St. Lukes Hospital Foundations Spring Fling kicks off capital campaign

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friends and supporters celebrated the future of St. Lukes Hospital during the first St. Lukes Spring Fling, when St. Lukes Hospital Foundation officials announced that more than $1 million has been raised to support the hospitals Building on Excellence initiative. The campaign focuses on expanding Orthopaedics and rehabilitation, services that have grown exponentially and increased the hospitals reach far beyond Polk County.

The St. Lukes Spring Fling was an excellent opportunity to showcase the future of St. Lukes Hospital to long-time supporters and others in our community who may not know our story, said Norm Powers, chair of St. Lukes Hospital Foundation. It was the perfect time to announce a very significant gift to St. Lukes Hospital Foundation through the estate of Tommy Thorne-Thomsen.

A generous and caring man, the late Mr. Thompson recognized the importance of St. Lukes Hospital to the community, Powers said. Mr. Thompsons gift of $600,000 will be used for new enlarged patient rooms to better accommodate patients. Included in the plans will be full bathrooms that are ADA accessible.

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In recognition of his generous gift, the new patient wing will be named in Tommys memory, Powers said.

This gift, along with $285,000 in economic development funds that were awarded by the board of commissioners, will go a long way towards our project to enhance the Orthopaedics program at St. Lukes Hospital, said Ken Shull, president/chief executive officer for the hospital. Shull explained that a successful orthopaedics program will generate additional revenue that will cascade to other services and ensure the success of St. Lukes Hospital.

St. Lukes Spring Fling provided the perfect opportunity to preview a short video that was created to help tell the St. Lukes story, Powers said.

Our video, Building on Excellence, features several patients whose lives were greatly affected by accessible and exceptional health care. With a short vignette featuring Dr. Tom Dashiell, our video helps to tell our story of providing exceptional care, close to home, Powers said. This was a great time to share personal and touching stories from individuals who learned first hand that St. Lukes Hospital is vital to our community.

The five and a half-minute video will be shared throughout the community, according to Carol Jackson, executive director of St. Lukes Hospital Foundation. We were so pleased with the finished product, which by the way, was not scripted. The words of their experiences were heartfelt and touching. We believe their stories will encourage others to support the hospital into the future.

In addition to the video preview, a short program included expressed appreciation and a hospital update from Shull and Susan McHugh, chair of the hospital board of trustees.

During the celebration, more than 100 guests were delighted with the culinary talents of chef Jack Dunn, owner of Persimmons restaurant in Landrum, while Strings of Choice performed the perfect blend of entertainment.

While spring is a busy time of year for us all here in Polk County, Jackson said, I appreciate the hard work of Carol Meeske and the Spring Fling committee to make our event successful. Special appreciation&bsp; also goes to Norm Powers for his work and dedication in creating a video to spread our message. Without doubt, St. Lukes Hospital provides exceptional care, close to home.