Bank of Idaho Endowment Fund benefits higher ed

Bank of Idaho established the Bank of Idaho Endowment Fund Benefiting Higher Education earlier this year.

On Thursday, the Bank of Idaho will further its support with a check presentation to establish a scholarship endowment with the College of Eastern Idaho Foundation, a bank news release said.

The Bank of Idaho has fully supported the conversion of Eastern Idaho Technical College to a community college since the idea was first introduced several years ago, the release said.

Bank of Idaho’s President and CEO Jeff Newgard, along with members of the bank’s governing board, will present the check, the first from its endowment fund, at 11 a.m. Thursday at Bank of Idaho, 399 N. Capital Ave.

“We know that the ripple effect of a community college will benefit every small business in our community in a big way,” Newgard said in the release. “We hope to get the word out about the endowment fund because we aren’t stopping here. Bank of Idaho is proud to support CEI and the pursuit of educational excellence in our community.”

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, Ammon Mayor Dana Kirkham and College of Eastern Idaho officials, foundation directors, and members of the Board of Trustees are expected to be on hand for the check presentation. An informal reception will follow, the release said.

Additionally, the bank’s inaugural “Swing for the Green” golf tournament was held in late June at the Idaho Falls Country Club with 25 teams participating. The tournament will be an annual event, targeting fundraising in support of higher education, which is a catalyst for local growth, the release said.

To contribute to Bank of Idaho’s Endowment Fund for Higher Education, contact Vice President of Market Development Jarod Phillips, by calling 208-524-5500 or via email at j.phillips@bankofidaho.net.

BBB offers tips on helping

in Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath

The Better Business Bureau and BBB Wise Giving Alliance are advising people donating to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts to do so with caution and make sure their donations get to the people who need it most.

BBBs are already seeing crowdfunding appeals of a dubious nature, a news release said. In the days ahead Better Business Bureau officials expect to see “storm chasers” looking to make a quick buck off of clean-up efforts (bbb.org/storm).

Consumers can report suspected scams to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).

The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance suggests that donors keep the following tips in mind to help avoid questionable appeals for support:

• Verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief organizations by visiting Give.org.

• See if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas. See if the charity’s website clearly describes what the charity can do to address immediate needs.

• Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region.

• Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well-intentioned, may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need — unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans.

• Understand crowdfunding. Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster, and it is often difficult for donors to verify the trustworthiness of crowdfunding requests for support.

• Phases of disaster relief. Remember that every disaster has several phases — rescue, emergency relief, and recovery. Each part relies on public support and continuing funding for success. The need for donations doesn’t stop when the headlines do.

• Recovery timeline. For many communities, recovery will be a long-term activity that can take many months or years to accomplish, depending on the extent of the damage. Those truly concerned about helping communities bounce back will have many opportunities to help.

EIRMC launches next generation

of bacterial identification

The Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center microbiology department is offering MALDI-TOF, the next generation of bacterial identification.

MALDI stands for matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization. TOF is the abbreviation for time of flight mass spectrometry.

The MALDI-TOF is a mass spectrometer that measures the size and charge of the bacterial “fingerprint” in order to identify the specific bacteria type, an EIRMC news release said. Every bacteria has a unique protein “fingerprint,” the release said.

“If we can determine the fingerprint of a bacterium, we know its identity,” the release said.

This new technology reduces the turnaround of bacterial testing by an average of 1.5 days, ensuring that patients are diagnosed and treated with the right antibiotics faster, a hospital news release said. This also reduces the chance of a patient developing antibiotic resistant infections.

In order to prescribe the best antibiotic to fight off infection, doctors must know the type of bacteria causing the infection, the release said. Traditionally, the process to identify the type of bacteria normally took 12 to 48 hours, and sometimes up to 72 hours. The MALDI-TOF technology can provide bacterial identification for more than 6,000 types of bacteria in 20 seconds, the release said. This allows doctors to prescribe appropriate antibiotics much faster.

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