Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lawrence Memorial Hospital exceeds $8 million fundraising goal

October 11, 2007


$500,000 donation puts LMH capital campaign over its goal

A $500,000 donation this week pushed the Lawrence Memorial Hospital capital campaign past its $8 million goal. Enlarge video

A $500,000 donation this week pushed the Lawrence Memorial Hospital capital campaign past its $8 million goal.

"We just applaud the generosity of the community. We'll all be the beneficiaries of good health care services for years to come," said Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner and co-chairwoman for the campaign.

The Endowment Association received the contribution Monday from Lawrence residents Jeff and Mary Margaret Morrison.

"I think the hospital really touches everyone in the community from all walks of life. It isn't just serving one type of individual," Jeff Morrison said. "It's a really positive way to impact everyone in Lawrence and in the surrounding area."

The Morrisons joined more than 2,000 people and businesses from Lawrence, Baldwin City, Tonganoxie and Eudora in contributing more than $8.1 million.

"Our guess is that nobody in Lawrence has probably ever done that magnitude of a campaign, with the exception of the university of course," said Beverly Smith Billings, co-chairwoman for the capital campaign and president of the LMH Endowment Association's Board of Directors. "We can't be thankful enough to this community."

The endowment association launched the campaign two years ago, in October 2005, to help fund a $44 million expansion at the hospital. The project includes the expansion of the emergency, surgery and maternity departments and the conversion to all private rooms. Construction began about a year ago and should wrap up in 2009.

"They have already started seeing their money in action, because we finished the new nursing unit with the private rooms, and it's absolutely incredible," said Kathy Clausing, the hospital's chief development officer. "The new emergency department is supposed to open in the spring of 2008, so if they ever have the unfortunate need to come to our emergency room they will have more space, and it will be state-of-the-art."

Praeger co-chaired the campaign with her husband, Dr. Mark Praeger, and Smith Billings. She said private rooms are now essential because of federal requirements on patient privacy and confidentiality.

"Plus, I think people rest better when they're in private rooms, so the care they actually get in the hospital is going to be better," Praeger said.

Praeger said the hospital needed this infusion of capital to take it to "the next level of excellence." She views the successful campaign as a sign that the community recognizes the value of quality health care.

"Having good health care in a community is as important as having good police and fire protection," she said. "It's an essential public service. We've just ensured that essential public service is going to be here for generations to come."


dragonwagon2 10 years, 5 months ago

Chris Merrill doesn't know everything - he just likes to rant and rave. Helps his ratings, I guess.

Homey 10 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if Chris Merrill will applaud this achievement , , ,

Godot 10 years, 5 months ago

Interesting how the justification/rationale behind this expansion and luxury upgrade to the hospital has changed over time. The original justification was that it was needed to attract patients from Johnson County because there were not enough patients in Douglas County to keep the hospital afloat. Now it is because of federal privacy requirements? Give me a break.

What I want to know is, how much will the cost of the services at the hospital increase for the consumer as a result of this upgrade? How are the insurance companies handling reimbursement for the private rooms vs semi-private? How much will this increase the cost of the average stay at LMH?

Godot 10 years, 5 months ago

Another question: has the number of patient rooms at LMH increased or decreased as a result of this expansion of services?

Godot 10 years, 5 months ago

Correction: Has the number of patient beds increased or decreased? Will LMH be able to care for more, of fewer people, at one time as a result of the changes made?

lameassname 10 years, 5 months ago

thebigspoon...... try over $10,000 before insurance

Godot 10 years, 5 months ago

Looks like John McCain shares my concerns about out-of-control rises in the cost of medical care. LMH and Lawrence physicians should take heed as they build their luxurious accomodations. I ask you, does a doctor who sits in a leather chair at a mohogany desk in an executive suite deliver better care than one who sits in a cloth covered chair at modest desk in a small office?

"Doc-in-a-box," as I have written before, is a viable strategy for reducing the cost of delivering basic health care.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 5 months ago

Does this mean we don't have to life flight people to KC for some real doctorin'?

thebigspoon 10 years, 5 months ago

It's incomprehenssible to me that for 8 million (MORE) dollars, we still will have to get a $5000 helicopter ride to Kansas City to have what might (or might not) be a severe injury looked at by qualified physicians. Why, then, does the hospital need all this extra money if not for the best medical trauma care possible? Oh, yeah, and by the way, let's make sure the LMH Administrator gets another 100- or so thousand dollar raise this year for helping this to be the poshest baby factory around.

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