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Pictured at the recent groundbreaking for the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte are, left side, back row: James Clarke, Dr. Gary Wheeland; left side, front row: Tim Larson, Jim Kaminski, Daniel Kaminski, Rory Bunce, Drum Osborn; right side, back row: Rich Schmitt, Jeffrey Bernel, Jane Nelson, James Laughlin; and right side, front row:: Maria Fruth, Kathleen Lang, Hester Muller, Amanda Wolf.

LAPORTE — The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte broke ground on a new facility here Aug. 20. The structure will become the organization’s new headquarters and house a conference and learning center.

“HFL’s evolution is logical as money alone cannot change a community,” said Maria Fruth, president and CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte. "A significant part of the plan relies on the development and enhancement of deeper partnerships with and across organizations and our community. It is only by working together toward common goals that we will successfully reach our vision: to be among Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030.”

The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte was formed with the $106 million in proceeds from the sale of LaPorte Hospital to Community Health Systems, a for-profit hospital chain based in Tennessee.

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The center at McClung Road and East Shore Parkway will be 12,815 square feet and host many educational opportunities for nonprofits sponsored by the foundation. It will be a space to meet, learn, retreat and plan, offered free of charge to nonprofits that engage in charitable activities benefiting the residents of LaPorte County and other public entities. It also holds the potential to host health-and-wellness seminars and speakers.

There is a nearby hiking trail, the Chessie Trail, to which the foundation will add a water and rest stop for trail participants to use. The foundation, recognizing the potential of the trail to improve the health and quality of life of the community, provided a grant to the project of $232,020 that was the 20% match for the federal grant the city of LaPorte received.

An incubator space will also be available within the building. The space will be a dedicated area for nonprofits to work and collaborate with their mentors, designers, accountants and other industry experts. The foundation hopes it serves as a resource for young nonprofits to ease into the often costly process of establishing administrative and financial systems.

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