Ways to Give at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital  

The Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation, Incorporated
The Hospital Foundation's History:
Around 1910, just a few years after the founding of Fairbanks, the Sisters of Charity opened St. Joseph's Hospital. Fifty years later, there was talk of a new community-owned hospital, but the Sisters said they would rebuild St. Joseph's. Then in 1966, the Sisters changed their minds. Later that year, local voters didn't support a bond issue for a new, government-owned hospital. In June of 1967, the Sisters said they would close St. Joseph's in the near future, and the August, 1967 flood sealed the old building's fate. Voters again rejected a bond issue for a new hospital, making it clear they did not want a government-operated facility. The Sisters then set a July 1, 1968 date for final closure of St. Joseph's. Concerned community members went to Fargo, North Dakota to talk with Lutheran Hospitals & Homes Society (LHHS), which agreed to come to Fairbanks and help outline an action plan for a new community-owned hospital. In February of 1968, this planning group chartered The Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation, Incorporated, an Alaska non-profit corporation, to plan, fund, construct, own, and oversee the hiring of an operator for a new hospital.
Fund raising began in 1968 with a $1 million community pledge goal. The community quickly pledged $2 million, and in June of that year the City of Fairbanks gave The Hospital Foundation land at 16th and Cowles for the new hospital. LHHS stepped up to operate the old St. Joseph's for the City of Fairbanks from July 1, 1968 until the new hospital was ready. In addition to the final total of $2.5 million in private contributions, The Hospital Foundation obtained $6 million in state and federal matching funds. In March of 1972, the $8.5 million Fairbanks Memorial Hospital opened its doors, debt-free and operated by LHHS.
The Hospital Foundation continues to be run by a 25-person, all-volunteer Board of Trustees which provides oversight to the hospital campus and plans and pays all of the capital expenditures, including renovations, new facilities, new properties and new equipment. These dedicated community members spend countless hours planning for the hospital's future with the conviction that with the community's support, the hospital campus will continue to flourish for years to come.
Relationship with Banner Health:
LHHS, now known as Banner Health, continues to operate the hospital campus today, and this relationship is essential to the community. Banner Health has exceptional managers and financial and legal professionals, as well as extensive technology resources, to support all of its facilities. All of these resources are available to our hospital campus. Banner Health also has financial strength and purchasing power far beyond our own, resulting in significant savings for our community hospital.
Terms of the current operational lease - which runs until December 31, 2012, but can be terminated at any time by either party with one year's notice - include:
  • Banner Health operates the hospital campus for the community, and The Hospital Foundation's Executive Committee serves as the Local Advisory Committee, i.e., as the voice of the community providing input and guidance in the operations of the campus.
  • The Hospital Foundation pays for all capital expenditures for the campus, including capital repairs (beyond routine maintenance), renovations, new facilities, new properties, and new equipment.
  • Banner Health is paid an annual administrative fee. All other net operational revenues stay in Fairbanks.
Where does the rest of the money go?
  • First, it's in the facilities. Fairbanks has one of the finest hospital campuses in the country for a community of its size, and it's continually updated with the latest equipment. That's where most of the money goes.
  • Second, The Hospital Foundation and Banner Health have worked hard to make FMH the lowest cost acute care provider in the state. This means charges are lower than they could be, leaving what we can in the hands of the people served. We know that when you see a hospital bill it is hard to say 'low-cost' anything, but we also know that when our bills are placed next to Anchorage hospital bills, they compare very favorably.
  • Last, The Hospital Foundation works with Banner Health to ensure the provision of community services that may not necessarily make money, but are needed in our community, and of an extensive charity care program for those who simply cannot afford to pay for healthcare.
1972 - FMH opened
1978 - FMH North Tower added
1982 - The Hospital Foundation purchased/renovated the failing
Carriage North nursing home, renaming it Denali Center
1983 - FMH South Tower opened
1992 - Fairbanks' first MRI placed in service at FMH
1994 - New Denali Center opened on FMH campus
1996 - Outpatient Surgery Center opened
2000 - Fairbanks Cancer Treatment Center opened
2005 - Fairbanks Imaging Center opened
2007 - Cardiology Clinic opened
2007 - Phase I of Emergency Department expansion opened
2008 - Emergency Department expansion to be completed
The hospital foundation at Fairbanks
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