Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hospital drive goes local

August 9, 2007

Lawrence Memorial Hospital is looking toward Eudora for a helping hand.

LMH is planning to expand its presence in Eudora with the goal of eventually building a hospital here, but before then local residents are helping raise money to improve the hospital's main campus in Lawrence.

Resident Kurt von Achen is on the LMH Endowment Association board and is working to raise money for the drive.

"I think the hospital is a quality hospital and is important to all of us," von Achen said.

The endowment looks to raise $8 million from Eudora as part of a larger $40 million capital campaign. The expansion project would add more space to the hospital's emergency care and maternity units and help make each room in the hospital a private room.

"We feel really strongly about the support in Eudora for the hospital," Campaign Coordinator Heather Ackerly said.

The support would benefit the hospital and the residents as well, Ackerly said.

The campaign has been on since May and is led locally by Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle and Dr. Daniel and Jill are. Dickerson will relocate to the new Eudora campus south of Kansas Highway 10 when it's built

The group originally wanted to raise $100,000 by late July. Although the group hasn't quite hit that mark, the drive is still running smoothly, Ackerly said.

"It's going very well," Ackerly said.

The group spreads awareness about the drive through one-on-one meetings. Presenters talk about the hospital and the upcoming projects.

"We're still in the beginning stages of the Eudora campaign," Ackerly said.

The hospital conducted similar campaigns in Lawrence, Tonganoxie and Baldwin City, Ackerly said.

Ackerly said she was confident Eudora could make the $8 million goal.

"With Eudora in particular, we're getting to make an additional investment with the new investment with Eudora Family Care," Ackerly said. "Eudora is such a growing community, and we're really pleased to be a part of it."

Pyle is taking an active role in the campaign, having already drafted several letters to send to both private citizens and local businesses asking for donations.

The eventual construction of LMH's campus in Eudora will be particularly huge for the city, Pyle said.

"This is a good plus for the city of Eudora because it's the next best thing to having a hospital," Pyle said.

For von Achen, the drive is important to the citizens of Eudora because they benefit from the hospital.

"One of the things that I think is important to understand about LMH is that it is a community hospital," he said. "It's essentially non-profit. It's governed by a board of directors who are members of the community."

Because the hospital serves the entire county, Eudora should have a place in help supporting it, von Achen said.

"I have always thought it was important for Eudora and the citizens of Eudora to participate generally in the affairs of the county, so I think it's important to be players," von Achen said.

"I think that's a good cause."

To participate or for more information about the campaign, call Ackerly at (785) 840-3315.

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