After more than four years of dedicated effort, the Bring it Home capital campaign, an unprecedented fundraising effort to offset the cost of the new Bath Community Hospital, has come to a successful end. The campaign committee announced this week that it has officially raised over $4.25 million dollars, exceeding its ambitious $4.2 million dollar goal.
The Bring it Home campaign, chaired by Mr. George Phillips and Mr. Henley Carter, was organized in 2012 after the Bath Community Hospital board of directors recognized the hospital would require substantial renovations to its existing facility in order to address the increasing demands of its patient population. The board committed to a $16 million renovation, if it could be done without the hospital incurring any debt. The proposed renovation would allow for critical improvements to patient care including a new, state-of-the-art emergency department, an onsite helipad, and expanded primary and specialty care service areas.
As an independent provider, Bath Community Hospital was unusually fortunate to be in a position to fund the majority of the project through its own hospital resources, while challenging Mr. Carter and Mr. Phillips to raise the remaining $3 million-a lofty goal for a small, rural community. Undaunted, the two men, joined by committee members Peter Faraone, Don Killoren, Sarah McWilliams, Ann Mellen, Tracy Phillips, Truman Semans, Henry Spire, David Troast, staff members Kari Lightner and Amy Phillips and honorary chair Dr. Donald Myers, officially kicked off the Bring it Home campaign in September of 2013, hosting a number of special events, including a community-wide barbeque with Congressman Bob Goodlatte attending to lend his support.
Marked by a generous leadership donation by The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, the kickoff was a success, but the hard work of a capital campaign was just beginning. With great passion and enthusiasm, the committee used every available avenue to encourage residents and other friends of the hospital to make a meaningful contribution to the long-term health of the community. Their efforts were rewarded. Thanks to many individual donors, as well as awards from several corporations and private foundations, they reached their initial goal in record time, raising $3 million dollars in just under 4 months. Inspired by the generosity displayed by their donors, the campaign elected to expand its goal by $1.2 million to fund the inevitable additional costs associated with a major construction project.
The Bring it Home campaign’s rapid success soon caught the attention of the Virginia Rural Health Association. In 2014, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Carter were presented with the Charles Crowder, Jr. Award, a commendation awarded annually to recognize outstanding individual commitment and service to the advancement of rural health in Virginia. By June of 2016, the campaign had raised over $4.1 million towards their revised $4.2 million goal when they received a $75,000 matching funds grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Carter’s efforts over the last year to meet that final challenge pushed the campaign over the finish line.
“The Bring it Home campaign was indeed an ambitious fundraising effort, but its real importance is not in its dollar amount, but in its scope,” said Mr. Phillips. “Each person who lives, works, or vacations here is vulnerable to the need for immediate, life-saving medical attention, and we’re fortunate to have in our little community a newly renovated hospital offering emergency, primary and specialty care. Henley and I owe tremendous thanks to our team and to every single donor who contributed to this campaign because each of them is responsible for helping secure the future of this precious resource.”
“It’s been a unique privilege to be a part of the Bring it Home campaign and to be on the front lines as the fruits of our labor took shape,” added Mr. Carter. “The construction project progressed as we progressed, and we invite all those who haven’t yet seen the new facility to come have a look around, perhaps enjoy lunch in The Bistro, our new cafeteria complex for visitors and staff. Of course, the most impressive thing about the new hospital is the staff. For over four years, they’ve worked tirelessly to provide high-quality, uninterrupted care during all phases of construction. Our success belongs to them, to our team, and to the commitment our donors made to the future of healthcare in our community. George and I were proud to be a part of it.”