Welcome Pain Clinic to Bonners Ferry

February 22, 2019

Bonners Ferry, ID – Boundary Community Hospital welcomes Idaho Pain Clinic as a Specialist Provider Clinic in Bonners Ferry.  J. Sorin Ispirescu, MD, Clinton Thome, MD, A. Cipriana Niculaescu, PA-C, and Magda Sneddon, NP-C will be seeing patients on Thursdays in Outpatient Services at the Hospital.

According to Clinic Manager Kayley Zilinskas, “Idaho Pain Clinic understands the unique circumstances of each patient and their needs. We offer the most advanced treatment options in pain management and are committed to providing the highest level of care to our Boundary County patients.”

Contact Idaho Pain Clinic at 208-263-9757 to make an appointment, right here in Bonners Ferry.

For more information: www.boundarycommunityhospital.org/outpatient/pain-clinic

A Heartfelt Thank You

February 28, 2019

With grateful hearts, the Fry Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors is ecstatic to announce that this year’s Festival of Hearts gala raised over $37,000!  This will allow them to purchase four Spacelabs QUB Heart Monitors for Boundary Community Hospital Emergency/Acute Care as well as the Fund-an-Item Blood Bank Refrigerator designated for use by the Hospital’s Laboratory.

The elegant atmosphere coupled with the delicious food prepared by the master chefs at the Kootenai River Inn made for a delightful event. Teresa and Brian Rae joined forces as emcee and auctioneer, extracting high amounts for the auction items while keeping the event fun and relaxed.  According to Teresa Rae, Vice President of Fry Healthcare Foundation, “We are pleased to be able to provide this special event at a time of year when people in Boundary County want to get together and celebrate. The dinner and auction format seems to be just right, and we are humbled by our community’s generosity.”

All of the auction items had a local connection including a Life Flight Network lifetime membership, flowers from SugarPlum Floral and BeeHaven Flower Farms, beef from Gardiner Prime Angus Ranch in Porthill, dining certificates from local restaurants, getaway packages to Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene, a Day on the Lake with Wendy and Steve Hawks, golf at Mirror Lake Golf Course, garlic from Allicin’s Ranch, and FLO-grown products from Cloud Eleven Mountain Farms.

The Dessert Dash was again a rousing success this year, doubling last year’s proceeds by raising a whopping $8,409!  “The Tower of Chocolate Cake donated by Kootenai River Inn went for $2,000, and two other desserts went for over $1,000 each.  Tables pool their resources to be able to pick first from the 15 spectacular desserts, and this single event has proven to be not only a money-maker for Fry, but also an event that attendees look forward to and strategize over,” provided Teresa Rae.  It is a fun way for everyone at the event to participate and share desserts, with many individuals leaving with yummy leftover boxes to enjoy at home.  A special thank you to the restaurants and individuals who created the beautiful and delicious dessert array.

During the event, many of the attendees raised their paddles as part of the Fund-an-Item bidding in order to raise money to purchase a Blood Bank Refrigerator for the Laboratory.  In a time-sensitive emergency, the Hospital needs to have a ready supply of blood, and this new refrigerator will have all of the latest temperature controls and alarms in order to allow the hospital to provide the best possible service in this area.

The Fry Healthcare Foundation and our community have raised $1.25 Million to benefit the hospital over the past 21 years. A heartfelt thank you to everyone in the community for your continued support of the Foundation and its fundraising efforts on behalf of Boundary Community Hospital.  Please join us at the next Fry Healthcare Foundation event which will be the Tenth Annual Golf Tournament at Mirror Lake Golf Course on September 6, 2019.  Again, thank you to all who donated and attended this great event!

Auxiliary Pie Sale 2019 A Success

February 21, 2019

Bonners Ferry, ID – Thank you to everyone who donated or purchased pies at the famous Boundary Community Hospital Auxiliary Pie Sale on Thursday, February 21. The fifty six pies were sold out by Noon and the Auxiliary raised over $1,100.

A special thank you to Chic-n-Chop, Safeway, Super1, Soul Shine Bistro, multiple local churches, and Hospital employees.  Hospital staff purchased 27 pies and desserts from the event, some of them shared with their co-workers.  We appreciated folks stopping by for a piece of pie and a cup of coffee, including Sheriff Kramer and several Hospital Trustees, so we could visit with them and catch up on County news. And thank you to Dr. Roland Hall from Bonners Ferry Veterinary Clinic for purchasing the last pie of the day!

Over the past year, monies raised through the annual pie sale and Hospital soda pop sales have been used to purchase two-way radios for the nursing staff in the Extended Care Facility; rolling stools and stainless steel instrument table for Surgery; isolation room door caddies and hangers; patient scale with handles for Boundary Community Clinics; and a commercial grade vacuum for Housekeeping.

