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The Well Foundation’s Continued Impact

28 Sep The Well Foundation’s Continued Impact

Gil Pérez (right) takes the blood pressure of a patient at the Center for Healing & Hope clinic. Gil is clinic manager and also leads the Spanish-language diabetic information program offered to newly diagnosed Latino patients. The Well Foundation grant supported the Latino Integration Initiative at the Center for Healing and Hope. (Photo by Mary E. Klassen/Center for Healing & Hope)

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The first grants from the Greatest Need fund through the Community Foundation of Elkhart County continue a tradition of nearly 50 years of generosity from the Well Foundation.

The Well Foundation, formerly named the Goshen Hospital & Health Care Foundation, was created in 1969 to provide strength and stability to Goshen General Hospital so that future generations might have access to high quality health care. The Foundation gave more than $6 million to health needs of the surrounding community during its existence.

Its founders, a group of caring people who worked together to give back to the community, organized the Foundation with the intent of always having local control and management.

After a rich 48-year history of supporting the hospital and the greater healthcare community, the Well Foundation’s board faced a difficult decision. After work with an outside consultant, the board announced that the Foundation would end its current model of operations and transfer management to the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. This decision allowed the board to keep with the Well Foundation’s original intent of being locally managed and increased their ability for fiscal stewardship. This partnership also enabled the current volunteers to remain engaged in grant-making decisions surrounding healthcare in our community. The transfer of assets was completed in March 2017.

More than half the money transferred from the Well Foundation will be in the Greatest Need Fund, a field of interest fund designed to address needs in an important area of community life the source of the $103,700 in grants. This fund will make unrestricted grants to support community initiatives encouraging healthy lifestyles and meet other health needs throughout the county.

“Former Well Foundation board and committee members, together with the program staff at the Community Foundation, will review applications and awards grants annually,” said Shannon Oakes, senior program officer for the Community Foundation.

The 2017 awards from the Greatest Need Fund include:
ADEC Inc., $3,400, Get Fit Program
Bike Elkhart Inc., $2,500, Quilt Garden Bicycle Ride
Campus Center for Young Children, $9,000, Nature Explore Playground
Center for Healing and Hope, $12,600, Latino Integration Initiative
Downtown Goshen Inc., $1,000, Maple City Walk 2017
Elkhart County Health Department, $13,000, Baby Boxes
ETHOS Encouraging Technology Hands On Science, $6,400, Planetarium Technology Upgrades
Girls On The Run Michiana, $5,000, Goshen and Elkhart Scholarship Support
LaCasa Inc., $10,000, Housing for the Mentally Ill Renovations
Loveway Inc., $10,000, Student Scholarship Fund
Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition, $25,000, Healthy Hearts Program
SPA Women’s Ministry Homes, $3,300, Health and Wellness Program
Wheelchairhelp.Org Inc., $2,500, Donation Depository Shed

“These grants demonstrate how much these volunteers have cared for the community and can continue to do so with money derived from the endowment,” said Jodi Spataro, chief advancement officer for the Community Foundation.

By transferring management of the funds to the Community Foundation, the gifts of many people for nearly five decades will continue to be used. In addition, the Community Foundation’s matching program also gave a boost toward the endowment to match scholarship funds that had been designated by donors. “We have created twelve different funds, designated and restricted, just as the original donors intended,” said Spataro. “The portfolio of funds will remain similar to the Well Foundation.”

In addition to the The Well Foundation funds continuing under the Community Foundation include the Schrock Nursing Education, Daly Family Nursing, Ed Bradford Family Health Care 4-H Scholarship, Ken and Enid Swanson Nursing, three scholarships in the name of Ned and Agda Farber, Wolf Vision & Home Care, Howard S. Brembeck Vision and Dental Health, Imaging Education, and Stanley Wolfe Fund.