A $20,000 grant from the Coquille Indian Tribe will help buy an upgraded ultrasound machine to ensure the health of Douglas County babies.

The grant to the Umpqua Community Health Center is the largest grant awarded by the Coquille Tribal Community Fund in 2019. It is part of $27,500 awarded to Douglas County organizations during the tribal fund’s Grant Week, Feb. 23 to March 1.

“Helping the Umpqua Community Health Center replace this outdated piece of equipment makes me feel wonderful,” said tribal member Jackie Chambers, the fund administrator. “Women who visit the center will now be able to have better care because of this grant, and we couldn’t be happier to help make that happen.”

According to the health center’s grant application, the center’s existing ultrasound machine is nearly three decades old and obsolete. The new machine will take up less space in already tight exam rooms while yielding higher resolution. The goal is to achieve better diagnostic capabilities, more accurate readings, and “the birth of healthy babies.”

Along with the health center, two other Douglas County organizations are receiving aid from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund this year:

• The South Umpqua Historical Society will receive $5,000 to help with restoration of the old Ritter Theatre building in historic downtown Canyonville. The project includes restoring a mural and rebuilding the theater’s marquee.

• The Conference of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Myrtle Creek was awarded $2,500 to help feed and clothe Douglas County residents in need.

The Douglas County grants are among 50 grants awarded to organizations serving Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson and Lane counties, which compose the Coquille Tribe’s service area. This year’s grants total $266,762.

Since being launched in 2001, the Coquille Tribal Community Fund has distributed more than $6.4 million in proceeds from the tribe’s Mill Casino in North Bend.

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