Aspen hospital to take over its own fundraising | AspenTimes.com

Aspen hospital to take over its own fundraising

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen Valley Hospital and the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation will go their separate fundraising ways, the two organizations announced Monday.

The foundation moved out of its quarters in the hospital Monday and will complete its move into new offices at 616 E. Hyman Ave. in downtown Aspen on Wednesday, according to Kris Marsh, foundation president and CEO.

While the foundation focuses on fundraising for various other causes, the hospital will take on its own fundraising, according to John Sarpa, chairman of the hospital’s board of directors.

The split was a mutual decision, according to both Marsh and Sarpa.

“I think it’s just a natural evolution. We both kind of worked on this and came to the same conclusion,” Sarpa said.

The foundation has a number of big projects on its plate, and the hospital is in the midst of a $76.4 million expansion that is the second phase of a four-phase plan. A philanthropic campaign will be part of paying for roughly $60 million in Phase 3 and 4 costs; the foundation has already raised $12.5 million toward that goal.

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The hospital will look to hire a development officer to take on fundraising for the balance of its expansion project as well as other needs, Sarpa said.

“Almost all hospitals of all sizes have within their organization a development officer,” he added.

The post has not been advertised, but the hospital has already received a number of strong recommendations, Sarpa said.

The foundation, meanwhile, has long had a fundraising scope that reached beyond the needs of the hospital. Its 1973 articles of incorporation spoke to a mission of enhancing health and wellness to all Roaring Fork Valley residents, Marsh noted.

Nonetheless, AVMF has granted $9.4 million to the hospital since 1999, along with the funds raised for its future phases of expansion. Foundation grants – some of them directed by a donor to a specific cause – have helped the hospital acquire X-ray equipment, a bone-density machine, digitized radiography and build its conference center, among other capital outlays.

Now, AVMF will focus on other pressing health-care and human-service challenges facing the valley, Marsh said. Among the programs it will continue to fund are ones AVMF helped found and incubate – the Aspen Hope Center, offering suicide prevention services and training, and the planned continuing-care retirement community in Basalt are among them.

AVMF also funds a direct-assistance program for valley residents, works with the Aspen Homeless Shelter, has provided funding to local ambulance districts and provides health-care scholarships among its broad range of support for health-related causes.

“Our job is not over. I’m extremely passionate about our projects. I’m thrilled to be able to focus on them – it’s a good thing,” Marsh said.

janet@aspentimes.com