Employees of Denver Adventist hospitals raise $30,000.

During the first few days following the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that claimed the lives of more than 7,000 people in Nepal on April 25, employees of Centura Health hospitals in the Denver area donated more than $20,000 to aid Scheer Memorial Hospital, a small Adventist mission hospital in the town of Benepa, about 15 miles east of Kathmandu. Centura hospitals also made a corporate gift of $10,000, bringing the initial total raised to more than $30,000. Global Health Initiatives, Centura’s medical mission outreach program, continues to lead Centura’s fundraising efforts.

Centura Health adopted Scheer Memorial Hospital and its mission in 2006. Since then, it has sent countless teams of volunteer health professionals to provide services to vulnerable populations served by that hospital. According to Greg Hodgson, director of GHI, Centura is actively exploring tangible ways to meet needs in the wake of the earthquake, with the most pressing needs being primarily financial.

As soon as the quake occurred, Scheer Memorial became a safe haven for thousands of people in dire need of medical attention. Team members erected tents and rolled out mattresses to meet the urgent needs of the injured and misplaced. The Kavre district, where Scheer is located, was among the top five districts surrounding Kathmandu for reported deaths and injuries. Miraculously, the hospital sustained only a few cracks in the walls.

According to Scheer CEO Dale Molé, the bulk of those treated sustained head injuries and broken bones. Most are unable to pay for medical services provided by Scheer. Funds are urgently needed to help defray costs for food, medicine and orthopedic supplies like metal plates and screws. The hospital also needs to purchase medications, supplies and equipment such as IV infusion pumps, ventilators and a portable X-ray machine.

One story pertaining to Scheer Memorial’s relief efforts made local news in Nepal. A few minutes before the quake struck, doctors had been prepping a young woman in her 20s for an emergency C-section. She was in severe pain and was not expected to survive long without intervention. When the earthquake struck, the medical team quickly moved the procedure outside to reduce risk of injury from additional tremblers or aftershocks. They quickly set up a makeshift surgical area in the hospital’s sunny courtyard and moved the young woman and equipment into the open air.

According to the local paper, the doctor completed the operation and delivered a healthy baby boy just as the tremors subsided. “I think you need to name him ‘Thunder,’” the doctor told the mother, referring to the sound the earth made as it shook. Many additional stories of Scheer Memorial’s post-quake relief efforts have gone untold.

Meanwhile, Centura Health is continuing to work closely with Scheer Memorial to plan future relief missions and is committed to providing additional funds to meet the many financial needs created by this tragedy. The Adventist hospitals in Denver have created a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, with 100 percent of the donations going directly to Scheer Memorial Hospital.

This article, also being published in the June 2015 print edition of OUTLOOK, was submitted by Stephen King, senior vice president for the Rocky Mountain Adventist Health/Centura Health, where he serves the five Adventist hospital campuses in Colorado. It was written by Mark Bond.