Fund drive for renovations at IRMC off to strong start
The Centennial Capital Campaign, the fundraiser with a goal of $5 million to help pay for a major renovation and expansion of Indiana Regional Medical Center, has reached $3.2 million.
Several lead gifts got the campaign off to a solid start. IRMC employees have contributed and the hospital’s medical staff is conducting a donation drive among its members.
Now the campaign is entering the phase when area residents and businesses are being asked to step up and make an investment in the improvements that will serve and care for future generations.
IRMC opened as a 40-bed facility in 1914. Today, in its centennial year, the hospital has 164 beds, admits more than 7,500 patients and treats nearly 250,000 outpatients annually. It has grown to be the second-largest employer in Indiana County with more than 1,300 employees and an annual payroll of $55 million.
“If we are to remain the strong, independent community hospital our citizens have come to depend upon, we have to advance with the times,” IRMC President and CEO Steve Wolfe said when the campaign was launched. “This project will help propel us forward into our next century of service.”
The centennial building project is a $55 million undertaking that will add new operating rooms, a new intensive care unit, a post-anesthesia care unit, a 15-bed post-acute care unit, an endoscopy unit and two more patient elevators.
Some changes will be made to the hospital’s lobby and depending on the level of giving, the hospital’s linear accelerator may be replaced. A LINAC delivers high-energy X-rays for radiation treatments for cancer patients and typically has a useful life of 10 to 12 years. IRMC’s linear accelerator is 11 years old.
In all, the project is renovating about 45,000 square feet of the hospital and adding nearly 40,000 square feet of new space.
“These are not cosmetic improvements. They are improvements to the core competencies of the hospital, I think that’s important for people to know,” said Joe Reschini, chairman of the Indiana Healthcare Foundation, the fundraising arm of IRMC. Reschini is also the chairman of the capital campaign.
IRMC administrators project the hospital may face a 10 percent operating margin decline over the next five years as federal health care reform initiatives are implemented. A successful capital campaign will help the hospital deal with that challenge by preserving critical cash reserves.
“A by-product (of a successful capital campaign) is a stronger facility that can provide better care, more efficient care and has a higher likelihood of remaining independent. … I believe that’s in the community’s best interest,” Reschini said.
The project is being financed through multiple sources.
“The capital campaign is just a piece of the total,” Reschini said. “The hospital is spending some of its own money and borrowing some money. It’s not just relying on the community to finance this.”
Heather Reed, the foundation’s executive director, said contributions of any size to the capital campaign are welcome, are tax-deductible and may be made over a five-year period.
Checks should be made payable to Indiana Healthcare Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 788, Indiana, PA 15701.
Donations may be made by credit card by visiting http://indianahospital.netreturns.biz/Giving.
And the foundation can also help arrange gifts to the hospital of stocks and properties and through trusts.
“We’re trying to be as flexible as possible to allow people to be as generous as possible,” Reschini said.
There are also opportunities, in exchange for sizeable donations, for naming rights to be assigned — for example, to a single operating room or to one of the new units — acknowledging a gift in perpetuity.
And a “Tree of Giving” in the hospital lobby will recognize donors to the campaign.
“The opportunity to have your name displayed in the hospital is not just exclusive to the larger gifts,” Reschini said.
While the centennial expansion project will bring new and more-efficient healthcare services for area residents, the expansion and renovation project will deliver other benefits.
“There is no more important community asset than IRMC, not just because it allows us, our families, our employees and their families to have access to a quality healthcare facility, but also from an economic development perspective,” Reschini said. “It helps with not only attracting talent to the community, but attracting businesses. Because when someone is looking to relocate here, the first two things they ask about are education and healthcare. So having a vibrant IRMC is very important to the economic development of Indiana County.”
And while the challenge of raising the final $1.8 million for the capital campaign is considerable, the encouraging factor is that the Indiana County community has repeatedly supported the hospital financially over the past century each time improvements and expansions were made.
“I believe this is just a very generous community,” Reschini said. “And the hospital has been the benefactor of the community’s generosity for 100 years. And we believe it’s done right by the community and has managed its finances very well to stay a very healthy organization. And we look to the community again to help us get to the next 100 years.”
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