Foundation is helpinghospital and community |

Foundation is helpinghospital and community

When the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation is mentioned, most people think of the Indian Summer Golf Classic. While this annual event has been at the core of the foundation’s fundraising efforts for 16 years, the foundation is much more than just an annual golf tournament.

The Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation was established in 1987 as an operating foundation whose purpose was – and is – to provide fundraising and outreach efforts expressly in support of hospital programs and services. Over the past 17 years the Foundation has raised more than $1 million from local individuals and businesses through the annual golf tournament and other events, direct mail efforts, corporate and foundation grants, and major gifts from individuals.

As the costs of providing high-quality medical care in a rural hospital setting escalated in the 1980s, the Tahoe Forest Hospital District Board of Directors established the foundation as a funding source to help provide the margin of excellence in health care that patients had come to expect. Tahoe Forest Hospital is the only full-service healthcare facility within a 50-mile radius, with a service area encompassing nearly 3,500 square miles.

The hospital employs more than 525 full and part-time employees with an annual payroll of $14 million, and serves approximately 40,000 residents in its service area – not counting an additional 30,000 individuals in peak tourist periods. The hospital’s Emergency Department handles more than 14,000 patients per year and treats more winter sports injuries than any other hospital in the United States.

As the largest employer in Nevada County, the hospital has a significant impact on the local economy. The quality of life and the margin of safety the hospital provides our local communities is significant. The foundation’s mission is to provide the philanthropic support our hospital and community deserves.

In general terms, the hospital receives revenue from three major sources: Patient revenue, which includes private and government insurance as well as patient fees; local tax revenue and other non-operating revenue, which includes interest income and charitable support.

Although local tax revenue accounts for just 5 percent of the hospital’s net operating budget, and non-operating revenue – including charitable gifts – accounts for just about 3 percent of the budget, without these critical funds the hospital would have a difficult time balancing its budget let alone have the necessary funds to make critical capital expenditures. Increasingly, the foundation will be called upon to raise additional funds from charitable sources, both within the hospital’s service area and beyond. That would be used for physical plant expansion to keep up with the growing Truckee and North Lake Tahoe communities and for the purchase of expensive medical technology such as Cat-Scan and MRI equipment.

During the past four years, the foundation and a dedicated committee of community leaders have worked hard to raise funds to support the western addition expansion project. This important $26 million expansion of the hospital will add 40,000 square feet to the existing hospital structure, including an additional 25 bed medical/surgical unit, a new outpatient medical center, two new operating rooms and seismic retrofitting of existing facilities. And those are but a few of the more prominent projects.

To date, more than $3.2 million has been raised from nearly 500 local individuals and businesses, second home owners, and regional foundations to supplement funding the hospital will generate from internal sources and bond funding.

We are very thankful for the strong support the Truckee and North Shore communities have shown for the hospital in this campaign.

So how does the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation support the local community? By providing private charitable funds to support hospital departments such as pediatrics, family and general practice, surgery, obstetrics radiology and orthopedics to name but a few of our departments. In addition, the hospital provides just over $450,000 in charity care to individuals in our community who cannot afford basic healthcare.

Truckee and the North Shore are more viable communities because the hospital is here to care for residents and non-resident visitors alike. The Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation helps to provide the margin of excellence in healthcare that our communities have come to expect.

We are thankful for the support we receive from the local community and look forward to providing increasing financial support to your local hospital.

For questions about how to make a gift or become involved with the foundation, please call Bill Kemp, executive director, at 550-2300.

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