During its annual meeting this week, the Lompoc Hospital District Foundation presented a check for $100,000 to Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) for the purchase of new, advanced physical therapy equipment and modules.

The equipment will be used at the acute hospital, Lompoc Health – North H Center and the Comprehensive Care Center, and will benefit the rehabilitation of hundreds of patients annually.

The foundation was created in 1990 to help ensure access to modern healthcare services in the Lompoc Valley by supporting capital improvements at LVMC.

The foundation also presents health-related community lectures throughout the year, organizes events such as the Senior Expo, and fund-raises at its annual Flower Valley Golf Classic and Colorthon.

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this worthwhile endeavor,” said Alice Milligan, foundation president/co-founder. “It’s been a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for me, even though I said I’d only do it for one year.”

Aaron Poirier, LVMC director of Rehabilitation Services, said the foundation’s generous donation would be used to significantly upgrade physical therapy offerings in the hospital district.

“While these donations are material in nature, I want to empathize they are being received and utilized by a highly skilled, dedicated and compassionate group of staff members who strive daily to improve the lives of our patients and our community,” he said.

“As a group, we sincerely thank the foundation for its tireless efforts and all of you who have made this donation possible and we promise it will be put to good use,” Poirier said.

Among the purchases will be a “mock car” for patients to simulate transferring into and out of vehicles; a machine to allow patients to practice navigating stairs and curbs; and a kitchenette to learn tasks such as cooking and cleaning while undergoing rehabilitation.

The department will also add an updated treadmill, recumbent bikes, and other materials to track patient outcomes.

The Rehabilitation Services Department will also buy a special table to help lift patients into supporting sitting or standing positions.

“This will allow patients to tolerate more intense rehab at a much sooner level and reduce the physical workload on our staff,” Poirier explained.

At LVMC’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, the Comprehensive Care Center, the foundation funds will be used for significant physical therapy upgrades.

“This will enhance our ability to mimic functional tasks that patients will be required to fulfill at home,” Poirier said. “It will better equip our patients to discharge safely and have a higher function at home.”

During its annual meeting at the Range restaurant in the Mission Club, foundation members confirmed its executive committee leaders and added a group of new trustees to its ranks.

The executive committee includes Alice Milligan, president; Jim Raggio, vice president; Tyler Perry, development and finance; Gary Williams, treasurer; Steve Popkin assistant treasurer; George Stillman, investments; Dr. Susan Bean-Mandibles, education; Susan Xiong, secretary; Heather Woolsey, membership and Board of Directors liaison.

New trustees for the coming year are Shelby Wild-Brown, Samantha Scroggin, Kathy Luette, Sue Slavens, Ashley Costa, and Nora Wallace.

The foundation, which has no paid dues, has more than 4,400 members and added 719 new people this past year, Woolsey said.

“Our efforts have been focused on reaching out to the community through various channels, including our fundraising events, community education lectures and collaborative educational events with community partners such as the LVCHO, Route One Farmers Market, and City of Lompoc Parks and Recreation,” she said.

“The growth in our membership through these outreach efforts has led to more volunteers and donors joining our mission,” Woolsey said. “Our goal is to keep growing and making our community healthier and more united and we appreciate your support in this journey.”

Milligan told attendees she couldn’t have imagined three decades ago that the foundation would still be “going strong and striving.”

“Without our volunteers we would not have enjoyed the success that we enjoy,” she said. “They’re always there when we need them.

“We’re very fortunate to have a very supportive community who will always come out and supports our special events, programs and lectures that we sponsor through the foundation. We’ve certainly made our mark on our community.

“I feel and hope we’ve been an asset for Lompoc Valley Medical Center. I truly do,” she said.

The foundation will continue its community outreach with a Caregiver Information Session, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center. The event includes educational information, food, raffles, and a wellness activity.

To RSVP, call 805-737-5762 or email xiongsu@lhdfoundation.org.