During the 1990s, with the passing of a wealthy resident, his estate wanted to bestow a large financial gift to CMH, in appreciation for the care provided. Because the county (government) hospital could not accept the gift as a tax-exempt organization, the funds went elsewhere. This prompted the formation of Caribou Memorial Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization, which obtained IRS 501 C 3 status, which allows for the tax deductibility of donations.
The CMH Foundation has a separate non-paid board of directors from CMH’s board and administers a growing endowment fund. The proceeds are used to provide scholarships for healthcare careers, as well as to help pay for psychiatric care for those without means, and to benefit CMH, e.g., remodel patient rooms. Fund-raisers are held by the CMH Foundation, e.g., its annual Golf Scramble, and donations of all sizes are always encouraged and appreciated.
The CMH Foundation has its own bylaws and its own governing body, who are all unpaid volunteers, which is separate from the public CMH board. The CMH Foundation board, over the past decade, has met on a monthly basis and has decided to “grow” an endowment fund, and use the proceeds, which are wisely and conservatively invested, for “scholarships” to help improve healthcare in Caribou County. This includes giving CMH employees scholarships for training, funding in-service training, subsidizing the cost of mental healthcare, via tele-health, for low income county residents, and donating funds to CMH for such things as creating classrooms, upgrading patient rooms, etc.