HomeNewsThe West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation changes name to the Community Foundation of...

The West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation changes name to the Community Foundation of West Tennessee

The West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation is no longer affiliated with West Tennessee Healthcare.

In a move approved by the WTH Board on Tuesday in a meeting that lasted less than five minutes, the board approved a resolution separating itself from The Foundation.

According to the resolution approved by the board, The Foundation, was founded by the hospital as a way to support the hospital in its mission of health and healing. But over time, The Foundation’s efforts have branched out to support other philanthropic causes outside the medical parameters of its original intent, supporting arts, education, social causes and other initiatives. It now oversees more than $52 million in assets and almost 500 different funds.

The board voted to approve the resolution, stating, “has determined that it could better serve its patients and the community by directing its philanthropic activities and resources toward its own nonprofit entity that will focus exclusively on healthcare and related initiatives in a more cost-efficient model.”

Later that day, WTH sent out a press release announcing the creation of its new philanthropic organization: the West Tennessee Healthcare Hope and Healing Foundation. WTH says this new philanthropic initiative will be dedicated solely to raising funds and providing support for the health, healing, and well-being of our patients, staff and community.

“WTH sees a need for a philanthropic entity that is focused exclusively on healthcare.  Every day, our providers and our staff see the unmet health needs of our patients and the community.  We see those who struggle to pay for medications, for food, and for transportation.  We see the need to fund health education, both for the community and for the next generation of healthcare workers.  We see the need for research, so that patients in our community have access to clinical trials and potentially life-saving medications and procedures.   And we see the needs of our own employees, who work tirelessly to care for others but sometimes need help themselves.  This vision was the spark for establishing the WTH Hope and Healing Foundation.  By channeling our resources toward critical areas such as patient needs, employee assistance, education, research, and social determinants of health, we are confident that we can make a profound difference in the lives of those we serve,” the release said.

In a previous interview, President and CEO of The Foundation, Frank McMeen addressed the loosening ties between the healthcare system and nonprofit. 

“What we learned was that the closer we get to the hospital, the less the people in the community gave to us,” McMeen said. 

The Foundation will now go by “The Community Foundation of West Tennessee” in its branding. It will still be available to donors and nonprofit organizations throughout West Tennessee.

In a statement released Wednesday, the newly named Community Foundation of West Tennessee said their mission will continue to be the same, and they will operate as normal. 

“Since 1985, The Foundation has served Jackson, Madison County, and the West Tennessee community in partnership with the local health system. While the health system has made the decision to no longer assist with The Foundation’s overhead costs, we will continue to carry out our mission to enhance the quality of life throughout West Tennessee. Our resolve is stronger than ever to positively impact our region, and we look forward to sharing more about our exciting future in the coming weeks.

“The Foundation continues to operate as normal, and our procedures for donations and payment requests are the same. All funds and assets remain under Foundation management and will continue to be held for the purpose designated by the donor. Foundation staff are available to assist donors and fund representatives with any questions or concerns,” the release said.

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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