Change in Hospital Ownership Leads to Establishment of Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte

IU HealthThe affiliation between Community Health Systems, IU Health and IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals has been finalized.

Indiana University Health is now a minority owner of IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals. They own 20 percent, and CHS subsidiaries own 80 percent. IU Health will share equal governance of the new organization. Officials say this will ensure a local voice is heard in all future decisions.

Part of the agreement is the creation of the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte (HFL). It’s a new, independent, nonprofit foundation that’s dedicated to empowering residents in and around LaPorte to live healthy and well.

The HFL is initially funded with $106 million from the change in ownership for IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals. It will be managed by a volunteer board of 11 local community members and will focus on improving the health of the local community.

Board members include several former chairs of the LaPorte Hospital Board and several former members of the existing LaPorte Hospital Foundation. Maria Fruth, who currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the LaPorte Hospital Foundation will become the Chief Operating Officer of the HFL and will oversee all aspects of the local foundation.

The existing foundation’s assets and programs will be combined with the HFL. It will optimize healthy living in LaPorte by focusing on Strategic Thought and Leadership; Grantmaking, Scholarship and Vouchers; and Healthcare Programming. Starting in late 2017, about 5 percent of the value of the HFL’s assets will be used annually to support healthier living through the three strategic areas. That investment is expected to grow over time as fundraising efforts continue, additional proceeds are received and investment strategies are implemented.

“The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte will be our local voice in healthcare, and we will continue to depend on contributions of time, energy, and funds if we are to create real change,” Fruth said in a statement.