The value of the Bayhealth Foundation
Since its creation in 1983, the Foundation — later renamed the Bayhealth Foundation — has been integral to the growth and success of the hospital system. At first glance, it may seem that Bayhealth and the Foundation are one and the same, but the Bayhealth Foundation is actually a freestanding nonprofit organization. It raises funds to support patient care at Bayhealth and to pay for its own operations.
Bayhealth Chief Financial Officer Mike Tretina and Bayhealth Foundation President Lindsay Rhodenbaugh work together to find new ways that the Foundation can support Bayhealth Medical Center. For example, when a donor stipulates that their donation should be applied to the area of greatest need, Tretina, Rhodenbaugh and their staff reviewed data to pinpoint exactly what that may be.
At the close of 2014, the Bayhealth Foundation gifted $2 million to Bayhealth Medical Center. These donations were from generous donors and grateful patients. Some of the gifts were earmarked for specific purposes, and some were given with the understanding that their gifts would be used for the area of greatest need.
The amount gifted by the Bayhealth Foundation rose to $3 million in 2015. Of that total, $1 million was given in support of the new health campus project. The balance is being used in a variety of patient-centered ways across Bayhealth.
“Our work at the Bayhealth Foundation is focused on aligning existing and potential donors with the needs of the health system. When we’ve done our job well, everyone benefits. Donors feel good about their gift because they know it will accomplish something important. And because of their donations, Bayhealth is better equipped to serve the health needs of the community,” said Rhodenbaugh.
HOW DO DONATIONS IMPACT THE OVERALL FINANCIAL HEALTH OF BAYHEALTH MEDICAL CENTER?
The money raised for Bayhealth Medical Center through the Foundation is given, not earned. These dollars, given by community donors, businesses, event sponsors and patrons, and grateful patients, add up. “Their donations are solid expressions of their belief in the health of their community. Thousands of donors give to the Bayhealth Foundation every year to strengthen Bayhealth,” Rhodenbaugh said. “We are enormously grateful for their support, and we’re careful to ensure their gifts are used appropriately to provide better healthcare for everyone in our area.”
HOW WILL THE BAYHEALTH FOUNDATION IMPACT THE NEW HEALTH CAMPUS?
Long before the announcement of the plan for the new health campus, Tretina and his staff were already planning alongside Rhodenbaugh and his staff to put together a new fundraising initiative called the Campaign for Bayhealth — Phase III. Bill Strickland was appointed campaign chair. The campaign committee was tasked with raising enough funds to offset a sizeable portion of the project’s construction costs.
WHAT OTHER BENEFITS DOES THE BAYHEALTH FOUNDATION OFFER TO OUR LARGER ORGANIZATION?
The Bayhealth Foundation oversees and administers the Employee Assistance Fund, which helps employees who are experiencing financial crises. Since its inception, hundreds of employees have pledged regular donations to sustain this fund.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
The Bayhealth Foundation has created many different ways for people to give.
A business may donate to the Women’s Center at Bayhealth Kent General and have a plaque mounted on the wall. A grateful patient may make a donation in her surgeon’s name. A family may honor their beloved family member after the person has passed. A lifelong Bayhealth supporter may include the organization in their last will and testament.
Others may simply write a check and decide it can go to the area of greatest need.
The Bayhealth Foundation is a deeply rooted, valuable part of central and southern Delaware’s community. The organization is dedicated to developing ongoing philanthropic support for the programs and services of Bayhealth Medical Centers and its healthcare affiliates, and it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to which all donations are tax-deductible.
To learn about giving opportunities through the Bayhealth Foundation, call 302-744-7015 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.