Hospital opens fund-raising drive

A $10 million community capital campaign kicked off Monday by the Prince William Health System Foundation, with officials urging residents to open their wallets and pocketbooks to help meet the goal for their local hospital.

The campaign is the first fund drive the hospital has had since its opening in 1964. The $10 million will be combined with an industrial bond of $65 million and another $10 million from a reserve fund.

The combined funds will finance 10 major projects at the hospital.

Alice Jones, board of trustees chairman, said the county is one of the fastest-growing regions in Virginia with low unemployment rates and median annual incomes that exceed the national average. Between 1990 and 2000, the county enjoyed a population growth of 30 percent, Jones said.

“While growth presents opportunities, it also presents challenges to our health care system. The demand for these patient services is great and growing every year. The Emergency Department responded to more than 50,000 visits. To keep up with these changes and many more, the Prince William Health System cannot stand still,” Jones said.

Michael Schwartz, president and CEO of the health system, told the gathering that the theme of the campaign was “A Blueprint for Tomorrow — A Campaign for Prince William Health.”

The health of the community is paramount, said Schwartz, and the Health System believes residents should have access to an outstanding health care facility.

“That means above all, that our hospital and other services are staffed by expert medical professionals who provide the best possible care. Our promise to deliver exceptional health care to all patients is the forefront of our planning,” Schwartz said.

The fund drive would be used to finance the following projects which have or are about to get under way which include:

construction and renovation of the birthing center,

construction of a new emergency department,

expansion of the MRI suite to two scanners,

expansion and renovation of the radiology department,

renovation and enlargement of the operating rooms,

construction of a new ambulatory surgery center,

parking expansion,

redesign and renovation of the main entrance and lobby of the hospital and

major infrastructure upgrades of aging systems, such as the boilers and generators.

“Raising $10 million from the community would substantially reduce the need to borrow more money through the bond issues,” said Schwartz.

Spearheading the campaign fund-raising are Manassas Mayor Marvin Gillum, co-chairman; Delegate Harry J. Parrish, co-chairman; businessmen Don Wine, chairman of the pacesetter gifts; and John Atkinson, chairman of the Foundation Board of Trustees.

Gillum said early donations to the campaign have netted $4.8 million, or nearly 50 percent of the $10 million goal.

“The generosity of the Prince William Health System Board of Trustees, the Prince William Health System Foundation board, the medical staff and Health System employees has brought us to this point,” Gillum said.

Wine listed 14 “Pillars of Community” who have made a contribution or pledge of $100,000 or more, topped by the family of Cecil and Irene Hylton, who donated $1.5 million to the campaign.

The campaign will run through August 2003.

Staff writer Bennie Scarton Jr. can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 125.

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