Funding the Future of Health Care in Teton Valley
Jeanine and John Cushman’s Giving Story
It started out as a 4,000 mile cross-country family vacation over forty years ago. John Cushman had been traveling a lot for work and his wife, Jeanine suggested that husband, wife and three sons reconnect and relax via a road trip.
“We took a big ride in our green station wagon with our red canoe on top and camped in California, Nevada and Idaho, finally reaching Jackson Lake,” Jeanine recalls. “John’s twin brother Lou, joined us there.”
The Cushmans fell in love with the beauty of the area. Lou looked at property for the entire family in Jackson, toying with the idea of one day moving there. “Even then, property in Jackson was too expensive,” John remembers. So, the family packed up and returned home, carrying with them memories of a wonderful family trip. Just a few months later, a broker called and informed the Cushmans about a piece of property called Twin Creek Ranch, available in Driggs, Idaho. “We all looked at one another and said, ‘WHERE?’” laughs Jeanine. “But upon seeing the 240 acres with creeks and spectacular vistas, we decided to become property owners in Teton Valley, Idaho.”
“We have always felt that Teton Valley Hospital is a wonderful place and it certainly needs our support.”
– John Cushman
“This ranch has been a great spot for our family for over forty years,” says John. The Cushmans have since bought surrounding properties, creating a ranch with many wild acres, surrounded on three sides by National Forest. “We have our own preserve here that will never be changed and that is pretty precious,” John muses while overlooking miles of forest. Not long after settling at Twin Creek Ranch, John decided to race his oldest son on horseback. “We were in one of our pastures in a dead gallop, running like it was a thoroughbred racetrack,” says John. “My saddle slipped and there was nothing I could do.” John fell off his racing steed and broke his arm. He came to Teton Valley Hospital for treatment. Since that fateful horse ride, the Cushmans have been periodic visitors and patients of Teton Valley Health. John’s mother was a patient and spent quite a bit of time at the hospital.
“They were very good to her and I remember one of the nurses came up to the ranch to check on her,” says Jeanine. John recounts their numerous guests that have visited the hospital and clinics for broken bones, fish hook incidents and all sorts of things gone wrong at the ranch in the name of fun.
When asked about the changes in health care in Teton Valley over the past forty years, both Cushmans reflect on how Teton Valley Health has grown.
“It was a pretty small operation when we came here,” smiles John. “Now you have wonderful doctors and medical personnel. It’s really an exceptional place … and all of the different components at the hospital are first-class.” Jeanine agrees, adding, “We have always felt that Teton Valley Hospital is a wonderful place and it certainly needs our support.”
“This little valley would be a different place for the worse … very much for the worse … if we didn’t have our hospital.”
– John Cushman
Regarding the future of health care in Teton Valley, Jeanine focuses on women’s health. She hopes that the hospital, through the Giving foundation, is able to purchase a 3-D mammogram machine.
John looks to the future and sees the need for medical expansion through new facilities.
“Clearly, in the world of medicine and health care, you can’t stand still,” John says pointedly. “You have to be a product of change … the Board needs to be thinking 10 and 20 years down the road and focus on the huge issue of when needs will exceed the ability of the existing facilities.”
As the sun breaks through the clouds over Twin Creek Ranch brightening the snow on the mountain tops, John says, “In this Valley we have the ski mountain, snowmobiling, mountain climbing, hiking, farmers, ranchers, guests, tourists, horsemen and hunters. Things can go wrong and this little Valley would be a different place for the worse — very much for the worse — if we didn’t have our hospital.”
The Cushman family has been instrumental in helping Teton Valley Hospital Foundation shape the trajectory of heathcare in our community, and their support comes in many different forms. Jeanine volunteers her time to make Tee It Up for the Tetons a successful fundraiser for the Foundation’s breast cancer awareness and prevention program. Both John and Jeanine donate unique experiences to the Foundation’s fundraiser auction events, opening Twin Creek Ranch for clay-pigeon shooting sessions, horseback riding outings and guided canoe trips. The Cushmans are also the Foundation’s most generous financial supporters and this year, were the sole donors for the entire HVAC system in the operating and emergency areas of the hospital.
Teton Valley Health Giving is thankful that a little station wagon brought the Cushmans here over forty years ago … and that they decided to stay. Thank you, John and Jeanine, for the good you do for Teton Valley Health Giving and for our community.
Funding a Personable and Comforting Hospital
Jim Click’s Giving Story
As someone who loves outdoor activities, I am also a frequent hospital patient. In all of my 73 years, I have never been treated with as much dignity and respect as a patient than I was at Teton Valley clinic and hospital. I am so impressed by the quality of care offered at Teton Valley Health Care.
Last Fall, I had a bicycle accident near my ranch in Victor. I came to the clinic where P.A. Dave Saurman transferred me to the main hospital. Not only did the nurses there thoroughly address my medical needs, but they were personable and comforting.
I was back at the clinic this past summer for yet another biking injury. I did not want to get an infection from my injury because I was having surgery in Tucson the week following. Again, I received the same level of high-quality care in every sense of the term. I was patched up and good to go within the hour.
“I have visited this hospital three times and all three times have had great care by great people.”
Recently, my daughter required treatment that involved special circumstances. For a third time, Teton Valley Health Care provided amazing care in a timely manner. A procedure that could have taken all day was handled so efficiently by the doctor and the nurse that we were in the hospital for only a short period of time.
Bottom line — I have visited this hospital three times and all three times have had great care by great people!