BENNINGTON — Southwest Vermont Health Care has received a $5 million donation from Mack Molding, the largest gift given to the hospital in its 100 years.
The money will go towards the expansion and renovation of the hospital's emergency department. "We've been talking about the need for major infrastructure upgrades," said SVHC President and CEO Tom Dee. "And the emergency room has always been at the top of the list."
Dee said that the application for the project will hopefully be submitted to the Green Mountain Care Board by October, and assuming a six to nine month review period, it would begin some time next summer.
The current emergency department was constructed in the 1970s to accommodate about 15,000 people per year, maximum, said Dee. Today, the department, one of the busiest at the hospital, serves more than 25,000 per year.
Dee said that when Mack Group CEO Don Kendall, who previously served on the hospital's board of directors, learned about the need for upgrades to the emergency department, he was happy to help. "Mack has always been a great ally and friend to our health system over the years," said Dee.
"Mack Molding is pleased and honored to be able to give something back to the people of Bennington County, who have been so good to our company for over 85 years," said Kendall. "After all, what could be more important than a modern emergency department?"
The hospital's foundation, said Dee, generally raises between $2 million-$4 million each year, Dee said, and to find comparable numbers to this $5 million gift, "you have to go back to the original benefactors. This is by far our largest single donation."
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the medical staff, nurses and all of the SVHC family, we are incredibly thankful to Mack Molding, Don Kendall and his family, for this transformational gift," said Tommy Harmon, chairman of the Board of Trustees at SVHC. "Mack Molding and the Kendall Family have a storied history of supporting organizations throughout southern Vermont."
"The emergency department is the most important service our health system provides to this region," said Dee. "This tremendous gift from Mack Molding, Don Kendall and his family will have a significant and meaningful impact to the 75,000 patients we serve in our local communities for future generations, and for that we are eternally grateful."
Founded by Kendall's grandfather, Donald S. Kendall Sr., Mack Molding is headquartered in Arlington, and operates eleven locations throughout Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Mexico.
Derek Carson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @DerekCarsonBB on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 122.