The Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation (GWCHF) has appointed its inaugural board of directors and  announced the hiring of Tina Crave of Waterloo as president and CEO.

With the purpose of promoting and enhancing the health of the greater Watertown community, the new foundation was formed as a result of the September, 2015, joint venture transaction between Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) and LifePoint Health.

“Over the last century, the value of WRMC was built, in part, from the community’s support of WRMC,” according to Dr. Mike Sullivan, GWCHF board chairman. “Our foundation will carry on this legacy by providing resources—for the next 100 years and beyond—to transform the health of our community.”

Sullivan is a family practice physician with Watertown Family Practice and a WRMC medical staff member. “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to help lead the GWCHF. Ideal health and vitality are not created in the clinic or at the hospital.  They are created through healthy environments in homes, schools, workplaces and communities. The GWCHF will infuse needed resources and programming to transform community health.”

Crave is the foundation president and CEO. Crave most recently served as vice president and CEO at WRMC, where she had responsibilities over patient experience, marketing/public relations and community health assessment and planning. Crave holds a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a masters in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University.  She holds certifications in health coaching and whole health education.

“We are very fortunate to have these new resources in our community dedicated to community health,” Crave said.  “The GWCHF board and I are excited for the opportunities and are looking forward to developing partnerships and collaborating with organizations that are already advancing health across the region.”

Crave noted the board will be taking up to 18 to 24 months (recommended by foundation industry experts) to assess needs, identify priorities and to develop a strategic plan before awarding any grants. “We take our obligation to focus our resources on making significant impacts and will exercise due diligence in developing a plan to target our region’s greatest health challenges.”

Crave added that recent health needs assessments show chronic disease, physical activity, nutrition and mental health to be the most significant health challenges across the region.

The GWCHF is an independent non-profit foundation governed by a volunteer board of directors that represents the diverse needs of the greater Watertown region.  While not affiliated with WRMC, the foundation will serve the communities that have been traditionally served by WRMC, including Watertown, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Waterloo, Juneau and Ixonia.

With an investment portfolio valued at approximately $50 million, the GWCHF will utilize annual interest earnings for grants and programming throughout the region. In addition to its role as a grant maker, the GWCHF also holds the community’s remaining 20 percent interest in WRMC.  In this role, the GWCHF appoints 50 percent of the board members to the WRMC Joint Venture Board and is responsible for ensuring that all joint venture covenants are maintained.

The slate of officers for the new foundation includes Dr. Steven LeGrow, vice chairman. LeGrow is also a primary care physician with Watertown Family Practice and is the vice chief of staff at WRMC. Registered Nurse Carol Quest,  Watertown Health Officer, serves as secretary. Randy Phelps of Watertown serves as treasurer.

Other inaugural board members include Watertown Mayor John David, Charles Eggert, owner of Eggert Law LLP, Waterloo; Dr. Fred Gremmels, retired physician; Karla Mullen, retired educator; Bill Oswald, owner, Oswald Konz Financial Group; Nate Salas, president, Partnership Bank; David Schroeder, president, Baker-Rullman; Tim Schuler, controller, Orbis Corporation; and Marcy Tessmann, president, Charleston|Orwig.

Additional GWCHF committee members include Chad Bailey, Trek Bicycle; Patrick Caine, BMO Harris Bank; John Graf, WRMC; Dr. Ed Hoy, retired physician; and Jerry Vomhof, Thrivent Financial.

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