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Orvamae Emmerson Fund grants $200k to St. Joseph Hospital

Board of Trustees chairman Dennis Leonardi, left, and VP of PR/Marketing and Fund Development Laurie Watson-Stone thank Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director Peter Pennekamp,center, for the foundation’s recent $200,000 donation to St. JosephHospital’s Northeast Tower expansion project.St. Joseph Hospital recently received a $200,000 grant from the Orvamae Emmerson Endowment Fund, a fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation, to benefit the hospital’s Northeast Tower expansion project. The grant is specifically slated to help fund the construction of the emergency room in the new medical facility.

"This is an amazing gift to St. Joseph Hospital and to the entire community," said Joe Mark, CEO of St. Joseph Hospital. "We are grateful to the Humboldt Area Foundation for recognizing the medical facility project as an important investment in the future of health care for all residents of Humboldt County."

"Among Mrs. Emmerson’s four areas of focus for the fund are projects that benefit local residents with heart disease. With the emergency room often being a heart patient’s first point of medical contact, it is hard to imagine a more important way to support Mrs. Emmerson’s vision for her fund," said HAF Executive Director Peter Pennekamp.

The grant comes at a time when the hospital is nearing the one-year mark for the construction of the Northeast Tower, which will feature an emergency room with 20 treatment rooms, surgical suite with eight operating rooms, an intensive care unit, new reception and waiting areas, and more.

Because every dollar raised up to $12.5 million for St. Joseph Hospital’s capital campaign is matched by St. Joseph Health (based in Orange, Calif.), the gift from the Orvamae Emmerson Endowment Fund will automatically be doubled for a total of $400,000 toward the construction project.

Long-time local resident Orvamae Emmerson was born in Illinois in 1916. As a young woman, she traveled to San Francisco, where she met and married R.H. "Curly" Emmerson. The couple moved to Arcata, where he was involved in the lumber industry. She was a member of Humboldt Sponsors, the Ingomar Club, Baywood Golf & Country Club and the Cattlemen’s Association. Mrs. Emmerson passed away in December 2006, leaving her estate for the creation of a trust to benefit the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department, the Arcata Police Department and the treatment and prevention of arthritis and heart disease.

For more information about the Orvamae Emmerson Endowment Fund or other Humboldt Area Foundation funds, visit Visit our Blueprint for Excellence page for construction and capital campaign updates or call the construction hotline at (707) 269-3650 to hear the latest progress.

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