New President, More Progress

Board members of the Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation convene to discuss the details for the foundation's fourth annual gala fundraiser. (from left, clockwise: Barbara Boland; Dr. Joe Hatem, gala co-chair; Tish Hatem, gala co-chair; Lynda Stanley, president. Photo by Bethany Turner

Board members of the Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation convene to discuss the details for the foundation’s fourth annual gala fundraiser. (from left, clockwise: Barbara Boland; Dr. Joe Hatem, gala co-chair; Tish Hatem, gala co-chair; Lynda Stanley, president. Photo by Bethany Turner

What: Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation Gala
When: Fri., April 25th • 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: St. James Community Center
4136 Southport-Supply Rd., St. James
Cost: $100/person, sponsorships available
Info: www.dosher.org

“Many of us donate to colleges—though we’re not teaching, we’re donating so someone can,” harps Dr. Joe Hatem, board member of the Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation and co-chair of the foundation’s most extravagant event of the year: the gala.

Likewise, the Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation annually funds a number of projects and purchases lab equipment for the hospital, ensuring doctors and nurses have state-of-the-art technology to better serve their community. Founded in March 2010, the organization has already spent thousands in support of Dosher.

At a cost of $33,000, the foundation replaced an obsolete blood culture analyzer for the laboratory. The group also was responsible for underwriting the cost of a community health fair, providing residents with free and low-cost health screenings and a wide variety of health education and information. The foundation supplied a $5,000 grant to Dosher’s Occupational Therapy department to purchase costly compression bandages for Lymphedema patients who otherwise could not afford them. And this past year, the Dosher Foundation joined with the hospital’s Board of Trustees and the Dosher volunteers to pay for an extensive, long-term service excellence training initiative through the Studer Group.

“This training is our opportunity to hard-wire our service throughout the hospital, so that regardless of when anyone comes into the hospital, they will all receive the same level of service, ensuring consistency,” the new foundation president, Lynda Stanley, explains. “It will be patient-focused, and our mission is to be the friendliest hospital in North Carolina.”

While medical equipment, training and renovations come with a large price tag, through generous donations, the foundation is able to curb the hospital’s capital spending. Ultimately, it keeps the price of healthcare in our community down—a benefit for all. As Dr. Hatem mentioned, people donate to colleges so that others may teach and instill skills and values in our future leaders. Here, when a resident makes a donation to the Dosher Memorial Hospital Foundation, even if they are not in need of the hospital’s services today, they or someone they love will inevitably need to look to Dosher for healthcare. Donations to the foundation, then, are investments in personal health and wellness.

The gala is one way folks can donate to the organization—and in return they receive an evening of luxury. “It’s probably the most elegant event in the area, and we want to keep it that way,” Tish Hatem, gala co-chair, asserts. “We do everything we can to pamper our guests for the evening, to make them feel special, and to thank them for making us successful.”

This year’s gala will take place on Friday, April 25th at the St. James Community Center from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Andrew Thielen Big Band, clad in tuxedos, will entertain with classic tunes. A dinner of heavy hors d’ouevres will be available while cocktails are served. “We have valet parking and a red carpet,” Mrs. Hatem notes. “There’s a vintage photo of the hospital on the save the date and the invitation. It’s very elegant: trumpet vases, silver, wonderful floral arrangements, and wonderful food. There’s an ice sculpture of our logo each year, and it’s our cold seafood bar, including shrimp cocktail and salmon. We don’t have raffles or auctions—we’re there to thank the sponsors, to entertain them. They leave with a smile.”

The night also offers guests the opportunity to be the first to receive an update on the hospital, the foundation, and the advances taking place. “What we want them to come away with is how the hospital is trying to improve the quality of healthcare, how we are trying to improve the healthcare of the community—looking at our service area and the population—and how we are reaching out from the hospital as the central aspect into specialty clinics,” Dr. Hatem adds. “We’re opening an urgent care, we’re doing this major renovation [of the patient rooms], so we try to get people in the room who are going to have a wonderful evening, who care about our hospital, and they can see how the staff, nurses and doctors feels about the hospital—because a lot of them are there.”

Though Stanley was recently named president of the foundation, she has a long history with Dosher. She has served at the hospital for the past 28 years in a variety of positions, including lab manager and Chief Operating Officer. Stanley has received her “Fellow” status with the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE), and she currently serves as treasurer of the Carolina Sandhills Area of ACHE. With a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from UNC Greensboro and a master’s in health administration from Central Michigan University—among her membership with a plethora of organizations and boards—Stanley’s well-rounded resume should allow her to successfully lead the foundation.

“I am so glad to be at a point in my career that I can shift gears and take all that I’ve done over the past 28 years to support Dosher operationally to the philanthropic side to help ensure access and quality care for those we serve through the efforts of the foundation,” Stanley shares. “My vision is that we will work together as a community through our outreach efforts to build relationships that will sustain and move Dosher Hospital forward addressing the healthcare needs and quality of life.”

Kirk Singer, Director of Community Relations for the hospital and past foundation president, affirms the importance of the organization. “More and more, as time progresses, hospitals are depending on their foundations to assist them in keeping the cost of healthcare down and being able to provide comprehensive care to the community in a number of ways,” he says. “The Board of Trustees of the hospital, a little over four years ago, had the insight to begin a foundation to give people an avenue to enhance their healthcare. Our board members of the foundation are all volunteers, and they give a lot of time, just like our trustees do, to this organization. It has made a difference, and it will probably make even more of a difference down the line.”

Last year’s gala raised over $40,000 for the foundation through ticket sales, sponsorships and gifts. As the amount collected through each gala grows annually, the foundation board is hoping to top last year’s number. Part of those funds will help cover the cost of Dosher’s current renovations: moving from semi-private patient rooms to private rooms. Though the hospital received an $8.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the upgrade, the hospital is expected to return those funds over the next 40 years.

“That’s one of the things I say often, is that we’ve done a lot of hard work getting the loan—but it’s a loan,” Stanley urges. “That will be one of the opportunities the foundation will have to help secure healthcare in our community: to help pay off that loan and help secure private rooms for our community.”

Singer reports the foundation’s goals are even broader. “We’re looking at not only enhancing within the four walls of the hospital, but going beyond the walls and pursuing opportunities to take our care to each of the communities to serve them better,” he tells. “That’s what we’ll be sharing with the people during the gala: our vision of healthcare for Smithville Township and the surrounding communities in the years to come, and how people can help us.”

Sponsorships for the gala are available in an array of levels from $500 to $10,000, or individual tickets are $100 per person. Tickets and sponsorships both may be reserved and paid for with a credit card online at www.dosher.org, or donors may download and print the registration form and mail it in with a check.  Further details are available on the hospital website.

“We have a great community of givers who have been identified already, whether it’s through the board of trustees, the foundation board, or our volunteers—we have a huge volunteer population,” Stanley finishes. “We have a really great group of people who give to the hospital, so the foundation and the gala itself is an opportunity to identify more people who are willing to give of their time or their dollars to help support the hospital—to secure and improve their healthcare.”

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