Cushman Rice hospital fund remains stable
WILLMAR -- Money from Col. Cushman Rice's trust paid part of the bill for 71 patients at Rice Memorial Hospital last year. Meanwhile, the fund itself has managed to stay steady in spite of a difficult year in the financial markets. "Through this ...
WILLMAR -- Money from Col. Cushman Rice's trust paid part of the bill for 71 patients at Rice Memorial Hospital last year.
Meanwhile, the fund itself has managed to stay steady in spite of a difficult year in the financial markets.
"Through this tough market, you're breaking even," Janet Vandendriessche, senior vice president for Bremer Investment Management and Trust in Marshall, told members of the Rice Hospital board's finance committee on Friday.
Committee members heard a review Friday of the trust, which was established in 1932 as one of Cushman Rice's legacies.
The Rices, one of Willmar's early leading families, made their fortune in banking and lumber. Cushman Rice's father, Albert, was a Minnesota lieutenant governor. Rice himself was a career soldier and world traveler whose will left an endowment with which Rice Memorial Hospital was built.
He also set aside money for a trust, stipulating that the money be used for paying for hospital care for the needy.
Seventy-five years later, the need continues and may even be intensifying.
The number of applications for Rice trust grants "has risen pretty dramatically in the last three years," said Carol Hruby, vice president for the Bremer Investment Management and Trust.
Last year the trust paid out $60,325 to help cover hospital bills for 71 people, she said.
"Basically we're using all the income that we have. There are many applicants for grants now," she said.
"We don't have enough income to help everybody," agreed Bill Fenske, chief financial officer at Rice Memorial Hospital.
Grants are awarded from the trust's income, leaving the principal -- $2.5 million -- intact. Applicants must meet income and asset guidelines, which are based on 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline.
To help enhance the trust's long-term growth -- and thus increase its ability to provide grants for hospital care -- the finance committee agreed Friday to recommend alternative investments for the fund.
These would consist of investments such as real estate investment trust funds, commodity exchanged traded funds and mutual funds that use hedge fund strategies. No more than 5 percent of the Rice trust's total assets would be allocated to alternative investments.
The recommendation will be forwarded to the full hospital board for consideration on May 14.