Special to Iredell Free News
Iredell Health System has established a new nonprofit, the Iredell Health Foundation, to help support its programs and services through donor-centered fundraising.
The foundation will focus on raising community awareness of specific programs that need funding and provide individuals and organizations hoping to make a difference and leave a legacy the opportunity to support local healthcare needs of their choice.
“There is no better time than now to start a hospital foundation,” said Iredell Health Foundation Board Chairman Jim Johnston. “During this challenging time, we have shown our community how important our Health System is in providing high-quality clinical care, and this is another way for us to highlight what we do.”
Though donors can already give to the Health System, the Iredell Health Foundation will become its primary point of contact for those seeking to provide charitable support. The foundation is currently in its initial stages, but is looking forward to working with the community to enhance care and save lives.
“A foundation is an important way for a community-focused organization like ours to show its compassion,” said John Green, president and CEO of Iredell Health System. “For those who wish to support our cause, the Iredell Health Foundation will provide individuals and companies with opportunities to make donations and support keeping healthcare local.”
As the Health System seeks to inspire wellbeing in the community, it sets its sights on where it wants to go. Donations made to the Iredell Health Foundation will enhance existing Iredell programs and help create funds for new programs that would not otherwise exist. Financial contributions help provide the resources necessary to improve the community’s health while providing affordable care.
William Brown, the foundation’s executive director, shared his vision of how the foundation will advance the Health System’s mission.
“It’s a matter of developing the needs the Health System has over the next three to five years, maybe even 10 years, of where we want to be. And a big part of that will be built through philanthropy and the individuals in this community who can be a part of what is going on,” he said.
Gracious donors will have many ways to donate. And although Iredell is starting new programs, acquiring cutting-edge technology, and building a Mooresville facility currently under construction, the Health System does not have unlimited resources. By working with donors, the foundation will significantly contribute to the growth and success of Iredell Health System’s programs and services for years to come.
“For Iredell to achieve its mission, we must continue to be financially resourceful and explore various avenues to obtain funds,” Green said. “The Iredell Health Foundation was a piece of the financial puzzle we were missing until now, and I’m excited about the potential this provides us.”
Brown has previously helped other healthcare organizations establish new foundations, and notes the importance of patients knowing that a facility is accepting gifts that will directly impact fellow patients.
Brown has met with staff in different departments and discussed needs that may require philanthropic support. During those meetings, he was excited to learn about potential projects along with what they might cost, and informed staff that the projects would present tremendous opportunities for the foundation and community members.
A next step for the foundation is identifying specific projects for donor contributions. The entirety of each contribution will go toward the project specified by the donor. And when choosing how their gift will be used, donors often choose a unique way to donate, such as in memory of a family member.
The Health System seeks to build a philanthropic culture inside and outside the Health System and will benefit from the enduring generosity of individuals, families, and organizations throughout the community.
“We have a great story to tell. And the foundation is a perfect vessel for us to write and receive grants throughout the year,” Green said.
When Green shared with Brown a 50-year anniversary publication of the Health System, Brown knew that many of the individuals and families in the black-and-white photographs still rely on the Health System for care, growing his desire to build long-term, donor-centered relationships with local community members.
“We want to give the community a chance to participate in helping the Health System if they can,” Johnston said. “And we’re looking forward to making sure we can build those relationships for the long-term, not just for what’s going on one year, but to continue for many years.”
Brown has expressed to clinicians that everything they do on a day-to-day basis impacts the work the foundation does to raise funds for the Health System. More than simply viewing donations as additional revenue, the Health System recognizes them as gestures of appreciation from community members. For the foundation, a key factor is a grateful patient – if people are happy about the service they receive, they are more inclined to give.
“The foundation provides an opportunity for people to help the Health System in such a way that they can feel appreciative of giving back, to say thank you for the care that they received. If it was a lifesaving moment, it’s even more special,” Brown said.
“We thank each member of our Board of Directors for voluntarily assisting to grow our Health System’s assets by helping create and continuing to support the foundation,” Green said. “This is an essential step to creating healthier communities throughout Iredell, Alexander, and neighboring counties.”
To learn more about the Iredell Health Foundation or to make a donation, call 704-878-4547.
About Iredell Health System
Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital; Iredell Home Health; Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center; Community and Corporate Wellness; Occupational Medicine; the Iredell Physician Network and more. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only nonprofit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247 beds; more than 1,700 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit www.iredellhealth.org.