Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) formally kicked off its 2013 Capital Campaign Monday morning at the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church of Greensburg.
DCMH Director of Community Relations David Fry told the gathered assembly that the 2013 fundraising goal is $1.25 million.
In a brief presentation, Fry started by making a case for why the raising the money is vital not only to DCMH, but also for all of Decatur County.
DCMH, he said, is currently the fourth largest employer in the county, and the ER facility saw roughly 16,000 patients in 2012.
More crucially, Fry added, the hospital provided $2.1 million in charity care to the county in 2012, as well as free screenings, wellness and education. All of these factors, according to the presentation, have a significant economic impact on the county.
The hospital’s ongoing construction project, according to Fry, is crucial to accommodating DCMH’s continued growth.
Phase I of the expansion project has officially begun. The first phase, Fry said, will add two floors and 29,000 square feet to the existing hospital, including 22 patient rooms with full baths and fold-out seating, an Advanced Care Unit, an End of Life Care facility, pediatric rooms, a dialysis capable room, a family waiting area and a service elevator.
The new rooms, Fry added, will not only provide more room, but also greater patient privacy.
Phase II of the expansion project will add an Oncology Unit, Rehabilitation Services and Outpatient Services.
Fry also touted Phase II’s addition of convenient parking, a cafeteria and a sleep lab.
Phase I, which the hospital will finance with a 15-year, $8 million loan at 2.65 percent interest, will cost $9.6 million. Construction is projected to be completed in August 2013.
Phase II, Fry added, will be financed through the annual capital campaign plus cash reserves and will cost $4.5 million. Phase II will commence in August 2013, with completion projected for December 2014.
DCMH CEO Linda Simmons hailed the new Oncology Unit, saying the hospital’s patient population badly needs the facility.
Patients must take multiple elevators and navigate multiple corridors, Simmons said, to reach the hospital’s current Oncology Unit. The problem with the unit’s isolation is largely with patients who’ve just finished chemotherapy.
Those patients, Simmons said, are frequently exhausted and feeling frail and fragile, causing the trek from the unit to be particularly taxing. The new oncology unit’s direct access will greatly reduce the hardship for such patients.
Fry attributed the current unit’s isolation to the hospital’s multiple additions over the years.
“That’s what happens,” he said, “when you add pieces as needed, without any overall design.”
2013 Volunteer Capital Campaign Chairman Paul Pank surprised the audience in his brief address, saying he hopes to raise 1.5 million in 2013.
After the ceremony, Fry characterized 2013’s $1.25 million goal as a reasonable, realistic number.
“Our goal my first year — 1995,” he said, “was $750,000. In 2003, it was $1.1 million.”
Fry was optimistic the campaign would reach its fundraising goal.
“We have some very capable volunteers who believe in the project, and that’s key,” he said, adding that Greensburg’s close-knit nature makes such a goal attainable because, “people will give to people they know.”
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.