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CFO supports MRI machine for Salem Memorial District Hospital

Aug. 20, 2020

Mission-Related Investment provides funding to improve access to care for rural residents

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks will provide financing for the Salem Memorial District Hospital to obtain its own MRI machine to improve access to this important diagnostic tool for residents in four counties.

Through its Mission-Related Investment program, the CFO will serve as intermediary for a 10-year lease-purchase for the hospital to acquire the MRI machine, which costs about $862,000. The funding is made possible by a no-interest pass-through loan from Intercounty Electric and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The hospital has been using a modular MRI that travels to the community on a semitruck on a limited basis, which makes scheduling difficult for patients.

The 25-bed hospital is designated as a “Critical Access Hospital” by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The designation means the hospital is eligible for allowable cost-based reimbursement to remain open so it can serve residents in Dent, Crawford, Iron and Shannon counties, a region that includes some of the most remote and impoverished areas of Missouri where other health-care options may be hours away.

“Having the mobile equipment for the past several years has helped SMDH leadership gauge the community’s response to the benefit of having the equipment in-house and to prove that an MRI machine is a worthwhile investment,” said Kasey Lucas, Administrator/CEO.

The CFO’s Mission-Related Investment program was established in 2010 to make below-market loans to projects with a public purpose, particularly when traditional financing options are not feasible. The program is described as having a “double bottom line” because the financing creates a community benefit as well as a return for the CFO that goes back into the program for future projects.

“Access to healthcare in rural areas is a significant barrier, and helps contribute to poorer health outcomes than in more populated areas,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “This investment reinforces our mission to ‘enhance the quality of life,’ for there is nothing more important to a quality of life than good health.”

The Salem area is served by the Dent County Community Foundation, one of the CFO’s 50 regional affiliate foundations across central and southern Missouri. The CFO and its affiliate foundations serve donors, nonprofit partners and professional advisors across a 58-county region through more than 3,000 funds totaling about $300 million in assets.

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