Yes! Allen County Healthcare


October 26, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to increase a countywide sales tax by 1⁄4 of a cent to go toward a new Allen County Hospital.
Members of the Allen County Healthcare Committee address questions about the issue.
Q: What are the two groups; 1) “Yes” Allen County Healthcare and 2) Allen County Healthcare Foundation?  Do they have anything to do with recent changes in federal healthcare laws?
A: Except for the word “healthcare” there is no connection between the two local groups, “Yes” Allen County Healthcare and Allen County Healthcare Foundation, and recent changes in federal laws concerning healthcare. One — “Yes” — is a temporary group that will last less than six months and the other, Allen County Healthcare, is a 20-year-old fixture that will be around for a long time to come.
The volunteer voter education group, “Yes” Allen County Healthcare, formed in summer to help provide information to Allen County voters about the new hospital proposal that is on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Several hundred volunteers mobilized from all across the county working to provide information to voters. Its efforts are funded with contributions from more than 80 local individuals and groups. Donations to it are not tax deductible since it advocates voters approve the proposed bond issue. After the election, the work of the group will be done, the group will disband and the report of its expenses and revenues will be turned in to the county clerk.
The local not-for-profit Allen County Healthcare Foundation has the mission of providing funding for charitable healthcare services to citizens of Allen County and the surrounding area. 
It is a 501 (c)(3) and all gifts to it are tax deductible.  It has been in existence for about 20 years and if the bond issue passes, it will work closely with the new county hospital board of trustees to raise money in the form of charitable gifts for the new hospital.
Since Hospital Corporation of America, which currently runs the hospital, is a for-profit organization, the foundation could not raise money to equip or improve the hospital for HCA.
Once it is again a county run hospital, the not-for-profit foundation can be a big help in providing significant “extras” for the proposed new hospital and its patients and staff.
And, again, gifts to the foundation are tax de-ductible to the person making the gift.
Gary Parker is the chairman of Allen County Healthcare Foundation. Other current members of the board are: Alberta Searcy, Angela Henry, April Hudson, Bill Shirley, Deb Tynon, Denise Apt, Karen Gilpin, Kathryn Tillman and Mary Ann Magnuson-Patterson.