Health care support
Calumet Area Community Health Foundation funds vital
By Mike Mathes
Calumet Medical Center’s recent expansion was supported by the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation.

Health care has a strong supporting partnership in the greater Calumet County area.

The partner is a community-supported public trust known as the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation. Through community contributions the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation continues to support medical training, education, and health care equipment/facilities needs for the benefit of the wider Calumet area.

Since the foundation was created in 1998, the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation has served its mission statement well.

That statement reads, “Promoting the health, welfare and health related education which indirectly or directly support and benefit Calumet Medical Center and the health of citizens residing within the Chilton, New Holstein, Kiel, Hilbert, Potter, Stockbridge and Brillion Zip Codes.”

Opportunity to make a difference

Foundation Board member Tim Richman eyes great things for the future of health care in the greater Calumet County area through the supportive relationship between the Health Foundation and Calumet Medical Center.

“Together, the Foundation and Calumet Medical Center will be focusing on three major health care needs identified in our community health assessment,” he said.

That assessment identified— n diabetes; n obesity; and n alcohol abuse

as the three most significant health challenges for the Calumet County area.

“We have entered some exciting discussions as a foundation to look at how the financial support of the foundation can help address this issues,” he said.

Richman said these three health issues are costing big dollars for people in our area communities. By applying foundation funds to support preventive and proactive programming, the Calumet Area Health Foundation hopes to make an impact.

“We want to be able to look back year after year at what the Health Foundation has done to improve these conditions and be able to share that impact with the community,” he said.

Richman said these issues, which speak to people, will require the support of the foundation moving forward.

A focus on education

To date, approximately 90% of all grant money awarded by the foundation has gone to support Calumet Medical Center, in conjunction with its mission.

Largely, the fiscal backing has supporting infrastructure needed for continued excellence in health care through services provided at Calumet Medical Center.

Even in that commitment, education has ways been a major focus of the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation.

The Health Foundation has awarded 281 scholarships, with a value of $411,000.

Scholarship recipients in 2015, included Hilbert High School graduates Anna Heid (UW-Madison) and Kelly Kuehl (St. Norbert College); New Holstein High School graduates Karissa Preston (Marian University), Lauren Voelker (UW-LaCrosse), Joel Feider (UW-LaCrosse) and McKenna Jacobs (UW-LaCrosse); Brillion High School graduate Rachel Daun (Mount Mary University); Chilton High School graduates Renee Schmitz (UW-Madison) and Caitlin Bloomer (Marquette University Dental School); and Kiel High School graduates Kelly Winkel (University of Colorado grad school and Matthew Ritger (UW-Madison).

Growing the base fund

Such generosity requires a solid financial base.

Calumet Area Community Health Foundation currently has approximately $6 million in its base fund. However, the goal sought by the foundation to carry on its mission is about twice that amount.

The Calumet Area Community Health Foundation continues to reach out to individuals and groups in the community to request their help in building up the fund’s balance.

“We truly rely on the community to keep this fund working properly to pay dividends back to the health care community,” Calumet Area Community Health Foundation President Paul Hugo said.

Tax exempt public trust

Calumet Area Community Health Foundation (CACHF) is a tax exempt public charity trust, operating exclusively within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

The Calumet Area Community Health Foundation was created in 1997 with the same spirit and sense of community, as was Calumet Medical Center in 1954.

Prior to Calumet Medical Center’s decision to affiliate with Affinity Health System almost 20 years ago, Calumet Medical Center’s Board of Directors had the foresight to establish the foundation. They accomplished that task as a means of maintaining the presence of the hospital in Chilton for the community’s long term future.

Through a partnering agreement with Affinity Health care and its affiliations, the Calumet Area Community Health Foundations gives assurances to the community that Calumet Medical Center will always be part of the area’s health care provider systems.

When the foundation was created, its base of funds stemmed from a portion of community investments that had previously supported the hospital. Over time, other contributors both small and large, have continued to help the fund grow.

The foundation’s presence provides community members with a reliable entity though which their contributions support continued, quality-driven health care facilities and professionals in the Calumet area.

The Calumet Area Community Health Foundation is governed by a local board of directors. Current directors include Tim Richman, Paul Hugo, Norbert Keuler, Joe Mathes, Glen Calnin, T. J. Friedrichs, Daniel Thiel and Gene Tipler,M. D.