Preserving the Mission for Future Generations
Watch the Preserve the Mission story.
When Lincoln resident Gary Davis needed a MRI, he marched outside of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital doors to a mobile unit parked 50 feet away. It was the middle of winter, and he was in a hospital gown.
His experience mirrors many others in the Lincoln community. A small Emergency Department where rooms were sectioned off by flimsy curtains, a physical therapy pool shared with local hotel guests, and no room to accommodate the growing number of outpatients were common frustrations among residents.
"It was time for a change," said Davis.
Small group meetings hosted by Foundation board members offered the Davis' an opportunity to learn more about rumors of a new hospital and the $5.5 million Preserve the Mission campaign led by Bill Bates and John Guzzardo.
"Whether we're attracting new people, new businesses or just taking care of our citizens, one of the first things everyone looks at is healthcare," said Bates. "Healthcare continues to evolve, and support is needed for the benefit of future generations."
Early campaign success came in the form of estate gifts from Joan Jarrett Woods and John and Helen Ryman. Staff committed nearly $200,000 of their wages in a three-year payroll deduction program. Physicians, hospital and foundation board members, and campaign volunteers also gave generously.
After attending a training session in October 2009 the Davis' were two of 37 volunteers who signed on to help raise the final $1.15 million.
Each volunteer team was assigned at least five acquaintances to call upon in a face-to-face visit. They educated their prospect on why a new hospital was needed and what it would offer to the community. When the time was right, they asked for a gift.
"I designated the entire month of May 2010 to call on assigned prospects," said Sams Davis. "It wasn't easy, but after seeing the response from the first call it got easier."
"We are so thankful for our volunteers who overcame the fear of asking to personally share the Preserve the Mission opportunity with their friends and colleagues." said Marty Ahrends, ALMH foundation director. "Without their commitment, many of our campaign donors would not have experienced the joy of participating in this historic event."
The Davis' updated their division chairperson, Patti Becker, of their progress. Becker then shared news of her team's gifts at the bi-weekly steering committee meetings. All involved shared a deep passion to see the next generation of healthcare come to Lincoln.
Gifts often came in the form of cash or transferred appreciated stock, either all at once or over a three-to-five year period. Some farmers transferred bushels of grain to the Foundation. One couple donated their Logan county residence to the campaign, reserving a life estate.
The passion and commitment past generations made to healthcare is exactly what Lincoln hopes to preserve now in the modern healthcare era. Blending the community's past with the present and into the future is the heart of Preserve the Mission.
"Ten to 15 years from now when residents are out with their family, they'll see the hospital and know they were part of it," said Guzzardo. "They can be proud of that. It truly is a community hospital."