The Early Years
The Foundation of CVPH Medical Center was originally formed in late 1989, following the success of a $3.2 million capital campaign to build the FitzPatrick Cancer Center. In its infancy, the Foundation was overseen by its own Board of Directors and internally by the Director of Public Relations. The original Board of Directors consisted of 11 members, with Roderic Giltz serving as the first President of the Foundation.
Original Board of Directors:
- Roderic Giltz, President
- William Morgan, Vice President
- William Owens, Secretary/Treasurer
- Ralph Boire
- Larry Jeffords
- Gerard Kelly
- Patrick Murnane
- Maurice Racine, M.D.
- William J. McBride
- Kevin Carrol
In its 20-year history, the Foundation has grown steadily, both from a financial and community visibility standpoint. From its inception, the mission of the Foundation had been to not only support the Medical Center but to focus on the health of the community.
Early records show that in 1991 annual income was $56,532 and by 1995 income had more than quadrupled to $239,532. Today, the Foundation brings in nearly $650,000 annually, excluding capital campaign payments and pledges. Programs supported then and some even to this day include:
- HeartSmart for Kids program
- InfoTrac Health Reference Center
- Stop Smoking Clinics
- A variety of free health screenings
- Countless educational programs
Throughout the early 80's the North Country rallied together to support a very ill little boy, Roger Senecal, who was in need of a liver transplant. After more than $65,000 was raised, Roger sadly passed away. Very early in the Foundation's history, it was asked by the Attorney General's Office to create an endowment and administer this remaining money to help other families with similar situations. Guidelines were created and annual proceeds from the fund have been helping families with ill children pay for travel expenses as they need to seek necessary medical care outside of this region.
This fund served as a catalyst for other travel funds to be created including funds that help those with cystic fibrosis (April LaValley Fund), pediatric cancer (Chelsea's Rainbow Fund), and organ donation (Melissa Lahtinen Penfield Organ Donor Fund). In 2002, the Foundation identified a gap in assistance coverage and created the CVPH Travel Fund to assist adult patients who did not qualify for the other funds. These travel funds have become one of the signature services for the Foundation.
Foundation & Staff Grow
A full-time director for the Foundation was hired in 1996 to focus on the growth of the Foundation. By 1998 another successful capital campaign raised $1.2 million for the construction of the Alice T. Miner Center for Women and Children. This was instrumental to the Foundation, proving itself as an entity that could raise significant dollars when needed.
By the year 2000, the Foundation grew to a staff of two people with the addition of the Development Assistant. Also at this time, some signature events were gaining in popularity.
Girl's Night Out started in the late 1990's with a crowd of about 100 women. Since then, the annual event has grown to two shows reaching over 1,400 women from throughout the North Country. The evening features a serious side with important health information being delivered at the beginning of the presentation and is then followed up with a humorous and inspirational speaker who reminds the audience of the importance of taking care of ourselves.
The Foundation's signature summer event started as Nautical Night, a dinner dance cruise on the Port Kent ferry. Over the years, as the popularity grew, the venue changed to accommodate a larger crowd and more money to be raised. These included themes like Mash Bash, Happy Daze, Island Rhythms, Fiesta del Rio, La Dolce Vita, and CVPH Wild West Round Up all held on land. These events raised upwards of $30,000 each. Every few years, a formal dinner is held with both live and silent auctions. These typically bring in around $50,000 and have been held to mark the 75th anniversary of the Medical Center, the kick-off to the heart program at CVPH and to aid in the wrap up of the Vision Campaign in 2009.
In 2005, pending the start of a new capital campaign, a third staff person was added to the Foundation as the Director of Annual Giving. This role later evolved into Manager of Community Outreach and included the oversight of the Hospital Volunteer program.
Auxiliary & Foundation Merge
In 2005, the CVPH Auxiliary and the Foundation of CVPH combined efforts to become a stronger unified entity. After several meetings of the Executive Committee of the Auxiliary and the Executive Committee of the Foundation, along with facilitator Meghan Johnston and attorney William Owens, the group decided that a merger with the Foundation would provide the Auxiliary with the structure necessary to meet legal requirements and the ability to continue to provide important financial support to the hospital. At this time, an Auxiliary Committee was established as part of the Foundation Board of Directors with the charge to continue funding special Medical Center projects as they had done over the past 100 years.
Vision Campaign Reaches New Height
The Vision Campaign for CVPH, which lasted from 2005 to 2010, raised a record setting $8 million to construct the new surgical department and fund the purchase of the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. This campaign was the largest local campaign our community has ever been asked to support. The success showed the level of commitment that this community has for the Medical Center and the Foundation. It has set the stage for the Foundation to continue to grow and improve its financial support and stability.
Miner's Tradition Continues
Just like in the Medical Center's history, the Foundation has also been privileged to receive generous support from the William Miner Foundation. The FitzPatrick Cancer Center Campaign benefited with a gift of $400,000; the Center for Women & Children Campaign with a gift of $150,0000; and the Vision Campaign with a total gift of $2 million. The most recent gala held in 2009 was situated under a tent at the Heart's Delight Farm in Chazy to celebrate the history and legacy of William H. Miner and his ties to CVPH Medical Center.
Planned Giving Grows
Big news came in late 2009 from the New York State Department of Insurance – approval of a Charitable Gift Annuity Program Permit. This meant a new giving vehicle that donors could use in making a planned gift, and allows them the opportunity to get something back for their generosity. In 2010, the Foundation secured its first CGA of $100,000.