The Hospital Auxiliary, started in 1954 originally to assist at the Hospital, is seeking new active members to join the group. If you are interested, please come to the next meeting on March 12 at 11:30 a.m. at Chic-N-Chop. Women and men are welcome.

Amy Andersen, Irene Rice, Claudia Reno, Edna Eby, and Jan Weaver show off this year’s pie selections.


When Your Life Is On The Line

Bonners Ferry Living Local February – Time Sensitive Emergency

By Alana Temple, RN, BSN
Boundary Community Hospital Emergency Department

Every year approximately 790,000 Americans suffer a heart attack and for 580,000 it is their primary or first time attack, while 210,000 occur in individuals who have a history of a prior attack. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction occurs when a part of the heart does not receive the correct blood flow. Most cases of heart attack occur due to underlying coronary artery diseases.

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack so that medical treatment can be obtained, reduce the risk of damage, and help prevent cardiac arrest. The more time that passes before restoring blood flow to the area, the greater the damage and risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Not everyone will have the same symptoms or the same severity of symptoms. Some may have no symptoms but may just experience sudden cardiac arrest. Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest pain or pressure with or without radiation to one or both arms, jaw pain, pain in the mid back, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and feeling sweaty or clammy, and pale skin.

If you, or someone else, is experiencing any of these symptoms, CALL 911 !  Getting medical treatment on the way to the victim is key for survival.  In a rural area it is tempting to place the person in a vehicle and rush to the Emergency Room. It is much better and safer to call 911 and get medical treatment headed to the victim. Emergency medical personnel that respond can start treatments as soon as they arrive. They are equipped to perform an electrocardiogram to determine the heart’s rhythm, start an intravenous line to administer medications, draw blood for laboratory testing and, most importantly, they carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) to use if needed to provide a shock to the heart. Calling 911 also alerts the team in the emergency department of the hospital that there is a chest pain call in progress.

If you witness a person with sudden cardiac arrest, immediately call 911 and then begin hands only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Place your hands in the center of the chest, push fast and hard and do not stop until help arrives. A good way to determine how fast is to think of the song “Staying Alive” and push to the beat. Hands only CPR is CPR without rescue breaths and it has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for sudden arrest at home or in the public. According to The American Heart Association 2016 statistics nearly 46 percent of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when bystander CPR was administered.

Unfortunately, only about 45 percent of people in sudden cardiac arrest received bystander CPR. You may fear doing CPR incorrectly or injuring the victim, but please remember that the emergency is that the heart is not beating and the loss of the circulatory system.  If in doubt, always call 911 and start CPR, you quite possibly can save a life!

February is American Heart Health Month and the perfect time to learn your risk for heart disease and the steps to reduce them. Heart disease does not just occur in older adults, it can happen at any age. Some risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, being diabetic and smoking. The biggest part of heart health comes down to making healthy choices. Age and family history cannot be changed but the good news is that modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by up to 80 percent.


Boundary Community Hospital has been designated as Level IV Trauma Center and is in the process of being designated as a Level II STEMI Center by the State of Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Program

NW Hospital Alliance Nurse Leaders – 2018 ID Rural Health Heroes


Date: November 15, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Ann Reuter idahorha@gmail.com

Idaho Rural Health Association Honors Idaho Rural Health Heroes at Annual Meeting and Awards Reception on November 7, 2018

IRHA President Mary Barinaga, MD (L) presents a 2018 Idaho Rural Health Hero Award to Tari Yourzek (R) of the Northwest Hospital Alliance.

Tari Yourzek of the Northwest Hospital Alliance was one of eight Idaho healthcare professionals to receive an Idaho Rural Health Hero Award at the Idaho Rural Health Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Awards Reception on November 7.

The awards are given a week before National Rural Health Day in Idaho (November 15th this year) to recognize rural health educators, community advocates, healthcare providers and program administrators who demonstrate outstanding service and dedication to rural communities.  Nominations described the many contributions of this year’s awardees as advocates, communicators, educators, collaborators and innovators.

The Northwest Hospital Alliance is a network of hospitals whose members include rural critical access hospitals (Boundary Community Hospital, Bonner General Health, Benewah Community Hospital and Shoshone Medical Center) and Kootenai Health Medical Center.

The Nurse Leaders Peer Group of the Northwest Hospital Alliance is comprised of the Chief Nursing Officers of these facilities. Tari Yourzek, CNO at Boundary Community Hospital, is chairperson for the group.

The Peer Group was nominated to receive an Idaho Rural Health Heroes award because of the many ways its members work to lift the profession of nursing to its highest level, and because of the Nursing Grand Rounds program that formed from the group’s efforts.

