EMHS hits stride
BY STACI WILSON
It has been one month since Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation launched its campaign to raise a total of $3 million dollars to help fund the construction of a new critical access hospital inSusquehannaCounty.
Cabot kicked off the effort in February with a $1 million donation to Endless Mountains Health Systems building project and issued a challenge to the community to raise an additional $1 million which the company has pledge to match.
Groundbreaking for Phase I – the hospital portion of the building – was held in January. This fundraising campaign focuses its efforts on Phase II of the building project – the clinic.
Several large pledges to the project were announced Friday at an event hosted by Cabot held at the Community Foundation of theEndlessMountainsin Montrose.
Cabot spokesman George Stark said Diaz Companies, of Kingsley, and Somerset Regional Water Resources, of Tunkhannock had both made pledges in the “six figures.”
It was also announced that the 12th Annual Chili Cook-off, held March 17 at the County Seat Tavern raised $13,000.
With Cabot’s match, $500,000 has been raised for the project in the month since the challenge was announced.
EMHS CEO Rex Catlin said, “It’s thrilling. This is the fire we needed – the kick-off we needed.”
Cabot CEO Dan Dinges said, “We decided we were going to make a significant contribution. The community effort matching fund gives the entire community the chance to be a part of this. (Cabot) is going to be a part of this community for many, many years.”
Dinges said EMHS provides good health care but the current facility doesn’t space to allow for growth that would enable the hospital to provide more services.
EMHS Board President Ray Wilmarth spoke about the how the vision for the project began in 1992 and the years of planning, design and fundraising to get to this point.
“We’ve just outgrown what we have,” Wilmarth said.
Adam Diaz, president of Diaz Companies, said his 230 employees areSusquehannaCountyresidents and they also see the need for the new hospital facility.
Although his businesses have thrived and expanded with the natural gas boom, Diaz said the new hospital will also help to create jobs outside the gas industry.
He said that before gas, some of his current employees had been out of work and in danger of losing their homes.
“It’s important for my employees to feel involved,” Diaz said, “and it’s important they see we do give back to the community.”
Wilmarth said Cabot’s community match challenge has brought “new life – new energy” back to the project.
Stark said the goal is to complete the community challenge over the next few months.
The Cabot/EMHS Community Match Fund is being administered by the Community Foundation of theEndlessMountains. For more information about the fund, visit www.community-foundation.org.