Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)
By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer
Kinder Morgan contributed $300,000 to McKenzie County Healthcare Systems’ (MCHS) new medical campus on Wednesday, March 2, at the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting in Watford City.
“This is an exciting part of the segway here as we move forward,” stated Lynn Welker, CEO of WelkerPR, who is working with the healthcare system’s fundraising efforts. “Those sorts of efforts are made possible through donors like Kinder Morgan. The donation you are providing today is exceptional. MCHS will be naming a courtyard in our new medical facility in honor of Kinder Morgan.”
Funding and building a new, state-of-the-art medical campus is no small task. MCHS’s new medical campus is designed to enhance outpatient and inpatient care, meet the community’s primary and urgent care needs, provide for surgical procedures, and equip the Howard Bonner Memorial Emergency Room with technology necessary for the best, most immediate and effective response in the region.
Additionally, private resident rooms for the community’s aging population in need of nursing care will be constructed. In order to properly care for the community’s growing and evolving community, enhancing the existing services and expanding the continuum of care is crucial. Expanding the existing facility will allow MCHS to continue to attract top talent and fill positions that can be challenging to fill based on Watford City’s rural setting.
“I’m alive today because of MCHS, Dr. Ramage, and his team when I had a brain hemmorage,” remembered Patsy Levang, chairman of the MCHS Board of Directors. “With the new facility, we’ll have the state-of-the-art equipment we need in a very rural area. Thank you Kinder Morgan for your donation. And I think everyone, whether it’s been from a cheerleader point - cheering us on in our endeavors, or whether it’s been from a worker point, it’s everyone who has a had a part in this new facility coming together, that it has been made possible.”
Hiland Partners Holdings, a Kinder Morgan, Inc. company, recognized the value of the MCHS’s efforts and has helped them advance their goal of keeping healthcare close to home for McKenzie County residents and their neighbors in surrounding areas.
Because of their $300,000 commitment to the new facility, of which $120,000 is being donated immediately, with the remainder coming in $50,000 installments through 2018, everyone in the community is closer to realizing the benefits of added services and staff.
“I applaud Kinder Morgan in making this contribution to the community where they have a strong presence,” said Dan Kelly, CEO of MCHS. “The oil activity has brought many new individuals to our community and with that influx comes new needs. Kinder Morgan is being a great corporate citizen and doing their part to see that their employees will have access to quality/comprehensive medical care.”
Kinder Morgan is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. In 2015, Kinder Morgan, Inc. completed the acquisition of Hiland Partners for approximately $3 billion, giving Kinder Morgan a large footprint in North Dakota and the Bakken Formation area. The company operates 325 miles of natural gas and crude pipeline in McKenzie County, while employing approximately 150 people and paying $1.9 million in taxes to state and local bodies in the county.
“It’s very important to our company that we form strong partnerships with communities, especially given the size of our operations in McKenzie County,” said Kinder Morgan Vice President of Public Affairs Allen Fore, who attended the check presentation in Watford City. “We know our contribution to McKenzie County Healthcare Systems will help serve the ever-changing needs of the community, and we are pleased to make this investment to assist the people on the front lines of providing critical care to area residents.”
MCHS, Inc. is located in Watford City - in the heart of western North Dakota’s Bakken formation. MCHS’ Board of Trustees includes Patsy Levang - board president, Kelly Peterson - vice president, Michon Sax - secretary, Scott Swenson - treasurer, and trustees Myron Hovet, Tammy James, Larry Larsen, Neal Shipman, Nancy Jellesed, and Daniel Kelly. Board President of the Benefit Fund of MCHS, Inc., is Myra Anderson and Vice President is Gretchen Stenehjem. Daniel Kelly serves as the Benefit Fund’s Executive Director.
“Whether it is us or ANOVA, we take health for granted until we don’t have it anymore,” stated Mike Curtis, COO for MCHS. “We’re preparing for this misfortune to happen and when it does, this new facility is allowing us to bring healthcare close to home.”