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The Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation Raises Funds for St. Luke’s McCall Project

The Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation has long supported St. Luke's McCall, providing nearly $800,000 in grants since 1985. The grants have supported the introduction of state-of-the-art equipment, including 3D digital mammography, CT scanner and labor and delivery department equipment.
By Laura Crawford, News and Community
March 8, 2017

The Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation has awarded a $500,000 lead grant to St. Luke’s McCall Foundation’s capital campaign, “The Right Care. Right Here,” in support of St. Luke’s McCall’s facility renovation and replacement project. 

The gift is dedicated to support the surgical services department expansion. Lead grants set the bar for future gifts by challenging other donors to meet a similar level of giving.

“This grant was awarded as an acknowledgement of the excellent reputation of St. Luke’s McCall medical staff and surgical team and the quality of care as evidenced by the zero percent post-surgical infection rate,” St. Luke’s McCall Foundation Director Jenny Ruemmele said.

The grant also acknowledges increasing demand for surgical services from patients. Trustees structured the grant so that $250,000 would be contributed when the foundation raises a matching $250,000.

The Dumke Foundation has long supported the hospital, providing nearly $800,000 in grants since 1985. The grants have supported the introduction of state-of-the-art equipment to better serve the community, including 3D digital mammography, CT scanner and labor and delivery department equipment. 

The foundation was started in Ogden in 1958 by Dr. Dumke and his wife, Edna Wattis Dumke, and reflects the couples’ lifelong commitment to the healing and betterment of the community, Ruemmele said.

The foundation provides gifts and grants to support organizations involved with health and human services, arts and culture, education and the environment.

In 1958 Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Wattis Dumke started a foundation dedicated to the healing and betterment of the community.

Current trustees Zeke Dumke, Jr, Nancy Schwandfelder, Andrea Manship and Claire Ryberg, unanimously approved the gift to support “The Right Care. Right Here” campaign.

Dumke’s family continues his early efforts to provide advanced health care to rural communities by funding strategic health care investments, Ruemmele said.

Dumke provided surgical care to patients in Utah, Idaho and Montana and was a prominent physician who started his surgical practice in 1919 in Ogden and pioneered the use of spinal anesthesia.

He was instrumental in forming the Ogden Surgical Society, and founding St. Benedict’s Hospital, which opened its doors in 1946. He serviced as the first chief of staff at both St. Benedict’s and Dee Memorial hospitals in Ogden.

“This lead gift recognizes the commitment and compassion of the physicians, nurses and clinical team at St. Luke’s McCall,” Ruemmele said.

The need to expand the hospital reflects the increasing demand and need for healthcare services offered at St. Luke’s McCall. From 2010 to 2016, surgeries have increased by 182 percent, emergency department visits by 42 percent and clinic visits by 34 percent.

“We’ve strived to optimize and leverage our existing limited space for years; however, we must expand and renovate our square footage in order to meet the burgeoning demand for health care services in our region,” said Sean McCallister, St. Luke’s McCall administrator.

St. Luke’s McCall identified the need to expand several years ago and embarked on surveys and studies of the current and future healthcare needs of the community. Based on those studies, the decision was made to build on the current site, and significant progress has been made toward the acquisition of key properties adjacent to the hospital, review of space programming and the completion of site investigation studies.

The project is being overseen by a steering committee consisting of a diverse group of stakeholders, including physicians, staff members, community representatives from the hospital’s volunteer boards and hospital district board members.

St. Luke’s architects and project managers will study proposed department adjacency before schematic and architectural design commence.

“Optimal layout of departments and services creates a more patient-centered and safety-driven care environment, as well as efficient staff workflows,” McCallister said.

“Larger, more contemporary spaces will further our care and support teams’ abilities to serve patients.”

Once complete, the preliminary space layout will drive the architectural design and the overall campus master plan.

The goal is to break ground in summer 2018, with construction taking place in phases over a three-year period.

The estimated cost of the project is $35 million. St. Luke’s McCall Foundation has committed to raise $5 million in community charitable donations. The balance of the cost will be funded by St. Luke’s Health System.

About The Author

Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.

Related Facility

St. Luke's McCall Medical Center
1000 State St.
McCall, ID 83638
(208) 634-2221

Related Foundation

McCall Foundation