COOKEVILLE — The Foundation at Cookeville Regional is showing Cookeville what they're all about in a very visible way. With the help of David Roland of Roland Outdoor Advertising and artist Ron Sweeney, The Foundation has decorated an outside wall of its office building, located at 127 North Oak Avenue, with a giant mural of its logo, originally created by local advertising agency WDStone & Associates. With hands encircling a family and the 14-county Upper Cumberland service area that The Foundation serves, the logo depicts the organization's commitment to helping patients across the region.
The Foundation was established in 2005 to further the mission of Cookeville Regional Medical Center by helping to support patient assistance programs, purchase needed equipment and furnishings that don't fall within the hospital's budget, and developing a permanent endowment program.
During the past four years of active fundraising, The Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million in cash and pledges from more than 1,500 donors. Initial support has come from the hospital “family,” including employees through payroll deduction, physicians, medical groups, the hospital's volunteer auxiliary and The Foundation's advisory committee, along with the hospital board of trustees and Foundation board members, which have participated at 100 percent. Additional gifts have been received from community members, business partners, special events (golf tournament) and various foundation grants and memorials.
The Foundation's greatest impact to date has been assisting nearly 2,000 patients and their families through various patient assistance programs, including the Cancer Care Fund and Caring Hands Fund, in the amount of $450,000, with much more assistance anticipated in the future. The Foundation plans to fund many efforts that the hospital is not able to finance on its own. Not only can The Foundation create a perpetual source of funding through the development of an endowment fund for future medical equipment purchases and facility expansion, but it can also greatly expand assistance to patients with expenses not covered by insurance and other payment sources.
"The Foundation as an organization has a mission that is critical to the future of all of individuals of the Upper Cumberland – quality healthcare," said Gary J. Curto, The Foundation's executive director. "It truly has become a Health Foundation of the Upper Cumberland.”