Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2010

I love it when people ask what I do for a living. I do quite a lot of different things in my job, and sometimes it’s hard not to share TOO much information. Hey…I love my job, which is all too rare these days.

But I usually answer with “I give away money”. I find that this is usually an attention-getter. In fact, at that point, I usually have someone’s undivided attention.

You see, I have the honor and privilege of handling financial requests that from the various non-profits in my community. This is just one of the many facets of my job, but it’s one of the things I love the most. When I started working at Hendricks Regional Health many years ago, I knew how generous they were, but didn’t know HOW generous. Like “hundreds of thousands of dollars” generous. Every year.

Mind you, things have changed in the past few years as the hospital has tightened its belt due to increasing competition and the state of the economy. I’ve seen my budget cut, as the need to increase the budget to cover the uninsured has increased greatly. So many people have lost their jobs and their health insurance, and our mission first and foremost is to meet the healthcare needs of our community whether people have the means to pay for that care or not. And in the scheme of things, fixing a broken leg or saving someone’s life is way more important than our logo on the back of Little League t-shirts.

But being a non-profit hospital means that we CAN put the money back into the community. Because it’s the right thing to do. A couple of “for-profit” hospitals have moved into the Indianapolis area in the past few years, and profits go to their physician owners. Not so for a non-profit. We also never turn anyone away from our emergency room. Ever. And our ER wait time averages about 15 minutes – something most other hospitals in Indianapolis (and the country) can’t touch.

Off my soap box.

It’s difficult to say “no”. In the past couple of years, sometimes my “yes” has become “no” as I work with a smaller pot of money. Or sometimes my answer is “yes, but we can only give you half”. I’ve lost sleep over some of the tough decisions we’ve had to make. But the fact is, we have a finite amount of money available and have to do the best we can with it. And hopefully, we make a difference in the lives of the people that are touched by the worthy organizations we help.

So, I “give money away”. Actually, it’s more difficult than you might imagine.

Read Full Post »