2011 Canton-Inwood Area Health Foundation Provides New Ambulance


A new ambulance recently put into service by Sanford Canton-Inwood is bringing a new level of emergency care to the area. Fully-equipped with cardiac monitors, advanced airway equipment and life-saving medications that meet ACLS standards, the ambulance allows for urgent treatment of cardiac arrest and other life-threatening medical emergencies, according to Sanford Canton-Inwood CEO, Eric Hilmoe.

But, the arrival of a new ambulance symbolizes more than medical advancements and top-of-the-line equipment to the community. By meeting a medical-related need and enhancing quality of medical care, it also represents the purpose of the Canton-Inwood Area Health Foundation.

The Foundation, according to Chairperson Brenda Van Zee was created when Canton-Inwood Memorial Hospital was sold to Sanford Health.  The money from the sale was designated to provide philanthropic support for the hospital as well as health and wellness initiatives for the communities it serves.

The purpose of the Foundation, said Van Zee, is to provide support that allows the hospital to complete medical, technological and facility enhancements that ultimately improve patient care. In addition, the Foundation hopes to promote research, educational programs and assist with community health care needs.
“Our first project was the purchase of the ambulance,” she stated.

Choosing the ambulance as a first project is fitting according to Hilmoe. “The ambulance service is truly a community health effort,” he said.

Hilmoe explained the Canton Inwood Ambulance Corporation is a collaborative effort by the city of Canton, Sanford Canton-Inwood and volunteers.

“The crew consists of trained volunteers. They are the heart of the operation,” said Hilmoe. “The level of care we provide is excellent due to our dedicated volunteers and their understanding employers who allow them to leave work when the need arises.”

The Foundation board is also comprised of a diverse group of volunteers from Canton, Inwood and the surrounding area.  Their job is to decide how the funds will be used. One thing is certain, “This money and any money raised in the future will go directly back into the community to enhance our health and well-being,” Van Zee commented.

“It’s really a ‘reinvestment’ by those who supported Canton-Inwood Memorial Hospital throughout the years,” said Hilmoe.

The distribution of funds is governed by the by-laws of the Foundation and law. The Board of Directors may designate an amount not to exceed ten percent of the anticipated annual earning of the corporation’s assets.
Looking to the future, Van Zee said the Foundation has already made a commitment to purchase advanced x-ray equipment for the hospital. Sanford Health will pay for the remodeling necessary to accommodate the equipment, according to Hilmoe.

Although the hospital will benefit from the donation, Van Zee added, “It’s important people realize the Foundation is not connected to the daily operation of the hospital.”

Van Zee said, “We are exploring options for a wellness program that would benefit all ages.” Grants and scholarships are also being considered.

“It’s really all about benefiting the health and well-being of our friends and neighbors,” stressed Van Zee.