South Peninsula Hospital Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable and fund-raising institution established in 2003 to benefit the welfare of the people of the southern Kenai Peninsula by supporting the community health care mission of South Peninsula Hospital.
Our purpose, among other things, is to:
• Support and assist South Peninsula Hospital in accomplishing its mission.
• Conduct and sponsor a wide range of educational programs, with the goal of training health care personnel.
• Assist, sponsor and encourage individuals pursuing education in health care careers to build a local healthcare workforce.
• Acquire and encourage bequests, gifts, grants and donations to the hospital.
So what does that mean to the community? As a relatively young and small organization, we have a pretty impressive track record. Here are just a few accomplishments, all thanks to the generosity of the community.
In the area of patient care and health education, the South Peninsula Hospital Foundation:
• Offers $4,000 annually in scholarships for training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, awarded through Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College. More than 20 local residents have received these scholarships, including four this year.
• Awards $2,000 annually in scholarships to local residents pursuing health care careers. In five years at least 15 scholarships have been awarded, including three this year.
• Sponsored the 2014 Pulmonary Conference, a local conference of Mayo Clinic experts offering education for local health care providers.
• Sponsored a cooking class for individuals with pre-diabetes which resulted in 16 local residents getting six hours of personal instruction
• Provides support for Safe Sitter babysitting classes.
• Spent over $8,000 to partially or fully cover the cost of diabetes education for uninsured or under insured residents
In the area of enhancing the hospital environment, the South Peninsula Hospital Foundation:
• Fully funded the development of a Reflection Room at the hospital, offering a quiet, peaceful space to meditate, contemplate or pray.
• Purchased the hardware for the Homer Council on the Arts Hospital Gallery which facilitates rotating exhibits in the hospital of our emerging local artists.
• Provides ongoing funds for necessary supplies to restore, protect and display art in the hospital.
• Provided financial support to the SPH Auxiliary for projects such as gift shop expansion, the Serenity Garden and Boo Boo Bears.
• Donated more than $24,000 to renovate four long-term care bathrooms into handicap accessible facilities.
How do we do it?
Through the generosity of you, the community. We receive donations from individuals, and then reinvest those back into the community through the hospital. We are a Board of Trustees made up of volunteers. To ensure alignment of mission and priorities among all hospital stakeholders, two trustees are appointed representatives of the SPH Operating Board and Service Area Board, respectively. The remaining five members are community members at large. We meet quarterly to make investment decisions, grant decisions and explore additional fund raising opportunities.
Our new year begins January, and we have an open at large board seat. If you are interested in serving on the foundation, please contact me at 235-8820.
Our family has been involved with the hospital since we arrived in Homer. While serving on the operating board, my late husband, John, was the interim administrator of SPH for a year during the move from the old to the new facility.
All of our children and grandchildren have utilized the services of the hospital throughout the 58 years of the Cooper family residing on the lower Kenai Peninsula. We’ve delivered babies, had ER visits, had surgeries and more. I’ve watched the hospital grow over this time from a tiny building with one physician to a Top 100 Critical Access hospital with an active medical staff of 23 and a growing number of visiting specialists.
A locally controlled community hospital is a priority to me and my family. Serving on the hospital’s foundation board is my way of ensuring one remains in our community.
Phyllis Cooper is the chair of the SPH Foundation board of trustees and a retired librarian from the Kenai Peninsula school system. Over her 58 years in Homer, she has owned and operated several businesses and served on countless non-profit boards and committees. She currently serves on the board of directors for Homer Senior Citizens Inc. and recently served as a board member for Hospice of Homer.