BY STACI WILSON
After years of planning and fundraising, the dream of constructing a new Endless Mountains Health Systems facility is coming to fruition.
Between March and July, a total of $4.4 million dollars – with $3,483,368 coming from the community match campaign – was raised in a fundraising effort kick-started with a $1 million donation from Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation to help construct the second phase of the construction project, a physician’s clinic.
Chairman of the Board of EMHS Ray Wilmarth said, “This new hospital project has been in the planning stages for many, many years and through the concerted, dedicated and generous efforts of Cabot and the greater community, it is now happening.”
After EMHS broke ground on Phase I – a 25-bed, state-of-art, hospital facility – of the project on Jan. 20, Cabot made its $1 million donation but pledged a dollar for dollar match of community donations up to another $1 million.
Cabot CEO Dan Dinges said, “Our company is very gratified to have taken a leadership role in this project. We had every confidence that our company, our partners in the industry and the community would rise to the challenge, but we had no idea it would be to this level of astounding generosity and at such an incredible pace. We are very pleased with the outstanding results of this campaign.”
The funds raised in the community match campaign coupled with EMHS funds and a $1 million grant from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation fully funds the Physician’s Clinic at $5.6 million.
At the conclusion of the four-month fundraising campaign, the community actually raised $1.2 million and Cabot matched the excess donations as well.
The Cabot-EMHS Community Match Fund was structured to leverage additional dollars from other corporations, foundations and the community-at-large. The fund is administered by The Community Foundation of theEndlessMountains.
The goal is to have the clinic open with the new hospital. The new hospital project represents the largest and most expensive expansion in health care services in the Northern Tier.
Dr. Joseph Speicher, President of the EMHS medical staff said, “This new hospital complex will reflect the professionalism and dedication of our staff and partners in the community. This is a major step forward for improving health care to all of our neighbors in the Northern Tier”
George Stark, External Affairs Director for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation said, “We strongly believe that the investment in this new hospital is a great way for our community to come together for the common good, this Community Match Fund has certainly proved that to be true.”
Of the recent campaign, Stark said, “It truly has been a wonderful opportunity to see the community come together for $4.5 million. It’s staggering.”
EMHS CEO Rex Catlin added, “A project of this magnitude requires a strong public-private partnership to garner the necessary resources to make it all possible. Cabot understood that from the very beginning and we are grateful for their leadership. This is a great day for the betterment of health care inSusquehannaCountyand the entire region.”
Peter Quigg President of The Community Foundation of theEndlessMountainssaid, “Our friends and neighbors recognized the new hospital as a major need in our community and they have generously acted to meet that need in a significant way. Cabot’s leadership has made all the difference. We should all be very pleased with the results of this major community fundraising project.”
Stark said, “We are part of this community and we plan to be here for many, many years to come. We think investment in the new hospital is a great way for the community to come together for the common good.”
He also said many leased landowners contributed to the campaign. “To see the money make its way through the community – it’s nice to have all of those pieces come together for the betterment of the hospital and the community.”
The new hospital will have access to a multi-specialty physician suite, a six-bay emergency department with an airborne infection isolation room, cardiac/trauma room and a helipad. There will be an expanded operating room, additional exam rooms and increased number of beds.
While this portion of the campaign has concluded, Cabot is still encouraging giving to the new hospital project through The Community Foundation of theEndlessMountains. Resources are still needed to build the planned Administrative Complex for the new hospital. Donations can be made by visiting, www.community-foundation.org
Stark said Cabot stepped forward in a leadership role to ensure private monies were made available for the project through corporate, foundation and community support.
“We plan to be a major partner on this new hospital project all the way through to completion,” Stark said.
Construction of the new EMHS facility began earlier this year and is expected to be completed in late-September 2013. The hospital should be open for services by the end of next year.