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Daily Camera: BCH Foundation announces $5 million historic donation from the Hoover Family

Daily Camera: BCH Foundation announces $5 million historic donation from the Hoover Family

The front page of today's Daily Camera details a $5 million donation the BCH Foundation received – the largest gift from a single donor in BCH's 100-year history – from long-time community philanthropists Suzanne and David Hoover.

The article describes how the bulk of the Hoovers' donation, $4 million, will be used to establish an endowment to fund the Hoover Family Center for Education Excellence at BCH. The Hoover Family Center endowment will fund a comprehensive education program to support growth and development opportunities for staff and leaders within Boulder Community Health, which will help attract and retain top talent. The other $1 million will be used to fund the capital expansion of services at the previously established Hoover Family Surgery Center at Foothills Hospital, as it strives to deliver accessible, high-quality surgical capabilities to its patients. 

Read below for the full Daily Camera article:

Boulder Community Health announces $5M foundation donation during its 100-year celebration
The donation marks largest single- donor gift the foundation has received

As it marks 100 years in business as a major health care provider in the area, Boulder Community Health isn’t just reflecting on the past but is looking to the future.

Grant Besser, vice president of Community Health and Engagement and president of BCH Foundation, speaks during a town hall for Boulder Community Health’s 100-year anniversary at the Boulder Jewish Community Center on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

In the next few years, the hospital will be looking at ways it can better support its employees, which in turn, will improve its ability to care for its patients, said Rob Vissers, president and CEO of the hospital. A $5 million donation the foundation will soon receive will aid in its ability to do exactly that.

“I think what this extraordinary gift demonstrates is the importance of having strong community ties,” Vissers said. “We are unique in Colorado. I think it allows us to serve our community. I think the more we give to our community, the more they give back.”

BCH on Tuesday had a town hall celebration with employees to mark 100 years as a health care provider in the community. During the event, the hospital also announced the $5 million donation the foundation will be receiving to support continuing education for staff and capital improvements. The donation, which is coming from David and Suzanne Hoover, is the largest single-donor gift the foundation has ever received.

“The Hoovers have been really involved with BCH for many years,” Vissers said. “It’s not surprising that they were behind this incredible gift.”

Grant Besser, president of the BCH Foundation, said before the Hoover’s donation, the largest single-donor gift it received was $2 million.

David Hoover served as CEO of Ball Corporation until he retired in 2011. He retired from his role as chair of the BCH Board of Directors in 2013 and from the board in 2018. Suzanne Hoover serves on the board of trustees for the BCH Foundation.

Through their years in the community and the time they have spent working with BCH, David Hoover said he and his wife have learned how important the hospital is not only to the patients it cares for but to the people it employs.

“We try to direct (our donations) toward education and health care, and this donation is both,” he said. “The turnover of employees and the need for caregivers, I think, is evident every day, so trying to offer support for people to get better trained seemed like a really timely thing to do.”

The donation will establish an endowment that will further the hospital’s education programs. The funding will provide tuition support for people who need help paying for nursing school, tuition forgiveness for those who already finished nursing school and need help paying off loans as well as support for continued education, which will help nurses hoping to receive additional certifications pay for the costly courses.

Michele Sternitzky, BCH nursing director, said the hospital already offers some tuition support and some support to help reimburse nurses for completing additional courses, but the funding is limited.

“A vast majority of our staff were paying for (certifications) out of pocket,” she said.

This will be the first time BCH will offer a loan reimbursement program, Sternitzky said.

“I think this (donation) helps future nurses and helps retain staff that are already here,” she said. “I love how this helps elevate BCH to meet the needs of our staff.”

Besser said the $5 million donation will expand the hospital’s educational assistance funding by 400%. In the past four decades, the community has raised more than $70 million to support the hospital. Since then, more than $60 million has directly impacted BCH, he said.

About $1 million of the donation will go toward future capital improvements at BCH’s Hoover Family Surgery Center at Foothills Hospital.

He said the Hoovers have made monetary donations to the hospital in the past but did not disclose the amounts.

“It’s an incredible legacy gift because it is very symbolic of the incredible support that we receive from the community,” Besser said. “I think it’s fair to say time after time the community has been there for us.”