Tahoe Forest Hospital and the community: A unique partnership | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest Hospital and the community: A unique partnership

Bill Kemp

As we enter the holiday season, we naturally drift to thoughts of thankfulness for the wonderful community in which we live. On behalf of the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation Board, as well as all those who work at the hospital, I would like to thank the Truckee-Tahoe community for its tremendous support of the hospital and its programs. As the umbrella organization which coordinates the fundraising programs at the hospital, the foundation is thankful for the outright support we receive from local businesses and corporate sponsors of the “Indian Summer Golf Classic;” for the generous support of our hospice program through memorial gifts, local corporate and foundation grants, and the Hospice Annual Dinner; support of our health promotions programs through “The Best of Tahoe Chefs,” the “Swing for the Cure Golf Tournament,” and other fundraising events; and for the many unrestricted gifts we receive throughout the year for various hospital programs. We are thankful for the nearly 600 individual, corporate, foundation, and service club donors who, through the first half of our fiscal year, have provided more than $666,500 in cash and pledges for hospital programs and the western addition hospital expansion. We are thankful for the more than 150 local residents, and second-homeowners as well, who have become first-time donors to the hospital resulting in over $12,000 in new gifts to the hospital.We are thankful for the 175 hospital employees who have shown their faith in the hospital during the past year by collectively making financial commitments totaling over $63,000. We are thankful, also, for the Tahoe Forest Hospital Auxiliary’s commitment of nearly $60,000 in support for the western addition expansion.We are especially thankful for the many individuals, local businesses, corporations, and foundations for their tremendous support of the hospital’s western addition building expansion. Over the last four years, “The Campaign for the Next Generation of Care” has raised $3.5 million from 392 donors to support the physical expansion of the region’s only hospital.Because of the generous support we receive from the Truckee-Tahoe community, we are able to enhance the quality of life in our community and provide a medical “margin of safety” to 40,000 local residents as well as approximately 30,000 second-homeowners and tourists who come to enjoy our unique natural environment. Truckee-Tahoe communities are more viable because the hospital is here to provide emergency services, family and general practice, surgery, radiology, or to help a young life enter the world through our obstetrics department. The hospital also provides more than $450,000 in charity care to members of our community who would otherwise not receive medical services.While the foundation’s mission is to provide charitable financial support for the many medical services the hospital provides the community, our fundamental objective is to help provide the necessary financial resources to maintain Tahoe Forest Hospital as a locally controlled community hospital. As a “public non-profit” with an elected board of five local community leaders, our hospital is “locally owned and operated,” meaning that the community, through its elected representatives, is in control of the medical services the hospital provides – not some “for-profit” hospital conglomerate located a thousand miles away. By being “locally owned,” we control our medical destiny. We decide what medical services the hospital will offer the community. But our local control over the medical services we enjoy is predicated upon a strong financial base. Without such a base, our hospital would not be able to maintain its independence and local control. Consequently, the hospital and the local community are in a unique partnership. Every charitable gift we receive from local individuals and businesses strengthens the financial base of the hospital and thereby helps to keep our medical services locally controlled. We are thankful for the mutual support of the community.In the coming year, the foundation will work hard to expand the financial base of support, both locally and regionally, for hospital programs.If readers would like to learn more about the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation, or make a year-end gift to the hospital, contact Bill Kemp, executive director, at (530) 550-2300, or write to him at Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation, PO Box 2508, Truckee, CA 96160.Bill Kemp is the executive director of the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation.