A trauma system improvement project at Columbia Memorial Hospital took a large step closer to completion with the announcement of a grant for $150,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Details were announced by Janet Niemi, executive director of the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation. The project consists of a state-of-the art CT scan, orthopedic surgical equipment and staff training with a total budget of $1.8 million.

Terry Finklein, CEO of Columbia Memorial Hospital said, "We are thrilled with the recognition by the trustees of the Murdock Trust of our commitment to provide state-of-the-art healthcare to serve our community with the latest equipment and diagnostic procedures."

The hospital will receive $50,000 of the grant outright. The rest will be awarded when funding for the project is within $100,000 of completion. "We are pleased to receive this grant that will top-off our trauma system upgrade program with the needed equipment to keep the hospital on the cutting edge of trauma care," said O. David Dickson, chairman of the Board of the Foundation.

The hospital has funded the CT Scan, which was the largest component of the project at $1.4 million, with proceeds from a bond refinance. The foundation is funding the balance with money from events and grants. This award from the Murdock Trust brings the remaining balance to $169,000.

"We are in sight of our goal, and would welcome contributions from the community to help us achieve the final $100,000 from the Murdock Trust," said Niemi.

The mission of the M.J. Murdock Trust is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region's educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. The Trust is located in Vancouver, Wash., and was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, a co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. of Beaverton.

Contributions to the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation may be made to 2111 Exchange St., Astoria, OR 97103 or by calling (503) 325-3208.