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West Tennessee Healthcare, Foundation part ways

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.

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.”

So WTH and the Foundation will continue to both operate in Jackson, but they’re no longer affiliated with each other.

West Tennessee Healthcare released a statement at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 13:

“West Tennessee Healthcare is excited to announce that it has taken a significant step forward in its mission of serving the community’s healthcare needs by establishing the West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) Hope and Healing Foundation.  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. 

“West Tennessee Healthcare created the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation over 38 years ago to support the hospital and health system.  Through the years, that entity has expanded beyond healthcare.  While it still maintains healthcare funds, it has grown to include funds and initiatives that support the arts, education, and social causes.  Today, healthcare funds account for less than half of the funds it manages.  

“Several years ago, the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation stopped using the West Tennessee Healthcare name and logo in its marketing and communications, and is now better known as simply “The Foundation.”  Going forward, it will formally change its name to the “Community Foundation of West Tennessee,” which better reflects its broader focus.  While it may continue to manage funds related to health initiatives as part of its community focus, the Community Foundation will not be affiliated with or financially supported by West Tennessee Healthcare.   

“West Tennessee Healthcare values the relationship that it has had with the Community Foundation for almost four decades, and is appreciative of the work it does and will continue to do in supporting Madison County and surrounding communities.  The West Tennessee community will benefit from having two dedicated philanthropic entities, each with important missions, working to support the needs of our citizens from both the healthcare and the community perspectives.    

“As we begin this new journey, we are grateful for the unwavering commitment and community support of our health system, which has provided care for many generations of West Tennesseans over the past 70 years.  To find out more about the new WTH Hope and Healing Foundation, and to learn how your donation can make a positive difference in the lives of others, visit www.wthhopeandhealing.org. Together, we can bring hope and healing to West Tennessee.”

This story will be updated.

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