Hospital CEO, doc endure chilly ice bucket challenge

Back when the Ice Bucket Challenge was all the rage a couple months ago, most willing participants donned shorts and swimwear to accept a bucket of ice and cold water over their heads — all in the name of ALS awareness.

The icy bath even felt good to some with Hoosier heat and humid prevailing at the time.

But Friday morning, under gray skies with temperatures barely hovering around 40 degrees in the garden area just outside the entrance to the Main Office Building at Putnam County Hospital in Greencastle, PCH Chief Executive Officer Dennis Weatherford and Emergency Room physician Dr. Brian Downen proved good sports. True to their word, they completed quite possibly one of the last of the Ice Bucket Challenges of the year.

“This would have been better in August,” acknowledged Weatherford, wearing hospital scrubs rather than his usual suit and tie for the occasion.Carolyn Moore, PCH Business Office manager, got the fun of standing atop a garden bench to dump a bucket of mostly cold water over Downen, while PCH Radiology Manager Paul Sanders did the honors in dousing CEO Weatherford.

For their efforts, Moore and Sanders suffered a little wet collateral damage as well but laughed it off along with the assembled employees outside or looking on from the windows around the garden.

Weatherford said it reminded him of people watching from the dolphin pavilion at the Indianapolis Zoo. And probably nearly as wet.

The idea all started with Intrepid Home Health Care of Greencastle wanting to continue to promote ALS awareness, hospital officials said.

So over the course of one week in September, blue buckets were set out in doctors’ offices and nursing facilities throughout Greencastle.

Putnam County Hospital placed collection buckets on every floor, encouraging an internal challenge to see which floor could raise the most money for ALS awareness. The first floor not only won the internal challenge, but also the overall community challenge from Intrepid.

Over that week, some $300 was raised with the first-floor staff at PCH collecting the most money at $170. That also earned them the right to select who would represent PCH in the chilly Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday morning.

Friday the staff was invited to see Weatherford and Downen take the icy challenge. And afterward, a pizza party was served to the first-floor staff as a thank you for their generosity.

Putnam County Hospital is proud to be a part of a community, and employ so many staff members that are so caring and generous,” PCH spokesman Lori Lucas said. “Thank you to Intrepid Home Health for involving so many local businesses to help raise awareness of ALS.”

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