By Gina Clear
Source: The News-Enterprise
In an effort to drive Hardin Memorial Hospital into the future, 23 regional leaders have come together to reboot a philanthropic foundation to help provide needed “game changer” services for the hospital.
After naming the 23-member board, Hardin Memorial Health Foundation immediately began work on its launch project – helping partner with the hospital to pay for the Level II Neonatal unit for the hospital’s BirthPlace.
“We want it to be about philanthropy, not fundraising,” said Tracee Troutt, chief development officer for the hospital and board member. “It will allow for more breakthrough projects to happen.”
The foundation is independent of the health system and 100 percent of money it secures will be used to invest in initiatives that provide more access to care, according to a news release.
HMH’s operating budget covers all the foundation’s overhead and administrative expenses.
In its first year of the reboot, the foundation has a 100 percent contribution among board members and the hospital’s leadership team and has pledged $15,000 for the $1,010,870 project.
“The system needs that,” Troutt said of the funding. “We don’t have the capital to complete those kind of projects.”
A business plan, which includes two renovation phases costing about $606,156, was presented to the hospital’s board of trustees at its May 19 meeting. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,010,870.
By September, when the unit is expected to launch, the hospital hopes to employ two neonatologists — physicians for newborns — to add to its team of 15 pediatricians, 10 obstetricians and two certified nurse midwifes.
The hospital also has been awarded grants from the WHAS Crusade for Children that will pay $76,000 for NICU equipment and $270,000 in NICU/BirthPlace renovations.
“The neonatal unit will add to the quality of life,” said foundation Chairman Joe Prather during the hospital’s board of trustees meeting last week.
In his remarks, Prather said the re-emergence of the foundation is an effort to keep a “dream alive” of founder Diane Logsdon.
“We’re going to try to fulfill the mission that started many years ago,” he said.
The foundation’s mission is to provide leadership and resources to strengthen the hospital and its goal is to dramatically improve health in the communities the hospital, Prather said.
“At a time when most hospitals are fighting to fund critical projects and even for their very existence, an active foundation is essential,” the hospital’s President and CEO Dennis Johnson said in a news release. “We are so fortunate to have this extraordinary group of people dedicated to pursuing investments that will keep our HMH strong for many years.”
Troutt said the foundation helps fill a void at HMH that other hospitals its size don’t experience, she said.
“We’re the only health care system of our size that we can find that doesn’t have a philanthropic foundation,” Troutt said.
The foundation, formed and incorporated in the early ’90s, took a leave from its work under previous hospital administration because it had its own foundation, Troutt said.
Now reestablished, the foundation has assets in the form of estate gifts and scholarship endowments and has plans to grow its donor development in the coming months, she said.