2018 - 2019
Mary Greeley Medical Center’s donors have had an incredible impact on our ability to provide high-quality healthcare to central Iowans. Their generosity has touched everything from cancer to mental health, diabetes to obstetrics, and our facilities and the skills of our staff.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mary Greeley Foundation, we feel immense gratitude toward those who have chosen to support quality healthcare with a gift to the medical center. The most recent impact of this generosity is detailed in our annual report.
The impact over the past half century, meanwhile, is noted in an engaging article by Sarah Buck, chair of the Mary Greeley Board of Trustees and someone who has had a long connection to the Foundation. We also spotlight some of the most significant developments at Mary Greeley that have been made possible, in part, through donor support.
In her piece, Sarah notes the importance of the words “Thank you.” We share in that sentiment and will also take this opportunity to say “Thank you” for 50 years of generosity. We are grateful.
- Suzy Shierholz -
Foundation Board Chair
- Melissa McGarry -
50 Years of 'Thank You'
“Thank you” for small gifts. “Thank you” for large gifts. “Thank you” for unexpected gifts. “Thank you” for gifts years in the making.
By Sarah Buck, Mary Greeley Board of Trustees Chairperson
Mary Greeley began as an act of philanthropy. Captain Wallace Greeley built the hospital, named it in honor of his late wife, and gave it to the city of Ames in 1916. His touching act of love and generosity continues to inspire us more than a century later. Sometimes I find myself wondering what he would think if he could see how far Mary Greeley has come.
Over the 50-year history of Mary Greeley’s Foundation, we’ve had the honor of saying “thank you” time and time again.
In the early days of the Foundation, there was little active major gift fundraising. Staff did presentations for service clubs, raising dollars for a fetal monitor and other equipment. In this period, we were busy leveraging memorial gifts, getting an annual fund off the ground, and prospecting for donors. It was a grassroots effort to grow a Foundation and develop a committed contingent of generous supporters. These efforts helped expand services at Mary Greeley
and provided the building blocks for today’s Foundation. From the beginning, committed volunteers have provided vital leadership on the Foundation Board of Directors.
A cobalt unit was one of the Foundation’s first forays into raising significant funds. In 1974, the effort raised more than $50,000. Acquisition of the unit marked Mary Greeley’s entrance into radiation oncology, which, in turn, served as a catalyst for the growth in cancer care at the medical center.
Other highlights of our philanthropic history included campaigns to build and endow the Israel Family Hospice House, the Cancer Resource Center, and the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. The most recent example was Extraordinary Visions, which raised $6 million toward our $130 million capital project that provided our patients with the new west patient tower and an expanded Emergency Department.
During the Foundation’s history, opportunities to provide support have expanded beyond campaigns aimed at big visions through the annual employee campaign, a corporate sponsor program, and Grateful Patient program. While campaigns have helped large projects succeed, gifts have also made many programs and services possible, such as robes for Radiation Oncology patients, a driving simulator for Acute Rehabilitation patients, and iPads for Pediatrics
patients. Donated funds support specialty certification programs, scholarships, and tuition assistance, which help our nurses, therapists, and others become better caregivers. We are also able to provide support for community programs, such as Mary Greeley’s Mileage Club.
People with a generous spirit want to help when they see something compelling that fits with their values. The role of the Foundation is to provide donors with that compelling vision. When that vision becomes a reality, it’s incredibly satisfying for donors and fundraisers and hugely beneficial for the health of the people in communities Mary Greeley serves.
As a former staff member of the medical center and now as chair of the Board of Trustees, I have had a connection to the Mary Greeley Foundation almost since the beginning. I’ve seen how gifts have advanced our technology, our people, and our facility.
This rich history of giving makes me so proud of our medical center and our donors. Most importantly, it reminds me of the power of generous spirits and the words “thank you.”
50 Years of Giving & Gratitude
When the Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital Foundation incorporated on December 31, 1969, its stated purpose was to “raise and provide funds for the betterment of Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital, particularly, but not limited to, the acquisition of equipment necessary to enable the staff at Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital to detect, treat and cure diseases, to relieve suffering and to add to the comfort of patients in the hospital.”
Since then, more than $30 million has been raised in support of the mission of the medical center. Here are some highlights from the Foundation’s first 50 years.
1970: Members of the first Foundation Board of Directors included Hilda Been, George Clark, Jr., Arthur Eschbach, Dean Knudsen, Lester Lamb, Richard Lowther, Art Lucht, Robert Pyle, Stuart Smith, Robert Stafford, James Sullivan, and Les Ullestad.
1971: Foundation volunteers led efforts to collect 2.4 million Betty Crocker coupons that could be redeemed for cash. The funds raised were used to purchase the first of two renal dialysis units. The campaign went viral long before viral was even a thing. Collection boxes were placed throughout Story County communities. Girl Scouts, ISU student groups, and area school children participated. Word got out and coupons came in from throughout the country.
