PAYETTE - As Payette resident Kathy Patrick put together her annual Saint Patrick’s Day fundraiser, the newspaper reached out to the fundraiser beneficiary, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, for some insight on how Patrick’s fundraising efforts have impacted the hospital. This year marked the 24th year Patrick has held this fundraiser.

According to St. Luke’s Director of Major and Planned Gifts Christen Wilmer, the funds address varying needs within the hospital each year. Wilmer acts as St. Luke’s Health Foundation’s Western Treasure Valley expert.

“Her fundraiser every year goes to where the greatest fundraising need is within Children’s. So, this past year it has gone to our Trauma Services.”

Director of Major and Planned Gifts Zoë Brunelle adds that the decision of where the funds go has helped improve improve patient outcomes within the hospital.

“To ensure children in our community have access to the most advanced and comprehensive services when they need them most, St. Luke’s Children’s is implementing a Level II Verified Pediatric Trauma Program on its downtown Boise campus. Pediatric trauma services at St. Luke’s means better outcomes from unfortunate accidents and events and provides specialized services that keep kids close to home.

Brunelle said the St. Luke’s trauma program helps bridge a gap in availability of treatment within the state.

“Idaho is one of only seven states without a verified pediatric trauma program. In the absence of pediatric trauma, children are treated in adult settings, leading to complications and challenges. Outcomes are four times better when children are treated in a pediatric setting. At children’s hospitals, kids suffering from traumatic events are cared for by clinicians specially trained in pediatrics, leading to fewer operations and transfusions, lower mortality, and improved outcomes.”

Brunelle adds that over 350 providers and staff members planned for the launch for for two and a half years, putting in over 10,000 hours of training and simulation for the program.

“Patients come from all over our state to receive care at St. Luke’s Children’s, Idaho’s only children’s hospital,” said Brunelle. “Our pediatric trauma services will directly impact any kids who suffer from traumatic injuries in Payette County and the surrounding area.”

Director of Special Events Maegan Krahn noted that since the fundraiser’s inception, it has netted over $64,000 for St. Luke’s.

The 2020 fundraiser raised an estimated total of $4500 according to St. Luke’s, despite circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

“I am so blessed to live in the community I reside in and have the support of family & friends,” Patrick told St. Luke’s staff via email. “The employees of [St. Luke’s Cancer Institute] in Fruitland ordered 21 meals for lunch (a wonderful group of people by the way). I think it was a great success and I was able to educate some new people about the Children’s Hospital.”

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