AHP Connect Articles

AHP Connect delivers updates on industry news and research, educational and professional opportunities, best practices and other articles related to health care philanthropy.

AHP Connect Member Profile - Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation

Published:  04/15/2017

Originally published in the April 2017 AHP Connect. Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation

Mountain Home, Arkansas

baxter regional hospital foundation

From L: Justin Woods, Major Gifts Officer; Cindy Costa, CFRE, Director of Development; Barney Larry, Executive Director; Estella Tullgren, Planned Giving Officer; Jillian Bemis, Foundation Assistant

Adapted from a conversation with Barney Larry, Executive Director and Cindy Costa, CFRE, Director of Development. Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation was founded in 1988 and supports the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

What makes your foundation special?

What makes Baxter special is our people. We have a great community here, and we have a wonderful hospital, great physicians, and great nurses. We have a staff that is committed to our purpose and knows what it takes to achieve our goals. And we are fortunate to have a highly committed and engaged Board of Directors made up from leaders of our community—they assist us in all areas.

Is there a strategy or tactic you’ve found to be particularly helpful in your work?

It’s about relationships. We have a mission and a purpose statement which we all live by. We don’t have to ask people for dollars, we ask them to join our mission and our purpose. It all begins with that relationship, that trust, and that integrity.

We do a lot of work in developing relationships. We make our calls, we’re out there in the community, we’re seeing people—they know who we are. Baxter Regional Medical Center is a key economic driver of our community of about 11,000, so we are very visible.

What are some ways you engage with the community?

We have the Community Health Education and Support Houses. We had four needs in our community: cancer, diabetes, women’s health, and aging and responded to each. We developed the Peitz Cancer Support House. We developed the Reppell Diabetes Learning Center, and then followed that with the Mruk Family Education Center on Aging and Schliemann Center for Women’s Health Education.

We see about 17,000 clients in those houses, which requires about $400,000 a year, and that’s all funded through our community. We raise that every year. That reaches a lot of folks and touches a lot of folks. Almost every service is free.

For three years now, the foundation has held a Masquerade Ball, a fundraiser benefitting the Baxter Regional Medical Center houses mentioned earlier. What’s the secret to throwing a great masquerade ball?

It was so much fun! We’re a small community, and if people around here go to an event, they like it to be casual. This is the one and only event that the women can get dressed up in beautiful ball gowns. This is very different from any other event that’s around. We try to make it as special as possible. We have a nice reception in the beginning, a great dinner, and a band that comes in from a couple hours away that our guests just love. They will literally dance until midnight.

This is something they’re not going to get anywhere else here. We also had more physicians attend this year than any other event we’ve ever had. It’s probably because we’re a little unusual—we have 45-50% of our physicians give to the foundation.

How else do you engage with staff?

We started an employee fund drive sixteen years ago, and since then, we’ve averaged over 80% of our employees giving to that fund drive. This past year we were up to 87% participation. We have one or two captains or co-captains in every department, and we hold educational sessions where we explain to them the importance of the drive. Then they meet face-to-face with each employee.

We have chosen areas of donation that our folks can really get their arms around. We have an employee crisis fund and a scholarship fund for employees’ children and grandchildren graduating from high school. We also help fund the four community houses. For example, about 12% of our employees have diabetes, so our employees have been able to utilize these houses. Almost everyone will know someone who has benefited.

How has your involvement with AHP benefited the foundation?

We now have three staff members who have each attended five years at the Madison Institute and a fourth staff member who will be going into her third year. It is a vital part of how we run the foundation: 90% of the way we are structured and the way we do things is what we’ve learned at Madison. After each conference, we set up a meeting and incorporate the strategies we learned into our strategic plan. The conference takeaways are not only for the individuals who attend, but for the entire staff. We knew that all our staff had to be part of that Madison experience.

NEWS  /01/28/19
Steven A. Rum discusses how to implement recommendations from "Ethical Issues and Recommendations in Grateful Patient Fundraising and Philanthropy" in your own institution.
NEWS  /02/14/18
What’s your favorite part of your job? Working with an incredibly generous network of donors.
NEWS  /10/10/18
Sharon Jones talks about the honor of being named the 2018 Si Seymour Award recipient.

Share This

facebook-icon twitter-icon linkedin-icon