1974: The Foundation’s first significant fundraising effort proved a success. More than $53,000 was raised to purchase a cobalt unit for Radiation Oncology. An area of the hospital had to be remodeled to accommodate the new technology, which advanced Mary Greeley’s cancer care.
1986: The William R. Bliss Cancer Center was established, offering community education and screening programs because of financial support from donors to the Foundation. A public invitation to a January 1987 dedication announced a “new era of excellence in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”
1993: While Bessie Myers had made small contributions to the hospital during her lifetime, it was a surprise when she gifted $865,000 to Mary Greeley in her estate plans. Bessie lived to the age of 96, and her name lives on through Bessie Myers Auditorium, which her gift helped build. The 150-seat auditorium hosts more than 8,500 people each year for a variety of health- care and public events.
1994: In 1994, the Helen Sidles Undergraduate Nursing scholarship was established to honor her 37-year nursing career. Since that time, several other scholarships have been created. To date, more than $133,000 has been distributed through the Foundation Scholarship Program.
1998–1999: The Dignity in Caring … A Commitment to Life campaign began in 1998 with Mary and Warren Israel donating $500,000 as the lead gift for the Israel Family Hospice House. In February 1999, the Israel Family Hospice House opened, providing end of life care to our community. Since then thousands of gifts have been made in memory of loved ones cared for in hospice.
2006: In the spring of 2006, the Mileage Club was launched with a Harkin Community Wellness Grant. The program, which encourages physical activity and healthy eating, continues today and has expanded to schools throughout Story County thanks to Foundation funding. The program is now managed by Mary Greeley’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center.
2009: In 2009, the Campaign to Reach, Teach and Treat raised $1.9 million, surpassing its goal for creation of a modern space for Mary Greeley’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center (DNEC) and the Cardiac Rehab Department. The DNEC has expanded over the years with Foundation support, providing education and treatment for patients with diabetes and helping people at risk for diabetes avoid the disease.
2010: Since 2010, the Foundation has received grant funds from Variety–the Children’s Charity–to provide a SleepSack to every baby born at Mary Greeley to help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
2010: Throughout the decade, the Foundation invested in the William R. Bliss Cancer Center, and Cancer Resource Center including the Cancer Navigator program, genetics education, nutrition counseling, massage program, counseling, and more.
2014: The Grateful Patient & Family Program was launched, providing patients and families a way to show gratitude for care received at Mary Greeley that goes beyond expectations.
2016: With the opening of the medical center’s new, expanded Emergency Department and new main entrance, the $130 million Extraordinary Visions capital project came to a completion. More than $6 million was raised for the project, which was the largest in the hospital’s history. It also resulted in the west patient tower, which, since opening in 2014, has provided thousands of patients a quiet and spacious healing environment.
2016: In recognition of Mary Greeley’s centennial, the Foundation awarded its first Greeley Awards. Our first honorees included Sarah Buck, the Burke Family, the Mary Greeley Auxiliary, and McFarland Clinic.
2018: The Foundation partnered with Healthiest Ames for the first time to provide a new bicycle helmet to all 3rd grade students in Ames.
2019: Mental health care, a growing concern in the state, became a top priority for the medical center and the Foundation. Proceeds from the Hope Gala, the Foundation’s largest fundraising event, benefited these services.
2019: Over the last 50 years, more than 200 leaders in our community have served on the Foundation Board of Directors. In July 2019, a reunion was held to celebrate 50 years of their hard work and dedication. See photo at right.
Annual Report on Giving
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
- Number of Donors: 2,444
- New Gifts and Commitments: $1,489,262
- Total Foundation Assets (as of June 30, 2019): $14,607,393
Your Gifts in Action
Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center: $712,937 • Support for the Cancer Resource Center, Israel Family Hospice House,
Diabetes Education and Nutrition Center, Birthways, and more
Staff Excellence and Support: $190,610
- Nursing certifications, Grand Rounds, educational conferences and educational materials, and employee emergency support
Health and Wellness: $107,689
- Mileage Club, bicycle helmets for Ames 3rd grade students as part of Healthiest Ames, partnered with several organizations to address food insecurity in Story County, Baby Basics class in partnership with MICA, and other community outreach programs
Technology, equipment, building, and furnishings: $183,765
- Nurse Anne Simulator manikin with simulation pads for high-risk procedure training, updated pediatric treatment room, recumbent stepper for oncology patients, equipment to improve patient safety, Hospice House comfort suite, and more
- Scholarships for our current and future workforce
Total Funds Transferred to Support the Mission of Mary Greeley Medical Center $1,224,985
Past Annual Reports