, friendly environment. Copley has been named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital; a HealthStrong hospital and has been named one of the Top 50 hospitals in New England (based on patient satisfaction).
Union Bank has been a longtime supporter of Copley Hospital, having donated more than $100,000 over the past five years, and $600,000 since 1980. Several of our officers and directors have served on the Copley Board. Recently Union Bank supported the purchase of a new MRI and the construction needed to support this new unit.
Copley’s MRI was about five years past its lifespan and had been housed in a temporary trailer, outside of the actual hospital building. Patients would check in to the hospital and then would have to physically leave the building to get their imaging work done. The MRI tunnel was very tight and for patients who are claustrophobic, or even just wide shouldered, it was not a comfortable place to spend 30 minutes. Patients were often directed to other hospitals for service that required extremely high clarity of images.
At the same time, demand for MRIs has increased dramatically. In about five years, Copley Hospital has gone from seeing 5-6 MRI patients per day to often 10 per day. Rapid advances in technology have led to a greater adoption of MRI use across a wide spectrum of chronic disease examinations, including multiple sclerosis, breast cancer and other diseases where early intervention can be key to lifesaving treatment.
In January Copley completed the commissioning of a brand new, state-of-the-art Siemen’s MRI. The unit provides much sharper image resolution, considerably faster image processing and a more comfortable experience. Patients can watch movies, or listen to music while the machine is operating. Moving Copley’s MRI services inside the building and into its own suite is a big benefit to patients and the Copley team. The distance from the Emergency Room to the MRI trailer was quite a ways and patients who came to the ER in need of an MRI to determine the scope of their injuries had to be moved very cautiously. It is a huge asset to have the MRI located near the ER and the Surgical Unit.
The Sieman’s MRI (the newest in New England) now allows Copley Hospital to identify diseases related to orthopedics, spine lesions, tumors, strokes and cancer, as well as diseases impacting the brain and blood vessels. It has truly been a game changer for the hospital.
To find out more about how you can support Copley Hospital, check out their website, here: https://www.copleyvt.org/support-copley/give-to-copley/
Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury, VT
Located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) is a robust rural health system that includes a 25-bed critical access hospital, multiple primary care clinics, specialty and surgical services, birth center, and a 24-hour, physician-staffed emergency department. NVRH is dedicated to improving the health of all people in the communities it serves, and to providing compassionate palliative care. NVRH provides high quality healthcare services focused on community needs at the lowest cost consistent with excellent care.
Union Bank is a recurring supporter of NVRH. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Union Bank participated in supporting Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s relief fund. The fund enabled NVRH to meet emerging needs, such as purchasing critical equipment like protective gowns and masks, reconfiguring the hospital environment to better care for COVID-infected patients, and supporting staff who are facing COVID-19 related hardships.
“Early in the pandemic, we were initially cautious about reaching out to the community for help, from either individuals or businesses,” says Emily Hutchison, Director of Philanthropy at NVRH. “Our community has always provided an outpouring of support and concern for our hospital and for health care. When we announced the NVRH Covid Relief Fund to help us meet our needs for new equipment and respiratory supplies, Union Bank provided a generous gift. Also, without us even asking, Union Bank donated our merchant processing fees back to NVRH during April, May, and June 2020. This predated the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) money – before hospitals knew what kind of funds would be available,” she said.
Prior to the pandemic, Union Bank had been dedicated to being a community partner to NVRH. One of the early fundraising campaigns the bank supported for the hospital was to help provide the community with a cancer center established at NVRH, along with helping fund a renovated birth center. Union Bank also helps with annual funding to help support NVRH’s supply of equipment and supplies.
Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital has reliable facilities to provide their community with the care they need without having to travel out of town to an inconvenient location in order to be seen and treated.
NVRH relies on philanthropic gifts and donations from the community and local businesses in order to provide their care and services. The hospital realizes little profit from its medical procedures and has slim operating margins, so every dollar given goes toward meeting the health care needs of the community. To provide support, you can give to the NVRH Annual Fund. You can also visit the NVRH Giving page on their web site to learn more about ways you can help.