WRHCF marks third anniversary with changesWORTHINGTON — This June marked the third anniversary of a “new” Worthington foundation.
WORTHINGTON — This June marked the third anniversary of a “new” Worthington foundation.
In those three years, the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation (WRHCF) has experienced significant changes and has granted $462,000 for various causes. The history of the foundation, however, dates back 28 years.
Established in 1983, the foundation was initiated by “some concerned citizens,” said Robert Demuth Jr., WRHCF’s executive director. The foundation was initially affiliated with the city-owned hospital but has since taken a different direction.
“The then-foundation raised funds and spent them in the hospital,” he said. “Through the sale of the hospital, what we (new foundation) ended up with was $5.4 million, nine board of directors (members) and no direction.”
The foundation received $5.4 million in 2008, a result of the sale of Southwest Minnesota Radiation Center as well as the sale of Worthington Regional Hospital to Sanford Health.
Upon the dissolution of ties with the hospital, the foundation needed to reinvent the wheel.
“We’ve spent the last two and half years making our nest,” Demuth added, noting that the foundation’s mission focuses on “health and education of the people in the Worthington area.”
A major proposed use for the funds in 2008 is no longer.
“There was an emphasis on physician recruitment,” Demuth explained.
The WRHCF board realized that both Avera Specialty Clinics and Sanford Medical Center maintained their own recruitment staff.
Demuth said the current foundation’s emphasis is geared more towards the community — to educate and keep the residents of Worthington and the surrounding communities healthy,”
Along with nine board members, Demuth developed a grant application that identifies the guidelines, eligibility and the foundation’s role.
Since 2009, WRHCF has actively co-organized an annual in-school flu shot clinic with Avera, Sanford and the school board.
The foundation offers two yearly scholarships: a nursing scholarship and a health care professional scholarship. WRHCF grants six, $2,000 scholarships to nursing students at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
The health care professional scholarship is awarded to six regional health care employees seeking to further their education in the health care profession.
WRHCF’s main fundraiser is its Annual Health Care Benefit Golf Classic.
This year’s 19th installment is set for July 18 at the Worthington Country Club.