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West Virginia University Hospitals-East makes push for $3 million

November 14, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • W. Randy Smith offers words of thanks to people in the WVU Hospitals-East system after being acknowledged as a lead donor in WVU Hospitals East's Time Saves Lives campaign announcement Wednesday in Martinsburg, W.Va. At left is Dr. Jules Langlet, who donated 10 acres of land toward a new hospital site in Jefferson County, W.Va.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia University Hospitals-East is close to reaching its goal of raising $3 million in a major gifts fundraising campaign that was quietly launched about 18 months ago, officials announced Wednesday.

About $1.93 million has been pledged so far, officials said Wednesday at the public launch of “Time Saves Lives: The Campaign for WVU Hospitals-East.”

Campaign co-chairman Robert F. “Bob” Baronner Jr., said they hope to meet the goal by June 2013.

“Considering the way the economy is, we’ve done extremely well,” Baronner said in an interview after the launch event where seven “leadership donors” and campaign volunteers and contributors were recognized at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg.

The donations and pledges from the major donors in the quiet phase of the campaign totaled nearly $750,000 of the $1.9 million that has been raised so far, officials said. Hospital employees and physicians raised $428,000 and $268,000 in their respective campaigns and the WVU Hospitals-East board of directors raised nearly $300,000, officials said.

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The leadership donors were physician Jules Langlet and his wife, Mary Lou, Powerball jackpot winner and former Berkeley County sheriff and magistrate W. Randy Smith, M. Elizabeth Oates, Bank of Charles Town, BB&T and physician groups Salutis Emergency Specialists and Martinsburg Radiology Associates.

The money raised will support the $31.5 million construction program that began in the spring of 2010 at WVU Hospitals-East and assist in underwriting facility and service enhancements at both City Hospital in Martinsburg and Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, officials said.

Projects already partially funded by Time Saves Lives campaign include the emergency department, intensive care unit and cardiac cath lab at City Hospital, and the women’s imaging center at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, officials said.

Daryl LaRusso, who heads up Salutis Emergency Specialists, said he and fellow emergency department physicians at City Hospital are very grateful for improvements to facilities that previously were “beat down” and not representative of the work being done there.

Before the $10.7 million expansion of the emergency department to a 40-bed facility was completed, LaRusso said the percentage of people who left the emergency department without being seen exceeded the national average.

With the improvements in place, the percentage dropped from “up in the 4 percents” to 1 percent, well below the national average of 2.5 to 3 percent, LaRusso said.

Smith, who recalled his own experiences at City Hospital as a patient and while serving the community in law enforcement, said he always has been well treated by the physicians and staff over the years.

“The employees out there have always been great to me,” Smith said.

Smith, who gave away a stack of lottery tickets at the launch event, also joked about having a surgery that came with unexpected cosmetic changes in his abdominal area that eliminated “any lent problems.”

Oates said she was really proud to make a donation to the hospital in memory of her parents.

“Volunteering and helping others really comes easy to me because I saw my parents do it all my life,” Oates said.

Baronner in his remarks noted priority projects still in need of funding include equipment for a second cardiac cath lab at City Hospital and a new outpatient cancer treatment center at the Dorothy A. McCormack Center on the City Hospital campus.

There are naming opportunities, including big ones, if you want to write “a really big check,” said Baronner, who also serves as the treasurer on the WVU Hospitals-East board.

More information on the Time Saves Lives campaign can be obtained by contacting the WVUH-East Foundation office at 304.264.1223 or email rzanotti@wvuh-east.org or tmccabe@wvuh-east.org.

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