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Researchers create database to examine vast resources of health legacy foundations
Date:1/30/2014

hree decades, nonprofit health care entities often have struck agreements with for-profit firms to sell, lease, merge or otherwise change their assets. These changes have resulted in billions of dollars nationwide in charitable assets, most often managed through the creation or expansion of philanthropic foundations.

In 2010, the same year the Affordable Care Act was enacted, health care institutions announced 77 deals, the most since 2001, research shows. The two following years, 2011 and 2012, saw 92 deals and 94 deals for a total of 263 agreements.

The researchers also considered the "extraordinary' potential for the foundations to address health-related matters, as a result of their concentration in the South, with its higher rates of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and stroke. The foundations for the most part have committed to grant-making in the local communities where the converting hospital often was the only hospital. They at times also have chosen to provide capacity-building grants to help struggling charities stay afloat, especially during the Great Recession, the research indicates.

Niggel and Brandon also contend that while local community members at times oppose the sales of their nonprofit hospitals, such sales may stabilize the facilities. If they stay open, they continue to provide health care; the economic capital that generates jobs and provides health services continues or expands; new social capital comes into the community through the foundations; and human capital grows due to the foundations' and grantees' need for expanded skills. Such transactions also can free up local assets tied up in buildings and equipment and move them to where they can be reinvested in liquid assets devoted to community needs, they suggest.

The researchers also suggest that consideration of the adoption of the more comprehensive generic term "health legacy foundation" is a way to foster more precise thin
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Contact: Buffie Stephens
buffiestephens@uncc.edu
704-687-5830
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Source:Eurekalert

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