WESTMINSTER - The new director of a foundation to raise money for Carroll County General Hospital said she will make sure the public understands the need for ongoing contributions to expand the hospital.
Suzanne H. Lee, 32, formerly of Corning, N.Y., is the first director of the Carroll County General Hospital Foundation, set up by the hospital board to raise money for the non-profit CCGH. Lee and her administrative assistant are the foundation's only employees.
"I'm responsible for creating and maintaining a contributions program, a development program which includes things like major gifts, corporate gifts, grants from foundations, planned giving and donor recognition," Lee said.
"Across the country, it's the average person who makes donations to hospitals," Lee said.
She said she will encourage people to remember the hospital in their wills or life-insurance policies by showing them the money can be used for new programs that will benefit the community.
The hospital traditionally raised money only for new wings, said H. Hugh Dawkins Jr., chairman of the foundation board. But health care costs are rising and operating money and loans are not enough to keep up, he said.
Dawkins, who lived in Carroll for 20 years before moving to Easton last year, was director of development from 1986 to 1989 at Western Maryland College.
The foundation was started several years ago on paper, Dawkins said, but it did not aggressively seek donations. Gifts often came from people happy with the care they or their family received.
Two years ago the hospital reactivated the foundation as part of a capital campaign to expand the building and buy new equipment.
He said the foundation was fortunate to get someone as experienced as Lee, who has eight years of development and public relations work behind her.
Lee began work Aug. 20, coming from a position as vice president of institutional advancement at a retirement community in the Finger Lakes region. There, she handled public relations, fund-raising and planning.
She will coordinate the last stage of the capital campaign, which this year raised $3.5 million in cash and pledges over the next three years from area corporations. She hopes to raise as much as another $1.5 million from Carroll residents through door-to-door and telephone campaigns.
CCGH is also awaiting a decision by the County Commissioners on a request to borrow up to $12 million through a county bond campaign.
The loan and capital campaign will pay for a psychiatric wing, expanding the emergency room and operating room, and part of the cost of new equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging.