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Pardee donors toast $30M return on $1M foundation seed

Pardee Foundation treasurer Mike Wollinger and foundation president Ryan Harmon present $1 million check to hospital CEO Jay Kirby. Pardee Foundation treasurer Mike Wollinger and foundation president Ryan Harmon present $1 million check to hospital CEO Jay Kirby.

Seventeen years after a group of doctors, administrators and community leaders started the Pardee Hospital Foundation — starting with an initial gift of $190 — the foundation paid back the hospital with a check for $1 million.


Pardee supporters celebrated the return on investment Wednesday night.

Once the foundation got up and running, the hospital agreed to prime the pump with $1 million — $200,000 a year for five years.
"With this generous investment, we began to realize interest income, and we began to raise money with the help of so many people in this room," Dr. Colin Thomas, a founding member of Pardee Hospital Foundation, told the gathering of donors and Pardee directors and Pardee Foundation members. "I had no idea when we started this conversation 18 years ago that we would have raised millions of dollars and services for thousands of people at Pardee Hospital. Thank you for your support and encouragement in those early years, and congratulations to the foundation to be where you are today."
The transfer of $1 million from the foundation to the hospital was announced during an event Wednesday night at the Cedars that is part of Pardee's 60th Diamond Anniversary.
"People might ask, Why now?" he said. "Thanks to the leadership of our board and the work of the medical staff and team members, Pardee could not be in a more positive situation than it is today. From $190 to $30 million. Wow. What a growth. Pardee Hospital is stable and viable. And while health care reform creates uncertainty for us, this million dollars is not to shore up our operations, it is not to build a new YMCA, it's not to fund any specific initiative."
Instead, the money will be available to draw on as the hospital pursues a strategic plan "that will keep us nimble and agile and prepare to lead and compete in the transformation" of the health care economics. In fact, the money comes "at a time when we're experiencing the financial year in decades," Kirby added.

"To our donors here tonight, we could not have done this without your help over the years – your gifts have helped us grow our portfolio and make significant contributions to Pardee Hospital," said Ryan Harman, president of Pardee Hospital Foundation Board. "Your investment in us and your partnership with us has been a vital element in our success over the years and we are proud to make this donation back to the hospital leadership."
The foundation and Pardee have worked in partnership over the past 18 years to raise money to pay for capital purchases, renovations and specials needs of the hospital. The foundation has raised $20 million to pay for things like medical equipment and patient beds, mammograms for needy patients and major capital projects. The projects include:
• $1.1 million in 1997 for nursing facility and hospice house
• $5.1 million for emergency department renovations
• $2.3 million for surgery expansion
• $600,000 for renovations for orthopedic center
• 10,000 women who have benefitted from free mammograms through Women Helping Women
Pardee Hospital, a not-for-profit Henderson County-owned community hospital founded in 1953 affiliated with UNC Health Care, is licensed for 222 acute care beds. The hospital has several locations separate from the main campus and a comprehensive physician practice network. For more information or to find a physician, call 1-866-790-WELL (9355) or visit