Gift from Local Clubs Helps Kids Prepare for Surgery

Pictured left to right are Fryburg Sportsman’s Club members Tom Nale and Jerry Hooper, UPMC Northwest Director of Surgical Services Patricia Boland, Clarion Rod & Gun Club member Phyllis Agnello, and Northwest Hospital Foundation Executive Director Theresa Edder.

Thanks to a donation from two local clubs, children at UPMC Northwest are receiving a comfortable and personalized experience in the operating room.

The Fryburg Sportsman’s Club and Clarion Rod & Gun Club donated $1,000 to the Northwest Hospital Foundation for the purchase of stuffed animals for children in surgery.

Stuffed animals help kids overcome some of the anxiety that goes along with surgery and enables them to learn about their operations in a fun way. “A stuffed animal greets each child upon arrival and is used to demonstrate what will happen during the operation by the surgical team. The child gets to keep the stuffed animal throughout the procedure and take it home after discharge,” said UPMC Northwest Director of Surgical Services Patricia Boland.

“It’s easy for children to feel overwhelmed or nervous about going to surgery. These fluffy friends offer the children a comforting sense of security, fostering emotional growth and resilience.”

The Northwest Hospital Foundation is seeking additional support to continue the program. For more information, please visit or contact Theresa Edder, Executive Director by calling 814-676-7145 or emailing

Hospital Foundation Purchases Ambulance Lift

John Anderson (Executive Director, Community Ambulance Service), Tim Fletcher (Director of Operations, Community Ambulance Service), Jeff Hollidge (Operations Supervisor, Community Ambulance Service), Benjamin Hart (EMS Specialist, UPMC Northwest), and Theresa Edder (Executive Director, Northwest Hospital Foundation) with the Stryker MTS Power Cot-Load.

A new piece of hydraulic lifting equipment will make it easier and safer for our area’s first responders to transport larger patients to and from UPMC Northwest.

Recently the Northwest Hospital Foundation donated a Stryker MTS Power Cot-Load lifting assist device that was installed in a Community Ambulance Service ambulance. With the push of a button, the device lifts the patient into and out of the ambulance on the stretcher, with no lifting and little assistance required. The Power Cot-Load is used to lift patients weighing up to 700 pounds.

Community Ambulance Service is the primary EMS transport in Venango County. They serve a population of around 50,000 people and deliver approximately 80% of prehospital patients to UPMC Northwest. With an increasing average weight of patients and an aging EMS workforce, lift-related injuries are on the rise. The most effective way to keep patients and EMS workers safe is to reduce lifting as much as possible.

The lifting device not only reduces the risk of stretcher injuries, it also ensures larger patients are transported comfortably to and from Northwest. Previously, UPMC Northwest and Community Ambulance Service did not have the ability to quickly transport heavier patients without outside assistance. The new equipment creates better experiences for these patients and improves their ability to seek medical care.

John Anderson, Executive Director of Community Ambulance Service, said, “We would like to thank the Northwest Hospital Foundation for this equipment. It is a great asset to our EMS workers to use in the field to safely move patients to, from, and between UPMC Northwest and other facilities.”

The Northwest Hospital Foundation thoughtfully enhances the health care of our community by making financial resources available to UPMC Northwest in its mission to deliver high-quality services to the residents of the region. For information, visit or contact Theresa Edder, Executive Director by calling (814) 676-7145 or emailing

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