Curtis: What’s changed, and what hasn’t, after Carroll Hospital, LifeBridge merger
By Amber Dahlgreen Curtis
Dec 14, 2018 | 5:00 AM
It’s been nearly four years since the merger of Carroll Hospital and LifeBridge Health. In my role as chair of the Carroll Hospital Foundation board of trustees (a volunteer position), people often ask me questions or for insight on what has changed since the merger and if the hospital still needs philanthropic support.
What’s changed since the merger?
We have joined a high-quality organization that provides cutting-edge care and technologies at a caliber that we might not have been able to achieve as a standalone community hospital. We’ve gained the ability to quickly access renowned clinicians in super sub-specialty fields. And we enjoy greater cost savings by being a member of a large healthcare system.
What has not changed?
The need, use and control of philanthropic dollars given to the Carroll Hospital Foundation.
The need for philanthropy to help our hospital evolve and thrive has not changed with the merger. Funds raised in the community are always needed to expand our programs and facilities as well as to offer the extra special touches that we pride ourselves on, like the support we give with our patient assistance funds, staff education funds and scholarships.
Fashion world veteran and cosmetic entrepreneur Lindsay Ebbin brought his makeup artistry to Carroll Hospital Wednesday evening. Sales of the Make Up Factory cosmetics line from the hospital gift shop go to benefit renovation of the Family Birthplace.
All money raised by the foundation stays at the local level to benefit the programs and services offered here at our hospital. The sole purpose of the Carroll Hospital Foundation is to fund projects at Carroll Hospital and Carroll Hospice to benefit the Carroll County community.
For example, while other hospitals are closing their birthing units because they lose money, we are about to celebrate the final phase of the renovation and expansion of our Family Birthplace early next year. We are introducing comprehensive couplet care, designed to keep premature babies and babies who require specialized care together with their mothers for as long as the baby is hospitalized. We also offer around-the-clock obstetrician coverage and an on-site pediatrician so that our team is ready for your new child.
Another common misconception I often hear has to do with the hospital’s nonprofit status. Just because we are a nonprofit charitable organization does not mean that we don’t want to make a profit. What’s important is where that profit goes.
Profits aren’t paid to shareholders as they would be in a for-profit organization. Any profit we make is reinvested in our hospital staff, services and technologies. I believe our people deserve raises for the great work that they do. If the hospital did not make a profit, there would be no raises or enhancements to services and technology. That is just one reason why control of our resources is important.
The needs of any hospital are always tremendous, and so the Carroll Hospital Foundation is very deliberate in its funding of projects. Working cooperatively with the hospital administration and the community, the Carroll Hospital Foundation identifies, assesses and prioritizes our community’s health needs and funds the projects, programs and services that can make the greatest impact.