About Us

The Mission of the Howard Young Foundation is to advance the health and wellness of all people in the communities we serve through your charitable support.

Our Foundation

The Howard Young Foundation, Inc. (HYF), established in 1984, is a quasi-independent philanthropic, not-for-profit, charitable 501 c (3) organization. The sole purpose of the Foundation is to actively seek and invest charitable support for Howard Young Medical Center and Ascension Eagle River Hospital, collectively referred to as Ascension Howard Young Health Care (AHYHC). Howard Young Foundation, Inc. is committed to advancing the healthcare of our communities. Through the effective stewardship of the generous charitable gifts we receive, the Foundation is able to ensure the delivery of superior healthcare to patients and their families in the Northwoods.

Our Philanthropic Pursuit

The promise of health care philanthropy is the ability to change and save lives. It is because of the vision of philanthropist Howard Young, who in 1972 donated $20 Million dollars and established an endowment to build and sustain a larger and more modern hospital. The Howard Young Foundation, Inc. remains devoted to providing and advancing excellent medical and patient care through the power of your philanthropy.

The Foundation is now embarking on a journey to transform and sustain health care in northern Wisconsin for generations to come. Through a set of donor-centered and community-focused philanthropic initiatives, the Foundation will ensure that physicians, clinicians, staff, patients, friends and donors work together to solve the greatest health care needs of the community and fund the most vital health care services.

Our goal is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to the Foundation by providing donors the information they need to make informed giving decisions. Through fundraising, grants, and stewardship, the Foundation is dedicated to health-related programs and services, in addition to improving the health and well-being in our hospitals and for our community.

What it means to be a non-profit organization?

Ascension Howard Young Health Care's Role as non-profit hospitals

The term not-for-profit refers to charitable organizations, such as Ascension Howard Young Health Care (AHYHC), that have a mission to serve all patients, even those who cannot pay.  AHYHC offers as many services as possible; even those services that are more mission driven rather than revenue driven.  For Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, WI and Ascension Eagle River Hospital in Eagle River, WI, that mission results in emergency departments that offer care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They are not just accessible during the more profitable daytime hours.

Every penny that comes into the hospital is used for the primary purposes of the hospital.  It also means the community is the beneficiary of any profit the hospital earns and that no individual profits from that revenue.

Charitable, not-for-profit hospitals constitute the overwhelming majority of hospitals throughout the United States.  For-profit hospitals do exist and the distinguishing factor is that these hospitals are privately owned and their goal is to earn revenue for their investors.  As a result, many offer only profitable services and do not offer care to those who cannot pay.  Charitable, not-for-profit hospitals are driven by the needs of the patients and not solely by the profits that may be earned.

How does Ascension Howard Young Health Care (AHYHC) earn its revenue and for what purpose?

Any revenue in excess of costs from operations supports the hospital.  If there was no excess revenue, there would be no funds to purchase new equipment or implement new technology.  Facilities would be not maintained and no improvements could be made.  It’s essential for all hospitals to be profitable, even in a charitable, not-for-profit environment.

Another way to generate income is to borrow funds, but loans must be paid back with interest.  This is not a viable way to provide ongoing support for a hospital, but is often necessary in today’s healthcare environment.

A third way to fund a hospital’s mission is with investment income.  If a hospital has a large endowment, the interest can mean the difference between survival and closure.  Yet, not all hospitals are fortunate to have significant endowed funds.  The Howard Young Trust established in 1972 was a very generous and prudent gift from Mr. Young.  Ascension Howard Young Health Care continues to benefit from that Trust and the income helps ensure residents and visitors have necessary care.

Healthcare philanthropy is the fourth way income can be earned.  This income results in bottom-line dollars.  Bottom-line dollars are those that go directly toward programs, services and the technology needs of both hospitals served by the Howard Young Foundation.  Charitable, not-for-profit hospitals began as philanthropic institutions with the primary purpose of meeting the healthcare needs of their communities.  That purpose still holds true today for Ascension Howard Young Health Care in northern Wisconsin.