Dr. Richard Salerno

Dr. Richard Salerno, a pediatric intensivist, talks in September about the effort to modernize the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent Healthcare.

St. Vincent Healthcare announced Wednesday that Tom and Joan Scott have donated $1 million to help the hospital renovate its pediatric intensive care unit.

"Joan and I are honored to help St. Vincent provide the region with a new level of care to young people and their families that are facing a health crisis," Tom Scott said in a news release.

The hospital is in the midst of a fundraising campaign for a $2.3 million renovation and upgrade of its PICU, a specialized unit staffed 24/7 by nurses and certified pediatric intensivists to care for infants, children and teenagers whose conditions, illnesses or injuries are life-threatening and require extra care.

In early October, the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation's SAINTS Ball event raised a record $1.15 million for the project.

"We are overjoyed that Tom and Joan Scott have recognized St. Vincent Children’s excellence in pediatric intensive care and have given generously to support our program,” said Dennis Sulser, CEO and president of the foundation, which is running the campaign. "This gift is a testament to Tom’s ongoing commitment to the Billings community and his impact on helping the region prosper."

Tom Scott is the former CEO of First Interstate BancSystem and the son of its founder, Homer Scott.

Former First Interstate Bank CEO Ed Garding said that Scott has been giving gifts to the community for years and sets a good example through his actions and giving personally.

"He encouraged the banks and their employees to support their local communities through monetary donations and the gift of time," he said.

To honor the donation, the hospital will name a wing of its pediatric unit the Tom and Joan Scott Pediatric Wing.

Construction on the new unit is scheduled to begin in November. When concluded, construction on the five-bed unit will include private rooms and updated technology. Improvements to the rest of the pediatric floor will also be made.

Hospital officials say that having the PICU in Billings means families can stay closer to home, instead of having to travel to larger cities, while their children receive care.

"A gift of this magnitude empowers us to develop specialty services and state of the art facilities that will ultimately transform the delivery of pediatric medical care in Montana and Wyoming," said Dr. Janis Langohr, St. Vincent Children’s Medical Director.

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