OCEANSIDE — After a three-month nationwide search, Glen Newhart was selected as the Tri-City Hospital Foundation executive director and began the job on Jan. 15.
Kevin Stotmeister, chair of the Tri-City Hospital Foundation board, said Newhart’s fundraising know-how and positive enthusiasm set him apart from other candidates and make him the right fit to do the day-to-day legwork of fundraising.
Newhart has an impressive 20-year record. He increased fundraising revenue by 300 percent in his first year at the American Heart Association in Marietta, Ga. He also advanced total giving by more than $6 million in his four-year tenure with Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena, Mont.
A lot of his success has to do with his active approach to fundraising. Newhart is a certified fundraising executive and sees fundraising as a service to donors.
He is interested in establishing relationships with donors and matching their contributions with Tri-City Medical Center projects that complement their passion and provide them with a sense of accomplishment.
“People want the hospital to be successful,” Newhart said. “We get grant requests for amazing projects the hospital can’t necessarily budget for.”
He said it is just as important to him to get to know people who choose not to donate in order to learn what is missing in their experience with Tri-City Medical Center.
Since Tri-City Hospital Foundation was established it has raised $43 million for programs, services and capital needs.
Donations have supported The da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, Siegel Family Surgical Suites, Beatrice Riggs French Women’s Center, and Edgar & Jo Anne Jones Women’s Diagnostic Center.
Contributions have also supported Emergency Department expansion, a NICU camera-system, digital mammography equipment, and Sotera Wireless ViSi Mobile System that connects patients with their families.
Newhart said he wants to continue the foundation’s great work and build upon it. His goal is to make Tri-City Medical Center “the best hospital anywhere.”
Part of his efforts will focus on meeting foundation board members and fine-tuning their fundraising skills.
“They haven’t been offered training and we need to do that,” Newhart said.
He said it is about “perfecting the skills” they already have and pushing board members a little out of their comfort zone “to do great things.”
As far as fundraising Newhart has already gotten to work and kicked off the employee giving campaign, and is set to organize the annual Fashion That Heals event in May.
Stotmeister said Newhart’s enthusiasm gives the foundation and the medical center a needed shot in the arm.
“The board is really fired up,” Stotmeister said. “Morale is very good right now. It helps in terms of fundraising.”
Morale had dipped through numerous recent changes.
The previous foundation executive director, Farrah Douglas, only served six months and then resigned due to personal reasons in September.
Stotmeister said Douglas stated she needed more time to focus on her position as Carlsbad councilwoman, which she recently resigned from this February.
A month after Douglas’ resignation from the foundation, Tri-City Medical Center CEO Larry Anderson was terminated.
Casey Fatch, the interim medical center CEO, is a candidate for the position, which has yet to be filled.
The hospital is also in the process of considering options for day-to-day financing including a partnership with a private hospital.
Stotmeister said a decision on a partnership is not presently being discussed and would not be made until a new CEO is hired.
Newhart said regardless of what decision is made the foundation would continue to be the fundraising arm for the hospital.
The Tri-City Hospital Foundation is a separate nonprofit from the medical center and raises funds for programs, services and capital needs beyond daily operations.
“Our good work will continue,” Newhart said. “We have the same mission we’ve always had.”
Newhart sees a cohesive relationship between the medical center and foundation during the present transition.
“I am excited by the unified vision between the foundation’s board, medical center’s executive leadership and healthcare district board,” Newhart said.
“This is an exciting time to be taking the reins and making a difference for our community’s health and wellness.”
This year also marks the foundation’s 50th anniversary. Newhart said the foundation is in the process of determining a big fundraising project to honor the foundation’s 50 years.