Time capsule from hospital's cornerstone opened

The original cornerstone of St. Martin's Hospital, sealed on Sept. 17, 1952. The construction crew at North Valley Hospital discovered the cornerstone in the wall  of the lobby and within it they found a time capsule when they hit it with a jackhammer. Th

The original cornerstone of St. Martin’s Hospital, sealed on Sept. 17, 1952. The construction crew at North Valley Hospital discovered the cornerstone in the wall of the lobby and within it they found a time capsule when they hit it with a jackhammer. Th

TONASKET – A time capsule from the original cornerstone of St. Martin’s Hospital was opened during the North Valley Hospital board meeting on Thursday, June 25.

The items found within the time capsule included: a Spokesman Review newspaper from Sept. 17, 1952, a Short History of the Dominican Province of the Immaculate Heart of Mary pamphlet and a business card for William R. Grant & Son Architects. There were several photos: one of Dr. Stewart Holmes, Oroville; one of Dr. T. P. Conners, Chief of Staff; one of Genon Anderson; Charlie Anderson; one of Mr. William Pagel, Audrey Ward and Mrs. Hurton; one of Fern Carter, Mrs. Elizabeth Babb, Mrs. Ruth Lewis, Mrs. Theresa Mosnik and Mrs. Nellie Braitten and one of Mr. Arthur Lund. The final photo was of Sr. Erwina and Mrs. Celia Laid; Sr. Snerita, Sr. Superior Serphina, Sr. Aexteina, Sr. Ancilla, Sr. Bernigna, Sr. Elizabeth, Sr. Josephina and Sr. Ermina was missing because she was on duty.

Also found within the time capsule were a penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half-dollar all from 1952, a rosary and two crucifixes, one with a Holy Year 1933 Anniversary of the Crucifixion card. There were five saint medallions: one of St. Walburga, two of Pius XII, one of St. Mary and one of the Archangel St. Michael. A locket, a small bottle of whisky that was 27 years-old in 1952, a tiny, empty bottle, a holy trinket, a letter from the date of sealing and a list of the 598 donors to the St. Martin’s Hospital were also in the time capsule.

“This is a very exciting time in our history,” Board Chair Helen Casey said. “In the history piece written by Lisa Andrews for the newspapers, one thing that caught my attention was the original building only cost $525,000. Also, Lisa informed me there are still four Dominican sisters who used to work at St. Martin’s who are still alive. Those sisters are Sr. Kethlene, Sr. Sharon, Sr. Mary Ester and Sr. Antonia.”

The time capsule was opened by Neil Helburg, John Boyd and Larry Stucks with a saw. Casey said NVH plans to put together another time capsule, but they are not sure what items will be included in it. She said this new time capsule will be sealed at the Grand Opening.

After the time capsule opening ceremony, the regular hospital board meeting began.

Boyd, director of support services, said the construction on the extended care has begun.

“We’re getting it framed up and it’s going along really well,” he said. “We had the MRI here this week and he was able to park on the slab.”

Dave Franklin from KDF Architecture spoke to the board during a discussion about the new Department of Health regulations.

“DOH is requiring the LDRP rooms to be larger than they are,” Franklin said. “The easy way is to build them and then grandfather them in. The new code will have a level of square footage required.”

Bomi Bharucha, chief financial officer, said that if funding is a question, the hospital is over budget.

“But if we can do it, we should go ahead and do it,” he added.

“I recommend you authorize us to go ahead on this and work like crazy to find the money,” Warner Bartleson, hospital administrator, said.

“If we didn’t find the money, how would we do it?” Lael Duncan, board member, asked.

“We’d have to take it out of operational expenses,” Bartleson said. “We’re asking you to approve us to do this.”

The board then voted and approved the request to build the rooms.

Gina Kameyer, clinic manager, then gave the Hospital/Clinic Division report to the board.

“We got Practice Partner in Oroville and there’s only one scanner that can only be used on one computer so that’s been a problem for Tonasket scanning records,” Kameyer said.

The board then approved the request for a document scanner for Tonasket. The last report the board heard before going into executive session came from Judy Gladden, manager of the long-term care division. She reported about a new resident getting through the Wander Guard system. She said the panel above the door was broken but has now been fixed however, Boyd is getting a quote from another company.

After the executive session, the board approved a motion to pass the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local #21 AFL-CIO and Patient Care/LPN, Office/Clerical, Service/Maintenance, Professional/Technical and Oroville Clinic Staff contract from May 1, 2009 to May 1, 2010.

The next regular hospital board meeting is on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. in the hospital board room.