Hospitals' competitive spirit helps United Way

In light of the bad economy, the United Way of the CSRA wanted to find new ways to boost the organization's annual fundraising campaign, so it created the first hospital competition.

"It was a fun way since we are fairly competitive with other hospitals," said Rumame Samuels, the employee campaign manager for MCG Health Inc., which was named the overall winner at the United Way's annual meeting Feb. 24 at the Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites.

Announced in October, the competition pitted Doctors Hospital, Medical College of Georgia Hospital and University Hospital against one another. The hospital campaign netted more than $220,000 for the United Way to fund its more than 60 health and human service programs.

The total gift from MCG was more than $101,000, which included a $10,000 corporate gift.

"Our area hospitals are in the business of caring for our citizens when they have an acute health need," Mark Maund, the United Way's 2009 board chairman, wrote in an e-mail, "and since the United Way is in the business of caring for our citizens' health and human service needs all year long, we thought the hospital competition was a great way to engage the hospitals in a year-round opportunity to care for our citizens as well, and MCG Health led the way in responding with great enthusiasm."

MCG played on the competitive spirit of its employees.

"They developed an internal competition between departments, hosted a presentation to senior level management, used the organization's marketing resources to update employees on the campaign's progress, allowed speakers into department meetings and held an agency fair which coincided with a hot dog/pizza sale," according to a news release from the United Way.

There were two other key components to the hospital competition. Doctors Hospital won the per capita award for largest increase in per capita giving and the leadership award for the largest increase in leadership giving.

United Way officials gave MCG a trophy.

Reach Charmain Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.


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