BVRMC Foundation and Buena Vista County Community Foundation Help Children Breathe Easier

Amber Chrischilles | January 25th, 2024

A pediatric ventilator was purchased for Buena Vista Regional Medical Center’s respiratory therapy department. This was made possible through the Buena Vista Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Cares for Kids fund and a $5,000 grant from the Buena Vista County Community Foundation (BVCCF).

This new device will help better serve pediatric patients who experience difficulty breathing. A child in need of this equipment is typically someone with extreme issues with RSV or asthma, among other emergency situations.

“When a child comes in experiencing problems breathing, we try to help stabilize them. In some cases, it becomes inevitable that they need to be intubated,” says BVRMC Director of Cardio-Pulmonary Ashton Huffman. “Once we use the pediatric ventilator, we are able to help the child slow down their breathing, allowing them to properly rest and heal.”

BVMRC Respiratory Therapist uses a breathing exercise tool on a pediatric patient in the Emergency Room at BVRMC, the pediatric ventilator is shown behind them

The Foundation aims to help provide tools and equipment to help BVRMC provide even greater care to patients and the community. BVRMC’s medical team has even greater peace of mind knowing that they have the best tools available.

“We are extremely thankful for our generous donors as well as the partnership we have with the BVCCF,” say BVRMC Executive Director of Community Development Katie Schwint. “Their support has allowed us to purchase this piece of equipment that can be a vital tool in emergencies.”

BVRMC’s First Embrace Obstetrics department currently houses a neonatal/infant ventilator that can be used on some of BVRMC’s littlest patients in times of emergencies. This new equipment is able to provide more adequate support for pediatric patients. Being able to house both ventilators and know they are on-hand for both departments of the hospital has been an added benefit to the care BVRMC provides.

In recent years, due to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased cases of RSV, the respiratory therapy department has been brought to the forefront of BVRMC’s medical services. BVRMC provides an essential service to the community by employing four respiratory therapists who provide 24-hour care at the hospital.

“We are grateful for the generous donations from community members to the Buena Vista Regional Healthcare Foundation along with the grant provided by the BVCCF,” says Huffman. “Your support not only helps provide life-saving equipment, but you help to provide comfort to BVRMC’s medical team, knowing that we have the most advanced tools available that are necessary to do our jobs.”

In most cases where it is necessary for children to be intubated, they are transported to a larger facility to get the level of care necessary for their situation, often with a flight crew. In those cases, Huffman explains that the hand-off process to the flight crew is more seamless if BVRMC already has the patient intubated and stable.

“While we never want to experience situations where children need to be intubated, when situations do arise where it is necessary, we know we are more than equipped to provide great care in emergencies to all stages of life,” continues Huffman.

To learn more about the Buena Vista Regional Healthcare Foundation and how you can support local, accessible health care in your community, visit

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