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Regional Citizens to take Hospital Project Forward

Several volunteers have joined Clay County Foundation board members in accepting positions on the Campaign Committee. Pictured in group photo are - Front Row: Renee Langvardt, Laura Schwartz, Marion Stuart, Sandy Fox, Walt Slingsby, Grace Oetinger; Middle Row: Clyde Wollenberg, Steve McMahan, Neva Anderson, Terri Parry, Josie Walker, Garry Stenzel; Back Row: Mike Floersch, Marcia Newell, Bryant Johnson, Scott Patterson, Austin Gillard, Gary Griffiths, Preston Rook, Maury Catlin; Not pictured: Kyle Bauer, Dwight Ferguson, Jerry Mayo, Dustin Mullin, Ron Roth, Mike Ryan.

The bond issue approved by the voters on August 2nd provided the funding for $16 million of new construction but the hospital board and administration chose to cover the cost of furniture, fixtures and equipment through the conduct of a Capital Campaign.  The newly formed Campaign Committee has accepted the responsibility for raising the $2 million necessary to adequately furnish the new areas and some of the existing areas which will be renovated.

Medical Center CEO Austin Gillard explained that it didn’t make financial sense to include the $2 million in the bond.   “There were a couple of considerations”, he said, “the first being that in the event the bond payments go to full term, we would be paying interest on fixtures and equipment that had ceased to exist perhaps 10, 20 or 25 years before the pay-off.  The second is the additional $2 million in bonding could have changed the way potential investors would look at the bond offering”.

Gillard, who came to the facility in May of 2015, reported the recent bond offering was bought out in about three hours. It was obviously seen as an investor opportunity because of the strength of recent financial reports and a positive analysis of future performance, some of which was a direct reflection of the new and expanded services provided by the construction and renovation.

Clay County Hospital Foundation Chair Mike Floersch said the non-profit organization has been preparing to launch a campaign since long before the vote on the bonds. “We were kept informed of the work being done by the hospital’s Board of Trustees and we knew we needed to be in a position to move forward if the bonds were approved by the voters.  Our early capital campaign feasibility work was capped by an extensive study that put us in a position to launch before the end of this year” he explained.

Dubbed “Building for a Healthy Future Campaign”, the effort will likely be active through mid-year 2017.

Hospital Foundation Executive Director Marcia Newell explained that the pre-campaign study work named 30 people that were identified as those that would need to be involved if the campaign were to be a success. “Members of the Foundation and Hospital Boards contacted these community leaders to ask for their assistance in developing and conducting the campaign”, she said, “and we had such incredible success that we ended up with a Campaign Committee of twenty-seven members”. The Committee has selected Honorary Co-Chairs for the Campaign.  Accepting that honor was longtime hospital supporters Jim Braden and Marion Stuart.

Newell said “the campaign has initiated activity in the first division which is the Medical Family section, including hospital staff, boards, providers and allied medical professionals, including Pharmacies, Dentists and others providing medical care.   In the near future we will begin extending our efforts by contacting community members”.