The North Arkansas Medical Foundation is the nonprofit organization created to raise money to assist North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) in providing accessible and excellent healthcare to the community.
The Foundation raises funds to help purchase high-tech equipment designed to provide patients with safe and effective treatments that are as minimally invasive as possible. The Foundation also helps provide medical staff with education and training needed to use the equipment.
“We want to be a foundation that people can trust and know that their dollars make a difference in the lives of our patients,” says Kim Rosson, executive director of the Foundation.
Since 1996, the Foundation has raised more than $8 million to support NARMC.
The Foundation is guided by 13 board members, seven of whom also serve on NARMC’s board of directors. The board meets quarterly. An 11-member advisory board meets monthly.
“The Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis. [Members of the board] exhibit a commitment to serving the community and a willingness to devote the time necessary to participate in board activities. They are objective, diverse in their background and interests and uphold the integrity of the organization, says Rosson.”
She says the advisory board was established for the purpose of providing support, counsel, ideas, opinions, feedback and other assistance to the Corporation’s Board of Directors. “The advisory board meets monthly to discuss the various projects that the Foundation is working on.”
While the Foundation raises money through several events each year, a major drive is currently underway to raise $1.2 million for a new 14,100-square-foot EMS facility. The much-needed facility will include living quarters, 13 ambulance bays and an ambulance simulation/training room. More than half of the fundraising goal has been reached, including donations from FedEx Freight and FedEx Services. The land the new EMS facility sits on was donated to the Foundation at an appraised value of nearly $590,000, Rosson says.
NARMC’s EMS serves more than 60,000 people in seven counties. It receives an average of about 25 calls per day, and 9,000 a year.
Rosson says the new EMS facility will be centrally located, less than a quarter of a mile away from the hospital, compared to the existing site nearly 1.5 miles away. “About 75 percent of EMS calls are in the center of our community in Harrison, so the new location will allow for a quicker response time, which ultimately results in potentially saving a life.”
NARMC serves a rural area of the state. As a result, says Rosson, “We have many different needs.” And the Foundation works to address everything, from an annual employee fund drive to providing knit caps for newborns in the hospital’s OB wing, to helping patients in the Claude Parrish Cancer Center offset their travel expenses with gas cards.
“When we have needs here at the hospital, whether it is large equipment or emergency room packets for kids, we want to be here for our patients now and for the next generation. We want people to know that the money they give to the foundation benefits causes here at the hospital,” Rosson says.
The Foundation recently received a Diamond Award from the Arkansas Hospital Association and the Arkansas Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations for its 2016 gala, which was themed “Every Gift is a Treasure.”
The award was presented on Oct. 5 during the Arkansas Hospital Association’s 87th annual meeting and trade show in Little Rock. The Diamond Awards competition recognizes excellence and encourages improvement in the quality, effectiveness and impact of healthcare marketing and public relations efforts in Arkansas.
Rosson says the foundation held two large events this year over a four-month time period. One was the “Queen of Hearts” masquerade in March at the historic Hotel Seville. The other was the “Island Party Golf Classic” at the Harrison Country Club in June.
“Both of these events have been very successful and continue to grow every year. The North Arkansas Medical Foundation has raised close to $1 million over the past two years in all its projects, events and campaigns,” she says.
Another successful fundraising effort by the Foundation raised more than $100,000 to help expand the medical center’s Emergency Department. The Foundation also received a $17,000 grant from the Sheridan Garrison Foundation this year for pulmonary rehabilitation. Future plans include raising money to build a new physicians building, Rosson says.
“The funds received from the Sheridan Garrison Foundation grant will be used for the additional equipment necessary to implement a comprehensive 18-month pilot-proven pulmonary rehabilitation program. This new service will be combined with our existing Cardiac Rehabilitation Center (CRC).
The Foundation also helped remodel the cafeteria and fund the purchase of cardiac rehabilitation educational supplies and remodeling in Respiratory Therapy.
“The Foundation is currently working with the Food Services Department and the Engineering Department in design and remodel of the current cafeteria,” Rosson says.
She says the foundation is working with the Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers in the remodeling process of their thrift shop.
Money raised by the Foundation assisted in purchasing a GE nuclear medicine diagnostic camera for the Radiology Department. In June, a Foundation-sponsored golf tournament raised more than $48,000, which went to needs in the orthopedic, children, ICU and OB departments. Over the years, the Foundation has raised funds to provide small toys, stuffed animals and other items for children being treated in the pediatrics wing, as well as for children waiting for loved ones to be treated in the ER.
Strong promotion of the Foundation’s cause has been the key to successful fundraising, says Rosson. To raise awareness, the Foundation is promoted at various local events, including the North Arkansas College Summer Movie Series and Goblin Game Day pre-game show, a partnership with ESPN Radio 104.3. Promotional popcorn tubs are sold at Harrison Goblin games and at North Arkansas College Pioneer games. The Foundation also advertises at Pioneer games.
“In addition, we held a Christmas parade watch party for our senior adults in the community, along with a donor-appreciation banquet in December,” Rosson says.
Next year, plans include expanding the Foundation’s donor base by hosting a special lunch for top donors and launching a yearly newsletter to keep donors informed of the Foundation’s activities, Rosson says.
The above article is from NARMC, a custom publication of Vowell, Inc., which also produces Arkansas Money & Politics.