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New Foundation Pledges Support for Fort Madison Trails

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The GRHS-FMCH Community Health Foundation has pledged to provide up to $1.5 million to Promoting Outdoor Recreational Trails (P.O.R.T.) of Fort Madison for the construction of a trail connecting to Rodeo Park in Fort Madison. The route will be determined after a survey is completed.

This announcement comes on the first anniversary of the affiliation agreement between Fort Madison Community Hospital (FMCH) and Great River Health System (GRHS). The GRHS-FMCH Community Health Foundation was created as part of the agreement to provide funding for projects or initiatives that help improve the health of communities served by the health system. Its board of directors consists of three members from each organization. The new foundation doesn’t replace the FMCH Foundation.

“Great River Health’s vision is to empower people, transform lives and fulfill dreams,” said Matt Wenzel, president and chief executive officer (CEO). “To do this, we must provide exceptional health care and invest in the communities our patients call home, giving them the tools necessary to live healthy lives.”

Great River Health consists of several entities. Besides Great River Medical Center and Fort Madison Community Hospital, it includes more than 25 clinics, three outpatient pharmacies, two medical equipment and supplies stores, and Universal Therapy Group, which joined the health system April 1. Having a shared vision will enable the health system to provide coordinated, comprehensive care.

“Our goal is to make southeast Iowa a better place to live for employees, residents and future residents. By collaborating with community partners like P.O.R.T., we can make it happen,” said Jeremy Alexander, FMCH CEO, and Great River Health Chief Financial Officer.

Construction of the connecting trail to Rodeo Park is expected to begin in September 2020.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous donation,” said Rachel Benda, chair, P.O.R.T committee. “It has been our goal to connect our current P.O.R.T. trails to Rodeo Park. We never dreamed it would happen so soon.”

P.O.R.T. of Fort Madison is a subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Board of the City of Fort Madison. Its mission is to promote active living and improve recreational trails in Fort Madison and the surrounding area.