PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Foundation’s annual fundraiser gala on Dec. 8 brought in a record $235,000 for the hospital’s cardiology program.
About 450 people attended the Star of Wonder Gala, said Cathy Barr, foundation executive director. This was the 17th year the event was held and the first time the tickets sold out ahead of time, she said.
“We’re over the moon,” Barr said. “It was a fantastic event.”
PeaceHealth spokesman Randy Querin said the hospital’s cardiology program is growing, with the number of cardiologists doubling over the last eight years from three to six. The money will help continue the growth, he said.
“We’ve greatly expanded services, but there’s more to do,” Querin said. “This will help us continue on that positive trend.”
Barr said designating the cardiology program as the beneficiary may have increased support for the gala.
“I don’t think there is anyone I know who hasn’t been touched by a heart event,” she said.
The foundation board funnels gala proceeds based on priorities set by the hospital administration, Barr said. When suggested, the cardiology program received an “overwhelming yes” from the board, she said.
Besides the program’s growth, its success brings community support, Barr said. For example, she said the time it takes for a heart-attack patient at St. John to get blood flow restored to their blocked artery is 22 minutes, compared to the national 90-minute standard.
“I think the reputation of St. John and the service we deliver speaks volumes to people who want to come and support us,” Barr said.