“Our experience at St. Mary’s was great. My son was very happy with his care, which is saying a lot considering he’s an RRT. He was thankful for the care he received.”
A Legacy Lives On
With big plans on the horizon for Providence St. Mary, a longtime donor looks forward to the future.
While Providence St. Mary Medical Center is expected to undergo some big and remarkable changes over the next decade, longtime donor and Apple Valley resident Pat Nickell can’t help but reminisce about the early beginnings of the hospital’s foundation.
In fact, Nickell, who served as a founding board member, has had such a long and meaningful connection with the St. Mary Foundation that she could be its unofficial historian.
As we celebrate the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary, Nickell fondly remembers putting on the foundation’s first fundraising gala. “Our all-volunteer group of friends painted cardboard boxes, set up tables and chairs at the fairgrounds and hired a caterer. It was a great success.” Through the years, foundation galas have raised money to help the hospital bring impactful health services to the High Desert community, like Panda Warmers for newborn babies and the cutting-edge da Vinci Xi for robot-assisted surgeries.
Nickell is proud of all the positive changes the foundation has helped spur over the past three decades, and she is more enthusiastic than ever now that a new hospital is on the horizon. “Because of their core values, the people at St. Mary all have a laser focus on improving health care. They don’t just pay lip service to these values. They live by them. And when you get to know the employees, you can see it reflected in their being. It’s part of who they are.”
True to our mission of serving the entire High Desert community, the new hospital will be centrally located on 99 acres of land in Victorville as part of a state-of-the-art medical campus. In addition to acute care services, the new campus will feature ambulatory and outpatient services, as well as commercial development.
Another major benefit that Nickell is excited about is the newly formed partnership with Kaiser Permanente, which will allow more than 100,000 Kaiser Permanente members in the High Desert to seek acute care services at Providence St. Mary. Right now, the closest Kaiser hospital is roughly 40 miles away in Fontana.
As a steadfast supporter of Providence St. Mary—as well as a resident who has served on many local boards and committees—Nickell understands the importance of community investment and what role that will play in building the new facility.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT
“People need to be onboard because it’s in their best interest. They never know if or when they’ll need that high level of care,” says Nickell. “This type of venture can’t happen without supporters and people making donations to help meet its goals.”
Nickell takes her part in this fundraising effort extremely seriously. She has already pledged the majority of her estate to the hospital.
“What better place could that money go?” Nickell asks. “It will do a whole lot more for a lot more people if it’s in the hands of the hospital. Every human being deserves the same quality of care and caring, regardless of their circumstances. And that’s what St. Mary offers.”
Article from Health Matters – Fall 2021.
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