In the early 1970s, with construction plans for the South Building underway, Good Samaritan Hospital leaders realized they needed a dedicated—and separate—nonprofit entity to raise funds for the hospital, manage charitable contributions and protect those donations from claims by creditors should the building project go awry. As a result, the Samaritan Health Foundation was incorporated in 1973. The foundation began with a staff of one and raised $114,434 in its first year.
From 1980 until 1998, the Samaritan Health Foundation Associates, a subsidiary of the foundation composed of community volunteers, spearheaded fundraising efforts and hosted dozens of special events and galas, including Bon Apetit, the Zipper Open golf tournament and Autum A’faire. Foundation Friends, an organization that raised donations through memberships, and the Legacy Circle, which encouraged bequests by Friends’ members, were also essential sources of early foundation donations.
In 2005, the Beachler Nursing University was established with a major gift from Elsie M. Beachler to provide continuing education and advanced training inside the hospital for Good Sam nurses. The foundation continues to support nursing education through the Beachler Nursing University as well as numerous scholarships, including employee appreciation scholarships supported by hospital physicians for any employee in any degree program.
The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation established the Good Sam Babies program in 2005. Over 1,300 people in 42 states and four countries identified themselves as “Good Sam Babies.” Following a lead gift by one member, many Good Sam Babies also sent contributions which supported the installation of the Good Samaritan statue at the front of the hospital. While we are not actively enrolling members, the foundation still recognizes the unique significance and pride associated with being a Good Sam Baby.
After Good Samaritan Hospital became one of the first robotic epicenters in the community and purchased a da Vinci Robot, the foundation provided a da Vinci Skills Simulator in 2012. The simulator helps train surgeons on the da Vinci robotic system, and also allows them to practice surgeries on the simulator before performing the surgery on a patient.
The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation has granted more than $15 million to support our mission since 1973. To learn more about the history of the Foundation, download our 40th anniversary article in 2015 Partners Magazine.
Good Samaritan Hospital History
In 1928, the Dayton community partnered with the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati to raise $1 million to finance the construction of Good Samaritan Hospital. The project took four years to complete, and when Good Sam opened in 1932, it was due to the efforts of the Sisters as well as the businesses and citizens of Dayton. This spirit of philanthropy is still demonstrated by our donors every day and is kept alive by the spirit of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
The Nurses Training Act of 1943 provided a free education for students who promised to enter the nursing profession upon graduation. It was through this legislation that Good Samaritan Hospital was able to train and retain some of the top nursing students in the country, allowing the hospital to put an even greater focus on patient care. The Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing was one of 1,125 schools enrolling approximately 170,000 students nationwide due to the Nurses Training Act. The last class of nurses graduated from the GSH School of Nursing in 1973. Many alumni are still actively involved with the foundation today.