Even in the midst of the current challenges facing healthcare, positive changes are taking place to many of the services at McPherson Center for Health. Among them is a new driveway leading to the Medical Office Building (MOB). The driveway project was funded entirely by Pat and Larry Bruce, long-time supporters of healthcare initiatives in the community.
But those who know Pat and Larry know that they are not fond of recognition and prefer to quietly show their support in a variety of ways. This project is the latest of many that come from their lives of service and financial support to health care in our community.
Pat and Larry’s willingness to be involved in the hospital is nothing new. Pat has been doing it for 20 years and has spent more than 20,000 hours filling a variety of roles. After losing her brother to cancer, she took an interest in volunteering at the hospital. She was soon amazed at all the things the volunteers do.
“I enjoy the camaraderie among the volunteers and staff, but I had no idea how much the hospital depends on the volunteers for so many things. The volunteers are crucial to the function of the hospital,” Pat said.
Her work with the volunteers quickly turned into a passion that has expanded to other areas of service leadership in the hospital. Over the years she has worked information desks, managed the gift shop and served on the volunteer board. She has also helped on many fundraising projects. But her work with the hospital has not been limited to the volunteers.
Pat and Larry have supported the McPherson Healthcare Foundation for many years, participating in golf tournaments, auctions, and other fundraising efforts. Eventually Pat was asked to serve on the Foundation board. It has been in these leadership capacities that she has been able to understand the needs of the hospital and help develop ways to make things better, including the initiative to build a new Medical Office Building.
The Medical Office Building’s fundraising effort started in 2014 through a capital campaign driven by the McPherson Healthcare Foundation. Pat helped communicate the needs for such a facility in the community. She and Larry were also significant donors for the project and helped secure a Mabee Foundation matching grant.
The MOB was the first step in a long range site plan for the hospital campus. The land grade for the MOB needed to be the same as the hospital so that the two buildings could eventually be connected. It turns out that the land grade for these facilities is higher than you would think in relation to the parking lot. And while the slope to the building is within appropriate specifications for sidewalks, there have been unforeseen challenges in getting people to the entrance of the MOB.
It didn’t help that the winter of 2019 when the MOB opened was particularly harsh. Pat saw some patients struggling to get to the entrance. She knew something needed to be done to improve the situation and began to discuss options with hospital leadership.
When it was determined that a driveway could be constructed that would bring patients near the entrance to the building, she and Larry knew that such a project couldn’t wait for another campaign, so they decided to fully fund the new driveway themselves.
“The MOB driveway is just the latest example of the generous nature of Pat and Larry Bruce,” said Amy Bower, director of development for the McPherson Healthcare Foundation. “For all the hours Pat has spent here, and for Larry’s good nature in sharing her with us, and their ongoing financial support in so many ways, they are true examples of giving for the benefit of others.”
Pat said, “Larry and I understand that quality healthcare is essential to a growing community. We feel honored and grateful to be a part of improving our hospital.”