In spite of the recent economic downturn, Susquehanna Health's Count On Us For Life Capital Campaign didn't just meet its $12.5 million goal - it shattered that goal by bringing in more than $15 million.
"With (the downturn) as a backdrop makes the result of the campaign that much more extraordinary," health system President and CEO Steven P. Johnson said Monday prior to a banquet at the Holiday Inn honoring more than 140 fundraising volunteers.
According to Johnson, the campaign kicked off three years ago in an effort to support Project 2012, the $250 million renovation and expansion of the health system's three campuses.
The Susquehanna Health foundation hosted a dinner for campaign
volunteers Monday evening at the Holiday Inn, 100 Pine St. Pictured are those who served as the lead volunteers for the fundraising campaign. Seated from left, Dr. William R. Beltz of the Caduceus Society; Donna Bastian of the Keystone Society; Sherry Watts, Susquehanna Health vice president of development; Steve Johnson, Susquehanna Health president and CEO. Standing from left, John Lundy, Count On Us For Life Capital Campaign chairman; John Young; Linda Lundy; Sue Young; Tim and Ruthanne Crotty; Keith and Jennifer Kuzio; Don Lundy; Thomas O’Connell; and Paul J. Rooney Jr.
While the economy may have taken a turn for the worse, the generous spirit of health system supporters in rose far above it, Johnson said.
"The economy didn't change the need for this reinvestment project, and our community clearly understood that need and rose to meet the challenge," he said. "Their support enables us to put the necessary resources in place - environment, technology and people - to provide the best health care for the region. Their gifts translate into a legacy of hope, healing and life saving treatments.
"We have the best volunteers of anywhere in the country. Starting with our employees, physician services partners, community leaders, our host city Williamsport, Lycoming County and our elected officials - they've all been wonderful," he said. "There literally is not a group that has not been extremely supportive.
"They realize this is an investment in their future and their children's future," he said. "It's community building in the sense of providing jobs and an excellent quality of life."
According to Sherry Watts, health system vice president of development, the campaign was launched to help fund the Susquehanna Health Cancer Center at Divine Providence Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute and emergency room at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, private patient rooms at Muncy Valley Hospital and the medical center.
The campaign initially kicked off with an employee campaign, Watts said. Employees raised more than $1 million, while health system physicians raised almost $2 million.
"They understand the need," Watts said. "Those are people providing patient care. They see first hand how important this project is."
The campaign was chaired by John and Linda Lundy and co-chaired by John and Sue Young, Watts said.
"They led a strong campaign with leadership and foresight," she said. "They were active through the whole process. They knew how important this project was to the whole community."
Also assisting in the campaign were Timothy and Ruthanne Crotty, Keith and Jennifer Kuzio, Don Lundy, Thomas O'Connell, Paul H. Rooney Jr. and Donna Bastian.
"Our community leaders as well as hospital leadership deserve a tremendous thanks because it we their dedication of time, as well as their own financial commitments, that made it all possible," John Lundy said.
"This project not only was critical to our personal medical care, but also for vital economic importance to our entire region as the hospital is a key employer," Linda Lundy said.
According to Watts, about 3,000 people are employed by the health system.
"We have some real stars among our volunteer fundraisers, who did an outstanding job," John Young said.
"The overwhelming response we received from employees gave us a great start," said Sue Young. "We had such strong support from the medical community, our board of directors, business and individuals from the community. The improvement we're already seeing with physician and employee recruitment verifies that we're on the right track. We're creating not only a more comfortable, modern environment, but also a place where talented people want to work and where the community can receive excellent care."