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Chris McCormick of Valier EMS poses with a new “jump kit” donated by Pondera HealthCare Foundation. The new equipment can be readily available, even faster at times than the ambulance. 

Pondera HealthCare Foundation (PHCF) recently donated a new EMT bag with supplies for Valier’s EMS unit. The new bag is in addition to current ambulance equipment and can be stored in an EMS’s individual vehicle, thus allowing for quicker response in certain situations.

Chris McCormick was grateful for the gift, “The generous donation of this EMS “jump kit” helps me to bring advanced life support to the community as quickly as possible. Being a rural community sometimes an ambulance can be up to 20 minutes away and sometimes even more. 

Having lifesaving gear in a quality bag allows me to slash response times as a first responder and deliver emergency medical services efficiently while an ambulance is coming.”

According to their website, Pondera HealthCare Foundation was formed in 2014 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes long-term, stable and viable health care services and facilities in Pondera County through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.

McCormick expressed the value the EMS bag will add, “It also allows me to have a kit in my personal vehicle as I drive around day to day in case, I see an accident or medical emergency. I can’t thank Pondera (HealthCare) Foundation enough for their donation. It makes a real difference for Valier and the surrounding county.”

Since its inception, the foundation has contributed directly to the community of Valier in several ways including support for the Valier High School emergency medical responder training program and a youth health fair which provided hands-on health awareness activities for grade school students from Valier and Conrad. During the COVID pandemic, PHCF encouraged Mental Health awareness and showed appreciation to health care workers and teachers countywide with gifts, cards, and treats.

In addition to donations to health care services, the PHCF encourages fitness by promoting the Lake Frances Triple P Triathlon, golf tournaments and other competitive events.

Of course, funding doesn’t magically occur. The foundation holds an annual event to raise monies for their projects. They canceled last year’s plans when there was a resurgence in COVID cases. The board felt it prudent to postpone the gathering. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 with entertainment provided by The Fun Pianos, a dueling piano performance. Appetizers and desserts will be served and votes accepted for the best offerings. A raffle will be held for ¼ Angus Beef from Janelle Nelson, a JD Kids’ Gator XUV 550 and $300 Chamber Bucks sponsored by Frontline Ag, and 60 Pounds of Pork with $300 Chamber Bucks sponsored by Stick Leg Ranch. The Fun Pianos has offered to donate tips back to the foundation.

Tickets for the event and raffle tickets are on sale now at Village Drug, Olson’s Drug, Windrift Hill, and Folklore Coffee in Valier and Conrad. Contact Patty Hackley 701-580-5540, Jackie Wheeler 406-289-0336, or Janelle Nelson 406-788-8841 for more information. 

To learn how you can support the Pondera HealthCare Foundation or to apply for funding of your health related project, visit www.ponderahcf.org or email PonderaHealthCareFoundation@gmail.com.

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