BMH gets largest gift in its history

During his lifetime, John Fisher was a 55-year member of the Ball Memorial Hospital board and local industrialists, but his contributions to the community did not stop there. Months after his death Fisher is still making large contributions to the community.

Officials announced Tuesday that Fisher left $2 million to the BMH Foundation in his estate.

As one of Ball State University's largest benefactors, Fisher showed continuous involvement with the university. He made it possible to construct Worthen Arena in 1998 with a $2 million donation. His donation of $4.35 million in 2000 established the Fisher Distinguished Professorship in Wellness and Gerontology and the expansion of Schuemann Stadium, including the training facility named after him.

Tricia Stanley, executive director of the BMH Foundation, said everyone was surprised when they heard about the gift.

"You can never anticipate what type of gift the foundation will receive," she said. "We are always pleasantly surprised with a gift of this magnitude. We believe this donation is the largest gift by a single donor in the history of the BMH Foundation."

Half of the donation will be specifically used for graduate medical education, while the other half can be distributed by the board without restrictions.

Fisher was a long time BMH board member and the chair of Cardinal Health Systems. He was a long time supporter and contributor to the hospital, foundation and Muncie community.

"What Mr. Fisher tried to instill was the importance of BMH as well as the validity of the economy and community," Stanley said.

Kelley Stanley, board chairman of the BMH Foundation, said he had two reactions to the large donation made by Fisher, the first being the need to recognize how significant and meaningful the contribution is to the BMH Foundation.

"My second reaction was that it was another indication of John Fisher, the Fisher family and the Ball family's commitment to the community and how important the hospital will be in the future," Stanley said.

While half of the donations go toward medical education, Stanley said the gift will benefit the community by helping sustain the hospital and medical community.

"It will permit the hospital to continue to provide access to quality health care," Stanley said. "It's support like this that allows the Muncie medical community to be more comprehensive and have a staff with more expertise then you would expect to find in a community this size. The hospital is very special, as is the Muncie community."


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