New Direction > December 25, 2020

Anonymous springtime donation results in rapid testing panel equipment

Nacogdoches Memorial Health is proud to announce the purchase of special testing equipment that will detect a host of 23 respiratory pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as the COVID-19 virus, within two hours. The equipment performs polymerase chain reaction testing, or PCR testing, which is the most accurate method of testing on the market. The purchase was made possible by an anonymous donation of $200,000 that was made to the Nacogdoches Memorial Foundation in the spring. The funding was intended to provide much-needed relief from COVID-19 shortages of personal protective gear. Once that need was met, remaining funds were directed to help the hospital with early detection of the virus as soon as the necessary equipment could be purchased.

“Our hope is to get ahead of the current surge and future outbreaks of the coronavirus by early detection, and therefore early intervention, as a result of this rapid, comprehensive testing,” said Gary Stokes, chief executive officer for Nacogdoches Memorial. “The BioFire respiratory testing panel, which will be run by our new BioFire Film Array System, detects 23 respiratory pathogens, including viruses that cause COVID-19, whooping cough, pneumonia and a variety of influenza viruses. This will help our clinicians to quickly rule in and rule out common causes of respiratory illness and allow them to settle into a treatment plan much more quickly.”

“As soon as this technology became available for purchase in the less urban areas, we pursued that end,” said Stokes. “Being able to rapidly respond with appropriate treatment and containment measures should be good for our hospital, as well as our community. Not having to wait several days for results will help us lessen exposure and contain the spread, resulting in lives saved and unnecessary economic impact avoided.”

BioFire Rapid Testing

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