The Idaho Rural Health Association is a nonprofit membership organization that provides leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communication, education and collaboration.  As the recognized voice for rural health issues in Idaho, IRHA offers a forum for health professionals, community members and healthcare organizations to work together to identify and find solutions to rural health problems.

Read the stories of all the 2018 Idaho Rural Health Heroes at idahorha.org.


Nurse Leaders Peer Group Story

Neighbors Caring for Neighbors

We Saved Lives Today

By: Dennis Dinning MPA, HSAC, Boundary Community Hospital Trustee

Bonners Ferry, ID – As a Critical Access Hospital in a rural community, many folks think Boundary Community Hospital is defined as an emergency department only. What they do not realize is that we are more than “just a hospital” but a health resource for the community with many services offered locally.

In 2016 the Hospital Board of Trustees reached out to voters with a request for a special levy to fund some much needed equipment and upgrades.  The Levy was passed by voters and the funds were collected in 2017 and in your current property taxes for 2018 for a total of $828,000 over the two years.  The Hospital received the first half of the funding in 2018 and we expect to receive the second half in 2019.

We specified when we asked for the levy funds that we would:

  • Dennis Dinning (far right) congratulates Shannon Rust, RN, Outpatient Surgery Manager and Orthopedic Surgeon Michael DiBenedetto, MD after the successful completion of a total knee replacement surgery in the new Surgery Suite at Boundary Community Hospital.

    Upgrade the surgery suite so that we can perform more procedures including joint replacement surgery. The surgery suite infection control system and remodeling have been completed and the endoscopy scopes have been purchased.  In 2019, we will purchase arthroscopic instruments and other medical devices for orthopedic surgery. Dr. Michael DiBenedetto has been performing total knee and hip replacement surgery since September 2018, right here in Bonners Ferry.

  • Purchase new equipment for the Clinical Medical Laboratory so that testing can be done locally for faster, more accurate results. The new equipment has been installed and our local laboratory is one of the best equipped in the state including the Microscan Array to test virus and bacteria (in hours instead of days), so the correct antibiotic can be prescribed.
  • Purchase Diagnostic Imaging equipment. The C-Arm Portable X-Ray machine for orthopedic surgery and emergency use has been purchased. The CT Contrast Injector is planned for 2019, so we can expand our capabilities in Computerized Tomography (CT).
  • Replace the Fire Alarm panel which was originally installed in 1992 – scheduled for 2019.
  • Replace the Climate Control System with a computerized control center to better regulate the HVAC system throughout the Hospital and Nursing Home – scheduled for 2019.

These equipment purchases expand the services available and is attracting more Specialists for clinics and surgery, enabling patients to recover and receive occupational and physical therapy in Bonners Ferry. This also allows the health care dollars to be spent locally, saves the patient and their family travel and lodging expenses, and keeps jobs in Boundary County, which helps the local economy.

In 2016, I had serious health issues and was forced to take early retirement. I grew up in Bonners Ferry and we had a weekend place here, so my wife and I decided we would consider moving back home, after being gone for over 40 years. One of our biggest concerns about coming back to Boundary County was my ongoing health issues and access to quality health care. This is a very common concern for many people looking to retire, as well as companies looking to relocate to a new area. I decided to research health care systems in the community and evaluate how it would fit into my situation. I saw an opportunity to serve as a Trustee for Boundary Community Hospital and although I have physical limitations, I had past education, work, and volunteer experience, which would not only allow me to serve, but to be hands on with our local health care.

Boundary Community Hospital plays a distinct and critical role by leading efforts to address the unique healthcare needs of our rural citizens. As a trustee, our vision is “Neighbors Caring for Neighbors” and I have definitely seen this vision in action since moving home and becoming part of the Boundary Community Hospital “neighborhood.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Special Article for Bonners Ferry Living Local
October 2018

WHAT IS A MAMMOGRAM? A mammogram is an x-ray study of the breast. Usually 2 views are obtained of each breast. The overall mammogram study radiation dose is approximately equal to being outside on 20 summer days. The mammogram study takes approximately 20 minutes. There is some discomfort due to compressing the breast tissue to obtain a clear diagnostic image, but it is well worth the short-term discomfort.

WHY GET A MAMMOGRAM? There are many reasons why a woman should get a mammogram. Mammograms can identify a lump up to 2 years before it can be felt. The earlier breast cancer is found the better the outcome. The best weapon against breast cancer is early detection. The 5 year relative survival rates for patients who have early breast cancer detected with mammography is 100% according to the National Cancer Institute.

