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Give Care Share: Med Center Health Foundation



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Story by Emily Robertson

Whether you’ve been to The Medical Center for a doctor visit, a surgery, a birth or to visit someone who has been there for a medical procedure, most in our community are familiar with this local organization and network of doctors and nurses. What you may not be familiar with, though, is The Med Center Health Foundation, which serves to inspire giving back to the community in support of The Medical Center. The organization’s goal is serving those in need and helping individuals lead happier and healthier lives in our area.

“The Med Center Health Foundation was established in 2000,” says Med Center Health Foundation Executive Director Amy Hardin. “The Foundation’s first initiative was the then named ‘Free Clinic’ which is still running, but is now called ‘The Community Clinic’.”

This past year, despite the pandemic altering services or closing offices for portions of the year, The Community Clinic provided care to more than 600 patients at the primary care offices, wrote 3,100 prescriptions and made 746 specialty referrals, including 207 individual lab visits. The Dental Clinic provided more than 1,700 patient visits and the clinic paid for 54 oral surgery visits and 53 full or partial dentures to clinic patients.

The Med Center Health Foundation also supports the Hospitality House, which provides a convenient place to stay for family members or caregivers of patients with extended hospital stays, free-of-charge. The facility includes 12 private guest rooms with baths, kitchens and dining rooms, as well as community services such as a prayer room and business center. Even though the Hospitality House closed for 16 days during the pandemic, the organization provided lodging for more than 550 families, equaling a total of more than 1,800 nights in 2020. To date, the facility has housed guests from 49 of the 50 states.

To provide these kinds of services to so many people, The Med Center Health Foundation relies on donations, which go directly to help those in need. “The Med Center Health Foundation is extremely unique in that 100% of gifts support Med Center Health Foundation initiatives. This is made possible because of CHC (Commonwealth Health Corporation) pays for all administrative expenses,” says Hardin. “We are lucky to have such generous donors and we strive to be the best stewards of these philanthropic gifts.”

The organization is supported internally through a program called ECHO (Employees Contributing to Help Others), where Medical Center employees contribute to the organization, and generates $175,000 annually. Although the Foundation’s yearly fundraising events that are typically held in-person, The Charity Ball and Make the Season Bright, had to be shifted to virtual this year, the organization still received unbelievable community support.

“We were able to host a virtual Charity Ball, and in a year when virtual events were averaging less than 50% typical revenue, because of the extreme generosity of our community, donors and volunteers, the Foundation raised more than $250,000 for The Community Clinic and The Dental Clinic through this initiative,” says Hardin. 

Three employees, more than 100 volunteers and a 21-member board of directors help the organization operate. Hardin joined the Foundation in November 2020. She brings more than 13 years of fundraising experience to her role.

“My family and I are proud to call Bowling Green our home,” says Hardin. “This role allows me to combine my love of philanthropic engagement with the community I love. Med Center Health Foundation is here to help those living in South Central Kentucky; our neighbors, friends and family. It is an incredible honor to serve in this role.”

The Foundation relies heavily on their volunteers and board of directors. The Foundation looks for those who share and understand the Foundation’s mission. “Because we are a non-profit organization funded by philanthropic gifts, we often rely on our volunteers to assist in fundraising efforts,” Hardin says. “We are always looking for individuals who are comfortable asking for financial gifts and in-kind donations. Volunteers can perform certain tasks, have professional contacts in the community to benefit our mission and can assume leadership roles as needed.”

Ultimately, Med Center Health Foundation is an effort by the community, for the community and the organization hopes to be supporting locals for many years to come. “We want to provide healthcare and dental care to those who may not be able to afford it otherwise,” says Hardin. “We want the Hospitality House to be a place of respite for family members and caretakers who have traveled to Bowling Green with loved ones receiving treatment at the Med Center. We are honored to provide scholarships to those wanting to enter into a medical career. Our donors are extremely generous, and we look forward to growing the Foundation and expanding its reach in its next 20 years.”

For more information about the Med Center Health Foundation, go to chfbg.org.

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