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Tyrone Hospital establishes endowment fund for capital improvements

A new program designed to help the Tyrone Hospital purchase equipment and make capital improvements was unveiled Thursday at the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting.
Jodi Cessna, executive director of the Blair County Community Endowment, offered a brief, but informative presentation to more than 35 business leaders in the community who was in attendance.
“This program is really about friends helping friends,” said Cessna. “The Tyrone Hospital sees the community of Tyrone and the surrounding area as friends, and it seems those residents feel the same way about the hospital.
“This endowment fund will allow these residents to make a contribution to the fund and will allow the hospital to benefit from these dollars well into the future.”
The endowment was set up through BCCE, an organization established less than a decade ago in 1995 and commanded by a 21-person board, including Tyrone residents Craig Kilmer and Randy Tarpey. For a one-percent fee, or $100 per year per fund, BCCE administers the program, thus allowing hospital officials to concentrate in other important areas.
According to Cessna, anyone can contribute to the fund and this contribution can come in many forms, including cash, stocks and bonds, life insurance, excess pension benefits, IRAs and real estate.
Contributions can be made to the Tyrone Hospital Endowment Fund, 1216 11th Ave., Suite 310, Altoona, PA 16601. Contributions are tax deductible.
Cessna said the endowment fund works “sort of like a community savings account.”
“We don’t call the money it generates interest,” she said. “We like to refer to it as income.”
Thomas Bartlett, chief executive officer of the hospital, said he was excited about the program, not only because it will help the hospital’s future needs, but it’s also a symbol of the roots of the institution’s past.
“It was a generous bequest back in 1931 that started the wheels in motion to construct the Tyrone Hospital. The community provided a great deal of support to make the hospital become a reality,” he said. “I think its founders would be proud to see the extent of services offered, the array of technology currently available, and the number of people who now rely on Tyrone Hospital for care.
“It is fitting that we establish this endowment to continue this vision and this giving tradition.”
The endowment also gives contributors another method to honor a loved one – deceased or living.
“We often here people say ‘I just wish I could do something special to recognize or remember a loved one or friend’,” said Judith Norris, chairperson of the Tyrone Hospital Board of Directors. “This endowment fund gives people a vehicle to honor others and insure that quality healthcare remains a vital part of our communities.
“This is particularly important as we work to fulfill our healing mission in an environment of advancing science and technology, challenging economic circumstances, and changing healthcare needs.”
In addition to funds generated by the endowment fund, Tyrone Hospital will continue to carry on its own fundraisers and receive funding from the Tyrone Hospital Development Council, an organization dedicated to raising funds to help the institution with capital improvement projects.
The funds raised by the THDC, historically, have been used immediately to help the hospital with capital equipment. Each year, the council identifies a piece of capital equipment the hospital needs to purchase, and the council raises funds to help with that item.
Now that the endowment is in place, the council has the option of depositing some of the funds it raises into the endowment fund, where these dollars can appreciate in value to benefit Tyrone Hospital in the future.
“The Tyrone Hospital Endowment is the cement that assures the delivery of quality healthcare in Northern Blair County for generations to come,” said Randy Miles Sr., chairman of THDC. “Everyone, regardless of background, now has the opportunity to participate and become part of the hospital’s future.”
In the future, each time the council conducts a fundraiser, it will continue to communicate how the dollars will be used and it will also indicate any amount it intends to deposit in the hospital’s endowment fund.
For more information, contact BCCE at 944-6102.