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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Hospital Foundation benefits Community Foundation and YMCA

Monday, December 9, 2002

Judy Eifert (left) and Nancy Berkheiser (2nd from right) receive checks from Bob Miller and Rich Johansen (far right) on behalf of the Clay County Hospital Foundation. Funds were donated to the Clay County Community Foundation and the YMCA.

The defunct Clay County Hospital Foundation recently liquidated its bank account, giving $100,000 to Clay County Community Foundation and almost $46,000 to the YMCA.

When Clay County Hospital merged with St. Vincent Hospitals to create St. Vincent Clay Hospital, administration changed and the board became inactive.

"Funds were given by the people of Clay County and the funds needed to be put to use. Since Clay County Hospital no longer exists, the foundation board decided unanimously that the funds needed to be made available to St. Vincent Clay Hospital," Robert Miller, foundation board director, said. "Now the money will start doing what the donors intended it to do: Promote better health."

Rich Johansen, St. Vincent Clay Hospital administrator and CEO, said Clay County Hospital Foundation board members and St. Vincent Clay Hospital worked together with two goals in mind.

"First, we wanted to create a long-standing legacy for the hospital that served the county for over 70 years. Second, we wanted to establish a funding source that would benefit Clay County not-for-profit organizations to promote better health for years to come," he said.

Cardiovascular disease is very prominent in Clay County and Johansen said they felt a significant opportunity existed for cardiovascular awareness and improvement by helping the YMCA. $35,000 will purchase new cardiovascular exercise equipment. $10,800 will be put to use through the YMCA scholarship fund, which will enhance accessibility of YMCA facilities.

"Every day, approximately 350 people per day use the YMCA and about 275 of those are connected with the weight room, cardio and track. We need to update and replace some of our cardio equipment," Nancy Berkheiser, YMCA director, said. "The scholarship funds can assist Clay County residents with memberships and all of our programs, from sports to after-school day care."

Judy Eifert, Clay County Community Foundation affiliate director, said the Clay County Hospital Health Improvement Fund will be a donor-advised fund.

"Clay County Hospital Foundation designated the active medical staff at St. Vincent Clay Hospital to be the fund advisors and moneys will be made available by application to not-for-profit groups only for the purpose of supporting health improvement. The permanently endowed fund will never go below $100,000 because it will use interest earned only from the principal," she said.

The distribution of this money dissolves the Clay County Hospital Foundation. Johansen said a new foundation for St. Vincent Clay Hospital is planned.

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