Saint Luke’s Foundation and Spelman Medical Foundation to unite

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 11, 2012) — The Spelman Medical Foundation, an affiliate of Saint Luke’s North Hospital, will join its staff and assets with Saint Luke’s Foundation on Jan. 1, 2013. The merger will result in greater coordination among fundraising programs within Saint Luke’s Health System.

“We are excited about this new opportunity and next stage of evolution,” said Christie Ruhl, executive director for Spelman Medical Foundation. “By joining with Saint Luke’s Foundation, our staff will continue supporting Northland community members and patients through a stronger alignment with programs and priorities at Saint Luke’s North Hospital.”

“It really makes sense for us to partner,” said Kevin Trimble, CEO of Saint Luke’s North Hospital. “We’ll be able to share best practices and present fundraising priorities to area funders in a more coordinated and unified way. Saint Luke’s Foundation will bring expertise and additional resources to bear on our fundraising efforts that ultimately benefit Northland patients.”

With the merger, Saint Luke’s Foundation will serve all Saint Luke’s hospital campuses within the Greater Kansas City metro area. This represents an expansion of Saint Luke’s Foundation’s scope and mission.

“This is really a logical progression for us,” said Mark Litzler, Saint Luke’s Foundation executive director. “At our founding, there was only one Saint Luke’s campus. Over time, the health system has grown and changed and we’ve changed with it. Today our health care services and our fundraising efforts reach south, east, and north.” Last year, the foundation’s board of trustees voted to update its mission and vision statements and change its name from “Saint Luke’s Hospital Foundation” to “Saint Luke’s Foundation,” reflecting its expanded fundraising priorities within the health system.

Spelman Medical Foundation Spelman Medical Foundation was formed in 1982 to raise funds for Spelman Memorial Hospital in Smithville, Mo., the precursor to today’s Saint Luke’s North Hospital.

Arch E. Spelman, M.D., figured prominently in Smithville history as the catalyst behind the town’s first hospital in 1938. Founded as Smithville Community Hospital, it changed its name to Spelman Memorial Hospital in 1970 in memory of Dr. Spelman. The hospital merged with Saint Luke’s Health System in 1989 to offer services at Barry Road. Eventually both Smithville and Barry Road became part of Saint Luke’s North Hospital, a joint entity with two campuses. Spelman Medical Foundation elected in 1994 to serve the new joint entity but retained its name and governance.

Since its inception, Spelman Medical Foundation has provided $2.5 million for hospital programs, ovarian and breast cancer awareness and education, and community outreach for seniors and the underinsured. The foundation was also responsible for a capital campaign that helped establish a Center for Women’s Care at Saint Luke’s North Hospital’s Barry Road campus in 2006. Spelman Medical Foundation currently employs two staff members and has net assets of more than $776,000.

Dr. Spelman will continue to be remembered through the Spelman Medical Fund at Saint Luke’s Foundation, which will provide unrestricted annual support for Saint Luke’s North Hospital programs.

Saint Luke’s Foundation Founded in 1963, Saint Luke’s Foundation’s vision is to help discover, develop, and deliver innovative health care solutions by securing charitable gifts for research, education, technology, and patient programs within Saint Luke’s Health System. The foundation has transferred more than $200 million over nearly 50 years to support Saint Luke’s programs. Saint Luke’s Foundation employs 17 staff members and has net assets of $140 million. It is overseen by an independent 33-member board of trustees. The health system board president serves as chairman of the foundation board.

Saint Luke’s Foundation was originally formed to support medical education and research at Saint Luke’s Hospital. As the health system expanded, so did the Foundation. Today, it serves six Saint Luke’s hospital campuses throughout the Kansas City metro area including Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Saint Luke’s South Hospital, Saint Luke’s East Hospital, Crittenton Children’s Center, and now Saint Luke’s North Hospital campuses. It also raises funds for Saint Luke’s Home Care and Hospice, Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences, and freestanding clinical programs such as The Children’s SPOT and Cabot Westside Medical and Dental Center.

Saint Luke's Health System consists of 10 area hospitals and many primary care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

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