Release #1Members of the current UPMC Northwest Foundation have been working diligently over the past year to determine the future course of the local, non-profit organization. Outgoing foundation board chair, Hope Bittner, shares that the foundation’s mission, and central core of all current and future efforts, remains the same: to enhance UPMC Northwest’s ability to provide high-quality health care for area residents. She reiterates that 100 percent of donations to the independent, locally-controlled foundation stay in the community and benefit only UPMC Northwest, adding, “Every year the foundation earmarks funds to assist patients who do not have the resources to pay their hospital expenses. Proceeds from recent years’ contributions have also been set aside for future equipment acquisitions, programs, services or other improvements at UPMC Northwest.”

Many changes are in store for the organization in 2015, including new leadership as Denise Jones, longtime Venango County chief clerk/county administrator, assumes the role of chairperson. Ms. Jones will lead the 16-person board of directors, including the newly-formed Foundation’s Futures Committee and PR and Marketing Committee, both of which were formed to steer the future direction of the organization, and to build a strong identity within the community. “I’m very pleased to announce that the board’s first order of business at our recent January meeting was voting unanimously to change our name to Northwest Hospital Foundation. This is the first step in the process of reintroducing the foundation and its important mission of supporting local health care services for the people of Venango County and surrounding communities”, said Ms. Jones.

She stresses that the community can expect to see this new and enhanced identity with increased visibility within the hospital and throughout the community, a new website and presence on social media as well as other marketing initiatives, all in an effort to solidify Northwest Hospital Foundations’ sole purpose of serving the interests of only UPMC Northwest, its patients, and those utilizing its services.

Along with the changes in board structure, the foundation will also see changes in its day-to-day leadership as Roger McCauley, veteran executive director, will retire in spring 2015 after having oversight of the foundation since 1996. “I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to serve in this capacity during a time when many changes have been seen in local health care delivery, including construction of a new hospital facility in Venango County. It has been extremely gratifying to witness the growth of not only the hospital, but also the foundation, and I am confident that the Northwest Hospital Foundation is poised for even greater success in the years to come,” shared Mr. McCauley.

Over the years, Northwest Hospital Foundation has provided monetary support for new medical equipment providing diagnostic testing and treatment services, community preventive health education programming, staff training and education, and assistance for patients unable to pay for their medical expenses. In addition, many construction projects have been underwritten in part by the foundation, including the UPMC Northwest hospital building and the TCU/Rehab unit, whose ten-year commitment alone totals three million dollars. The foundation also supports the hospital’s annual Stroke Awareness Week and Cancer Awareness Week celebrations for current and former patients and their families struggling with these illnesses.

For more information about the Northwest Hospital Foundation, contact 814-676-7920.

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