Source: The News-Enterprise
The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation has received the largest gift in its history.
The unrestricted gift includes recent cash donations of more than $1.25 million and prior donations of art, property and cash, totaling $2.5 million.
The gift, announced Thursday at the Brown-Pusey House in Elizabethtown, was from Robert and Rita Robbins.
Robert Robbins, a retired Hardin Memorial Health surgeon and local entrepreneur, and his wife, Rita, a retired nurse, helped HMH establish its philanthropic foundation.
“Rita and I have made this donation to the HMH Foundation to show our thanks to this community for the opportunity to practice here,” Robbins said. “Rita and I want to help ensure the continued growth of HMH by making this gift and we hope it will demonstrate to other citizens of this area our belief that the recent sale of HMH to the Baptist hospital system was in the best interest for us all.”
Robbins said they also hope it will encourage others to give back to the community whatever amount they feel is appropriate to “keep HMH strong.”
Robbins said the couple is hopeful they also will be able to make donations in the future. Their plan is to give approximately $5 million.
“We think it is only right, that we pay back to the hospital and this community a little of what they have given us,” he said.
HMH Foundation chairman Joe Prather called the gift “beyond extraordinary.”
Prather said Robert and Rita Robbins are visionary and have a passion for the regional health care system and the community.
“As founders of the original HMH Foundation a quarter century ago, it seems only fitting and so meaningful that the first seven-figure gift to the HMH Foundation would be from these two HMH legacies,” Prather said.
HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson agreed. Given Baptist Health’s promise to grow and expand services and invest millions of dollars in HMH, Johnson said the timing of this significant private donation is even more exciting.
The Hardin Memorial Health Board of Trustees, comprised of the members of Hardin Fiscal Court, earlier this week approved an asset purchase agreement to sell the hospital to Baptist Health. Pending regulator approval, the deal is expected to close Dec. 1.
“There is no way to adequately express our gratitude for this incredible gift, especially at this important point in HMH history,” Johnson said. “We may even name a future project in the Robbinses’ honor to commemorate their investment of time, talent and treasure in HMH.”
Johnson said the hospital forever will be indebted to the Robbinses.
“I think that we can truthfully claim to be the strongest, best-administered, most financially sound hospital, in the Baptist Hospital Group and in Kentucky,” Robbins said. “We will be even greater if we all pitch in and support our hospital.”
Prather said the Robbins’ have helped set the tone and “coin the message going forward.”