Kiwanis Grant Supports Atrium Medical Center Foundation in Purchasing BiPap Machine

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (November 18, 2022) – Atrium Medical Center Foundation recently received a gift of $12,000 from Kiwanis Club of Middletown to purchase a new BiPap machine for Atrium Medical Center. Through the Foundation’s Power of Kindness-Multiplied campaign, this donation will enhance pulmonary care for patients who choose Atrium.

“This gift continues a longstanding partnership between Atrium and the Kiwanis Club of Middletown,” said Michael D. Stautberg, president of Atrium Medical Center Foundation. “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atrium has had more hospitalized patients who require BiPap machines, ventilators, and other lifesaving respiratory equipment. This donation presented by Kiwanis will help hospitalized patients who have trouble breathing on their own.”

Bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPap, machines are a type of non-invasive ventilator that helps push air into the lungs. The patient wears a mask or nasal plugs that are connected to the BiPap, and the machine supplies pressurized air into the patient’s airways.

“This donation to Atrium is in honor of our late member, Bonnie Belle Riesbeck, who passed away in March,” said Anita Shew, president of Kiwanis Club of Middletown. “Bonnie was a member of Kiwanis Club of Middletown since 1995. Her energy and love for the community reflects our club’s gift to the Foundation.”

Having enough BiPaps on hand is vital to care for all Atrium patients who need breathing assistance. Common conditions requiring BiPap are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis; obstructive sleep apnea; pneumonia; asthma; and neurological disease that disturbs breathing. In Ohio, 25 percent of adults ages 65 and up have COPD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Demand for BiPaps at Atrium is always high,” said Larissa Schultz, BS, RRT, respiratory care education coordinator at Atrium. “When COVID-19 cases surged, staff scrambled to provide alternative therapies as machines became scarce. Every day was a challenge to provide the equipment necessary to deliver the best care for each patient. Even as the pandemic subsides, the need for BiPaps will remain.” 

The new BiPap machine will be put into service in the coming weeks at Atrium. Kiwanis of Middletown also partners with Atrium Medical Center Foundation for the annual James A. Combs Memorial Golf Tournament that takes place every spring to raise funds for the hospital’s Dr. E. Ronald Oches Endowment for Children.

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