PAHCS looks at starting a foundation

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 4/04/01.

Paynesville Area Health Care System is working to form a charitable foundation to assist in the financial cost of providing health care infrastructure.

Hospital district board members and administration learned about local hospital foundations in the state at a winter conference. The idea is to raise a capital sum, whose interest could be used to support capital improvements at PAHCS as well as local health initiatives.

Hospital administrator Willie LaCroix is working to set up a separate 501CS nonprofit corporation as a charitable foundation. He told the board at their meeting on Wednes-day, March 28, that the legal work for the corporation should be done by October.

A board for the foundation would include at least five members, probably more to represent the six-city, four-township hospital district. The vice chair of the hospital board would serve as the foundation chair, and the clerk of the board and the chief of the medical staff will also serve on the foundation board.

Before next month's hospital board meeting, board members will be thinking of influential community members who might be interested in serving on the foundation board, which will meet quarterly.

The foundation would not contribute to the day-to-day finances of the district, but would provide resources for capital improvement projects. In so doing, the foundation could eventually reduce the system's reliance on long-term debt.

The Child Safety Seat Program received a $2,500 grant from the CentraCare Foundation earlier this year.

The local foundation would be modeled on a foundation in New Prague that has more than $6 million in assets. That took nearly 20 years to gather, though.

"This is not an overnight thing," LaCroix reminded the hospital board. "It takes time to start building, but right now we've got no place for people to bequeath money, donations, or property."

The hospital district does get small monetary donations each year, $15,000 so far this fiscal year.

Last year, CentraCare donated the Watkins Clinic to PAHCS, a property worth an estimated $110,000.

"I think it can be a great asset to the community, not just to raise money for health care," said Don Thomes, hospital board chair.

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