UAIC donates $1M to Auburn hospital

Largest single donation
By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
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Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital received its largest single donation Thursday morning from a representative of the United Auburn Indian Community. UAIC’s Kelley Keyser presented Mitch Hanna of Auburn Faith Hospital with a giant representation of the actual $1 million check the tribe is giving to the hospital. UAIC owns and operates Thunder Valley Casino. “This is the single-most generous gift we have ever received at Sutter Auburn,” said Sarah Krevans, Sutter Health regional executive officer. Hanna, chief administrative officer, praised UAIC for its generosity. “This group’s generosity is truly humbling,” Hanna said. “They’ve given to the Boys & Girls Club, Sierra College and the list goes on and on. I tell my wife whenever we go to Thunder Valley Casino and lose, we still win because of the tribe’s generosity.” UAIC has also recently doanted $60,000 to help create Sutter Auburn’s new infusion center, which has given more than 3,400 treatments, Hanna said. “Those people would have had to go some place else,” Hanna said. The UAIC giving program, a branch of tribal government, has given more than $6.3 million to non-profit organizations that support needs in education, health, arts and humanities, environment and social services, according to a tribal statement. In November, the Auburn not-for-profit hospital embarks on a major renovation program. Most of the semi-private rooms will be converted to private rooms and the latest telemetry monitoring systems will be installed. Patient lift systems will be put in all rooms and there will be an electronic medication administration system. Also, the four operating rooms are being expanded and updated with new equipment. Part of the million-dollar donation will go for those upgrades, but Hanna said it would be up to the hospital’s 21-member board to determine the details of the donation’s use. The board consists of two physicians and the rest are members of the Auburn community. Jim Holmes, Placer County supervisor, attended the ceremony. During his introduction, it was noted that Holmes had two children who were born at Auburn Faith, which first opened its doors in 1966. “This celebrates two community partners coming together,” Holmes said. “There’s no question that the Auburn Indian Community is the greatest philanthropic organization in South Placer County. I am extremely happy that they have decided to support Auburn’s only hospital.” A tradition of giving can be attributed to many Native American tribes and the UAIC is no different. “This is our heart to give and be on the community giving committee,” Keyser said on behalf of members of the UAIC present. “We truly feel blessed to have the money to give back to the community. We’ve seen the doctors here who make up the heart of this hospital.” More than 100 members of the UAIC, which numbers just over 300, live in the Auburn area and many have received care at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, including Keyser. “Even before we had money, I can remember being a patient at this hospital and the calls back, asking if I’m OK,” Keyser said. “We truly want to be part of this hospital.”