For 10 years now, the Wolf River Area Health Care Foundation has been committed to helping New London Family Medical Center (NLFMC) provide quality healthcare.
Through fundraising efforts, donations and the like, the nonprofit organization helped fund the birthing center at NLFMC, the chemotherapy area, chapel, wound care classes, a new ambulance and more.
“We’ve really enhanced the quality of healthcare in the community,” said Harry Radix, a past president of the foundation.
The foundation works in tandem with the hospital to make sure the funds raised are used to meet the needs of the hospital and its patients.
“It’s just been tremendous to have the foundation,” said Bill Schmidt, president and CEO, NLFMC. “Certainly the fundraising they do and what they contribute to the hospital helps us provide care.”
Schmidt said the community, businesses, individuals and others have been supportive of the foundation’s efforts and give generously either through fundraising events like the annual dinner or Sturgeon Shuffle walk/run event or by supporting specific campaign efforts.
“The people of the community have been really amazingly generous in supporting us on those projects,” he said. “We want to continue to grow that. As we become a known entity, hopefully people will have the foundation in mind.”
The foundation was started when the hospital began receiving donations but had no mechanism in place for funneling those funds. “We realized that this community was willing to support the hospital and was willing to donate funds for projects and programs,” said Schmidt.
The board of directors led efforts until an executive director was hired. A new director, Heather Grimes, stepped up this year. Radix is looking forward to the future of the foundation. “Each executive director that we’ve had has brought us to the next level,” he said, noting it is “exciting as well to watch the foundation grow under different leaderships.”
Radix feels that as the landscape of healthcare changes, there will be a greater need for the foundation. “The role of the foundation is going to increase as hospitals continue to get squeezed,” he said. “If a community like New London wants to maintain a quality healthcare system here in their community, they need to support it.”
Radix said hospitals won’t have as much money so the foundation will need to step up. “We want to maintain a local hospital,” he said.
Currently the hospital and foundation are meeting to identify those needs. “It’s things the hospital needs in order to maintain the type of healthcare the community needs,” he said.