On May 3, Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) Director of Community Relations David Fry and the Hospital Foundation celebrated the conclusion of the 2013 Capital Campaign.
This year’s Campaign was the most successful ever, and for Fry, the success is bittersweet.
DCMH recently promoted Fry to Vice President of Operations, and he steps away from the Foundation having helped raise more than $1,440,000 for the 2013 Capital Campaign.
On May 3, the Campaign’s formal total stood at $1,432,636, which, of itself, easily surpassed the 2013 goal of $1.25 million.
“The Campaign is officially over,” Fry explained, “but donations are still coming in, and we’re glad to take them. Anyone who wants to support the campaign is welcome to do so. Our needs extend well past the goal.”
For some contributors, Fry said, it’s all about timing.
“Some people,” he said, “want to give but won’t have the money until a certain date. We certainly won’t deny their donation if the date happens to be after the formal end of the campaign. There’s no time limit as to when we’ll accept money.”
Although The Hospital Foundation’s been in existence since 1992, according to Fry, “it wasn’t very active” until he took over the reins eight years ago.
“I’ve taken the Foundation from basically nothing,” he said, “and helped build it into an important endeavor for DCMH and for this community.”
Added DCMH CEO Linda Simmons, “David has served as a catalyst in advancing our Foundation to new levels and has helped streamline our Marketing efforts.”
“We’re so pleased to welcome him to DCMH’s Senior Executive Team,” she continued. “As a lifelong community resident, he has a deep appreciation and passion for serving our Hospital and community, which is complemented by an extensive background in business and nonprofit management.”
As VP of Operations, Fry will oversee seven DCMH departments, including Facilities, Dietary, IT, Materials Management, EMS, Radiology and Lab areas.
Explained Fry, “I’ll report directly to the CEO and will work with the DCMH Board of Trustees to see that those seven departments successfully implement the hospital’s strategic plan and other special projects and initiatives.”
According to Fry, the Board of Trustees is responsible for DCMH’s overall operations. The Board, he explained, meets each year and develops the hospital’s strategic initiatives on a three-to-five year plan. They recruit physicians, and develop new building plans, service implementations, and community outreach initiatives.
“My new position,” Fry said, “offers a unique opportunity to provide leadership to our Hospital staff and support the operational needs of our facility. We’re fortunate to have a Hospital of our caliber located here in Decatur County, and I look forward to helping DCMH advance in new ways, in what is a challenging environment for healthcare.”
Fry also intends to work closely with the Foundation’s soon-to-be-hired new director.
“I’m kind of doing both jobs at the moment,” he said. “We’ve begun the selection process [for the new director], and we have a search committee looking through resumes. We hope to interview five or six candidates and make a final selection by June 1. We’re working hard to find someone with strong local ties who feels passionately about the hospital and what we’re doing. The new director will be full-time, so that’ll be a big advantage in helping take the Foundation to the next level.”
Fry added that the “next level,” in part, will include “developing additional bequests and endowments.”
“It’ll be great to have a fresh set of eyes, helping generate new ideas,” he said.
One of DCMH’s and the Foundation’s long-term goals is to help DCMH avoid being bought out by a large corporation.
Fry, who has a significant background in the banking industry, likened such corporate hospital buyouts to corporate bank buyouts.
“I suppose it’s not much different from any other industry when a large corporation takes over a small-town institution,” he said. “But banking’s what I know. The point is: Smaller communities usually experience significant reductions in services when such buyouts happen. The investment in the community is reduced.”
In DCMH’s case, Fry added, that might mean, for example, moving MRIs off site, so that Decatur County patients would be forced to drive to another town for an MRI or other radiology test.
“Other basic services would be put at risk, too,” he said. “Our community outreach initiatives would likely be jeopardized, as well. And so would the assistance we provide to programs like Meals on Wheels.”
Such initiatives include DCMH’s annual Healthy Fair, its blood services and annual Flu-vaccine drive — to name a few.
“People tend to take having a locally-owned hospital for granted,” he said. “Part of the Foundation’s job is to help them understand why it’s so important to keep it locally owned.”
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011