Freeman Foundation offers financial support for local Beebe expansion
The South Coastal Health Campus, Beebe Medical Center’s newest project, set to cater health care advantages and convenience to patients in the lower Sussex region, received a financial boost from the Freeman Foundation this week in the form of $250,000. Representatives from both parties were on hand Tuesday to present the awarded check, which will help fund the hospital’s expansion, including the construction of the Joshua M. Freeman Physical Therapy Center.
“The Freeman Foundation and Freeman Companies have a deep sense of gratitude for the community for their support over the past 30 years,” said Michelle Freeman, chairwoman of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, “and we feel that this is our responsibility, to give back to the people we have built homes for over the years. Structures like libraries and hospitals are so important to the livelihood of the people who choose to call this area home.”
With their planned location in Clarksville, the 35,000-square-foot Beebe expansion will offer a wide range of services, including a larger emergency department; walk-in primary care during off-season months; Beebe Imaging, which hosts CT and MRI testing (two services not currently available), as well as X-ray, mammography and ultrasound; Beebe Lab Express, which provides blood work, specimen collection and EKGs; and Beebe Physical Therapy, honoring the late Joshua M. Freeman.
Construction for the campus is projected to begin this year, with facilities in operation by the summer of 2009.
“Access to quality health care is a critical issue facing Sussex County,” Freeman added, “and this grant symbolizes our commitment to improving all aspects of the community. We have great confidence in Beebe’s ability to bring outstanding health services to the county — and, for us, that is a central part of a thriving community.”
This marks the second major donation to area capital campaigns by the Freeman Foundation in the past two years, following last year’s contribution of the same amount to the Capital Campaign of the South Coastal Library and construction of the Joshua M. Freeman Cultural Center at the expanded library.
“The foundation never gives a grant without finding leverage for that grant,” stated Michelle Freeman. “It’s part of our mission. We hope that by providing this, we can get people to think about helping Beebe achieve their goal, and really digging deep. It’s going to be a collective effort. Other builders and people making an effort to call this place home — it’s important that they support Beebe and what they are trying to do.”
Beebe Medical Center’s president and CEO, Jeffery Fried, was on hand to accept the grant Tuesday.
“We are very appreciative of the support from the Freeman Foundation,” he said. “As a community hospital, trying to ensure that we provide the best and the latest medical services to the community, continues to be a challenge, and the support we get from the foundations around us will make it all happen. Our commitment is centered around the South Coastal area until we determine the final site where the money will be funded.”
The decision for the directors of the Freeman Foundation to give back to the community was an easy one to make.
“We try to focus on three areas of the community where we try to give back,” Michelle Freeman said, “and those are athletics, environment and the arts, which were three of Joshua’s greatest passions in life. For us, physical rehab made sense. It complements all three and it seemed poetic. It’s wonderful knowing that his name would be on something that would help people be at their best.”
Fried said he is very optimistic of the expansion and the advantages it will provide the Sussex communities.
“This care center will provide a wealth of service,” he said. “Patients won’t need to bother driving up north to Lewes. We can do a better job servicing the people and communities here.”