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Bear Lake Memorial Hospital

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

The Bear Lake Valley, with its population of less than 15,000, is no doubt a rural region. But residents there benefit from and are very proud of their big-city hospital, Bear Lake Memorial Hospital.

Located in Montpelier, Idaho, the hospital features all of the necessary inpatient, outpatient and emergency services and a large staff of skilled doctors, surgeons, specialists and nurses. The hospital also operates a Fast Aid Clinic in Garden City, Utah, to serve many of the lakeside communities.

As a non-profit, county-owned hospital, Bear Lake Memorial had gross revenues of just over $10 million last year. But the hospital returned nearly $1.2 million of that to the community, primarily in the form of unreimbursed medical care and community service initiatives to promote a healthy community.

Under its "Giving Back to the Community" initiative, Bear Lake Memorial regularly offers a free comprehensive healthy aging program and an annual health carnival for senior citizens. A second initiative is called "All of Our Children" and includes free annual student health fairs; a free clinic for athletes; an annual scoliosis clinic; and new this year, a program to improve cardiovascular fitness in elementary schools.

Bear Lake Memorial is the county's second largest employer. It has supported many of its employees and their educational pursuits through its scholarship program. It also maintains a stable and committed staff through its own recruitment and training process.

Recently, the community contributed more than $500,000 to the hospital's construction and renovation project. Another pledge of $250,000 will go toward remodeling and enlarging the hospital's Skilled Nursing Facility.

Yes, in an era when rural hospitals are struggling for existence, Bear Lake Memorial Hospital's approach to healthcare has it thriving.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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