Kingsport Times News Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Wellmont seeks donors to fund relocation of NICU

April 26th, 2014 5:08 pm by Hank Hayes

Wellmont seeks donors to fund relocation of NICU

Audie and Sheena McGraw's newborn son Kolton has recently required care in Holston Valley Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit. Photo by David Grace.

KINGSPORT — Wanted: Someone to write a check leading off with a one and then six zeros.

The Wellmont Foundation of the Wellmont Health System is looking for a $1 million donor and other contributors to help with a $2.5 million "Next Generation" fund-raising effort to relocate the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from the second to the third floor at Holston Valley Medical Center.

The $1 million donation is being pitched as a possible "perpetual naming opportunity" for a philanthropist to have his or her name attached to the new space.

"We have the opportunity to name the facility for someone who would want to give a million dollars to that cause," Todd Norris, Wellmont's senior vice president of system advancement, said at a news conference to kickoff the fund-raising campaign. "We have some other naming opportunities within that for rooms, the nurses' station and so forth. It really helps us when people want to create a legacy as part of their giving."

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, in a story forecasting 2014 giving trends, suggested foundations need to do a better job getting gifts from the supporters they already have.

Since 1987, Wellmont has been a regional affiliate of the Children's Miracle Network (CMN), which has donated more than $13 million to the health system for the NICU and other children's health initiatives.

CMN no longer does a television marathon to raise money for its affiliates; although, corporate contributors like Walmart hold an in-house fund-raising campaign helping the non-profit organization, said Norris.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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