WHO SHOULD GET A MAMMOGRAM AND WHEN? In the United States the Preventative Services Task Force Mammogram Guidelines recommend women begin screening at age 50 and the American Cancer Society recommends screening to begin at age 45. Other medical organizations recommend screening beginning at age 40. If the woman begins screening at age 50 annual mammograms should follow. If the woman begins at 40 or 45, depending on her family history and circumstances annual mammograms are recommended, however, every other year would also be reasonable until age 50 followed by annual mammograms. Women should continue with mammography until age 75 and thereafter it is up to the patient whether she should continue annual follow-up.

Approximately 230,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. However, mammograms are the best form of early detection and can save your life. There are more than 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer in the United States. In Boundary County I’m quite sure that you know or may know of a breast cancer survivor. Or possibly, you are a breast cancer survivor. I have been the primary physician interpreting mammograms at Boundary Community Hospital for the past 18 years and I can attest that we have discovered numerous early cancers of women who are cancer free since the diagnosis and treatment. In fact, mortality rates for breast cancer have declined in the past 20 years by 31% nationally.

Boundary Community Hospital has been performing mammograms for over 3 decades. We have state of the art digital mammography. We recommend that patients who have extremely dense breasts have a 3-D mammogram (tomosynthesis). In some cases an MRI breast study, ultrasound, or biopsy may be necessary to exclude a breast cancer.

Incidentally, men can also develop breast cancer even though it is 100 times less likely than women who develop breast cancer. Any adult male, usually older males, who develops a breast lump should see his physician to determine if a mammogram is indicated. Most male breast lumps are due to hormonal changes and or medications.

If you have any questions concerning mammography please feel free to call Boundary Community Hospital radiology at 208-267-3141, extension 4258.

Michael Melendez, MD
Consulting Radiologist
Certified by the American Board of Radiology

New X-Ray Equipment Installed

New X-Ray

August 14, 2018

Bonners Ferry, ID – Radiologic Technologists Bill Blumenauer, RT(R) (ARRT) and Ryan Jenkins, RT(R) (ARRT) show off the new Digital Radiography (X-Ray) equipment installed at Boundary Community Hospital.  With easy patient access, lower radiation exposure, enhanced image quality, and connection to the regional Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) allowing our images and reports to be shared and viewed with local physicians and other facilities, this equipment is a welcome addition to the Diagnostic Imaging Department for Outpatient and Emergency X-ray requirements.

Melissa Morrow, RT(R) CT(R) (ARRT), our third Radiologic Technologist, missed out on the photo shoot.

Fry Healthcare Foundation Tenth Annual Golf Tournament

Swing! For the community. It was a beautiful day to play golf at the Fry Healthcare Foundation’s  10th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, September 7th.

Garry Reed and Jerry Jimenez played to a victory on the beautiful fairways and greens at Mirror Lake Golf Course.

(L to R) Jerry Jimenez and Garry Reed

Fry Healthcare Foundation Board Member Kevin Callos and Boundary Community Hospital CEO, Craig Johnson came in second place with their friends Ed and Jeff Sample finishing in third place.

(L to R) Jeff Sample, Ed Sample, Craig Johnson, and Kevin Callos

Longest Drive for Men was Jamie Porter, and Longest Drive for Women was Blanche Studer.  Carrick Renaley had the Most Accurate Drive and Elaine Morgan sank the Longest Putt.

The highlight of the event was when Craig Johnson made a Hole In One on the 2nd hole! Too bad it wasn’t Boundary Tractor’s Hole-in-One prize that was on the 8th Hole.

Sponsors and donors for the tournament included Kootenai Health, Automated Accounts Inc., Idaho Forest Group, Yellowstone Insurance Exchange, Gardiner Prime Angus Ranch, Elaine Morgan, Edward Jones Investments, Craig and Donna Johnson, Boundary Community Hospital Board of Trustees, Pace-Kerby & Co., P1FCU, Medicine Man Pharmacy, Bonners Ferry Living Local, News BF, BF Redi-Mix, The Dressing Room, and Riverside Auto Center.

Life Flight Network sponsored the Great Golf Ball Drop, which was won by Janet Lukehart.  The grand prize was a pair of kayaks, paddles and life vests from Far North Outfitters.

Kevin Callos helping to load the Kayaks for Janet Lukehart, NPC

The funds raised at this year’s tournament will be used to purchase two Vital Signs Monitors for Boundary Community Hospital Emergency and Acute Care. Over the past twenty years, the Fry Healthcare Foundation and our community have raised over $1.2 Million to benefit the hospital. We are very grateful for your continued support that ultimately benefits everyone who relies on Boundary Community Hospital for emergency and routine care.

Craig Johnson made a Hole-in-One at the 2018 Tournament

For More Information:
Fry Healthcare Foundation:  208-267-6912
Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on Fry Healthcare Foundation-sponsored events.